America to officially recognise Seaton’s wartime help

US Congress set to approve a formal thank you for the town’s morale-boosting support ahead of D-Day

AMERICA is poised to send an official thank you to the people of Seaton for their wartime hospitality.

A citation detailing their gratitude for the town’s morale-boosting support, ahead of the D-Day landings, looks set for Congressional approval.

And it is likely to be followed by the offer of a permanent memorial to the thousands of GIs who were stationed in the resort during the Second World War.

Museum Curator Ted Gosling said it was a fantastic climax to his 25 year campaign to get the their stay in the town permanently recorded – a long-needed tribute to the many US soldiers who lost their lives on the Normandy beaches.

He said he was particularly delighted with the words of appreciation to Seaton on the certificate – few towns in England could boast such a tribute from the American nation, he said.

It reads: “To the people of Seaton, England, the United States wishes to thank you for all your efforts in support of our soldiers prior to D-Day, June 6, 1944.

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Specifically the people of Seaton are commended for the following actions:

Welcomed – they housed and supported the men of the 2ndBattalion, 8th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry division, from January 1944 through early June 1944.

Organised - dancing, entertainment and opened your homes to our soldiers, took soldiers in and made them a part of your family, offered all the resources of your town for our soldiers’ needs, provided support for marksmanship training alongside your Home Guard, provided a positive atmosphere that resulted in no known recoded adverse incidents for the duration of their stay.

“Knowing - that many of the men of the 2nd Battalion 8th Regiment might not survive the coming invasion the people of Seaton gave some of the fondest memories for some of these soldiers prior to going into combat.

“Your support was instrumental in the battalion, after being the first to land on Utah beach, attaining all their objectives in the first few hours of Operation Overlord, D-Day June 6 1944.”

Mr Gosling said the wording would be signed and framed for the town and then, hopefully, a rearmament memorial would also be put up.

“It will be up to the town council and the people of Seaton where it goes but my hope is for a Beer stone pillar in Windsor Gardens with the plaque affixed to it,” he said.

“The Royal British Legion are very enthusiastic about it and will be organising a ceremony if it comes to the town.”