Armistice day: Remembering US airmen who died on the Wirral after bomber crash during World War Two

Tucked away off a roadside on an industrial estate near Birkenhead, lies a World War Two monument.

In October 1944, a Liberator bomber carrying 24 US airmen crashed in a field at Landican, killing everyone on board.

Just a short distance from the crash site is a memorial to those who perished.

Four of the 24 US airmen who died remain buried at the Cambridge American Cemetery. Credit: British Pathé

More than two million American servicemen passed through Britain during the Second World War.

Local historian Colin Schroeder said: "They were the crew who had taken the aircraft over to Northern Island and they had collected the crews of three aircraft which had been delivered to Green Castle and were bringing them back to the [Royal Air Force] Tibenham base in Norfolk.

"The three crews from the aircraft were relatively new to the squadron, having been trained in the sun in Florida and now being given experience of what it was like to fly in Europe."

The square shaped B-24 Liberator could easily turn into a death trap.

It was hard to fly with its stiff and heavy controls, and so earned its name by its crews as the "Flying Coffin."

It is thought the bomber which crashed at Landican had an existing issue with leaking fuel onboard.

Bill Beigel, an American WW2 historian, researcher and author, said: "I think that a lot of us in the States are ignorant about the war because it all happened somewhere else.

"So I think Americans would be very pleased to know that individuals in England and elsewhere are so appreciate, you know, now that 80 years have past."

Local historian Doug Darroch was instrumental in having a monument built so that the local community can remember that fateful day in 1944. Credit: ITV Granada

Only four of those who died remain buried at the Cambridge American Cemetery.

The United States brought home 60% of America's World War II fallen, which was not always an easy decision for families to make.

The US servicemen died on October 18th, 1944 in Landican. Credit: British Pathé

Mr Beigel continued: "For so many folks, the idea that 'well if we bring them home, we have got to relive the whole thing, we have to have a funeral, we have got to bring the relatives', are there going to be people that say 'hey, who is really in that big casket?'

"So they have had a really, really tough decision and I've seen thousands of letters, back and forth, about if we should bring them home or should we not, you know, for all those kind of reasons."

Mr Schroeder added: "We've had a letter from the widow of one of the crew members, who had only been married a very short time about how grateful she was that people over here in the UK recognise that the Americans had a great deal to do with the Second World War in helping us to win it."

The monument ensures that the US servicemen who died on 18 October, 1944 in Landican will never be forgotten.