Object Details

Ruth-Less Memorial

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General Information
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Author: Anthony McIntosh
Copyright for Photograph:

Creative Commons

Location

Street:Butts Brow
Town:Eastbourne
Parish:Eastbourne
Council:Eastbourne Borough Council
County:East Sussex
Postcode:BN20
Location on Google Map
In the AZ book:East Sussex
Page:153
Grid reference:L5
The A-Z books used are A-Z East Sussex and A-Z West Sussex (Editions 1A 2005). Geographers' A-Z Map Company Ltd. Sevenoaks.
OS Reference:TQ579017

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Makers

Name : Kevin Watson
     Role:Designer
     Qualify:and
Name : George Dixon
     Role:Designer

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General Information

Commissioned by: 'Ruth-Less' Memorial Fund
Construction period:1995
Installation date:05/1995
Unveiling date:13/05/1995
Work is:Extant
Owner custodian:Eastbourne Borough Council
Object listing:Not listed
Description:Rectangular memorial set horizontally on the top of the downs overlooking the town. Granite with polished and raised lettering against rough-hewn matt finish.
Inscription:Polished and raised lettering underneath a carved relief image of the bomber:

In memory of the crew of a B-24D Liberator Bomber
No. 41-24282 BAR Y ''RUTH-LESS''
of
506 Squadron, 44th Bombardment Group, 8th. U.S.A.A.F.
Who all lost their lives, when,
badly damaged by enemy action and in very low cloud,
the aircraft crashed here on february 2nd. 1944.

This inscription is followed by the carved names and home towns and states of the ten crew members who lost their lives. Underneath the names, in large letters:

OUR FRIENDS AND ALLIES
FAR FROM HOME

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Classification

Categories:Commemorative, Military
Object type1:Relief
Object type2:War memorial
     Object subtype1:World War II
Subject type1:Pictorial

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Object Parts

Part 1:Plinth
     Material:Concrete
Part 2:Memorial
     Material:Norwegian granite
     Width (cm):107
     Depth (cm):137

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Object Condition

Overall condition:Good
Risk assessment:No known risk
Date of on-site inspection:03/06/2007

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History

History:'Ruth-Less' was an early specification B-24D Liberator bomber, full serial number B-24D-25-CO4124282. The Consolidated Aircraft Company constructed 'Ruth-Less' during November 1942, at their factory in San Diego, California. The bomber had taken off at 11.05 on a bombing mission. On its second run over Watten, it was hit by enemy fire. The number 3 inboard engine was hit but she continued her run; the number 4 engine was then hit and began leaking fuel. 1st. Lt. J.O. Bolin realised that they would not make it back to Shipdham and so turned into the coast over Beachy Head towards the airfield at Friston. At rooftop height, people in their gardens could see the crew through the windows of the bomber. Unable to gain any more height, the bomber slammed nose first into the cloud covered Downs, flipping over onto her back and exploding into a fire-ball. All but two of the crew died instantly.Sgts. Wilson and Bales were taken to the Princess Alice Hospital but died shortly afterwards.
Kevin Watson and George Dixon approached Councillor Ron parsons on 22 October 1994 with regard to placing a permanent memorial to the crew of 'Ruth-Less' at the crash site on the Downs. Relatives of the dead airmen were traced and many attended the unveiling of the memorial.
'So finally the day arrived when all of the hard work by so many different people was culminated. The weather was kind to us although the odd cloud looked a little threatening. By 1.45 pm a large crowd of at least 400 people had already gathered. The boys and girls of the local Air training Corps were directing the traffic into the car parks and assisting people along the way, to the cordoned area around the memorial. Ten minutes before the ceremony was due to start, the band of the Royal British Legion started to play and there was a frisson of anticipation amongst everyone gathered there, as his worship Mayor Parsons accompanied by his wife, Stella Myrshall and the Deputy Mayor, Mauric Skilton, took their places.
The monument had been covered with an American flag and centred on top was the bloodstained folded hat of 1st. Lt. Orville Wulff, which was found in his breast pocket when he died. Veterans of the Royal British Legion made a fine sight as they lined the perimeter, their standards proudly raised with the town of Eastbourne as a backdrop. It was an Ecumenical service with three ministers participating led by the Reverend Doug McAvoy. Also attending was Eastbourne's member of Parliament, Nigel Waterson. The American Ambassador was represented by Lt. Col. Snukis of the US Marines, who made a speech reminding us of past sacrifices made so that we can be free today.
After the first hymn O' Valiant Heart, I addressed the crowd to briefly outline the circumstances that led to the crash of 'Ruth-Less', after which I invited Arthur King to step forward and have the honour of unveiling the memorial. As Arthur rolled back the Stars and Stripes flag, a few large raindrops started to fall and Stella Myrshall later remarked of these 'teardrops from heaven'. Right on cue just as the ceremony ended, aircraft of the RAF's Red Arrows display team roared overhead dipping their wings in salute.
Following the ceremony on the Downs, most people moved to a reception hosted by the Mayor in Eastbourne Town Hall, where a backdrop of photographs and pictures had been assembled to illustrate the 'Ruth-Less' story. Visitors, especially those from the United States, were welcomed by the Mayor and george Dixon'.
(more information can be found in the excellent book: 'Ruth-Less' and Far From Home')
Hard archive file:Yes

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References

Source 1 :
     Title:'''Ruth-Less'' and Far From Home'
     Type:Book
     Author:Watson, Kevin.
     Date:00/00/2000
     Page:118-121
     Publisher:Kevin Watson. Eastbourne.


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Photographs





Date: 03/06/2007
Author: Anthony McIntosh
Copyright: Creative Commons




Date: 03/06/2007
Author: Anthony McIntosh
Copyright: Creative Commons




Date: 03/06/2007
Author: Anthony McIntosh
Copyright: Creative Commons




Date: 03/06/2007
Author: Anthony McIntosh
Copyright: Creative Commons

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