Parish Church of Rumburgh, St Michael & St Felix. In the church there is a plaque erected by the people of Rumburgh to commemorate the crew of B-24 "Nature's Nymph," 42-51116 (UPL 15147).
In the second in our series of guest posts we are thrilled to introduce Laurie Atkins, who has been recording the details of memorials in Norfolk and Suffolk over recent years and is now sharing her findings with the AAM:
I’ve spent the past few years tracking down USAAF memorials in Norfolk and Suffolk which I have now been uploading onto this site. As I was doing that, I started looking more closely into the lives of the crew members who are named on memorials commemorating crashes. I wanted to record as much information as I could, looking at websites like ancestry, fold3 and findagrave.
One of the men named on the memorial in the parish church of Rumburgh, Suffolk is Sergeant Louis H Zusser. Seven other members of his crew are named on the brass plaque inside the church. They were killed when their aircraft, B-24 42-51116, "Nature's Nymph," crashed in the village on 7 June 1944.
As I was researching the crew members, I started getting a bit confused. There were conflicting accounts of the crash, and it gradually occurred to me that this man very probably did not die in the accident.
I did what research I could online, and then went to the 2nd Air Division Memorial Library to see what I could find there. The reports were still confusing, but I did locate one reliable source that listed Sergeant Zusser as a survivor.
But I was at a standstill. I was 95% certain that Sergeant Zusser had survived. How could I get to the 100%?
Being a bit of a terrier when it comes to mysteries like this, I couldn’t leave it there. Going back to the Internet, I tracked down a family member, wrote to him, and received an answer very quickly. Sergeant Zusser’s grandson confirmed that he DID survive the crash, went on to have a “wonderful life,” and died in 2001 at the age of 79. He also said that there had been a rumour that Zusser’s name was on a memorial somewhere, but had no idea where, so they are excited to have the rumour confirmed.
However: there is a down side. Another young man, Second Lieutenant Robert Neumer, did die in the accident, but is not mentioned on the memorial plaque. Robert is buried with 3 other crewmembers in Winchester, Virginia. I’m hoping that the memorial can be corrected in some way.
So this is an example of the kind of work that can be done using this site, in association with other sources. What a fantastic opportunity to share knowledge and resources from anyone who can contribute, perhaps correcting mistakes along the way. Exciting, don’t you think?