Local News

Apex man heads to England to honor father's WWII comrades

Posted May 3, 2011 6:38 p.m. EDT
Updated May 4, 2011 6:04 a.m. EDT

— While numerous World War II veterans will head to Washington, D.C., on Wednesday aboard the Triangle Flight of Honor to visit the monument built in their honor, an Apex man is preparing for a trip of his own to honor his father's military service.

Stephen Hutton is a WWII buff who has what amounts to a small military museum in a room of his Wake County home. The interest was likely sparked by his late father, Aredell Sidney, who was a tail gunner with the 36th Squadron during WWII.

"He gave a lot of love, and a lot of love was received in return. He was a good man," Hutton said.

Sidney flew 54 missions during the war, many of which were aboard a B-24 Liberator nicknamed "The Jig's Up." His first mission was on D-Day.

"The squadron record said they contributed materially to the success of the landings on the beaches of Normandy," Hutton said.

Another B-24 in the squadron, dubbed "Beast of Bourbon," crashed into the Irish Sea in February 1945.

"Howard Haley, Carl Linquist and Fred Becker – three gunners were killed," Hutton said.

Hutton plans to travel to London this weekend for a Saturday ceremony in the village of Longs Marston, where a memorial will be built to honor the crew of the Beast of Bourbon. He said he will take a piece of the aircraft's frame that he was given on an earlier trip to England.

"I carry this piece of Beast of Bourbon in my pocket, knowing that no matter how bad things are for me one day, they'll never be as bad for me as it was for those men on that day," he said.