American canteen lorries in Oadby.

   I grew up in Oadby, just across the road from where a Vehicle Maintenance Unit, attached to the U.S. 82nd Airborne Division, were billeted in Sandhurst Street and have many memories of playing ball games with G.I.’s in the park next to the billets. Some became friends to the youngsters and their families. One soldier called Max still writes regularly to one of my friends. The American canteen lorries used to come down out street and sell doughnuts and hotdogs. Every time they came, the cry would go up ‘Yankee lorry!’ ‘Yankee lorry!’ and the street would suddenly be filled with scruffy kids racing to buy these goodies.

   I also remember cycling to the crashed Stirling bomber on several occasions. As I recall, it came down in a small wood near Thurnby and was minus its wings. It wasn’t completely destroyed, as we used to play inside it, climbing through bulkheads, and hatches, the length of the fuselage. My friend seemed to remember a single fin and rudder and he can remember the inside being of ‘geodetic’ type construction.

By A. Pendell

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