Remembering a forgotten hero who helped save 18 lives in the floods of '53

  • Watch a report by ITV News Anglia's Natalie Gray

It's exactly 68 years since a huge tidal surge devastated the low-lying east coast of England leaving 300 people dead.

One of the heroes of January 31st 1953 is finally being remembered. US Air Force Sergeant Freeman Kilpatrick was based at RAF Sculthorpe and lived in Hunstanton.

He and his wife were about to go to the cinema when he noticed water trickling through the front door. He went on to save 18 lives.

Freeman Kilpatrick lying on a bed surrounded by rubble Credit: RAF Sculthorpe Heritage Centre

Freeman Kilpatrick was one of only five Americans ever to receive Britain's George Medal for an act of bravery and one of only two to do so in peacetime.

He died in 2014 and his son has recently gifted the medal to RAF Sculthorpe heritage centre.

Freeman Kilpatrick being presented with his George Medal for bravery Credit: RAF Sculthorpe Heritage Centre

In Hunstanton another American airman Reis Leming is more well known for being the hero of the '53 floods. He saved 27 lives and has a path named after him in the town.

The plan now is to have something named after Mr Kilpatrick so he too can be honoured as he deserves to be.

Freeman Kilpatrick's George Medal Credit: ITV Anglia