In Grosvenor Square, not far from the former American embassy and opposite the statue of President Franklin Roosevelt, stands a sandstone obelisk topped by a bronze eagle. It commemorates the 260 fighter pilots of the RAF Eagle Squadrons, comprising of 244 Americans and 16 British. The Eagle Squadrons were three RAF squadrons made up of volunteers who fought during the Battle of Britain. They are referred to as the Eagle Squadrons because their personnel were mainly Americans who wished to help the Allied cause. Because at this point the United States had not yet entered the Second World War, Americans could only fight through other military powers. This was a criminal offence, punishable by denaturalisation. Nevertheless, many American servicemen decided to take the risk of serving with Britain. In total 71 lost their lives. Those who survived were pardoned by Congress in 1944. Thirty one years later, the memorial, which had been commissioned by American news mogul William Randolph Hearst before his death in 1951, was erected in its current location. It was designed by Tim Kemspter, who used pale sandstone for the 4.6m high obelisk, topping it with the 2.6m bronze bald eagle. Each side of the column bears an inscription. The northern face, which is engraved with the seal of the United States, says EAGLE SQUADRONS / THIS MEMORIAL IS TO THE / MEMORY OF THE 244 AMERICAN / AND 16 BRITISH FIGHTER PILOTS / AND OTHER PERSONNEL WHO / SERVED IN THE THREE ROYAL / AIR FORCE EAGLE SQUADRONS / PRIOR TO THE PARTICIPATION OF / THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA IN THE SECOND WORLD WAR / THEY SERVED WITH VALOR / FOUNDED BY CHARLES F SWEENY, JUNE 1940 / ERECTED THROUGH THE GENEROSITY / OF THE / HEARST CORPORATION OF AMERICA / IN THE NAME OF / WILLIAM RANDOLPH HEARST / PUBLISHER. The other three sides consist of dedications toeach of the three squadrons. Margaret Thatcher was present at the unveiling ceremony in May 1986. Unfortunately there is no publicly available record of her comments at this ceremony. However, four years later, at the unveiling of the Eisenhower statue just feet away, Thatcher referenced the memorial, saying ‘We are proud that those years of service and of friendship now have a permanent memorial here, with Ike, close to his wartime headquarters, close to your Embassy and close to the tribute to the men of the United States Eagle Squadron who flew so gallantly with the Royal Air Force during the Second World War’. Her comments reflect the wealth of American history there, in Grosvenor Square, where the embassy stood for so long, and where numerous memorials, statues and buildings still stand.