RAF wartime bomber crew finally laid to rest

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by Plastic Yank, Sep 2, 2005.

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  1. Another good story from the Telegraph. RIP

  2. By coincidence, the bloke that runs the Halifax website (www.57Rescue.org) is giving it up due ill health. He's looking for an afficionado to take up the reins.
  3. Cloudbuster, check your PM's , I know just the man , and he's a damn fine type too who's been involved with ethical RnethAF recoveries in recent years, including a Lancaster from the Ijsselmeer last year, and a Wellington (Crew aboard) 2 years ago.

    I imagine he knows about the situation anyway, as he is quite close to Ian.
  4. Seems strange that they didn't get individual coffins and weren't named on the headstone. Even if the bones were jumbled together in the aircraft it would have been possible to separate them with DNA. They deserve that much and I really hope it wasn't a cost thing.

    Nice that the Luftwaffe bod was invited.
  5. Rest in peace chaps , good to see there is honour after all these years .
  6. One of the decorated Nachtjager aces, Hauptmann Peter Spoden is a frequent contributor on one of the boards I frequent. Very nice man , very heavily involved with helping relatives find the remains of their loved ones, or putting them in contact with the appropriate authorities.

  7. RIP chaps. Never too late to pay respects.
  8. RIP guys, they deserve it after so long.

    Sadly, the widow of the Bf 109 pilot (he survived the war but died several years ago) who actually shot the aircraft down was invited but refused to attend.


  9. That crossed my mind as well.

    Any reason the remains weren't returned to Britain?
  10. It's possible that it was deemed that as they'd lain together for so many years it was actually inappropriate to separate them - I thought it seemed almost 'cosy' when I read it - though I don't know why they weren't named on the headstone.
  11. I might be incorrect, but their names are almost certainly perpetuated on the Runnymede Memorial, since they were originally listed as missing. The policy for the repatriation of remains is a question for CWGC - it may be it was deemed more appropriate for them to be buried as they fought - as a crew.

    Edited to add that although I might appear a little insensitive, my thoughts are that if the remains buried are those of the occupants of the front of the aircraft, it might be difficult to identify each one.
  12. Could they not have been lain together in Britain?
  13. Prior to the Falklands all war dead remain on the field of of battle, repatriation of remains was and is forbidden. Ref Runnymead, they are no longer missing so their names will be removed in due course, probably when the relevant panel is renewed.
  14. It might be more complicated.

    If the crew's names are known they ought to be able to name them. There could put the names of all five on one or two stones. There are several graves in Baueaux Cemetery which are clearly entire bomber or AFV crews.

    Maybe there is some doubt about exactly which five they have? Were some others of the crew still missing? How sure are they that those buried were definitely those related to the visiting relatives? I think they have some fairly strict criteria before thewy can say that a body has been positively identified.

    I don't think genetics is well enough advanced to be able to match genetic samples of near relatives. People are much more closely related than we like to think.
  15. Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
    And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
    Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
    Of sun-split clouds, - and done a hundred things
    You have not dreamed of - wheeled and soared and swung
    High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there,
    I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
    My eager craft through footless halls of air....

    Up, up the long, delirious burning blue
    I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
    Where never lark, or ever eagle flew -
    And, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
    The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
    Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

    - John Gillespie Magee, Jr

    Rest in Peace