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Thread: Unnamed Grave in Bari CWGC Italy

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    Default Unnamed Grave in Bari CWGC Italy

    I am searching for any close family of Sgt Lewis Adams RAFVR x 31 SAAF from Darwen, Lancashire UK.Parents were Philip and Eliza, nee Watson. Lewis was one of eight crew lost when their 31 SAAF [South African Airforce ] Liberator crashed into the sea in July 1944 , after a mission to attack Ploesti oil wells. Four bodies of crewmen were washed up on shore and eventually buried at Bari CWGC.Italy .Three crewmen were known but the fourth grave is still unnamed.There is a strong possibility this may be Adams but a close relative in needed -before the CWGC will consider opening and naming the grave .I have tried writing to certain named people in the Darwen /Blackburn/Preston area ,[with stamped addressed envelopes enc.] without any replies.Also to some resident houses in Holker St.where the family lived in the 1940s.
    The 31 SAAF historian is hoping to solve the unnamed grave mystery.

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    26th July, 1944
    31 Sqdn
    KG826 - "R"

    Crew -
    Lt. E. Rood. - Malta Memorial.
    Lt. U. van Rooyen. - Malta Memorial
    Lt. B.V.Gesundheit. - Malta Memorial (27th).
    Lt. L.V. Essery. ( 34 Sqdn ). - Malta Memorial.
    WO2. E. Raeburn. - Bari War Cemetery. ( 11.E.20 ).
    F/O. F. W. Shepherd - RAFVR. - Bari War Cemetery (27th). (11.E.21 ).
    Sgt. L.Adams - RAFVR. - Malta Memorial. (27th).
    Sgt. H. L. Greig - RAFVR. - Bari War Cemetery.( Grave 11.E.22 ).

    Aircraft s/d and crashed into the Adriatic Sea while on return flight from Romans Americana Oil Refinery at Ploesti, Romania.

    The Unknown at Bari is noted as British Soldier. Date of death given as 10.08.44 -( 10th August 1944 ). Grave 11.E.23.

    See -
    https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/c...id=null&pid=23
    Last edited by Alex Smart; 11th July 2019 at 16:44.

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    Alex
    Many thanks .Regarding the crew bodies washed up. The other RAF man was identified as well as the 2 SAAF men .But it's finding a close relative of Adams which is difficult .[Presumably Adams had his RAF badge and uniform on] .
    [no reply to my letters !]
    When I had an article in the Lancashire Telegraph in April this year they included a photo of the Ploesti oil wells , which I hadn't seen before + a photo of a Liberator .I therefore had hopes that someone related to Adams would read the article.
    Anne
    Last edited by aestorm; 11th July 2019 at 16:17.

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    Hi Anne,

    I'm sure you already know this, but I see the parish register for his local church is online:

    https://www.lan-opc.org.uk/Darwen/st...1918-1931.html

    Baptism: 10 Sep 1922 St Cuthbert, Darwen, Lancs.
    Lewis Adams - [Child] of Philip Adams & Eliza
    Born: 23 Aug 1922
    Abode: 14 Holker Street
    Occupation: Weaver
    Baptised by: L. Evans
    Register: Baptisms 1918 - 1958, Page 32, Entry 251
    Source: Original Parish Register

    There are no other children recorded for Philip & Eliza Adams, so it's possible Lewis Adams was an only child.

    As for his parents,

    Marriage: 27 Dec 1919 St Cuthbert, Darwen, Lancs.
    Philip Adams - 22, Seaman, Bachelor, Highfield Villa
    Eliza Watson - 23, Weaver, Spinster, 563 Blackburn Rd.
    Groom's Father: Philip Adams, Motor Mechanic
    Bride's Father: John William Watson, Iron Moulder
    Witness: Henry Warbrick?; Esther Watson
    Married by Licence by: P. Cecil Dean, Vicar
    Register: Marriages 1913 - 1927, Page 121, Entry 241
    Source: Original Parish Register

    Hopefully, this might give some ammunition to the Ancestry ninjas on here to track down a lead.

    Regards,

    Jeff

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    Many thanks Alex and Jeff
    Thanks for your extra information and help.I'm now able to continue with my own research.
    Anne
    Last edited by aestorm; 13th July 2019 at 21:47.

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    [QUOTE=aestorm;143745]I am searching for any close family of Sgt Lewis Adams RAFVR x 31 SAAF from Darwen, Lancashire UK.Parents were Philip and Eliza, nee Watson. Lewis was one of eight crew lost when their 31 SAAF [South African Airforce ] Liberator crashed into the sea in July 1944 , after a mission to attack Ploesti oil wells. Four bodies of crewmen were washed up on shore and eventually buried at Bari CWGC.Italy .Three crewmen were known but the fourth grave is still unnamed.There is a strong possibility this may be Adams but a close relative in needed
    E]

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    The Unknown at Bari is noted as British Soldier. Date of death given as 10.08.44 -( 10th August 1944 ). Grave 11.E.23

    From my earlier post.

    It is possible that the difference in date is due to when his body was found/washed ashore ? Also did they always refers to British as "Soldiers" even if it was obvious by the uniform that it was an Airman ?

    Alex

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    Yes, I expect the date difference is because of the day his body was found.I have found that unknown airmen are sometimes on graves as soldiers , why i don't know .Perhaps the uniform becomes too damaged ?
    Anne

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