|Meaning of "P.M.C." in 357 Sqn ORB||Hi, Dennis,
I don't know enough about the AM949 crew burial site yet, but it may be an example of a missed opportunity to exhume known remains for reburial post-war in one of the Burma cemeteries established by the then-Imperial War Graves Commission. There could be more to the story, such as lawlessness which kept the Missing Research & Enquiry Service team, or another searcher team, from reaching this remote site very close to the China border. Or perhaps vegetation growth obscured the wartime gravesite and prevented the local villagers from pinpointing the site to MRES or other searchers.
On the other hand, I have extensively researched several Liberator crashes where remains were known to have been buried, but then the RAF victims were left in the original graves for reasons that are just plain baffling, instead of being moved to a war cemetery like so many other casualties in the Far East. I wonder if the AM949 crew remains were essentially never recovered through neglect or poor decisionmaking or incompetence or whatever.
Take the case of Liberator KH250 of RAF 355 Sqn, shot down over Port Blair, S. Andaman Island on 17 May 1945. The Japanese forced the local villagers to bury multiple remains (10 men are officially missing) near the crash site just outside of Port Blair, the target. When the British reoccupied the Port Blair area in Oct 1945, they were soon made aware of this crash site and the nearby Liberator wreckage (some of which was visible into the late 1980s, according to local villagers who were interviewed). What was done about it? Instead of exhuming this communal gravesite, someone ordered the erection of a brick and concrete grave marker, complete with a cross and a names plaque listing the missing crew of KH250. No bodies were exhumed, yet less than five miles away the grave of their crewmate -- executed three months after his bale out/capture -- was exhumed post-war and moved to Kirkee War Cemetery in India. Not exhuming the communal gravesite is baffling -- and the families of the missing were not told the truth. I'm now three years into the ongoing battle to get the communal grave exhumed.
Liberator KH214 of 215 Sqn was shot down during a low-level attack on a Burma-Siam Railway bridge in western Burma on 3 Jan 1945, killing the crew of eleven. On 26 Sept 1945 the first Allied search team looking for Death Railway POW graves stopped in the village of Anankwin, Burma, along the railway. A Japanese officer who had been in command of the anti-aircraft gun crew which downed the Liberator took the searchers to the communal gravesite of the KH214 victims. A memorial service was held (led by Padre Henry Babb, a POW who had volunteered to participate in the search for graves), and a photo was taken of the grave and the service-in-progress. The Japanese officer had provided a date for the Liberator's downing -- 3 January -- and a description of the Liberator downing which matched up, without question, ....Read More.||Matt Poole on 18th December 2012 07:49:39|