USAAF B-17 42-31322 ‘Mi Amigo’, Endcliffe Park, Sheffield

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USAAF B-17 42-31322 ‘Mi Amigo’, Endcliffe Park, Sheffield

On 22 February 1944 Flying Fortress ‘Mi Amigo’ crashed in this public park in Sheffield with the loss of all 10 crew men on board.

The B-17 had been on a raid on the German airfield at Ålborg in occupied Denmark (apparently Ålborg has the unwanted distinction of being the first city in the world to be taken by paratroopers). The airfield was home to Fw 190s and Bf 109s.

These attacked the B-17s overhead, and pursued ‘Mi Amigo’ as bombardier Second Lt Hernandez, aware of the Danish civilians below, was unable to release the bombs due to cloud cover obscuring the target.

Pilot First Lt Krieghauser’s aircraft was badly damaged by the attacking fighters. The bombs were released harmlessly over the North Sea as the B-17 limped back towards base in Northamptonshire.

It is probable the navigation and communication equipment was out of service, and that some of the crew were dead or wounded from the attack. For whatever reasons, ‘Mi Amigo’ ended up 80 miles off course and circling low over the city of Sheffield.

In Endcliffe Park, kids playing football watched as an engine finally cut, a wing dipped and the aircraft spiralled down into a wooded knoll next to the playing field. It is possible First Lieutenant Krieghauser was considering a crash landing on the playing field. This might also account for why some of the crew at least didn’t bail out. Eye witness accounts at the time (and there were many) are extremely harrowing and there seems no point in repeating them here.

The memorial is surrounded by 10 American oaks planted in 1969, one for each crew member.

Cunningham notes that the ten men added to the “total of American aircrew lost over Europe that day to 430, and with ‘Mi Amigo’ bringing the day’s toll of American bombers downed to 43.”
(Peakland Air Crashes – The Central Area, Pat Cunningham DFM, 2006)

First Lieutenant John Glennon Krieghauser, pilot.
Second Lieutenant Lyle J Curtis, co-pilot
Second Lieutenant John W Humphrey, navigator
Second Lieutenant Melchor Hernandez, bombardier
Staff Sergeant Robert E Mayfield, radio operator
Staff Sergeant Harry W Estabrooks, engineer / top turret gunner
Sergeant Charles H Tuttle, ball-turret gunner
Sergeant Maurice O Robbins, tail gunner
Sergeant Vito R Ambrosio, right waist gunner
Muster Sergeant George U Williams, left waist gunner

For other American air crash sites, please go to USAAF air crash sites main page

Detail on the memorial.


36 comments on “USAAF B-17 42-31322 ‘Mi Amigo’, Endcliffe Park, Sheffield
  1. Keartona says:

    Different to see one which is not high on the moors.

  2. Tech Owl says:

    Nice memorial Ian – I was also straining to see the plaques … until I scrolled down :))

  3. redrocker_9 says:

    That is a very touching story Ian, amazing the history.

  4. pasujoba says:

    The usual great background info Ian .
    The losses of the allied airforces were far larger than most people realise.

    • GEORGE MACKEY says:


      • Paul Allonby says:

        Hi George, the painting is on display at St Augustine’s but I have no contact info. for the artist. However, Paul Rowland – a highly renowned professional aviation artist – has produced an excellent painting of the last seconds of Mi-Amigo (a copy of which is displayed in the US Military Cemetery at Madingley, Cambs.). His details:

  5. andyholmfirth says:

    Obviously a well tended memorial.Good to see.

  6. ​favourite waste of time​ says:

    Chilling… in a public park means that so many probably witnesses the terror and the dying..

  7. mick cooke says:

    another part of history kept alive by your photos on flickr ,

  8. Highy says:

    Thanks for posting Ian, I’m reading Kevin Wilson’s Bomber Boys at the moment; the rate those lads were dying at is staggering.
    Makes me so sad and angry that their sacrifice was never recognised officially.

  9. Kingsdude/Dave says:

    Very sad story Ian although its good to see the crew are not forgotton.

    Today I came across the photostream of davydutchy`s which you might find of interest ?

  10. Pleasureprinciple2012 says:

    Lot of men in those machines, seeing inside of a B17 makes you realise just how small and compact these things are, especially when you are kitted out with all the high altitude gear, masks, flak jackets and helmets, not forgetting the parachutes that they would have had to have donned in a bale out situation. Not for the claustraphobic.

  11. sidewinder54 (Closed For Business) says:

    Very sad story Ian… Excellent narrative & a fabulous image to accompany it.

  12. Dave says:

    A guy who I worked with in the early 60’s recalls seeing the crash from his bedroom in Banner Cross, he was aged 4 at the time.

  13. wayne foulds says:

    Hi how do I get to contact any relatives of the fallan. As my dad was there when the crash happened.

    • Ian D B says:

      Hi Wayne, a good source might be the American air museum in Britain, if you had a query about a crew member they might have the records and might be able to forward a leter or email from you?

      or you could also try the Museum of the Mighty 8th Air Force


    • Paul Allonby says:

      Hi Wayne, I’m in touch with most families so if you wish to contact me please e-mail me at

      Paul Allonby – author ”Courage Above the Clouds – the true story of ‘Mi-Amigo’ and her crew” (UK print edition available via

  14. Dale Rockwood says:

    Dave Harvey,I and my wife Carol came to sheffield requested by Don Vogelsang to attend the memorial on Feb 22,2001 and at the Hunters Inn? WE asked for meeting with you at that time and discussed the book on Mi-Amigo.I did a painting of the Mi-Amigo and it was placed at St.Agustines church at the Mi-Amigo’s memorial.Don Vogelsang was our contact after Retired Activities Officer Charles Poyner Mildenhall RAF passed away.
    Dave it has been some time since I heard from you,could you please get back to me.Dale ROCKWOOD

    • Rodney Pearson says:

      Your painting remains on display at St Augustine’s Church; it is very good. This year’s service there is on Sunday Feb 23rd at 2pm (it is always held on the Sunday nearest the anniversary) when the 10 airmen will again be remembered, as they have been since 1969, by the USAF, RAF, British Legion, emergency services and civic authorities.

  15. Kevin Fearon says:

    I’m glad he’s now getting the recognition he deserves for tending the memorial for all of those years.
    Good luck with the flypast. I arrived in Sheffield in 1978 and was always amazed at how well kept the memorial area was. Now I know who has been responsible, I would like you to thank him for me.
    I will be there on February 22 for the 75th anniversary.

  16. Paul Allonby says:

    Hi Kevin, have just heard from the RAF Association who organise the event; the ceremony at the site will be on Sunday February 24th, though the RAF have offered a fly-past on the 22nd….watch local media for updates!

  17. Mike Foster says:


    Can anyone tell what time the informal service on the 22nd Jan at the crash site is and the location at Endcliffe Park, as I’m coming from Doncaster by car and don’t know Sheffield that well.

    Kind regards Mike

  18. Paul Allonby says:

    Hi Mark, the annual remembrance service is on Sunday Feb 24th – 1.15pm at the memorial in Endcliffe Park (behind the cafe)with a USAF Honour Guard, followed by a service at St Augustines Church at Brocco Bank (which is near the park’s main entrance) at 2pm. The park is located off Rustlings Road S11 7AB, there is plenty of on-street parking in the area, very little indeed within the park. Hope this helps! See also:

  19. Andrew Sadowski says:

    Could anyone tell me which airfield in Northamptonshire the B17 was based at? I went to school in Northamptonshire and would be grateful to know!

    • Paul Allonby says:

      Hi Andrew, MI-AMIGO was based at Chelveston. If you check out I think you’ll find it interesting!

  20. The B17 name, Mi Amigo (my friend) was truly befitting. They saved the lives of innocent children at the expense of their own. Only true friends would do that…….

    • Paul Allonby says:

      Hi Jaime,
      Your comment is true…and that was echoed yesterday in the annual commemoration church service during the sermon by the Bishop of Sheffield, the Rt Rev Dr Peter Wilcox.

      • Hi Paul,

        Thank you for the kind words and I am glad the Rt. Rev Dr. Peter Wilcox echoed them to the crowd. It took a unique cut of man to be a fly boy back then. I have nothing but the greatest respect for all the Allied pilots and crews who took to the skies to battle for our present day freedoms……………….

  21. Donald Hill says:

    My brother was there with 8th Air Force, missions in 1945, special guy!Prayers always to all who lost loved ones….

  22. Rodney Pearson says:

    A nice write-up. Mi Amigo was attacked by Me 109 fighters and was badly damaged. The aircraft made its way back over the North Sea, across the Yorkshire coast, and was headed in the direction of its base when the crash happened. The aircraft was 85 miles from base and crashed at the same time other aircraft from the same unit (305BG) which had taken part in the mission were landing at base (Chelveston). The RAF Association put the memorial in place and there is now a descriptor board at the crash site telling the full story. The park belongs to Sheffield Council who are ultimately responsible for the memorial which has also received additional voluntary care from other groups including Air Training Corps cadets. According to a wikepdia article on the memorial, Mr Foulds has looked after the memorial on a casual basis since 2015. Three other B17s and two 109s were shot down over Denmark on that mission.

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