View Full Version : WW2 Lost Airmen Now Found

16th May 2020, 13:15
Is there a thread on the forum regularly updated for stories such as this one "RAF airmans remains found 76 years later"
Typhoon pilot, 175 Squadron, Netherlands. F/Sgt William Hurrell.



16th May 2020, 13:17
Another one:
Warrant Officer John Henry “Harry” Coates - 111 Sqdn Spitfire PT410 - March 1945 Italy



16th May 2020, 13:21
Another one:
Pilot Officer Charles George Fox - Vancouver Island, Canada, October 30, 1942



16th May 2020, 13:22
Another one:
Pilot Officer George Smith - Lancaster Bomber - 26 Nov 1943



16th May 2020, 13:35
Newark Advertiser - 20 Oct 2015
RAF funeral for missing airman shot down over Germany 72 years ago
The funeral of a wartime airman from Newark whose Lancaster bomber lay undiscovered in a field in Germany for decades is due to take place on Wednesday.

Three years ago a witness to the plane’s crash in 1943 led a team of German aviation archaeologists to the site of Lancaster ED427 in a field near the village of Laumersheim, south-west of Frankfurt. Sergeant Ronald Cope, 23, from Newark, was the mid-upper gunner in a crew of seven.

Along with Flying Officer Alex Bone (pilot), Sergeant Cyril Yelland (navigator), Pilot Officer Bruce Watt (rear gunner), Sergeant Norman Foster (flight engineer), Sergeant Raymond White (wireless operator) and Sergeant RJ Rooney (bomb aimer) he is due to be buried at the Durnbach War Cemetery in southern Germany, 72 years after the plane went down.

An RAF padre will conduct the church and burial services, which the British Embassy’s defence attaché is attending.

The coffins are to be carried by members of the RAF’s Queen’s Colour Squadron. Lancaster ED427 belonged to 49 Squadron and took off from RAF Fiskerton, Lincolnshire, at 9.14pm on April 16, 1943. It was originally thought the plane crashed into the sea after being shot down by anti-aircraft fire. Wreckage and hundreds of fragments of bone were unearthed by veteran researcher and aviation archaeologist Mr Uwe Benkel and his team. They specialise in finding missing wartime aircraft of any nationality so the families of casualties can know what happened and bury their relatives. Mr Benkel and his wife were attending the funerals.

Never met his son
Sergeant Cope enlisted in the RAF Volunteer Reserve in 1941. He was the only son of Mr Thomas Cope and his wife, Mary, of Newark. Sergeant Cope married Miss Ruby Davidson, of Belfast, a year earlier and they lived at Hillvue Gardens, Newark. They had a son, Thomas John Ronald Cope, but Sergeant Cope did not have the chance to meet him because his plane was shot down while Miss Davidson was pregnant. She later married Mr Alan Sayers, of Newark, and they moved to Scunthorpe.

Mr Thomas Cope, known as Ron, died several years ago without knowing what happened to his father. His five sons — Gary, Dean, Jason, Wayne and Paul *— were traced to Scunthorpe following an appeal in the Advertiser. They had no idea their grandfather’s remains had been found until the appeal, and the Advertiser put them in touch with the RAF.

Mrs Kathleen Clawson, of Hillvue Gardens, whose late husband, Dennis, was Mr Ron Cope’s nephew, said: “I would have loved to have gone (to the funeral) to represent him, but sadly I’m not well enough. “It was wonderful that they found Ron after all these years, but it has taken a long time from finding the remains to burying them.

“I am pleased the crew will remain together.”


Pilot FO Alex Bone, PO Bruce Watt, Sgt Cyril Yelland, Sgt Norman Foster, Sgt Raymond White and Sgt Ronald Cope Photo: BNPS

16th May 2020, 14:26
Your expert of the accident to Anson I, L7056, of 32 OTU, on 30 Oct 1942 near Port Renfrew (NOT actually at Port Renfrew - but somewhere near GE 48.621745 -124.458279) is Rob Stitt (of this forum). He was very closely involved in the recovery of the remains, and their subsequent re-interment. He, and I, did a lot of work on the planned NAVEX route, the probable actual route, and the weather. Unfortunately, I lost a lot of the detail in a disc crash, but I am fairly certain that my failing memory tells me that a lot of work was done - both in Canada and UK - to find rellies of the casualties. Rob will know more than I.
Peter Davies

16th May 2020, 14:35
And another:


The seven crew were F/O Holman Gordon Stanley Kerr, Sgt. William Marsden, F/Sgt. Sidney Smith, F/O Frank Clarke, F/Sgt. Allan Olsen, Sgt. Christopher George Hogg and Sgt. Herbert Percival Thomas. 514 Sqdn. 5 March 1945.

16th May 2020, 14:40
I think this is the last one I'd noted (2013) - Italy, 21 Apr 1945, 18 Sqdn, Boston BZ590, crew Sergeant David Raikes, Flight Sergeant David Perkins, Flight Sergeant Alexander Bostock and Warrant Officer John Hunt


16th May 2020, 17:08
It looks as if I fibbed, there was another one in my folder. Does anybody else have any more ?


Published 24 October 2018

Wreckage positively identified as being from a Halifax was found recently following wild fires in Albania. Subsequent research by the air historical branch and the JCCC could conclude these were from Halifax JP 244.

Seven crew members of the 148 (special duties) squadron RAF who were onboard the RAF Halifax JP244 aircraft have been laid to rest almost 75 years after they were killed carrying out a supply mission over Albania.

Flying Officer Edwin John Stubley RAFVR Pilot Born 11 June 1921 in Bromley, Kent Enlisted 8 January 1942, Commissioned on 11 June 1943, Trained as a pilot in Canada, Occupation prior to service: Maintenance Hand.

Sergeant Charles Mabbs RAFVR Navigator Born 21 July 1913 in Liverpool Enlisted 23 May 1942, Married Helena Maud Hughes on 25 June 1938, Two daughters Angela and Kath, Occupation prior to service: Pharmacist.

Sergeant Alfred Coote RAFVR Engineer Born 20 December 1905 in Battersea, London Enlisted on 30 April 1943, Married Lilian Catherine on 25 June 1931, Occupation prior to enlistment: HGV Driver.

Flight Sergeant John Thompson RAF Gunner Born 18 September 1921 in Matlock, Derbyshire Enlisted 4 May 1939, Married Ruby Joyce on 17 June 1944, Occupation prior to enlistment: Railway Porter.

Flight Sergeant Ernest Logan Brown RAFVR Despatcher/Bomber Born 18 December 1916 in Edinburgh Enlisted 6 November 1941, Previously served with Grenadier Guards, Occupation prior to enlistment: Police Constable.

Flight Sergeant Austin Donnelly RAFVR Gunner Born 27 February 1920 in St Helens, Lancashire Enlisted 16 December 1939, Occupation prior to enlistment: Glass Carrier.

Sergeant Richard Charles Knee RAFVR Wireless Operator Born 1 December 1922 in Ranchi, India Enlisted 15 January 1941, Occupation prior to enlistment: Clerk.





16th May 2020, 19:13
Great thread, PeteS, how far we going back?

I recently made this entry in the DB - with help from Jonathan Hayworth.

BELLERT MORRIS AMBROSE M A 27 18-10-44 Flying Officer Royal Australian Air Force 82 Sqdn RAAF Papua New Guinea 404001 LAE WAR CEMETERY NN. C. 14.

A29-641 Ditched in bad weather 55 miles short of Noemfoor. Found still in cockpit by a fisherman in 1999

There seemed to have been similar examples from the PNG sector..

16th May 2020, 21:29
Following up on Peter's post, all the answers are to be found in the documentary we made about the discovery and quest to find the crew members' relatives:


I think any forum member would enjoy this. BTW, there's nothing in it for me, financially.


17th May 2020, 16:52

Published 18 June 2015

Lancaster PD214 - 106 Squadron 06/10/1944

The family of Flight Engineer Ronald Barton found the crash site last year near the town of Cloppenburg - but discovered the field had recently been sold to developers. His granddaughters Julie Barton and Debbie Bartlett launched a desperate campaign to save the site, and eventually persuaded the German authorities to allow an archaeological dig before the building work began.

In 1946 an RAF investigation team exhumed the two bodies and identified them as Australian trainee pilot Flt Lt John Colclough Barlow, 35, and Rear Gunner Sergeant Ronald James Paul, 20. They are both buried in Becklingen War Cemetery. The other six men who were on board that night were all listed as having 'no known grave' and are remembered at the RAF memorial in Runneymede. The location of the crash site was lost in the RAF archives, and the families of the dead believed they had crashed into the North Sea on their return journey. The missing men were Ronald Barton, 34; Flt Lt Douglas Stewart, 29; Flt Sgt George Bowering Kirby, 22; wireless operator Gordon Stuart Grogan; Canadian pilot Clyde James Royal, 31; and Flt Sgt James Anthony Fell, 21.


17th May 2020, 17:07

Published 12 and 27 April 2016

Members of the crew of Lancaster JB640 of 156 Squadron - 2/3 January 1944 and Halifax LK709 of 77 Squadron - 28 January 1944

New headstones were carved to replace those which previously had no names. Four of the Halifax crew already had known graves.

The men of Lancaster JB640 156 Squadron
Pilot Officer John Donald Range Cromarty (aged 23) - from Liverpool.
Flt Sgt Dennis Frederick Burtenshaw (20) - from Sydney, Australia. Later lived in south London.
Flt Sgt Leonard Norman Lapthorne (21) - from Birmingham.
Flt Sgt Reginald Joseph Collens (31) - from Croydon, south London.
Flt Sgt Kenneth Sidney James Chapman (20) - from Westbury, Wiltshire.
Sgt Frederick Edwin Woolven (23) - from Arundel, Sussex.
Sgt Norman Henry Colebatch (20) - from Walsall.

The men of Halifax LK709 77 Squadron
Pilot Officer William Proffitt White (23) - from Shotteswell, Warwickshire.
Flt Sgt Norman Thompson Steele (21) - from Ashington, Northumberland.
Flt Sgt Arthur Binnie Walker (21) - from Glasgow.
Sgt Thomas Ernest Edwards (22) - from Durham.
Sgt Leslie Raymond Bright (22) - from London.
Sgt Kenneth Bray (21) - from Grimsby.
Sgt David Winston Jenkins (22) - from Swansea.

18th May 2020, 16:16

Published 3 Oct 2017

Human remains have been found during an operation to recover a World War Two Lancaster bomber submerged in a lake. The Avro Lancaster of 61 Squadron - R5682 crashed during the night 4-5 September 1942 near Warten in Alde Feanen, now a national park, in northern Holland. It is thought the remains of Canadian tailgunner F.J. Cooper were inside the crashed aircraft.


18th May 2020, 16:22

Published 28 Jan 2020

The remains of 218 Squadron Short Stirling BK716 have been found in Lake Markermeer, near Amsterdam. Bodies of its crew members are believed to remain on board the aircraft. FTR March 29, 1943.


18th May 2020, 17:09
The missing men were Ronald Barton, 34; Flt Lt Douglas Stewart, 29; Flt Sgt George Bowering Kirby, 22; wireless operator Gordon Stuart Grogan; Canadian pilot Clyde James Royal, 31; and Flt Sgt James Anthony Fell, 21.


Hi Pete,

Despite the media at the time being told, repeatedly, they failed to correct the name and position of the Canadian member of this crew.


His trade was Air Bomber. Lost on his 28th operation.



19th May 2020, 06:17
Thanks Dave
Let's record his name correct;y here - Pilot Officer Clyde James Service RCAF

30th October 2020, 16:22
A Spitfire just found on the Dutch coast


8th August 2021, 17:28
I just read this


Sergeant (A/Gnr) Henry Pullar RNZAF of Otautau, NZ. 75 Sqdn, Stirlings

16th August 2021, 15:28

Wellington T2990 311 (Czech) Sqdn

The Wellington's pilot, Flight Sgt Vilem Bufka, parachuted out of the burning plane, broke a leg on landing and was captured by the Germans. He was imprisoned in Colditz Castle, returned to Czechoslovakia in August 1945. He wrote a memoir - Bomber T2990 Gone Silent - and died in 1967.


16th August 2021, 15:55
Just to check the details on the PoW Experimental G/sheet! Was he 787572? His POW details are currently recorded as ‘Camp L3’ and POW No 39160? I note that Pavel(?) has given it his GREEN Seal of Approval! Can’t be too careful!
Peter Davies

18th August 2021, 10:13

CNN report from 2012 on the Kittyhawk found in the desert, sadly F/Sgt DCH Copping (260 Sqn) remains missing from 28 June 1942 (Alamein Memorial) - good photo of the crashed aircraft.

links with photos of F/S Copping

post-recovery preservation

cheers PeteS

18th August 2021, 11:53
What a sad story, otherwise he made a perfect belly landing!
Thanks for posting this Pete.


28th September 2021, 20:13
I had Kenneth Scott Adlard 517596 accepted as cremated at Newcastle West today with an amended date of death to 7th September 1944. He will be removed from the Runnymede memorial and commemorated at Newcastle West Crem

29th September 2021, 09:24
Thanks Jon,
a story comes to a close !
cheers Pete

29th September 2021, 11:09
Re Kenneth Scott Adlard 517596 - so we have an actual cause of death ? Thanks Paul

29th September 2021, 15:10
Jon added the cause of death in one of his updates recently, it appears on the database

30th September 2021, 14:45
Dennis still can't find actual death cause but I know it the thread but have to go through 23 pages to find i!

I will wait until Jagan updates the main DB for all Jon recent changes

Thanks Paul

30th September 2021, 14:49
To save you the wait Paul, here's what Jon wrote:

Kenneth Scott Adlard 517596, a medically discharged airman at the time of his death, he died at 1B Roxburgh Terrace, Whitley Bay, of rectal cancer.

As posted in the main 'unaccounted' thread, his funeral announcement was reported in the Newcastle Evening Chronicle, September 8th 1944:


ADLARD, Whitley Bay, 18, Roxburgh Tce., 7th Kenneth Scott (ex R.A.F.), dear husband of Margaret. Cremation, West Road, Newcastle, Sat. 10.30 a.m.



10th October 2021, 11:50
On Friday , the CWGC accepted my submission via IFTC project that Kenneth Ollier 1205089 is buried in Cheshire and his name commemoration will be removed from the Runnymede memorial to Over Tabley

10th October 2021, 12:00
Other Runnymede lost graves I’ve had accepted and which are processed or in the process of acceptance are :

G R Priestley 1350730

A Van Der Putte 5950

G Phillips 976646

R C C Lambert 167677

B H S Dickers 1404406

G M Burchell 564123

G W Goldie 1372093

I also have discovered the burial places of quite a few more “ lost” Runnymede graves but these are still in the paperwork stage

Hopkins 1215375

Purdy 1716082

Davidson 1165398

Steele 923659

12th January 2022, 18:57

Wellington T2990 311 (Czech) Sqdn

The Wellington's pilot, Flight Sgt Vilem Bufka, parachuted out of the burning plane, broke a leg on landing and was captured by the Germans. He was imprisoned in Colditz Castle, returned to Czechoslovakia in August 1945. He wrote a memoir - Bomber T2990 Gone Silent - and died in 1967.



The crewmembers of 311 (Czechoslovak) Squadron, Royal Air Force have been named as F/Sgt Jan Hejna, P/O Vilem Konštatský, F/Sgt Alois Rozum, P/O Leonard Smrček en F/Sgt Karel Valach. All five are currently named on the CWGC’s Runnymede Memorial (https://www.cwgc.org/visit-us/find-cemeteries-memorials/cemetery-details/109600/runnymede-memorial/) which commemorates over 20,000 men and women of the Commonwealth air forces who were lost during the Second World War during operations from bases in the United Kingdom and Western Europe and who have no known grave.
Vickers Wellington T2990 was one of 41 RAF aircraft which bombed Bremen during the night of 22/23 June 1941. On its return flight it was intercepted by a German night fighter and shot down. It crashed in flames and only one crewmember was able to bale out and was made prisoner of war.
The recovery of the wreckage of the aircraft from a meadow in the community of Hollands Kroon in the Netherlands took place in June 2021 as part of an official national program for the recovery of aircraft wrecks. The excavations are managed by an expert team from the Royal Netherlands Armed Forces. During the excavation, they recovered human remains, and it has now been established that these belong to the five missing casualties.
As members of the Royal Air Force, they will be buried with military honours in a Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) cemetery in the Netherlands later this year, with both Czech and British representation Their graves will be marked with CWGC headstones for Czech members of the RAF.


18th January 2022, 14:44

28th January 2022, 17:27

Canadian bomber crew

5th February 2022, 18:18
618 Squadron - 11 Oct 1944 - crash in Yorkshire


2nd April 2022, 16:20

Hopefully some more information will follow.

3rd April 2022, 13:50
Interesting stuff Pete, many thanks for posting the link.

Sgt. Padden is commemorated in Chester-le-Street on the following memorials: