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Thread: Ceremony and road naming to Sqn Ldr Henri Gonay 263 Sqn

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    Default Ceremony and road naming to Sqn Ldr Henri Gonay 263 Sqn

    Exactly 70 years ago almost to the hour, a flight of 8 Typhoons from 263 Sqn attacked shipping off of the south coast of Jersey.

    During this attack Typhoon 1b MN661 was hit by flak from the gun positions at Corbiere, its pilot Sqn Ldr Henri Gonay head north to find a suitable area in which to put down his damaged aircraft. Over the parish of St Ouen in the north west of the island, his aircraft was again hit by the resident flak batteries and became enveloped in flames. Gonay managed to keep cotrol but as he tried to put the aircraft down, he lost control and fatally crashed into a farm house. A woman and he two small boys managed to escape the burning building, but lost everything they owned.

    Gonay's body was recovered from the crash site and buried in Howard Davies park, until after the end of the German Occupation when it was repatriated back to Belgium.

    A somewhat gruesome foot note to this was the discovery of a finger with wedding ring by two boys after the war. The ring was returned to the Belgian authorities and forwarded onto the family.

    Several weeks ago a group of local history enthusiasts were given permission to scan the crash site with metal detectors, lots of molten alloy was found. Underneath a compost heap in the corner of a field one group drug out a piece of bent alloy measuring approximately 35cm by 23cm, which has been confirmed by an eminent aviation archeologist to be of aviation grade, this has been also ratified by a local metallurgist. The piece has the remnants of grey paint and a dark band approximately 6 inches wide which maybe part of the serial number of the aircraft.

    At 12:00 today, a small unnamed lane adjacent to the crash site will be named Rue Gonay in memory of Henri, the ceremony will be attended by his daughter and several high ranking Belgian Air Force officials who are flying into Jersey this morning.
    [COLOR="Red"]May Contain Nuts[/COLOR]

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    I am pleased to hear that Henri Gonay is going to be remembered this way.
    Thank you for making us aware.

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