TWINNING OF HUNSTANTON WITH
THE 67TH SPECIAL OPERATIONS SQUADRON
The Town of Hunstanton was twinned with the 67th Special Operations Squadron of the USAF on 6th May 2016 in a Ceremony held at Hunstanton Town Hall attended by 180 invited guests including 40 USAF personnel.
The USAF Squadron played a vital role during the terrible Floods of January 31st 1953, which claimed the lives of 16 Americans and 15 of their English neighbours.
Neil Quincey will never forget the four members of the 67th Air Rescue Squadron who
risked their lives when they took him in their amphibious craft in a brave attempt to rescue his wife and three children from their home in South Beach Road, which was flooded to a depth of eleven feet. This attempt failed when the vessel capsized within yards of Neil’s house, but later they were all taken to safety by Reis Leming, who was subsequently
awarded the George Medal for his single-handed rescue of 27 victims. Neil’s next-door
neighbour, USAF Staff Sergeant Freeman A Kilpatrick received the same award for saving
the lives of 18 of his neighbours.
For nearly sixty years a memorial in the esplanade gardens was the only visible sign of the
shared grief and the acts of heroism uniting Hunstanton with the 67th which was activated
at RAF Sculthorpe in November 1952. However, in 2011 the Squadron’s official historian,
RAF Flt Sgt Mark Service, invited Hunstanton Civic Society to join in commemorating the
60th anniversary of the 67th (now renamed the 67th Special Operations Squadron and
based at RAF Mildenhall) by inviting the Squadron back to the town in November 2012.
Since then the bond has strengthened, to the point where ‘Twinning’ seems the obvious
next step, following ‘Freedom’ of the town being granted to the 67th Special Operations
Squadron in October 2014.
REMEMBRANCE SUNDAY - 10th November 2019
Hunstanton were very proud to welcome about 40 members of the 67th Special Operations Squadron to Hunstanton. The day started with a March from the United Services Club to St Edmund's Church for the Annual Service of Remembrance. This was followed by a procession to the Cenotaph in the Heritage Gardens where the laying of wreaths took place.
Following this, the Town Council in association with the Hunstanton & District Civic Society laid on a buffet lunch for our visitors. This was followed by a visit to the Heritage Centre. After this, many of the servicemen and women who had brought their families enjoyed a walk along the promenade and some even visited the SeaLife Centre.
Here are some photos of the events (mainly thanks to Town & Around photographer):
We have offloaded previous Twinning Events onto a seperate Archive Page which can be found by clicking here