A memorial plaque to commemorate USA airmen who died on Beinn Lee during Word War Two will be unveiled later this month.
Ten American soldiers lost their lives on 15th September 1943 – 71 years ago this week – when their B-24D Liberator Bomber crashed on the hill just above Lochmaddy.
After several months of fundraising and preparatory work by local volunteers, a permanent commemoration of the tragic accident is to be installed at North Uist War Memorial. It will be unveiled at a dedication ceremony on 29th September.
A plaque honouring the memory of the ten soldiers will be fixed into the rock face adjacent to the main War Memorial. Its wording reads as follows:
Rev John Smith, who himself served in the Royal Air Force (RAF), will unveil the plaque.
Four current members of the RAF will attend the ceremony and children from each of the three schools on North Uist will lay wreaths at the memorial.
In recent months, to coincide with the centenary of the beginning of World War One, much maintenance work has been completed around the memorial grounds at Clachan.
The war memorial itself has been thoroughly cleaned, with missing lettering replaced and re-painted.
Paths have been cleared, weeded and covered with chippings. Trees have been cut back, while railings, seating and the memorial gates have been given a fresh coat of paint.
The rock face, which will feature the plaque dedicated to the Beinn Lee crash victims, has also been cleaned. A part of the plane’s exhaust has been retrieved from Beinn Lee and will sit on a ledge close to the memorial.
The unveiling and dedication ceremony will take place at the North Uist War Memorial, Clachan, at 6.30pm on Monday 29th September.
Look out for posters in public places for more details.