THE Camp Burlish project in Stourport has had its first American visitor who wanted to learn more about where his father was stationed in 1944.
Don Walton, of Saratoga Springs, in New York, was researching the wartime history of his father Private Robert Walton, who served with the 297th General Hospital.
Mr Walton is a lecturer in Modern World History in upstate New York and had previously served in the US Army as a paratrooper and intelligence officer rising from the rank of Private to Major.
Despite serving in England in the 1990s, Mr Walton had been unable to learn much about the service of his late father with the American forces in 1944 to 1945 at Camp Burlish.
While researching, he found the project’s website burlishcamp.co.uk, funded by Wyre Forest District Council, which put him on the trail and within three months he had arranged his visit to England.
Mr Walton said: “It was fantastic to find that there was so much to see of the place where my father served. To be able to walk the very same ground that he did and to sense the surroundings that he lived in was a special experience.”
Using photographs and the map from the website he was able to locate to within a few yards the exact location of the flag post where his father was photographed performing the retreat ceremony of flag lowering at the end of the day.
Mr Walton added: “I made a professional career in the army but my Dad, like many, was a rather reluctant conscript and not expected to be posted abroad but he found great pride in his overseas service.”
Councillor Ian Hardiman, Wyre Forest District Council’s cabinet member for community well-being said: “It is very exiting to think that the work of this project and the continuing development of the website is now attracting interest from the United States.
“We have been delighted to help Don find the spot his dad raised the American flag almost 70 years ago.”