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Thread: 18 Squadron - Peter Raymond Harris

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    Default 18 Squadron - Peter Raymond Harris

    Hi All

    I am trying to ascertain why the crew of Blenheim P6933 were buried so far away from each other - I am sure there is a simple answer.

    Thanks

    John

    Peter was the observer in Blenheim P6933 of 18 Squadron when it took off from RAF West Raynham, Norfolk, on a sortie to attack French airfields – the aircraft was shot down, 10 km northwest of Vlissingen, south-west Holland, by a Messerschmidt BF 109 flown by Feldwebel Georg Kiening of 06/Jagdeschwader 54 – “Grunherz” (The Green Hearts).

    Information from “The Other Few” by Larry Donnelly, page 37.

    The crew of Blenheim P6933 were:-

    Anthony St John Bunker – Pilot – Aged 20 – From Barnes, Surrey - Buried Cement House Cemetery, Langemark-Poelkapelle, Belgium.

    Peter Raymond Harris – Observer – Age not known – From Tickhill.
    John Frederick Hatch – W/Op/Air Gunner – Aged 25 – From Watford.
    Both Peter and John are buried in Flushing (Vlissingen) Northern Cemetery, Netherlands. – Row A Joint Grave 2.

    It is not known, at this stage why the pilot is buried so far from his crew – perhaps he survived the initial incident and died later from wounds, or as a POW.

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    Bomber Command Losses Vol.1 records "Believed to have crashed in the sea off Belgium". All crew members have the same date of death on the CWGC register so you may be looking at two bodies being washed ashore on the northern side of the Schelde but why one was buried so far in-land (25ish km) is a bit odd. Though it was at the northern end of the British sector of the Western Front and therefore the pre-existing cemeteries.
    Alan Clark

    Peak District Air Accident Research

    http://www.peakdistrictaircrashes.co.uk/

  3. #3
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    Bunker's body was found washed ashore at Heist-aan-Zee and initially buried there.
    Harris and Hatch were recovered from the sea by the German Navy (Harris 25th and Hatch 27th July).
    Regards,
    Henk.

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    Default Re: Peter Harris

    Thanks to Henk and Al - your information is much appreciated.

    Regards

    John

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