Published: 13:35, 13 September 2021
| Updated: 15:49, 13 September 2021
An MP has laid a wreath at the unveiling of a memorial plaque to four US soldiers killed 76 years ago today.
The African-Americans from the Transportation Corps died at the goods shed at Walmer Station on September 12, 1945.
Their unit had been brought back from Europe after the Second World War that summer and were based at Ringwould when they were transporting petrol cans.
A cigar ignited petrol vapour at the shed, causing an explosion.
The four died killed instantly, and nine more were badly injured.
Dover and Deal MP Natslie Elphicke carried out the ceremony, which was attended by members of the Royal British Legion and wartime re-enactors complete with a 1940s US Army Jeep.
The four victims had been taking salvaged petrol cans from the US warship, the SS James Harrod, which had been wrecked after a collision off the Deal coast months earlier.
Four more soldiers died from that.
Mrs Elphicke said: “This memorial serves as a reminder of how we stood together in World War Two. It is particularly poignant as it is now 20 years since the shocking attack on the Twin Towers on 9/11.
"Britain and America are always at their strongest when standing shoulder to shoulder in defence of our shared values of freedom and democracy."
The research into the tragedy and crowdfunding to pay for the memorial were done by local historian Phil Eyden.
The ceremony was meant to take place last September on the exact 75th anniversary but had to be put off because of the pandemic.
There is a memorial booklet, which costs £3 and all proceeds go to the Friends of the Deal Hospital.