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Thread: 450728 - Unaccounted Airwomen & Airmen - 28-07-1945

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    Default 450728 - Unaccounted Airwomen & Airmen - 28-07-1945

    Hello,

    450728 - Unaccounted Airwomen & Airmen - 28-07-1945

    From Henk's List -

    EGYPT
    WAAF
    THOMPSON, Hilda Marjorie - LACW - 2097973 - WAAF - Heliopolis War Cemetery, Egypt.

    UK
    WAAF
    WEEKS, Alwyn Edith - LACW - 2125032 - WAAF - Bristol ( Greenbank ) Cemetery, Gloucestershire.

    EGYPT
    CAUNT, William Edward - Cpl - 1142502 - RAFVR - Fayid War Cemetery, Egypt.
    EMERSON, Wallace - LAC - 1417844 - RAFVR - Suez War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt.
    PARFITT, James Gordon - LAC - 963587 - RAFVR - Heliopolis War Cemetery, Egypt.
    SCOTT, Robert John - LAC - 1213191 - RAFVR - El Alamein War Cemetery, Egypt.

    NORWAY
    HARNWELL, Robert - Sgt - 702643 - RAFVR - Oslo Western Civil Cemetery, Norway.
    INCE, Joseph Edward - Sgt - 1690900 - RAFVR - Oslo Western Civil Cemetery, Norway.
    NEWTON, Alan - Sgt - 973624 - RAFVR - Oslo Western Civil Cemetery, Norway.

    UK
    LANE, Frank - LAC - 1453151 - RAFVR - Little Abington ( St. Mary ) Churchyard, Cambridgeshire.

    From CWGC & Geoff's sites -

    ISRAEL
    WAAF
    BANKIER, Lili Stefania (American ) - LACW - 2992592 - WAAF - Ramleh War Cemetery, Israel & Palestine - ( buried at the time in Jerusalem{Vaad Hakehilla ) Cemetery, but whose grave is now lost ).

    INDIA
    DOWLING, Alison Edward - F/L (Pilot) - 122473 - RAFVR - Madras War Cemetery, Chennai, India.

    Alex

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    Lili Bankier,

    Lili was a Pole, not American, having been born in Lodz in 1922. She and her mother escaped from Poland during the German invasion in September 1939, and the two women made their way to Palestine. Lili enlisted in the WAAF (Met) on 12 September 1944.


    At the time of her death LAC(W) Lili Bankier was almost certainly working with No 23 Meteorological Forecast Unit at RAF Lydda in Palestine.

    On 28 July 1945 she boarded a RAF Anson of 76 Operational Training Unit at Lydda en route to Shallufa, near Suez, for a week’s leave. As well as the two crew there were two other passengers aboard, one being Cpl(W) Felice Poser, who was returning from leave to the meteorological office at RAF Heliopolis near Cairo.

    About 90 minutes after leaving Lydda an engine failed as the aircraft approached the Egyptian coast.. Unable to maintain height the pilot set course for the nearest airfield, RAF Deversoir, and ordered the passengers to don their parachutes. Attempts to contact the airfield by radio were unsuccessful so the pilot fired a very pistol to warn the control tower the aircraft was declaring an emergency.

    Unfortunately the flare ignited in the cockpit and in the ensuing confusion as smoke filed the cockpit; the second crewmember thought he heard the pilot give the order to bale out. Acting instinctively he told the girls to jump – the aircraft was below 500 feet. As the last of the passengers and crew left the aircraft the smoke cleared with the pilot still in control. All, apart from Lili, landed safely but – for some reason her parachute had parachute failed to open.

    Her death proved to be a tragic accident, as it later transpired the pilot had not given any command to abandon the Anson, which he landed safely a short time later. Lili’s body was returned to Lydda a few days later and she was buried in the Vaad Kakehilla Cemetery in Jerusalem. Sadly her grave has been lost and her name is now recorded on the War Memorial at Ramleh Cemetery.

    As for Felice Poser she became the only lady member of the Caterpillar Club until at least 1957.

    Brian
    Last edited by Lyffe; 22nd August 2015 at 10:20.

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    Hi

    EGYPT
    THOMPSON, Hilda Marjorie - LACW - 76 OTU.
    CAUNT, William Edward - Cpl - RAF Shallufa.
    EMERSON, Wallace - LAC - RAF Shandur.
    PARFITT, James Gordon - LAC - 22 PTC.
    SCOTT, Robert John - LAC - 11 SP.

    NORWAY
    HARNWELL, Robert - Sgt - He was serving with No 33 ASR MCU and drowned in a boating accident whilst off duty.
    INCE, Joseph Edward - Sgt - see Harnwell.
    NEWTON, Alan - Sgt - see Harnwell.

    UK
    WEEKS, Alwyn Edith - LACW - registered in Reading.
    LANE, Frank - LAC - registered in Ely.

    INDIA
    DOWLING, Alison Edward - F/L (Pilot) - BAFSEA Comm Sqn.

    Malcolm
    Last edited by malcolm_raf; 22nd August 2015 at 08:55. Reason: missed some

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    Default Lili Bankier

    Further to #2 see http://www.rafcommands.com/galleries...ankierLRamleah.

    Her mother subsequently went to America, possibly the reason Lili is identified as an American in #1. I made an exhaustive search for any surviving family but came up with a big zero - other than the fact that at one time her mother had lived in Brighton, Massachusetts. Her father, Adolf, died in the Lodz ghetto on 3 August 1942.

    Brian

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    Hello Brian,

    Many thanks for the information re Lili Bankier, and for the added info on her mother and father.

    Alex

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    Alex,

    I've recently resumed my research on Lili Bankier and, thanks to Rosemary Eshel of the Israel Genealogy Research Association, Lili's grave has been found. She rests in the Mount of Olives Cemetery in Jerusalem; specifically within the Kehillat Jerusalem burial area - Plot/area: zayin aleph, Row: 1, Grave: 19. Her tomb is clearly marked with her birth date - 18 September 1921.

    Rosemary is making arrangements for the CWGC to be officially notified of developments.

    Brian

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    Just to complete Lili's story, I have just been advised that the CWGC has now accepted that her grave is no longer lost, and is amending its records. I believe consideration is also being given to see if it can be treated as a CWGC grave in some way.

    Brian

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