On Sept. 11, we profiled the transatlantic, decade-spanning effort of a British man, Ian Cheveralls, to provide information stateside about a D-Day crash he witnessed.
Two American bombers collided over Battle, England, and fell to earth near his community while he was on civil defense patrol as a teen.
The local link was Cheveralls’ nephew, Keith Cheveralls of Harvard. Following through on a pledge to his uncle, the local Cheveralls helped publicize his uncle’s eyewitness account using an Internet posting to a Web site he found called www.B26.com.
In short order, contact was made by a Midwest family that yearned to know about the loss of their loved one, one of the two pilots.
Martha Jenkins Stull had wondered for years what happened to her brother, 2nd Lt. Thomas Jenkins. Through her grandson, Eric Kirkpatrick of Illinois, contact was made through the B26 Web site to connect the elder Cheveralls with the family and provide information about what he’d witnessed and the extensive research he’d compiled into the tragedy that so deeply affected him.
Stull’s daughter, Cecilia Kirkpatrick of Illinois, wrote to thank Nashoba Publishing and article author Mary Arata for coverage of the story.
“Thank you so very much for the newspapers covering the story of my uncle, Thomas Jenkins. My mother was both surprised and excited at the same time. It’s been years since I have seen her like that,” said Kirkpatrick. “I truly cherished the moment.”
Kirkpatrick says the story is now being covered in their local Illinois media outlets, too.
“As a result of your article, our local TV station is planning to do a story within the next few days. Mother will love that. Our regional newspaper would like to do a story, also.”
Cecilia Kirkpatrick sent along a photo of her mother snapped when she first saw the Nashoba Publishing story. “Thought you might enjoy them,” Kirkpatrick wrote. “Thanks again for bringing so much sunshine to my mother.”