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Mike Fulkerson

Mike is now living in Cincinnati and although suffering with arthritis, leads an active life, sadly his wife of many years is ill with Alzheimer’s disease and resides in a nursing home. Mike is able to see her every day and to visit Gladys is his ‘great joy’. We are deeply indebted to him for the wonderful photographs he has donated to us for use in the ‘American Occupation of Elveden’ section of the 22villages project, for which we thank him most sincerely.

Thanks are due to Mr. Russell Grundon, who met Mike on a re-union visit to Elveden in 1992, and had the foresight to take Mike’s address and then to write to him about the 22 villages project. Mike contacted Mr. Joe Thompson, the 22villages organiser, via e-mail, who then forwarded the e-mail to Gill Turner. Gill has been frequently corresponding and talking to Mike ever since. Nev and Gill have found a very good and sincere friend in Mike and he, in turn, is delighted to return the friendship and to feel part of the project, he says that it has given him a new lease of life as he is no longer able to share his memories with his beloved wife. Mike still feels a deep affinity with England and Elveden in particular, something he can’t explain but we, who love Elveden, can completely understand. It is not an exaggeration to say that the American Occupation Section would not have been nearly as good without the photographs and information that Mike has so kindly and generously provided.

At this point I would like to thank Russell for making available some of the photographs used in the project which were taken by Louis Pennow, a meteorologist, who was also stationed here during the war. Louis remained in England and is now buried in Elveden churchyard with his wife, his deep affection for Elveden was reflected in his desire to make it his final resting place. Russell also took some of the W.A.C.’s addresses and informed them of the project, and we thank them very much indeed for the photographs they have kindly sent us, to add yet more interest and depth to the project.

We have spoken to many Elveden people who have talked very interestingly and informatively of those times and their memories of the Americans in Elveden, which, together with Mike’s invaluable contributions, has brought the whole period back to amazing life.

This was an extremely memorable and exciting time in the life of Elveden and it’s people, and is looked back on with affection and an enormous sense of nostalgia by all those living here during the war. As one of our Elveden friends said during their ‘spoken memory’ interview. "It seems a funny thing to say when there was a war on, but all in all we had a very good time!"

Gillian Turner. 9th April 2000.

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