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Cossack13
05-11-2004, 09:34 AM
Two of the six RAF crew were from New Zealand
A full military funeral has been held in the Netherlands for six members of an RAF crew shot down on their way to a bombing raid on Berlin 63 years ago.

The men's remains were eventually discovered during an excavation of the crash site in Opmeer, near the Dutch town of Bergen, last year.

The men - four Britons and two New Zealanders - were found along with parts of their aircraft, clothing, boots and other equipment.

The crew, members of Number 15 Squadron, were on their way to Berlin from RAF Alconbury, Cambridgeshire when they were shot down by German fighters on 11 May 1941.

Single coffin

The service was held with full military honours on the anniversary of the crash as requested by the servicemen's families.

Members of the RAF's Queen's Colour Squadron carried a single coffin containing the men's remains, which was draped in the flags of Great Britain and New Zealand.

They flew together and it is something he would have wanted

The grave in which the coffin was laid to rest is marked by six headstones, one for each of the RAF crew.

It is near the grave of the seventh member of their team, pilot Wing Commander Herbert Dale, who was 33 at the time of the planned raid. His body was found shortly after the crash.

The six men who died with Wing Commander Dale were:

Pilot Officer Peter Bird, 20, from Gainsborough, Lincolnshire; Pilot Officer Daniel McLean Campbell, 25, from New Zealand; Sgt Frank Smith, 22, from Gillingham, Kent; Sgt Norman Nuttall, 22 from Blackburn; Sgt Stanley Plumb, 24, from Stroud and Sgt Eric Lucas, 26, from New Zealand.

Anthems

The ceremony was attended by family members, Air Marshal Philip Sturley representing the Chief of the Air Staff, David Payton, New Zealand ambassador to The Netherlands, and local dignitaries.

The British, New Zealand and Dutch national anthems were sung at the burial and a lone bugler sounded the Last Post.

Margaret Harriss, 68, and Leslie Smith, 77, travelled to The Netherlands from Gillingham, Kent, for the burial of their brother, Sgt Frank Smith.

Mrs Harriss said she could still remember the day when, as a five-year-old girl, a telegram brought news of 22-year-old Sergeant Smith's death.

She said: "It was very important for us to come along for our parents' sake.

"We want to see him laid to rest nicely and in holy ground. They flew together and it is something he would have wanted."

Also in attendance were the brother and sister of Sgt Stanley Plumb, who was 24 when he died.

Patricia Southgate, 75, from Norwich, and John Plumb, 78, from Banbury, Oxon, were aged 12 and 15 respectively at the time. Mrs Southgate said Sgt Plumb's photograph had pride of place on her dressing table at home.

Before the burial she said: "It is lovely that he is to have a new grave and not just be a name on a memorial saying 'No known grave'. This makes it feel a bit complete."

The RAF was unable to trace the relatives of Pilot Officer Peter Bird, from Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, and Sgt Norman Nuttall, from Blackburn, Lancashire, in time for them to attend the service.

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Cossack13
05-11-2004, 09:34 AM
Two of the six RAF crew were from New Zealand
A full military funeral has been held in the Netherlands for six members of an RAF crew shot down on their way to a bombing raid on Berlin 63 years ago.

The men's remains were eventually discovered during an excavation of the crash site in Opmeer, near the Dutch town of Bergen, last year.

The men - four Britons and two New Zealanders - were found along with parts of their aircraft, clothing, boots and other equipment.

The crew, members of Number 15 Squadron, were on their way to Berlin from RAF Alconbury, Cambridgeshire when they were shot down by German fighters on 11 May 1941.

Single coffin

The service was held with full military honours on the anniversary of the crash as requested by the servicemen's families.

Members of the RAF's Queen's Colour Squadron carried a single coffin containing the men's remains, which was draped in the flags of Great Britain and New Zealand.

They flew together and it is something he would have wanted

The grave in which the coffin was laid to rest is marked by six headstones, one for each of the RAF crew.

It is near the grave of the seventh member of their team, pilot Wing Commander Herbert Dale, who was 33 at the time of the planned raid. His body was found shortly after the crash.

The six men who died with Wing Commander Dale were:

Pilot Officer Peter Bird, 20, from Gainsborough, Lincolnshire; Pilot Officer Daniel McLean Campbell, 25, from New Zealand; Sgt Frank Smith, 22, from Gillingham, Kent; Sgt Norman Nuttall, 22 from Blackburn; Sgt Stanley Plumb, 24, from Stroud and Sgt Eric Lucas, 26, from New Zealand.

Anthems

The ceremony was attended by family members, Air Marshal Philip Sturley representing the Chief of the Air Staff, David Payton, New Zealand ambassador to The Netherlands, and local dignitaries.

The British, New Zealand and Dutch national anthems were sung at the burial and a lone bugler sounded the Last Post.

Margaret Harriss, 68, and Leslie Smith, 77, travelled to The Netherlands from Gillingham, Kent, for the burial of their brother, Sgt Frank Smith.

Mrs Harriss said she could still remember the day when, as a five-year-old girl, a telegram brought news of 22-year-old Sergeant Smith's death.

She said: "It was very important for us to come along for our parents' sake.

"We want to see him laid to rest nicely and in holy ground. They flew together and it is something he would have wanted."

Also in attendance were the brother and sister of Sgt Stanley Plumb, who was 24 when he died.

Patricia Southgate, 75, from Norwich, and John Plumb, 78, from Banbury, Oxon, were aged 12 and 15 respectively at the time. Mrs Southgate said Sgt Plumb's photograph had pride of place on her dressing table at home.

Before the burial she said: "It is lovely that he is to have a new grave and not just be a name on a memorial saying 'No known grave'. This makes it feel a bit complete."

The RAF was unable to trace the relatives of Pilot Officer Peter Bird, from Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, and Sgt Norman Nuttall, from Blackburn, Lancashire, in time for them to attend the service.

http://www.tolwyn.com/~cossack/Coss110Sig.gif

Zeus-cat
05-11-2004, 10:41 AM
Nice post. Thank you.

We should never forget that war has a very real cost. Many people died to make the world a better place.

S!

Zeus-cat

MB_Avro
05-11-2004, 12:43 PM
Thanks for posting.This illustrates the reality of war that is still with us.

Regards
MB_Avro

Dunkelgrun
05-11-2004, 01:03 PM
Good post. I came in on the end of the local news talking about Sgt Plumb and wondered what it was about.
Cheers!

http://www.uploadit.org/igmusapa/tft2.jpg
www.nightbomber.com (http://www.nightbomber.com)

Dunkelgrun aka 242Sqn_Cat

SirJinks
05-11-2004, 01:45 PM
<S>

Udidtoo
05-11-2004, 01:53 PM
Thanks for the info, a well deserved final rest. S'

..............................
I always have just enough fuel to arrive at the scene of my crash.

SKULLS Virga
05-11-2004, 02:02 PM
~s~