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Best kept secret of World War 11 made public after 60 years!

Earlier this year the Old Railway Hotel in Athenry was the historic venue for the commemoration of the wartime crash landing of a B17 Bomber called ‘Stinky.

On board the plane at the time were three of the US army’s most senior officers.

The aim of the “Flying Fortress Athenry 1943 Project”, as it has become known, is to:

1. The Mark the 60th anniversary of the crash

2. Launch a permanent display in our Heritage Centre

3. Publish a book recording the facts insofar as they are known.

The organising team of Finbarr O’Regan, Gerry Ahern and Paul Browne are busy working with partners to make this commemoration a success. There has been great interest expressed in the project locally and in the USA where exciting new material and data for the book and exhibition are being uncovered on a weekly basis.

We have been successful in an application for funding for the venture from the Galway Rural Development Company. Plans for the exhibition, commemorative plaque and book launch are well underway with the help of the Heritage Centre and Mellows College.

It is envisaged that the book, “Eagles Over lreland” by Paul Browne will be launched in mid/late September.

We are indebted to our local Minister of State, Noel Treacy, TD for his cooperation and guidance in this project. We would also like to thank the following organisations and individuals who have supported the “Flying Fortress Athenry 1943 Project”:

American Embassy— Col. John O’Sullivan, Military Attaché

Irish Army — L. Col Patrick Moran, Renmore Barracks

Athenry Credit Union our main Sponsors

Athenry ADC who are the facilitators for this project

Athenry Community Council

Athenry Project Society

Athenry Arts and Heritage Company

Athenry Women’s Group

Athenry Tidy Towns Association

Galway Vocational Education Committee

Mellows Agricultural College


Athenry Civil Defence

An Garda Siochana

Athenry Fire Brigade

Galway Flying Club

FCA — formerly LDF

Galway Rural Development

Galway County Council

John Joe Brady, Seamus Fahy, Sponsors

Photographers, Joe Keating, Francis Kennedy and Lorna O’Regan,

Representatives from County Fermanagh — Breege McCusker, Author and Broadcaster and Joe O’Loughlin, Author and Historian.

Finbarr O’Regan is Chairperson of the Flying Fortress Athenry 1943 project

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Written by Finbarr O'Regan

Published here 10 Feb 2024 and originally published Summer 2003

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