12 Chapel Road, Weldon, Corby, Northants NN17 3HP
Rosie’s Sweat Box was a wartime Boeing B17G Flying Fortress bomber from the 614th Bomber Squadron, 401st Bomber Group, 8th US Air Force based at the Deenethorpe airfield. Rumour has it that it was named after the fictional character of Rosie the Riveter, used with great success during the 2nd World war to recruit women into the US aircraft Industry though also used the nickname of the bomber’s first pilot, Captain Woodville G Rozzell, known to his friends as Rozy.
After 23 successful missions in the 2nd World War including to France, Germany and Holland, Rosie’s Sweat Box came to an untimely end on Sunday the 17th September 1944. Arising to a foggy morning at 3:45 am the nine man crew set out on their mission at around 5:45 am. The heavily laden bomber’s objective was to fly to Groeningen in Holland to bomb the Siegfried Line in support of airborne landings for Operation Market Garden. Struggling for lift the bomber stalled and careered through a field and hedge at the end of the Deenethorpe runway before exploding by the nearby road.
Tragically all the crew were lost. The pilot, 2nd Lieutenant Francis Cooke was flying his first mission in Rosie’s Sweat Box at the tender age of just 20. One of our customers aged 12 at the time cycled to the site on the day of the crash, just a few miles from here and still vividly remembers the terrible scene to this day.
The site of the crash is on the Weldon to Benefield Road where there is still a small memorial plaque in memory of the brave airmen who lost their lives - all were aged between 19 and 23. The airfield at Deenethorpe and several of its buildings still exist but the airfield was decommissioned after the war and returned to agricultural use.
In recognition of the contribution played by Rosie’s Sweat Box and its brave crew we have made a beer that we hope you will enjoy. It is complex, dark and rich with hints of liquorish, caramel and coffee, full bodied and yet refreshing at the same time. It’s just a small tribute that we hope will help to keep our rich local history alive.