Gigantic ‘land art’ tribute in Eye honours airmen of 490th Bomb Group

The B17 bomber 'land art' in Eye was ploughed in honour of the US airmen of the 490th Bombardment Group, who were stationed at Eye Airfield during the Second World War.

The B17 bomber 'land art' in Eye was ploughed in honour of the US airmen of the 490th Bombardment Group, who were stationed at Eye Airfield during the Second World War.

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‘Land art’ enthusiasts who ploughed a quarter-mile long tribute into a field in Eye are hopeful their latest work will raise awareness of what they feel is a “forgotten piece of history” in the town.

Eye residents Stefan Fulcher and Carlo Roberts marked the 70th anniversary of the Second World War’s conclusion earlier this year, by creating a gigantic artwork called the ‘Flying Fortress’ - depicting a war-era B17 bomber plane - in memory of the 184 US airmen who lost their lives while serving at Eye Airfield during the war.

Mr Roberts, who lives in Langton Green, told the Diss Express: “It’s a slightly forgotten piece of history, but it’s such a massive part of the history for East Anglia.

“We have done field art for a number of years. This one was a massive technical undertaking. When you are doing it, you have no idea whether it looks right or wrong, so I was very pleased because it came out really great.”

The work, which was in place for around two months, at the permission of land owner Tom Baldwin, was created over several days using a tractor pulling a set of discs that marked the field after it had been harvested, in conjunction with a reference drawing.

It is the second war tribute ‘land art’ by the pair, following last year’s unique poppy-and-cross design, which was ploughed into another plot owned by Mr Baldwin, near to Eye Airfield.

Mr Roberts, a part-time teacher at Diss High School, explained both he and Mr Fulcher had taken a particular interest in the airfield’s legacy, and had learned more and more about it as a result of their project.

“We have wanted to do this for a long while. It’s a very interesting bit of land,” he said.

“It’s a slab of concrete on one level, but there was something quite momentous going on there. There was obviously a lot of loss of life.”

He added he was delighted with the progress of the ongoing Eye Airfield memorial project, which also honours the 490th Bomb Group which served there between 1944 and 1945.

Funded in February, it is set to be dedicated next year, with a ceremony including veterans and family of those who served.