On the 12th September 1945 four American soldiers of the 306th Port Company of the 509th Port Battalion of the US Transportation Corps were killed in a horrific accident at the Goods Shed at Walmer Station, near Deal in Kent. Vapour ignited when they were filling a petrol tank wagon with fuel siphoned from the SS James Harrod, a Liberty Ship that had grounded off Deal following a collision whilst en-route to Antwerp. The four men were:
Tec. 4 Harold BECKWITH from: Lake Landing, Hyde, North Carolina
Tec. 5 Bennie L. D. CHAMBERS from: Kannapolis, Cabarrus, North Carolina
Pte. Charles Howard FREEMAN from: Oronoco, Caroline County, Virginia
Tec. 4 William Cornell PADEN from: Greenville, South Carolina
Seventy-five years after the terrible accident these four men were remembered with a commemoration ceremony at Walmer Station and the unveiling of a 3ft permanent memorial plaque. The event took place at Walmer Station on September 12th, 2021. The History Project were asked if we could attend and film the event and of course we were honoured to be involved. We hope you enjoy.
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