World War II – The Americans in Sudbury 1944/45

From ‘War Stories of the O and W’

In February 1945, because of bad weather, the 486th Bomb Group underwent a four-day respite from their bombing chores. And during the four off days, the Station 174 troopers did some relaxing, including to strongly support the stout and ale establishments in Sudbury and nearby towns.


The scene of the fight - the White Horse in 2009

The scene of the fight - the White Horse in 2009

During one such R and R excursion, to the White Horse Tavern in Sudbury, a nasty confrontation took place, which would have better not occured at all, but no doubt resulted because of too much alcohol and too much war nerves and too much bad weather, which combined, put men in a very testy mood.


It was impossible for the witnesses to say how the rumpus started except that they all agreed that three ‘Limeys’ made some vague conversational remark to some Yanks about how ‘Monty’ (Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery) was telling it like it was with regard to the ‘Bulge’ battle. They were referring to Montgomery’s Press Conference and News Release back in January wherein the Field Marshall boastfully claimed credit for defeating the Germans in the Battle of the Bulge. (This had caused enormous ill-feeling in the American armed forces since most of the 75,000 Allied casualties in the Battle had been American. Churchill had been forced to make a implicit apology by terming it ‘the greatest American battle of the war.’)

Thus, when the Brits and the Yanks started the tit for tatting on the subject, there were chips on everybody’s shoulders and one nasty remark led to another and the melee was on. There was mostly pushing and shoving and fisticuffs, plenty of loud swearing and name calling, at least one chair was thrown, a table was overturned, a bottle smashed and thank goodness, the benches were fastened down. The MPs appeared out of nowhere in a shorter time than would be expected. They had the situation under control in short order – two Yanks were arrested and the trouble-making Brits just sort of disappeared. Mama Jenkins who was running the Pub called ‘Time’ and the clientele dispersed into the night. So much for the incident at the White Horse, except for the memories.”