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Wartime duo reunited 65 years on...

PUBLISHED: 19:41 31 October 2008 | UPDATED: 21:40 05 July 2010

AFTER meeting in Southwold during the second world war and becoming close friends a couple have met for the first time in 65 years.

Peggy Doy was a teenager living in Southwold in the 1940s and playing an important role for the war effort as a member of the ambulance service.

AFTER meeting in Southwold during the second world war and becoming close friends a couple have met for the first time in 65 years.

Peggy Doy was a teenager living in Southwold in the 1940s and playing an important role for the war effort as a member of the ambulance service.

At a dance on Southwold Pier she met American airman Bob Carlton who was a member of the 489th Bomb Group stationed at nearby Holton, near Halesworth.

“We just got chatting and almost immediately became friends,” recalled Peggy.

Bob was a regular visitor at Peggy's Southwold home and her parents even “adopted” his plane called Rum-Dum.

It was while Bob was on his 30th and final mission flying over occupied Europe that Rum-Dum was shot down and the airman was captured and became a prisoner of war.

“Of course Bob and I became separated and he never returned to Suffolk as he went home to the USA at the end of the war,” said Peggy.

Both Bob and Peggy went on to have happy family lives. Peggy married Joe Hurren and the couple are a former Mayor and Mayoress of Southwold.

However, Bob never forgot his time in Suffolk and meeting Peggy.

At a 489th Bomb Group reunion in America earlier this year he met Sid and Pam Wilby, who live near Southwold, and are friends of the bomb group based in north Suffolk.

The Suffolk couple had travelled to America to attend the reunion.

“Bob asked Pam if she knew me and, of course, she was able to say I was still living in Southwold,” said Peggy.

This led to Bob, together with his family, heading back to England and a special meeting with Peggy for the first time in 65 years.

“It was lovely seeing him again and meeting his family.

“What was really nice was how both his and my family struck up an immediate friendship and I am sure this will continue,” she said.

Peggy and Bob were able to talk about old times and visited a number of locations in Suffolk and East Anglia where the efforts of young American airman are well remembered.

These included the 489th Bomb Group memorial and museum at Holton, the American cemetery at Madingley near Cambridge, and the Imperial War Museum at Duxford.

“Going round with Bob and his family brought back so many happy memories and I am so happy that we have met again after such a long time,” said Peggy.

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