Lt. Moore / Katie

> From: dressage@camalott.com
> To: damonbok@hotmail.com
> CC:
> Subject: Shop Worn Angel
> Date: Wed, 5 Mar 2008 21:00:03 -0500
> Hi Carl,
> You haven’t heard from me in a while. But I wrote the story about Heathy and Cathy. My mother and her fiance, 344th Bg 495thBS, pilot, Lt. Herbert H. Moore, Jr. for your site.
> Last year my husband and I were in England and decided to try to find the pub all of the 344th drank at. We didn’t know the name, but through an amazing number of coincidences, managed to find the pub, The Ash, located just out the back of Stansted Airport. One of the many pieces of memorabilia is a picture of “Shop Worn Angel” 295917. I was too short to reach the photo so I took a picture of it from where I stood. I have a high resolution image if you would like it, Email me, dressage@camalott.com and I’ll send you a copy of the photo via email. Your Friend, Katie


Carl Carrozza wrote: Please send me the image! My father being not much of a drinker and kind of a loner may not have gone ther much, but i’ll ask him. If you have them, a general picture of the place or the front of it would be nice too. What else doid you see there regarding the 344th?


Hi Carl,
The whole story is one of amazing coincidences. I had read somewhere about the pub that all of the 344th drank at and the lady who owned who cried anytime one of her “boys” didn’t come back. I was fairly sure if we took the train out to Stansted, we wouldn’t be able to see where the base ahd been. For some reason I had it in my head we needed to go to the town of Bishop’s Stortford. When we got there, we looked at a local map and still didn’t know what the name of the pub was so we picked the one we thought was the most likely candidate, the Red White and Blue. It was about a mile away and so we thought we’d just walk it. But when we got outside it was raining. We walked up t o the first taxi in the queue and asked if he would take us to the pub mentioned. He told us it had closed. So I told him what we were trying to do. He told us he “might” know which pub we wanted, so we hopped in. Along the way I told him more about the 344th and Heathy. He told me that during the war his grandfather had a farm very near the base. And when the fliers were coming back from an illness or injury and couldn’t yet fly, they sent them over to his granddad’s farm to help out there. His father was a little boy but remembered the fliers well. We drove past the back part of Stansted and he pointed down a lane, you could still see some quonset huts and shrubbery. He said that was all that was left of the airbase and it was no where near the main portion of Stansted airport.  He confirmed that going to the airport would have been of little use. We pulled up at a thatched roofed building a few hundred yards away called The Ash. By this time he was so drawn into the story he asked if we minded if he came in with us. When I walked in I approached the bartender and asked if this was indeed the pub where the airmen of the 344th drank in WWII. He replied yes! He went on to say that the pub was originally just a private home and the woman who owned it opened it as a pub for the fliers.  Because they were too far from  a town to walk and most had no transportation,
she wanted to do something for them.

There were lots of pictures on the walls and insignia. I tried to photograph them all with the help of my husband and the taxi driver. They would take things down they could reach so I could. But the picture or rather artist print of “The Shop Worn Angel” was above a tall cabinet. I could see the tail number and realized it was but one digit off of  the plane that Heathy (Lt. Herbert H. Moore, Jr.) had shot out from under him, Nick’s Chick 295918. I was browsing last night and checked to see what was new on your site. That was when I checked the tail number of Shop Worn Angel and I realized it was the plane in the picture.

As we left, the taxi driver took a picture of my husband and me outside the pub. On the way back to Bishops Stortford to catch the train back to London, he told us that we had stopped at the wrong town. We should have gone to Stansted Mountfichet, it was closer to the base. I think we stopped at exactly the right town. What are the chances that we would change our mind about walking (to the wrong pub no less) and the taxi driver at the front of the queue would have a connection to the base and be able to take us to the correct pub? Pretty slim, I’d say. As I got out I asked for his card.   When I got home I was looking through one of my many Marauder books and came across a modern picture of a map showing “The Parsonage” and where a Marauder had crashed on take off on that farm.  I went through my purse and found his card. His address was “The Parsonage”, Bishops Stortford. Again what are the odds?

I will forward all of the pictures I took inside the pub and outside too. The building has been enlarged from the time it was the pub for the 344th. There are a couple of pretty old pictures of the building back in the early 1900’s. Those are closer to how it would have appeared in WWII.  I will send them in big files a few at a time so that the detail will be very good.

I hope you and your dad enjoy them.
Katie Ryan

To see each picture larger, click it and click the picture that comes up on its own.

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