A Remembrance of George E. Abbott
Togglier, 601st Squadron
by Wally Blackwell
On October 15, 2004 Ozzie Osborn held a remembrance service for George E. Abbott at the 398th Monument in the old Station 131 area of Nuthampstead, England. George Abbott was the togglier that perished in the nose of Larry Delaney's plane on that day sixty (60) years ago. The story of Delancey's amazing return of a B-17 flown back to home base with a major portion of its nose blow off has been told elsewhere on our web site. As far as I know, no one has ever remembered George in any special way until Ozzie and Les Dear decided it was an appropriate time. So George E. Abbott had a very special remembrance ceremony that day. His service was attended by the group of English friends that Ozzie has always referred to as his Station 131 Historical Research Society. Les Dear, a thoughtful member of these 398th friends took the pictures below of Ozzie and the wreath, and the wreath with George's picture laid on the memorial at the Monument. Les sent me the attached pictures because he knew that George had flown as a substitute member of my crew on an earlier mission. I appreciated having the pictures and had wondered how I could use them for some good purpose.
Then a few months later one of those happy but mysterious events happened! The web site guest book received an e-mail from a Dave Thomas, who identified himself as George's nephew. Dave had discovered the web site and had viewed the picture of the Delancey crew posted there, Delancey's Crew - 601st Squadron - 15 November 1944. He was very pleased that the crew photo taken in November 1944 after Delancey had returned to flying combat missions, had his uncle's picture included as an overlay on that photo. What a find for Dave! Dave asked if any of the crew shown in that picture weres still alive so he could try to contact them. Dave did not know of the October service for his uncle. Thus because of this "coincidence" I was able to forward the pictures to Dave and explain how the special memorial service had been held for his uncle. I also was happy to report that the 398th had thanked Ozzie and Les for their initiative for completing such a meaningful and gracious act.
Dave's response to me after receiving the pictures must be quoted.
"Words can not express my deepest thanks enough! I am very moved and I can assure you that on behalf of my entire family we thank you for remembering our uncle. These thanks come from my mother, her sisters and brother. All of George's three sisters are living. My mother is the youngest. Be assured that I will make sure that they all receive copies of these pictures and know of the memorial service."
I was sure to explain to Dave about the 398th Memorial Window in St George' s Church in Anstey, England and how George E. Abbott's name is etched into its glass among the names of all those lost in combat in the 398th. I described how the information about the significance of the window and just where George's name appears in it and along with the Anstey Window mapping on our 398th web site.
It is truly amazing how the 398th web site activity produces so many of these almost unbelievable "happenings."
Malcolm Ozzie Osborn presenting Flowers at George E. Abbott Remembrance Service - October 15, 2004 at the 398th Memorial in Nuthampstead, England.
Photo by Les Dear
George E. Abbott Remembrance Service - October 15, 2004 at the 398th Memorial in Nuthampstead, England
Photo by Les Dear
Personal History Information
- Veteran: George E. Abbott
- Position: Togglier
- Squadron: 601st
- Date of Personal History: 2004
- Author: Wally Blackwell with thanks to Les Dear and Malcolm Ozzie Osborn.
- Submitted to 398th Web Pages by: Wally Blackwell