American Eagle Squadron
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
Eighteen American pilots and an English Squadron Leader serving with the RAF Eagle Squadrons are buried in the Air Forces plot.
American Colonel Charles Sweeny fought in the Spanish-American war with the French Foreign Legion and Polish Army. He created the 1st American Motorised Squadron. Sweeny married Ethel Margaret Whigham (later Margaret Duchess of Argyle by marriage) in 1933. Their two surviving children are Francis Helen and Brian Charles. Sweeny and Margaret died in the same year and were buried together at Brookwood in the Catholic plot. The adjacent grave belongs to Sweeny's brother Robert who also served with the Eagle Squadrons.
By 1939 Sweeny was a wealthy businessman. At the outbreak of WW2 he laid plans to recruit US citizens to form a volunteer air detachment. 71 Squadron was formed at Church Fenton on 19th Sep 1940. Its motto was "First From The Eyries". Pilots were not required to swear allegiance to the King so to maintain their US citizenship. Sweeny bore the cost of bringing US volunteers to the UK. Three squadrons were created and fought with the RAF until joining the USAAF Eighth Air Force in September 1942 as the 334th, 335th and 336th. The graves at Brookwood are of those airman who died before the transfer. Andrew B. Mamedoff was a Battle of Britain veteran and one of the first 3 pilots to join 71 Sqd and is at Brookwood. 16 Britons served as commanders of whom Squadron Leader Meares is buried here.
Goto: USA Brookwood Cemetery Page
Goto: USA Cemetery Chapel Page
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