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Some Research Topics

On identification of airmen KIA over occupied territory, Finding identification protocols, Survey of Allied Airmen buried as unknown in Western Europe, Estimation of Allied Airmen lost to the seas of Western Europe, The enigma of the empty graves, Science versus morals, then versus now, The empty graves that are Memorials, List of Special Memorials, Proposed candidates for Special Memorials

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1. On identification of airmen KIA over occupied territory

1. General

This text is about a subject that has largely been ignored in WW2 military aviation literature: the identifcation of Allied airmen killed-in-action over occupied territory.

Until now we have assumed that identifications were unquestionable in all cases. However, during crash research it has come to light that quite a few of the downed Allied airmen were initially buried as 'unknown'. Because the Germans could not identify the men at the time. Currently we know of eleven Dutch RAF airmen, out of 49, or 22%, that fell in occupied France, and that were initially, or that are still, buried as unknown. That raises questions about the identification processes. Questions that shall not lead to popularity amongst official parties, but questions that need to be asked anyway.

In trying to understand the subject matter, we distinguish between two things that could happen to an airman who could not parachute out of a crashing aircraft safely. Either his body could become disfigured beyond recognition, as a result of the forces of impact, as a result of bombs exploding in the craft, or as a result of fire, that was so often present during or after these crashes. Or his body could escape disfiguration in several ways. He could be thrown out of the aircraft upon disintegration of the craft in the air, or upon impact when the fuel exploded, or after impact, when bombs exploded. Or he could perish during a crash landing, in which the craft was not smashed to small bits of bent metal. Or his parachute could be caught by fire or by the the crashing aircraft, leaving the airmen no chance of survival.

If bodies were burnt or disfigured grossly, identification at that time was possible only on the basis of knowledge about the crew composition, and the places of the men in the craft, if these would still be recognisable. Knowledge about the crew composition was not available to the Germans, if the aviator identification Forms 1250 were burnt, unreadable or missing. After the War, in many of such cases, crew remains would be buried in a joint grave.

Several of the Dutch RAF aviators, of whom we know that their bodies escaped total disfiguration, were not identified by the Germans. That raises the question who identified these men later, and how.

Questions have been asked to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC, 1/2/2005), its Dutch counterpart the Oorlogsgravenstichting (OGS, 16/1/2005), and to the Salvage and Identification Service of the Dutch Airforce (23/1/2005). The RAF equivalent shall be asked too, shortly. No responses have been received. Nevertheless, evidence has been obtained that the subject is shrouded in confusion, leading to embarrassment by present-day officials who are asked to explain actions of their collegues of the past. Collegues that did not or could not produce and/or keep sufficient paperwork to enable the current officials to provide answers.

With this, it is not intended to state that identifications have not been done properly. We truly believe that everybody did the best possible. But we need to understand what that means, in the timeframe we are looking at, as the decisive instrument of DNA technology was not yet available. Dental records, except for the Americans, were quite often nonexistent or not accurate enough. RAF aviators did not carry a durable means of identification, such as the US metal 'dog tag'. And they certainly did not have a chip implant.

The International Committee of the Red Cross had not yet published its 'Operational best practices regarding the management of human remains and information on the dead by non-specialists', Geneva, 11/2004, with its multitude of highly detailed checklists. But author believes that most of the knowledge in this 53 page brochure was available in the 1940-1945 period, as most of it is based on common sense. The bottom line is: record everything very carefully, and do so in a way that respects the dead and leaves the evidence intact. This was understood by both the Germans and the Allies. But the urgencies of War very often, especially on the German side, prevented recording, if anything at all, more than the most basic facts. And these facts were often recorded in less than accurate ways.

This wish to understand is motivated by actual cases, in which a better understanding may lead to the identification of Allied airmen that are still listed as missing-in-action, but who are quite possibly buried as unknown, unknown airman, or unknown RAF/Allied airman. They may well have been lost on paper, not in the body. As a result of poor identification by the Germans directly after a crash, then by administrative chaos during the War and post-War period, by one or more grave relocations, and all of this aggravated by miscommunications resulting from language barriers.

RAF airmen were forbidden to take personal belongings on operational sorties over occupied territory. Everything was collected at base before take-off, and stored in a numbered cloth bag. The men carried the RAF Form 1250 identification card, with a small photo, name, rank and number. The blue paper card had limited durability. It would deteriorate in sweat and (sea)water, and it certainly was not fireproof. The card was intended to announce to the Germans that downed airmen were to be taken POW, rather than be shot as foreign spies. Names may have been forged, for instance to lead away from Jewish ancestry.

Obviously the Germans were not informed about bomber crew compositions. This is evidenced by the fact that of crews KIA, one aviator may have been identified directly after the crash, whilst the other two or more were not. We have no evidence of a hotline that the Germans could call in London, to help with the process of identification. After the War, the RAF instituted the Missing Research & Enquiry Service (MR&ES), to investigate the missing airmen. We assume that this service played the major role in identifying downed airmen that were initially buried as unknown. This service shall have identified at least in part on the basis of knowledge about crew compositions. Meaning identification by reasoning, when there was some data to reason with, which is different from identification by decisive means such as DNA technology. RAF Air Historical Branch believes that MR&ES reports were duly submitted to the Dutch shortly after the War, but the Dutch Air Historical Branch has never seen such a report. We have not been able to locate more than a few of such reports in the Dutch National Archives.

We would like to know HOW airmen were identified, and WHEN and by WHOM. If not for all airmen downed and killed over occupied territory, then certainly for some. We like to see the death certificates, if made and if preserved, and the identification protocols, if made and if preserved.

Candidates for the 'WHO' are:

1. The Germans for men downed and killed in occupied territory.

2. Local officials: Police, cemetery staff.

3. RAF MR&ES

4. S&I Service Dutch AF

5. S&I Service USAF

6. Combinations of 1 to 5.

Note: CWGC and OGS do not claim to be involved with this type of research. Their role is administrative. They record data, and official data is much preferred.

Possibilities for 'HOW':

1. RAF Form 1250 when present, readable and accurate

2. RAF Form 1250 when present and preserved, but barely readable and deciphered later by some-one with knowledge of crew composition

3. Post mortem portrait photo, if made and preserved

4. Dental record, if available and sufficiently accurate

5. Logical analysis of data coming from crash site and eyewitness accounts

We need to discover and follow the paperwork trail as far as possible. The result may be that some airmen still listed as MIA, can finally be identified with modern means, and be buried properly as KIA. In one case of a downed Dutch airmen listed as MIA, we are confident that we can point to his grave, still present in Cherbourg Cimetière Ancien 'Pieux'. The case has been presented in all detail to the officials, meaning first OGS & CWGC, then on 25/10/2005 to the top management of the Dutch Air Force. We are waiting for a response.

2. Finding identification protocols

1. The Oorlogsgravenstichting, Mr. J.J. Teeuwisse, has been asked 23/1/2005 if the service was involved with post-War identifications in France, and if so, were protocols made and are these kept?

Response 29/1/2005:

Zoals ik u eerder had gemeld is het stoffelijk overschot van de heer C. van der Knaap in 1956 niet gevonden op de begraafplaats in Cherbourg. Er kon destijds dus geen identificatie plaatsvinden. Dat is iets anders dan dat wij geen uitsluitsel over het identificatieproces kunnen geven.


Mr. Teeuwisse answers a question that was not asked, about an identification of C. van der Knaap, and ignores the question for protocols of identification of the others. The request was repeated 1/2/2005. Response: none. The request was repeated 1/6/2005, in a different shape. This time there was a response:

De Oorlogsgravenstichting heeft zelf geen middelen om identificaties te verrrichten. Wij maken daarbij gebruik van de diensten van de Bergings- en Identificatiedienst van de Koninklijke Landmacht. Als particuliere stichting hebben wij ook geen opsporingsbevoegdheid.

2. The Bergings- en Identificatiedienst KL, kapitein H. Spierings, has been asked 23/1/2005 if the service was involved with post-War identifications in France, and if so, were protocols made and are these kept? Response: none.

3. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Mr. Roy Hemington, Archive Project Supervisor, & Mr. Peter Holton, Records Supervisor, have been asked 1/2/2005 if the service was involved with post-War identifications in France, and if so, were protocols made and are these kept? Response: none. Correspondence on the subject continued, and on 4/1/2007 the answer was there: The CWGC holds GRU, GCU & MR&ES reports. Public access cannot be given, as the CWGC is in the process of digitizing this material. But Mr. Hemington is prepared to look up available reports on defined cases. So finally we have a breakthrough in the paperwork world.

4. The community of aviation archaeologists in France have been asked to share any knowledge available on the subject, via email and via the forum, 11/2/2005. No responses. Via http://www.aerostories.org/~aeroforums/

5. A search in the MR&ES files present in the National Archives, Kew, London, produced no documents relating to the several Dutch RAF aviators mentioned in the search request. See Chapter 9.4. above for details.

6. A search for MR&ES reports that may be present in the RAF Casualty Files could not be made, as this archive remains closed to the year 2040. However, RAF Air Historical Branch was kind enough to quote from these files on a few occasions. Such information has been processed in the crash chapters above. This also resulted in a new direction for the search for Jan Plesman.

We conclude that

1. OGS, and local clerks in Holland writing death certificates after the War, relied on data provided by the French.

2. The French recorded what the Germans told them to record. The Gendarmerie reported quasi independently. Copies of their reports went to several German offices: Feldkommandantur, Kreiskommandantur, Sicherheitsdienst. Not exactly a guarantee for truthful, accurate and complete statements. In the few crash reports by the Gendarmerie we have seen, there was never an aviator's name mentioned.

3. The Germans only had RAF Form 1250 for aviator identification, or a fibre ID disk that was unlikely to survive an aircraft crash, but quite often they had no data at all.

4. Reports would be made by the nearest Feldkommandantur, and/or the Gendarmerie office. That saw to an enormous amount of confusion over crash sites, if the nearest Kommandantur or Gendarmerie station was, as so often, not located in the town nearest to the crash site.

5. Language issues are likely to have amplified the effects of the factors above. This barrier is still in place. OGS has complained that letters to officials in France, if written in English, remain unanswered. Surely OGS can hire some-one who could translate into French? This author, using English but also a few expressions in French, has found most French authorities to be very sluggish, but nevertheless responsive. This is a barrier that, after sixty years, should have been surmounted. The Dutch have an Embassy in Paris, and it is there with a mission to fulfil. Author feels that the issues raised here belong to that mission.

Summing it up, and pending documents to prove me wrong: OGS and Town Hall clerks in Holland have been using Nazi and/or Gendarmerie data, that was inaccurate and incomplete to begin with. Data that has been solidified in post War death certificates, that were produced by the clerks. They did not investigate; their job was to reproduce in official shape the data they received. The clerks did so, as the system required that paperwork be made. The death certificate formed the essential ticket to anything after that for the airman's relatives in a paperwork world. The declaration of death itself was important, the details of date and place were not. Circumstances and cause of death are not mentioned in these certificates.

Has this situaton ever been corrected? We fear not. Once data has been declared official, it has become impossible to change it into anything such as the truth. The implications of 'official' are accurate and truthful. We see no validity in that implication, when the data was actually generated by the enemy in occupied countries in Wartime.

However. The picture painted above is unfair for a number of cases that are investigated in this study. The archive of the Bergings- en Identificatiedienst of the Koninklijke Landmacht, and of the Gravendienst, 1945-1960, residing at the time of writing at the Centrale Archief Dienst (CAD-MvD) of the Dutch Ministry of Defense in Rijswijk, holds 305 folders with material about the work of these services in the period mentioned. Author has investigated this archive, and had copied all material found that relates to lost Dutch RAF aviators. A survey reads as follows:

1. There is no material at all about Dutch RAF aviators who are missing-in-action. No copies were found of reports made by the British Missing Research & Enquiry Service (MR&ES). Such reports may have been copied to the Dutch, but we haven't seen any of these yet in archives in Holland.

2. In some cases there is extensive correspondence about burials and reburials of Dutch RAF aviators, notably in France. The contents of this correspondence are processed in the appropriate chapters in this study.

3. In some cases identifications have been made, that included the use of dental records, and other personal details, such as body length, hair colour, and shoe size, supplied by the families of the men lost.

4. American grave services used very detailed casualty sheets, that included fingerprints and dental records of the casualty, if at all possible. Some such copies relating to Dutch RAF aviators lost in France are present in this archive. The information contained in these documents has been processed in the statements in this study.

5. The Dutch gave it an effort to find data in for instance scraps of paper, found on bodies of aviators, that could lead to identifications, by trying to reconstruct the original contents of such papers.

6. Author did not find a single portrait picture of a lost Dutch RAF aviator in this archive.

Summing it up, the picture is as follows. Dutch RAF airmen who were KIA in or over occupied territory were identified first by the Germans, if at all possible. Then by Allied forces using German data, logics and knowledge of crash sites and crew compositions, to which personal details were added, if these could be obtained at all. A decisive method for identification, the DNA technology, was not available yet. The identification services did what they could, using the means at their disposal, having very little hard evidence to work with in many cases. Evidence that was obscured by language issues. Furthermore, there was an enormous amount of work to be done. Work that was complicated by multinational efforts to get the same job done, and clouded by the ever-present who-pays-for-what question. The Dutch RAF aviators were and are a tiny section in an ocean of World War 2 casualties. With an eye on all that, any judgement on results achieved should be mild. But we have to conclude that grave headstone texts and grave contents may not coincide entirely in quite a few cases. So be it. More or better just was not humanly possible at the time. A review/rework of all work done earlier, using current and decisive technology, would probably yield new knowledge. Author feels that to be immaterial, as long as the men involved are commemorated properly. And that's a field where there are things are left to be desired. This view is expounded in other chapters of this study.

The above is an incomplete history of casualty identification evidence handling. The following should be added:

- The evidence may have been found by the local Police, or by the Germans.


- Autopsy evidence was collected by local policemen who did what they could, but who were not trained for that job. Some delivered remarkably detailed reports, many did not.


- Autopsy evidence may have been collected by local doctors, either domestic or German. Their reports are usually quite flimsy.


- The Germans may have confiscated the evidence found by the Police.


- The Police would copy its report, in case of unknowns, to the Germans, and to the Red Cross.


- The copy send to the Red Cross could include the evidence, such as an ID disk or clothing labels, if not confiscated by the Germans.


- The Germans could have send the evidence to the Red Cross.


- The Germans could have send to the Red Cross identifying evidence, such as documents and disks, and kept non-identifying matters, such as the foreign money envelope issued to RAF aviators, and anything else they wished to keep.


- The Red Cross could have received that evidence, if not lost in transit.


Where "could" is said in the above, there should have been "should", but there is no guarantee that the proper thing was done by everybody, everywhere, and at all times. In this respect early War stages were better than later stages. Relatively quiet areas were better than chaotic ones. Actual battle was no good to any of this.

- Findings could be recorded in the local cemetery register. If done at all, such recordings were usually very basic only.


- The Germans could have stored the evidence, and lost or destroyed it as War was coming to the closing stages.


- The evidence may have been destroyed as a direct result of battle.


- The evidence may have been buried with the casualty. During the forensic exhumation after the War, the MR&ES may have taken that evidence from the grave, or may have reburied it with the casualty.


- If taken from the grave, the evidence may have survived in MR&ES archives, or it may not have.


- The Red Cross should have kept the evidence. As far as that still exists today, it is still being used by the grave services.


- The physical quality of the British ID disks, issued also to the non-Commonwealth RAF aviators, was no great help in this area.


So we are talking about a complicated chase for evidence. The local Police reports, and the national Red Cross archives, seem to offer the best chances today.


The list above is unlikely to be complete. Unfortunately, photography, especially in wartime, was not as common then as it is today. A photograph of a faded ID disk, taken when the disk was found, would have been a great help in some cases today.

3. Survey of Allied Airmen buried as unknown in Western Europe

The numbers given below result from investigations in very many of the cemeteries in Western Europe, that hold graves of WW2 servicemen. The numbers are minima, as we cannot be sure to have found all cemeteries and all graves of unknown servicemen.

Excluded are the graves of USAAF servicemen. These graves have all been concentrated in a few large US War cemeteries in Europe, or have been repatriated.

Counted exclusively are the graves marked as unknown non-US Allied Airmen, RAF, RAAF, RCAF, RNZAF or PAF. Graves of unknowns, that were recognized as belonging to any of the other non-US nations that flew with the RAF, such as SAAF (South Africa), RAAC (Rhodesia), RNAF (Norway), FFAF (France), BAF (Belgium), CZ RAF (Tjechoslowakia), and the Dutch, have not been found.

Graves marked as 'unknown (Allied) soldier' may in fact be the graves of aviators, but that could not be established at the time of burial or reburial.

Table 14. Burials of unknown Allied Airmen in Western Europe

In the rightmost columns, red numbers mark remarkably low percentages, green high ones, in the major countries. The minor countries, as far as number of burials of unknown Allied airmen, are Ireland, Poland and Sweden. A very low percentage of the unknown casualties in Germany and Norway could be identified by rank. The highest percentages of burials marked with a date are seen in Great Britain and The Netherlands. The highest percentage of burials marked with a rank are seen in The Netherlands and France. Possible explanations for these differences are offered in the introduction to Appendices 7.

These numbers exclude airmen that were buried as unknown originally, as far as that is known, but who could be identified later. Unfortunately, we do not have the CWGC archive access needed to quantify the results of the Allied identification effort.

In Appendices 7 a list is offered giving details of all these burials of unknown Allied airmen.

The number of unknown Airmen buried in Germany and The Netherlands stand out as far higher than that of other countries. Possible explanations are:

Germany was the target for the Allied bomber offensive. German air defences were most formidable over the Reich itself, and very many bombers were lost there. Although the Germans gave it an effort to process aircraft crash sites properly, this effort diminished as War progressed towards the end. Most of the unknown airmen fell over the soil of Germany, but more than a few washed ashore on Germany's North Sea coast.

The Netherlands more often than not were on the way to and from the targets. Aircraft damaged over Germany could crash in Holland, or in the North Sea. Very many of the unknown Allied airmen buried in Holland washed ashore. Furthermore, many bodies of airmen that fell victim to The Channel, or even the Atlantic Ocean South of The Channel, washed ashore in The Netherlands. Much more so than in England, France, Belgium or Denmark. We assume that the marine conditions of the Dutch coast, especially with the shallow seas around the Frisian Islands, are the explanation here, however complex the details of that explanation may be.

4. Estimation of Allied Airmen lost to the seas of Western Europe

The Runnymede Memorial carries the names of 20.346 Commonwealth airmen who remained missing-in-action.

Source: CWGC

Names of other Allied nationalities are included, but in an incomplete and haphazard way. Out of 90 Dutch RAF aviators who went MIA, 13 are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial. Polish RAF aviators who went MIA are entirely absent. A very rough estimation would be that about 22.000 Allied, non-US, World War 2 airmen are still missing-in-action, in Western Europe only. Of these, at least 1.900 are buried in the cemeteries of Western Europe, or 9% of the total number of missing airmen.

For the Dutch RAF/FAA aviators lost, we could determine whom was lost over land, and whom over sea. Those who were lost over land number 8, and that is again 9% of the total number of 90 who are still missing-in-action. Author did not investigate all losses of Allied airmen, an investigation that could lead to insight into the numbers lost at sea. Such an investigation would require an enormous effort. However, the striking resemblance between

- the number of burials of unknown airmen and the sum total of airmen MIA, or 1.900/22.000 = 9%

and

- the number of Dutch RAF/FAA lost over land and the sum total of Dutch RAF/FAA aviators MIA, or 8/90 = 9%

suggests that the total number of Allied non-US airmen lost to the seas of Western Europe is in the area of 90% of 22.000 = 19.800. However, there is yet another factor that has to be considered. The number of burials of unknown Allied Airmen is not identical with the number of Allied Airmen who remained missing-in-action over land. The last number is higher than the first, because a number of airmen did not receive a grave with a headstone on top. Their bodies could either not be found at the time, or they are interred in the wrecks of their aircraft that were never recovered, or even found. The number of Airmen still buried in the soil of Holland, outside of the cemeteries, could be in the hundreds. For Germany and the other West European countries the situation is likely to be the same. Wreck sites may, or may not be known. If known, then in Holland excavation is done only as a soil sanitation measure, such as when safety requires that a bomb load is cleared so as to enable urban expansion. We have asked the community of WW2 aviation archaeologists in The Netherlands to produce a reasoned estimation of the number of Allied Airmen still buried in unmarked graves in the Dutch soil. No reasoned responses. However, there is a Ministerial Guidline on the work of WW2 aircraft wreck removal, reproduced in Chapter 9. In this it is estimated that about 2.000 aircraft wreck remain embedded in Dutch soil, and that about 400 of these contain human remains. That would add up to at least 400 MIA's buried in wrecks in The Netherlands. Many of the locations are known, but many others have not yet been found.

At the Runnymede Memorial 20.346 missing Commonwealth airmen are commemorated.

Source: CWGC

The Runnymede Memorial commemorates airmen lost in Europe; other world area's have other memorials for the missing of WW2.

The total number of Bomber Command Commonwealth losses is estimated as 55.573

Source: Max Hastings, 'Bomber Command', 1979, 1999

Fighter Command losses are estimated as 3.690.

Source: Chaz Bowyer, 'Fighter Command', 1980

Coastal Command losses are estimated as 10.875

Source: Coastal Command & Maritime Air Association

Estimated total 70.138. This is not the same total as all Commonwealth Airforce losses, but it is the total of the Commands in which personnel could become missing. This means that about 20.346/70.128 = 29% of all Commonwealth airmen lost remained missing. Almost one third of all, and this is after the Missing Research & Enquiry Service gave its best from 1940 to 1952 to find and identify the missing. This gives a measure to the relevance of ongoing MIA research.

2. The enigma of the empty graves

Author has compelling reasons to believe that more than a few of the graves of Dutch RAF aviators, especially when buried in joint graves, are actually empty. This came about as a result of the following circumstances:

1. If a bomber crew perished, and if there are no reasons to believe that any of the crew got out of the aircraft before it crashed, and if individual identification was impossible, then CWGC and OGS may have erected individual headstones for those buried in a joint crew grave.

2. If a bomber crew perished, and if some of the crew's bodies could be identified, and if there was no trace of the bodies of the others, then these others may have received headstones over graves that are actually empty.

Both of these circumstances did occur in connection with some of the Dutch RAF/FAA aviators who were lost.

As CWGC and OGS are not expected to be frank about this matter, as far as data is still available, and as reasons for a very low profile about the matter are obvious, author has mentioned, but not pursued this issue. A headstone over a grave that is empty of necessity is preferable to no headstone at all. There is no point in searching for the last detail in this matter, as that can yield information that could easily be most disturbing to the families involved. This author shall not pursue this potential research topic.

However, there is a grey area, where further research would be desirable. A grave may actually hold no more than a fragment of the remains of an aviator. A fragment found at the surface of the crash site. A fragment that may or may not have been identified. Research into the matter could reveal that parts of the wreck are still buried where the aircraft crashed, and that human remains are likely to be in that wreck. In such a case research would point the way to a job that still needs to be done. See the chapter on the Oegstgeest cemetery, for an example of this situation.

3. Science versus morals, then versus now

Author assumes that the empty-grave-issue mentioned above, is present regarding the graves of all Allied aircraft crew, who were buried in joined or mutual graves. This post-War CWGC practice, born in morals rather than science, stands in an unfortunate contrast with the very high standard of proof required by the MoD and CWGC today, when evaluating claims about the identity of servicemen buried as unknowns. Author considers it unfortunate that the MoD & CWGC no longer allow a certain measure of uncertainty to remain in such cases, and that the decisive tool for identification, DNA technology, is not allowed to be used. If a claim could be calculated to be say 95% accurate, then surely the moral preference of having a name on a headstone rather than none, is sufficiently well supported in evidence.

4. The empty graves that are Memorials

1. Introduction

This Chapter is grouped under "Research topics", because it culminates in a list of proposed candidates for Special Memorials. To get to that, a survey of the subject of Special Memorials is given.

1. Definition

Special Memorials are standard issue CWGC headstones with a line of text at the top, that indicates that the headstone does not cover a grave, but is in fact a memorial. Such memorials were issued when graves were known to exist, or have existed, but could no longer be found.

Joint Special Memorials for crew members, killed 07-10-1944, that could not be identified individually. The actual graves are likely to be elsewhere in this cemetery, marked as unknown. Reichswald holds four graves of unknown Allied airmen, dated 06-10-1944, and thirty graves of unknown airmen that are undated. Reichswald 080916 joint Special Memorials

2. Grave loss causes

Loss of graves resulted from the following causes:

1. Graves of some of the aviators who washed ashore, and who were buried at the shore of some of the Frisian Isles, were washed away by the sea.

2. Other graves were destroyed as a result of battle, usually bombardments.

3. Graves could become destroyed by careless enemy action, when for instance a burial ground was partially used for tank exercizes.

4. There are likely to have been a few cases in which a family spirited home the contents of a grave in a more or less official way.

5. Graves reported by the enemy to exist at certain locations, could sometimes not be found, for a variety of reasons, that can be summarized with the phrase "Chaos of War".

6. Many of the Special Memorials were erected for Airmen buried as unknowns in the same cemetery. These Airmen therefore have two headstones in that cemetery, one with and one without a name. This came about as a result of identifiction difficulties in the pre-DNA age.

7. Most of the lost graves were lost as a result of less than perfect administration during the process of relocating graves from initial burial positions to the intended final ones in concentration cemeteries.

3. Other cases

Some of the Special Memorials do not commemorate graves that are lost, but that exist in other cemeteries. The commemoration is extended in this way to a war plot in a cemetery in the care of the CWGC. This usually occurs in the UK, if servicemen were buried in (family) graves in home town cemeteries.

Some memorials commemorate servicemen whose bodies were committed to the sea.

A special case is the loss of Mosquito NS906 on 30-09-1944, that crashed in Grib Forest southeast of Mårum, Sjælland, Denmark. Both aviators died. The Germans refused to report where they buried the bodies. To this day, the graves have not been found. In 1945 the Danes erected a memorial stone in Grib Forest.

Special memorial of Danish design Mårum 3 RM by Rob Moeskops

Finally, there are a few cases of privately erected Special memorials, of custom designs, that came to be as a result of private reasons.

4. Classification of Special Memorials

Below is a list of types of Special Memorials, as found in the cemeteries of Europe. To the left of the table the type abbreviations used by author, to the right the codes used by the CWGC. These codes are mentioned in the CWGC database in a haphazard way: sometimes the code is given, at other times it is not. Furthermore, we found this CWGC code to be insufficient to describe the actual situation.

Table 15. Classification of Special Memorials

We asked the CWGC to clarify the meaning of the Special Memorial code letters that are issued by the CWGC in a number of cases. The CWGC responded as follows:

The Commission has six types of Special Memorial and their details are as follows:

1. Type “A"

Superscription: "BURIED ELSEWHERE IN THIS CEMETERY"

A memorial headstone with this superscription is erected to commemorate one whose burial (or re-burial) is known to have taken place in a particular cemetery, although the exact place of burial within the cemetery cannot be established.

2. Type "B"

Superscription: "BELIEVED TO BE BURIED IN THIS CEMETERY"

A memorial headstone with this superscription was erected when there was reasonable, but not absolute, certainty that the burial or re-burial took place in the cemetery concerned.

3. Type "C"

Superscription: "BURIED NEAR THIS SPOT"


A memorial headstone with this superscription was erected for those known to be buried in certain graves which were not contiguous, but also when there was uncertainty as to which burial was in which grave. The special memorial headstones, each normally bearing one name only, were erected one to each grave.

4. Type "D"

Superscription: "BELIEVED TO BE........ "

A headstone with this superscription was erected on a grave when identification was a reasonable but not absolute certainty.

5. Type "E"

"TO THE MEMORY OF

............................................

BURIED AT THE TIME IN

..............................................

BUT WHOSE GRAVE IS NOW LOST

(or WAS DESTROYED IN LATER BATTLES)

THEIR GLORY SHALL NOT BE BLOTTED OUT"

A memorial headstone with this inscription, known as a Kipling Memorial (so called

because Rudyard Kipling chose the words: "THEIR GLORY SHALL NOT BE BLOTTED OUT" from Ecclesiastics 44 verse 13), was used to commemorate one whose grave had been lost or destroyed in later battles.

This type of memorial headstone was normally erected in a Commission cemetery near to the original burial place.

Where there are 6 or more graves, headstones without any superscription are grouped around or alongside a small stone memorial, known as a Duhallow Block (so called because the first such memorials were erected in Duhallow A.D.S. Cemetery, near Ypres in Belgium), which bares the explanatory inscription for all.

6. Type "F"

Superscription:

i "BURIED IN WINCHEAP ROAD CEMETERY"

ii "BURIED IN ST MARY'S CHURCHYARD DONCASTER"

The memorial headstones with these types of superscription are erected to commemorate burials in unmaintainable war graves.

Superscription (i) is used where the memorial headstone is erected in a cemetery in the same town or village as the cemetery which contains the unmaintainable grave.

Superscription (ii) is used where the memorial headstone is erected in another town or village.

Source: Peter Holton, CWGC Record Supervisor, 22-09-2008

That matters are complicated, not of themselves but because of CWGC decisions, can be illustrated with the fact that in several cemeteries in the UK Special Memorials of type C are used that would be called joint or mutual graves elsewhere. "Buried near this spot" means in these cases "within meters of this spot", as casualties from an aircraft crew could not be identified individually.

5. List of Special Memorials

List of Special Memorials for Allied aviators in Europe - Version 080816

Rank

Service

Service

Date

Cemetery

Country

Spec Mem

Position

Airman

Nr.

Type

FETHERSTON, Thomas R.N.

F/Sgt.

RCAF

R92966

09-11-1942

Ameland (Nes) General

NL

unmarked, private

right of row 10

BREEN, William J.

Sgt. (MUG)

RCAF

R58998

31-08-1943

Antwerpen Schoonselhof

B

bnts

4a/B/24

CAHILL, Clement B.

Sgt. (Ba)

RCAF

R102903

31-08-1943

Antwerpen Schoonselhof

B

bnts

4a/B/26

PITHIE, Harold C.

Sgt. (MUG)

RCAF

R101308

31-08-1943

Antwerpen Schoonselhof

B

bnts

4a/B/25

DOWDEN, Max E.

1/Lt. (P)

USAAF

O-886262

22-05-1944

Antwerpen Schoonselhof

B

btb

4a/E/27

GILSON John

W/O² (P)

RCAF

R75223

28-04-1944

Antwerpen Schoonselhof

B

bnts

4a/D/25

PRATT, Richard W.

W/O² (WAG)

RCAF

R55265

28-04-1944

Antwerpen Schoonselhof

B

bnts

4a/D/26

WALLACE, Robert

Sgt. (Fe)

RAF

1370144

28-04-1944

Antwerpen Schoonselhof

B

bnts

4a/D/24

BUGDEN, Arthur W.C.

Sgt. (Fe)

RAF (New-Foundland)

188996

22-05-1944

Assens, Funen

DK

EDWARDS, Thomas

Sgt. (WAG)

RAF

1430281

22-05-1944

Assens, Funen

DK

FERGUSON, George

F/O. (Ba)

RAF (CA)

131132

22-05-1944

Assens, Funen

DK

GRIFFITHS, Harold De Gray

Sgt. (MUG)

RAF

2211356

22-05-1944

Assens, Funen

DK

RICHARDS, Arthur T.

F/Lt. (P)

RAF

51389

22-05-1944

Assens, Funen

DK

WOODALL, William T.

F/O. (N)

RCAF

J23953

22-05-1944

Assens, Funen

DK

WOODMASS, Cyril J.

Sgt. (RG)

RAF

1160474

22-05-1944

Assens, Funen

DK

SMITH, NEWTON

Sgt.

RAF VR

1676114

03-09-1945

BEDLINGTON (NETHERTON LANE) CEMETERY

GB

Spec Mem

LOWTHER, CYRIL JAMES

F/Sgt.

RAF VR

1452590

30-01-1944

BILBAO BRITISH CEMETERY

Spain

Spec Mem

ROGERS, WILLIAM JAMES

AC1

RAF VR

1273830

01-08-1942

BIRMINGHAM (BRANDWOOD END) CEMETERY

GB

Spec Mem

HARDY, STEPHEN

Air Commodore

RAF

unknown

08-04-1945

BRISTOL (CANFORD) CEMETERY

GB

Spec Mem

POTTER, GEORGE EDWARD

Lac

RAF VR

1202465

21-02-1945

BRISTOL (GREENBANK) CEMETERY

GB

Spec Mem

WARREN, George C.

F/O. (N)

RAF

162041

17-03-1945

Burgobach RC Churchyard

G

ANSCOMB, ROBERT JOSEPH

F/O.

RAF VR

174549

02-03-1945

CAMBERWELL OLD CEMETERY

GB

Spec Mem

FENNER, JOHN

P/O.

RAF VR

150465

17-11-1943

CAMBERWELL OLD CEMETERY

GB

Spec Mem

MAY, REGINALD JOHN RONALD

Sgt. (Wop/Ag)

RAF VR

1325102

28-03-1941

CAMBERWELL OLD CEMETERY

GB

Spec Mem

PHIPPS, HAROLD GEORGE HENRY

F/Lt.

RAF VR

82094

20-09-1943

CAMBERWELL OLD CEMETERY

GB

Spec Mem

EATON Robert G.

F/O. (P)

RCAF

C20879

03-11-1943

CAMBRIDGE CITY CEMETERY

GB

bnts

Row 1194130

MacKENZIE, Alan E.

P/O. (RG)

RCAF

J18334

03-11-1943

CAMBRIDGE CITY CEMETERY

GB

bnts

Row 1194530

MOSS Albert E.

Sgt. (Fe)

RAF Aux

807289

03-11-1943

CAMBRIDGE CITY CEMETERY

GB

bnts

Row 13930

SHIMWELL Harry B.

Sgt. (MUG)

RAF

2204168

03-11-1943

CAMBRIDGE CITY CEMETERY

GB

bnts

Row 1194330

HODGKINSON, ALLEN KEITH

F/O.

RCAF

J/22156

03-11-1943

CAMBRIDGE CITY CEMETERY

GB

bnts

Spec Mem Grave 14743

HALL, Donald W.H.

Sgt. (Ag)

RAF VR

1869433

20-11-1944

CHESTER (BLACON) CEMETERY

GB

bnts

Spec Mem A/228

KELLY, Benjamin

Sgt. (WOp)

RAF VR

1594719

20-11-1944

CHESTER (BLACON) CEMETERY

GB

bnts

Spec Mem A/271

LAMB, John G.

F/Sgt. (P)

RAF VR

1324182

20-11-1944

CHESTER (BLACON) CEMETERY

GB

bnts

Spec Mem A/314

SOUTHERN, Eric R.

F/Sgt. (N)

RAF VR

1581192

20-11-1944

CHESTER (BLACON) CEMETERY

GB

bnts

Spec Mem A/357

WITZ, Stanley E.

Sgt. (Ba)

RAF

1524174

20-11-1944

CHESTER (BLACON) CEMETERY

GB

bnts

Spec Mem A/400

ALDERSON, IVAN

Cpl.

RAF VR

963546

08-10-1943

CONINGSBY CEMETERY

GB

alt commem

Spec Mem

TRANTER, HARRY

AC2

RAF VR

1541372

27-02-1942

CRADLEY HEATH (ST. LUKE) CHURCHYARD

GB

Spec Mem

TROMANS, WILLIAM THOMAS

Sgt.

RAF VR

1152528

21-01-1942

CRADLEY HEATH (ST. LUKE) CHURCHYARD

GB

Spec Mem

BROWN, John B.

Cpl.

The Glider Pilot Regt

74795

01-10-1943

Crayford (St.Paulinus) Churchyard

GB

bnts

MARTIN, FRANK SAMUEL

Sgt.

RAF VR

1398507

26-08-1944

DENHAM (ST. MARY) CHURCHYARD

GB

Spec Mem

BRENCHLEY, GEORGE HENRY

AC2

RAF VR

1074468

22-04-1945

DENTON (CHRIST CHURCH) CHURCHYARD

GB

Spec Mem

BARKER, Thomas F.

F/O. (N)

RCAF

J14207

06-06-1944

Douvres-la-Délivrande-2

F

bnts

3K1

HEWITT, James

F/Sgt. (WAG)

RAF

1554527

06-06-1944

Douvres-la-Délivrande-2

F

bnts

3K3

JACKSON, Arthur W.

F/Sgt. (Ba)

RAF

1337703

06-06-1944

Douvres-la-Délivrande-2

F

bnts

5E2

SMITH, Alan L.

Sgt. (Fe)

RAF

1652568

06-06-1944

Douvres-la-Délivrande-2

F

bnts

3K2

SPARKES, Robert A.

F/Sgt. (RG)

RAF

1393942

06-06-1944

Douvres-la-Délivrande-2

F

bnts

3K4

KNIGHT, Gordon H.

F/Sgt. (WAG)

RAAF

421601

07-06-1944

Douvres-la-Délivrande-2

F

bnts

6/6/7 ???

DICKSON, Beaumont C.

Sgt.

RAAF

404634

19-01-1942

Dyce

GB

bnts

16

KELLEY, Harry J.

Sgt. (Ao)

RCAF

R76125

19-01-1942

Dyce

GB

bnts

19

MILLIKEN, Alistair

Sgt.

RAAF

404637

19-01-1942

Dyce

GB

bnts

17

RILEY, John B.

Sgt. (Wop/Ag)

RAF

995062

19-01-1942

Dyce

GB

bnts

15

BLENKINSOPP, FREDERICK JOHN

Sgt.

RAF VR

1262353

11-01-1942

EAST WICKHAM (ST. MICHAEL) CHURCHYARD

GB

Spec Mem

EVANS, DAVID ARTHUR

Lac

RAF VR

1270537

31-10-1944

EAST WICKHAM (ST. MICHAEL) CHURCHYARD

GB

Spec Mem

HIGGINS, ANTHONY

P/O.

RCAF

J/13418

16-12-1942

EAST WICKHAM (ST. MICHAEL) CHURCHYARD

GB

Spec Mem

MACNAMARA, GEORGE HORACE

Sgt.

RAF VR

1160249

23-08-1941

EAST WICKHAM (ST. MICHAEL) CHURCHYARD

GB

Spec Mem

NICHOLS, REGINALD HARRY

AC2

RAF VR

1643554

16-06-1944

EAST WICKHAM (ST. MICHAEL) CHURCHYARD

GB

Spec Mem

PEACOCK, LESLIE GEORGE

Sgt.

RAF VR

1335245

21-08-1942

EAST WICKHAM (ST. MICHAEL) CHURCHYARD

GB

Spec Mem

RICHARDS, John C.

S/Ldr. (P)

RAF

37480

21-04-1943

Esbjerg Fovrfelt

DK

btb

Row A/11

AYLIFFE, Harold D. ("Jack")

F/O. (N)

RAF

145489

04-08-1944

Feugarolles (Limon) CC

F

private

DARBY, ALAN

F/Sgt.

RCAF

R/142365

07-05-1943

GILLINGHAM (ST. MARY) CHURCHYARD

GB

Spec Mem

BROWNLIE, ANDREW MCMILLAN SMITH

Sgt.

RAF

546659

16-03-1942

GLASGOW (EASTWOOD) CEMETERY

GB

Spec Mem

ELLIS, ROBERT

Sgt. (Wop/Ag)

RAF

534399

08-02-1941

GLASGOW (EASTWOOD) CEMETERY

GB

Spec Mem

LAIRD, THOMAS

AC2

RAF VR

2270649

07-12-1945

GLASGOW (EASTWOOD) CEMETERY

GB

Spec Mem

McFARLANE, ROBERT TAYLOR

Lac

RAF VR

1025196

01-11-1942

GLASGOW (EASTWOOD) CEMETERY

GB

Spec Mem

MOODIE, WILLIAM DONALD

AC2

RAF VR

1561157

02-04-1942

GLASGOW (EASTWOOD) CEMETERY

GB

Spec Mem

POTTER, ROBERT

Sgt.

RAF

643788

17-10-1940

GLASGOW (EASTWOOD) CEMETERY

GB

Spec Mem

STEWART, ALASTAIR MACKICHAN

F/Lt.

RAF VR

122098

11-03-1945

GREENOCK CEMETERY

GB

Spec Mem

ALLIN, GILBERT JOHN

F/O.

RAF VR

154550

30-09-1944

GRIB FOREST, Mårum

DK

Type D of Danish design

THOMAS, ROBIN HUGH

F/Lt.

RAF VR

103025

30-09-1944

GRIB FOREST, Mårum

DK

Type D of Danish design

SCOULLER Chandos

F/Sgt.

RAAF

402674

11-05-1942

Hamburg Ohlsdorf

G

ttmo

6A/E/9

WELLS Stuart D.

F/Sgt. (P)

RNZAF

NZ41969

30-09-1942

Hamburg Ohlsdorf

G

ttmo

6A/E/11

WITTS, Thomas E.

Sgt. (Fe)

RAF

1575633

25-07-1943

Hamburg Ohlsdorf

G

bnts

6A/C/7

BOUCHARD Joseph E.Y.

P/O. (Ag)

RCAF

J90945

25-03-1944

Hamburg Ohlsdorf

G

bnts

4A/D/2

WARD Leslie R.

Sgt. (P)

RAF

564477

04-09-1939

Hamburg Ohlsdorf

G

ttmo

6A/E/10

JOHNSON Roland H.

Sgt. (Obs)

RAF

935948

28-05-1941

Hamburg Ohlsdorf

G

bnts

6A/C/1

HAYTON, Joseph B.

Sgt. (WAG)

RAF VR

1119824

16-11-1943

Harrington (St.Mary) Churchyard, Workington

GB

STAFFORD, FRANK

Cpl.

RAF VR

1120540

14-10-1942

HEALEY (CHRIST CHURCH) CHURCHYARD

GB

Spec Mem

CUNLIFFE, ERIC GORDON

F/Sgt.

RAF VR

1323410

27-10-1943

HENDON (ST. MARY) CHURCHYARD

GB

Spec Mem

ELLNER, GERTRUDE EMMA

Aircraftwoman 2nd Class

WAAF

424920

13-02-1941

HENDON (ST. MARY) CHURCHYARD

GB

Spec Mem

LAWTON, DONALD

Sgt.

RAF VR

1060140

14-01-1942

HOPTON UNITED REFORMED CHURCH

GB

Spec Mem

ESCREET Raymond F.

F/Lt. (Wop)

RAF

143469

21-03-1945

Hotton

B

ttmo

?

JOHNSON Harry S. ("Henry")

F/O. (Nav)

RAF

168807

21-03-1945

Hotton

B

ttmo

?

THOMPSON Forrest H. ("Tommy")

F/O. (Ag)

RNZAF

NZ412766

21-03-1945

Hotton

B

ttmo

?

REMY, MAURICE HUBERT PAUL

WO

RAF VR Belgie

1424995

18-12-1945

Hotton

B

alt commem

Spec Mem

NEWTON, JOHN

Sgt.

RAF VR

994648

24-11-1941

HOUGHTON-LE-SPRING (ST. MICHAEL'S) ROMAN CATHOLIC CEMETERY

GB

Spec Mem

POPE, WILLIAM RAY

Sgt. (Wop/Ag)

RAF VR

966654

18-09-1940

HOULGATE (BEUZEVAL) COMMUNAL CEMETERY

F

C

Spec Mem Plot 10. Grave 13.

OETTLE, ALBERT JOHN

F/Lt.

RAF

40133

30-10-1941

HOVE (ST. ANDREW) CHURCHYARD

GB

Spec Mem

BURTON, ROWLAND

Cpl.

RAF

21680

12-09-1941

HULL NORTHERN CEMETERY

GB

alt commem

Spec Mem

PRYDE, ROBERT ANDREW FAIR

AC2

RAF VR

1065070

28-04-1944

INVERESK PARISH CHURCHYARD

GB

alt commem

Spec. Mem. erected in Sec. C. East Extn. Grave 58.

LEWIN, VIOLET EMILY BETTY

Aircraftwoman 1st Class

WAAF

2031569

01-07-1944

KINGSTON-UPON-THAMES CEMETERY

GB

Spec Mem

ALLEN, Russell

F/Sgt. (P)

RAAF

5182

23-04-1944

Kleve Reichswald

G

ttmo

Spec Mem #8

GILLESPIE, John R.

P/O. (P)

RAF

182168

07-10-1944

Kleve Reichswald

G

bnts

Row 31/D

HILL, Frank

F/O. (Nav)

RAF

154358

07-10-1944

Kleve Reichswald

G

bnts

Row 31/D

KNIGHT, Ernest P.

Sgt. (Fe)

RAF

1895706

07-10-1944

Kleve Reichswald

G

bnts

31E18

MILLER, Charles E.

Sgt. (WAG)

RAF

1573710

07-10-1944

Kleve Reichswald

G

bnts

31E18

PORTER, Harold R.

Sgt. (RG)

RAF

1307116

07-10-1944

Kleve Reichswald

G

bnts

31E18

SHARROCKS, Gordon

Sgt. (MUG)

RAF

1125640

07-10-1944

Kleve Reichswald

G

bnts

31E18

TURNBULL, Bryan E.

F/O. (Ba)

RAF

154091

07-10-1944

Kleve Reichswald

G

bnts

31D1

McCRACKEN, William G.

P/O. (P)

RAF (AU)

36157

30-10-1939

Kleve Reichswald

G

ktbb itc

Spec Mem #9

ALEXANDRA, George P.

F/Lt. (P)

RAF

127894

04-02-1945

Kleve Reichswald

G

ktbb itc

Spec Mem #1

MALKIN, Peter H.

Sgt. (WAG)

RAF

1591890

04-02-1945

Kleve Reichswald

G

ktbb itc

Spec Mem #2

MATTHEWS, Cecil A.

Sgt. (Fe)

RAF

1187985

04-02-1945

Kleve Reichswald

G

ktbb itc

Spec Mem #3

McSKIMMING, Andrew

Sgt. (MUG)

RAF

3022917

04-02-1945

Kleve Reichswald

G

ktbb itc

Spec Mem #4

NILES, Ronald F.

Sgt. (RG)

RAF

1836904

04-02-1945

Kleve Reichswald

G

ktbb itc

Spec Mem #5

O’REGAN, Brian J.

F/O. (N)

RAF

163844

04-02-1945

Kleve Reichswald

G

ktbb itc

Spec Mem #6

PEDERSEN, Niels P.W.

F/O. (Ba)

RAF DK

154573

04-02-1945

Kleve Reichswald

G

ktbb itc

Spec Mem #7

DAWSON, HENRY

Sgt.

RAF

516339

08-04-1941

LEVER BRIDGE (ST. STEPHEN AND ALL MARTYRS) CHURCHYARD

GB

Spec Mem

TYLDESLEY, JACK

Sgt.

RAF VR

1033927

28-02-1943

LEVER BRIDGE (ST. STEPHEN AND ALL MARTYRS) CHURCHYARD

GB

Spec Mem

LEFTLY, DONALD ARTHUR WILLIAM

Sgt.

RAF VR

911476

23-04-1944

LEYTON (ST. MARY WITH ST. EDWARD) CHURCHYARD

GB

Spec Mem

BOWEN, WILLIAM BENJAMIN

Lac

RAF VR

1029215

05-07-1942

LLANELLI (ST. PAUL) CHURCHYARD

GB

Spec Mem

HARSEVOORT, Hendrik

Sgt.Vltg.schutter.MLD/KM (Ag)

RAF NL

Stb.Nr. 11927/Z

09-02-1945

Loenen ereveld

NL

ttmo

E/1057

DIETS, Armand L.

Sgt.Vltg.Telegr.KM (WOp)

RAF NL

Stb.Nr. 20391

09-02-1945

Loenen ereveld

NL

ttmo

E/1056

KNAPP, August K.

Off.Vl.3kl.KMR (P)

RAF NL

Stb.Nr. 20463

09-02-1945

Loenen ereveld

NL

ttmo

E/1058

JENKINS, Richard W.

Sgt. (P)

RAF

916283

18-07-1941

Longuenesse

F

ttmo

Row 9/C

FOX, Thomas T.

P/O., P

RNZAF (CA)

NZ411392

04-04-1942

Longuenesse

F

bnts

Row 9/A

BATEMAN, William F.

Cpl.

RAF

563962

13-08-1940

Maidstone

GB

bnts

Plot CC1/97

BROOKES, Leonard E.

AC1

RAF

573086

13-08-1940

Maidstone

GB

bnts

Plot CC1/100

COLLERTON, William

Ldg Ac

RAF

526331

13-08-1940

Maidstone

GB

bnts

Plot CC1/98

MESSENT, Frederick

Sgt.

RAFAux

812073

13-08-1940

Maidstone

GB

bnts

Plot CC1/99

PRICE, John I.

Cpl.

RAF

510925

13-08-1940

Maidstone

GB

bnts

Plot CC1/102

RICHARDS, William H.

Sgt.

RAF

343318

13-08-1940

Maidstone

GB

bnts

Plot CC1/101

ATKINSON, Wilfred G.

P/O. (Fe)

RAF VR

187342

19-10-1944

Manchester Gorton

GB

MOUNSEY, William N.

F/O. (P)

RAF

124550

24-05-1943

Markelo

NL

bnts

4B7

WHITAKER, William B.

F/O. (N)

RAF

130596

24-05-1943

Markelo

NL

bnts

4B10

FISHER, Frank J.

Sgt. (Fe)

RAF

577301

22-12-1942

Maubeuge-Centre

F

bnts

B34

HAWKINS, Gordon T.

Sgt. (N)

RAF

655684

22-12-1942

Maubeuge-Centre

F

bnts

B33

SMITH, Edward J.

Sgt. (MUG)

RAF

1213633

22-12-1942

Maubeuge-Centre

F

bnts

B30

LUKE, WALTER

AC2

RAF VR

1695427

25-11-1942

MORPETH (SS. MARY AND JAMES) CHURCHYARD

GB

Spec Mem

KIRK, JOHN

Sgt.

RAF VR

1827419

22-07-1944

NEWBATTLE CEMETERY

GB

Spec Mem

WAGGOTT, THOMAS HENRY

Lac.

RAF VR

1106258

27-12-1945

NEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE (BYKER AND HEATON) CEMETERY

GB

alt commem

Spec Mem

MacKINNON Walter R.

Lac.

RAF

1052068

19-08-1942

Oostduinkerke

B

bnts

H178

EGGLETON, Cleveland J.

Sgt. (Obs)

RCAF

R83220

11-09-1942

Oostduinkerke

B

bnts

G175

SMITH, WILLIE

AC2

RAF VR

1624931

22-10-1942

OSSETT (ST. JOHN'S) METHODIST CHAPELYARD

GB

Spec Mem

THOMSON, JACK

AC2

RAF VR

1325417

09-07-1943

OSSETT (ST. JOHN'S) METHODIST CHAPELYARD

GB

Spec Mem

CURTIS, Roy

F/Lt. (P)

RAF

46406

25-03-1944

Parchim

G

HEPWORTH, Ronald

Sgt. (Fe)

RAF

1624606

25-03-1944

Parchim

G

SCOTT, John S.

F/Sgt. (Ba)

RAAF

423335

25-03-1944

Parchim

G

TAYLOR, Alfred L.

Sgt. (RG)

RAF

615242

25-03-1944

Parchim

G

WILLSON, William V.

Sgt. (N)

RAF

1389663

25-03-1944

Parchim

G

GREENWOOD, CYRIL ROBINSON

Sgt.

RAF VR

1129218

01-02-1944

PENDLEBURY (ST. JOHN) CHURCHYARD

GB

Spec Mem

EASTERLING, FREDERICK CHARLES

Sgt. (Wop/Ag)

RAF VR

1160974

21-08-1942

PHALERON WAR CEMETERY

GR

Spec Mem No. 17.

ELLISON, Harold

Sgt. (Ba)

RAF

1456863

16-03-1944

Poix-de-Picardie

F

bnts

Row B

FAVAGER, Victor

Sgt. (WAG)

RAF

1473895

16-03-1944

Poix-de-Picardie

F

bnts

Row E

SHATZ, Edward

Sgt. (RG)

RAF

1386027

16-03-1944

Poix-de-Picardie

F

bnts

Row B

WILDF/O. . NG, Gordon W.

F/Sgt. (N)

RCAF

R151070

16-03-1944

Poix-de-Picardie

F

bnts

Row B

JENKINS, EDGAR DAVIES

Lac.

RAF

355046

06-08-1942

PONTYPOOL (PANTEG) CEMETERY

GB

Spec Mem (Plot E. Grave 283)

AYLIFFE, Harold D. ("Jack")

F/O. (N)

RAF

145489

04-08-1944

Pornic

F

ALSTON, Hugh D.

F/Sgt.

RAF

370706

17-06-1940

Pornic

F

bnts

2F14

KEVAN, Robert

Cpl.

RAF

545496

17-06-1940

Pornic

F

bnts

1D7

TREDGETT, Edward

AC1

RAF

614428

17-06-1940

Pornic

F

bnts

1D8

DEVER, WILLIAM KENNETH

F/Sgt.

RAF VR

2210113

02-04-1945

PRESCOT (ST. MARY) CHURCHYARD

GB

Spec Mem

HOLDER, DERRICK FRANK

AC1

RAF VR

1435387

04-09-1942

READING CEMETERY

GB

Spec Mem Div 6. Grave 15099

BRADFORD, Jack

P/O. (P)

RAF VR

147221

31-08-1943

Rheinberg

G

bnts

3F5

FRANCE, Ralph S.

P/O. (N)

RNZAF

NZ421321

31-08-1943

Rheinberg

G

bnts

3F7

GRAY, Roderick W.

F/Sgt. (CP)

RNZAF

NZ402589

31-08-1943

Rheinberg

G

bnts

3F6

LEADLEY, Thomas J.

P/O. (Ba)

RAF

149299

31-08-1943

Rheinberg

G

bnts

3F8

WINCHURCH, John I.

Sgt. (Fe)

RAF

156358

31-08-1943

Rheinberg

G

bnts

3F9

Bish, Arthur R.

Sgt. (Wop/Ag)

RAF

1199609

31-08-1943

Rheinberg

G

bnts

3G2

Brown, Seymour V.

P/O. (Nav)

RAAF

405997

31-08-1943

Rheinberg

G

bnts

3F25

Frazer, Norman H.

P/O. (RG)

RAAF

408585

31-08-1943

Rheinberg

G

bnts

3G4

Short, Joseph H.

P/O. (Ba)

RAAF

413674

31-08-1943

Rheinberg

G

bnts

3F25

Stacey, Mervyn

Sgt. (Fe)

RAF

623214

31-08-1943

Rheinberg

G

bnts

3G1

Towle, John G.

W/Cdr (CP)

RAF

37334

31-08-1943

Rheinberg

G

bnts

3F24

Wildbore, Ralph

Sgt. (MUG)

RAF

1321712

31-08-1943

Rheinberg

G

bnts

3G3

GORDON, Colin R.

F/Sgt. (Ba)

RAAF

417069

31-08-1943

Rheinberg

G

bnts

3F10

ARCH, Percy

Sgt. (WAG)

RAF

1332097

31-08-1943

Rheinberg

G

bnts

3F11

CAMPBELL, Frederick A.

Sgt. (MUG)

RCAF

R123725

31-08-1943

Rheinberg

G

bnts

3F12

MORAN, Harry

Sgt. (RG)

RAF

1095964

31-08-1943

Rheinberg

G

bnts

3F13

BENNETT, Stanley G.

Sgt. (P)

RAF

1410655

31-08-1943

Rheinberg

G

bnts

3F1

COX, Godfrey D.

Sgt. (Fe)

RAF

578383

31-08-1943

Rheinberg

G

bnts

3F3

PRYDE, Francis G.

Sgt. (WAG)

RAF

1212929

31-08-1943

Rheinberg

G

bnts

3F4

YARDLEY, Dennis G.

Sgt. (N)

RAF

1578659

31-08-1943

Rheinberg

G

bnts

3F2

BRISTOW, Lester J.D.

Sgt. (N)

RAF (USA)

1393357

31-08-1943

Rheinberg

G

bnts

3F22

FLETCHER, Phillip O.

Sgt. (WAG)

RAF

1269967

31-08-1943

Rheinberg

G

bnts

3F23

JARVIS, George

F/O. (Ba)

RAF

128010

31-08-1943

Rheinberg

G

bnts

3F15

PENDLETON, James E.

F/Sgt. (P)

RAF

1217783

31-08-1943

Rheinberg

G

bnts

3F14

PIERCE, Bland J.

Sgt. (RG)

RCAF

R102844

31-08-1943

Rheinberg

G

bnts

3F17

WHITE, Raymond C.

F/Sgt. (WAG)

RAF

160524

31-08-1943

Rheinberg

G

bnts

3F16

CHAPPELL, John A.

F/Sgt. (P)

RAAF

415118

31-08-1943

Rheinberg

G

bnts

3G5

JONES, John J.

Sgt. (Ba)

RAF

1319384

31-08-1943

Rheinberg

G

bnts

3G8

LEE, Geoffrey

Sgt. (N)

RAF

921759

31-08-1943

Rheinberg

G

bnts

3G6

SAVUKEVITCH, John (served as HARRIS)

Sgt. (Fe)

RAF

1558937

31-08-1943

Rheinberg

G

bnts

3G7

DEVERELL, Eric E.

Sgt. (RG)

RAAF

410221

31-08-1943

Rheinberg

G

bnts

3F18

HUNTER, Robert

Sgt. (RG)

RAF

651596

31-08-1943

Rheinberg

G

3F21

LETTS, Leslie

Sgt. (MUG)

RAF

946122

31-08-1943

Rheinberg

G

3F20

NAYLOR, John H.

Sgt. (WAG)

RAF

1132574

31-08-1943

Rheinberg

G

3F19

GIBSON, Colin C.

F/O. (N)

RAAF

418831

18-01-1945

Rheinberg

G

E

?

LUMSDEN, Graham M.

F/O. (P)

RAAF

414806

18-01-1945

Rheinberg

G

E

?

HODGSON, ALLAN

F/Sgt.

RAF VR

2216029

23-09-1946

ROUNDHILL METHODIST BURIAL GROUND

GB

Spec Mem

KIDD, ERNEST

AC2

RAF Aux

870215

30-06-1945

SHEFFIELD (CITY ROAD) CEMETERY

GB

Spec Mem

WYATT, CHARLES ALFRED

Sgt.

RAF VR

1596540

08-07-1944

SHEFFIELD (CITY ROAD) CEMETERY

GB

Spec Mem

BARRETT, W.S.

W/O² (WAG)

SAAF

206221V

29-06-1944

Sofia WC

Bulgary

bnts

2C4

BRAZIER, Bernard O.

Sgt. (Ba)

RAF

1398925

29-06-1944

Sofia WC

Bulgary

bnts

2C6

FLYNN, D.T.

W/O² (WAG)

SAAF

581315V

29-06-1944

Sofia WC

Bulgary

bnts

2C5

HAGGIE, D.J.S.

Lt. (P)

SAAF

207165V

29-06-1944

Sofia WC

Bulgary

bnts

2C1

LINDLEY, D.

Lt. (Obs)

SAAF

543056V

29-06-1944

Sofia WC

Bulgary

bnts

2C2

PATON, Alan F.

F/O. (-)

RAAF

400512

29-06-1944

Sofia WC

Bulgary

bnts

2C7

SOUTHEY, R.G.

Lt. (P)

SAAF

542595V

29-06-1944

Sofia WC

Bulgary

bnts

2C3

RATCHFORD, FRANCIS

Lac

RAF VR

1057850

26-09-1942

ST. HELENS CEMETERY

GB

Spec Mem

JONES, MAURICE

AC1

RAF VR

1038211

25-10-1945

ST. PANCRAS CEMETERY

GB

Spec Mem, Row 3.

MACKEW, GERALD VICTOR

F/Sgt.

Royal Air Force

655473

23-04-1944

ST. PANCRAS CEMETERY

GB

Spec Mem, Row 3.

MANNING, GEORGE PATRICK

AC1

RAF VR

1631204

20-08-1944

ST. PANCRAS CEMETERY

GB

Spec Mem, Row 2.

MUTTON, PERCIVAL ALBERT

Lac

RAF VR

1717467

15-07-1946

ST. PANCRAS CEMETERY

GB

Spec Mem, Row 3.

MONGER-GODFREY, Stanley E.

Sgt. (Obs)

RAF VR

1261115

29-09-1942

St.Pancras Cemetery, Finchley

GB

ktbb itc

McCABE, JOSEPH

Air Mechanic (A) 1st Class

RN

FX.98730

03-05-1944

STALYBRIDGE (ST. PAUL) CHURCHYARD

GB

Spec Mem

OLDNALL, WILLIAM LEONARD

F/Sgt.

RAF VR

748675

13-12-1941

STRETFORD (ST. MATTHEW) CHURCHYARD

GB

Spec Mem

SHAND, WILLIAM PETER

WC.

RAF

33285

20-04-1943

WONSERADEEL (MAKKUM) PROTESTANT CHURCHYARD

NL

btb

Row N. Grave 40. Spec. Mem. "D".

TOPHAM, GEOFFREY

Cpl.

RAF

572127

03-12-1941

WORSLEY (ST. MARK) CHURCHYARD

GB

Spec Mem

Table 16. List of empty, memorial grave Sources: Rob Moeskops, author, CWGC, Henk Welting

6. Summary

Table 17. Number of Special Memorials and involvement of crew and aircraft numbers.

The sum of the crew fate numbers is higher than the total number of crew involved, as a result of the allocation of Special Memorials to Airforce personnel who died on the ground, always in the UK, usually at base, as a result of accidents or bombardments.

Table 18. Presence of Special Memorials for Allied Airmen in Europe

2. Proposed candidates for Special Memorials

1. Bill Rowell - Le Havre Ste. Marie Cem

Mosquito B.IV, DZ597, 139 sqn, 20/21-10-1943

Take-off from Wyton/Huntingdonshire - 18.39u

Mission to Berlin

Crashed near Wittstock, Germany

2. F/Sgt. (Pilot) Forsyth, Thomas K. - 409587 - RAAF - RP192

3. Sgt. (Nav) James, Leonard C. - 1268838 - RAF - RP154

Both of these crew were buried in the local cemetary, with info supplied by the Wehrmacht, of the burial plot etc. It appeared that MRES teams were not granted access by the Soviets in 1949 and both crew members are listed today as missing on the Runnymede memorial.



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