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Thread: Initial Burial, Crew Members 550S PA995, 7-8/3/45

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    Default Initial Burial, Crew Members 550S PA995, 7-8/3/45

    Hello One & All,

    does anyone have any information on the first place of burial of W/O Harvey RCAF from the crew of 550 Sqdn Lancaster PA995?

    FO C J Jones RCAF +
    Sgt S J Webb PoW
    FO J Buckmaster RCAF +
    WO2 L W Harvey RCAF +
    Sgt F M Main PoW
    Sgt S Pelham PoW
    Sgt M B Smith PoW

    Chorley's BCL Vol 6 states that Harvey was exhumed from Margraten. I would presume from this that American forces discovered and exhumed the original grave and transferred the body to Margraten in the belief that it was an American airman.

    Cheers

    Rod

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    Default Re: Initial Burial, Crew Members 550S PA995, 7-8/3/45

    Hi Rod
    The first place Leslie was burried is Hoppenstedt Germany.
    At this moment i asked questions to the mayor.
    I adopted the grave of Leslie in my towm Nederweert.
    Regards
    Paul

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    Default Re: Initial Burial, Crew Members 550S PA995, 7-8/3/45

    Rod,

    the 550 Sqn site might be worthwhile checking out thoroughly:

    http://www.550squadronassociation.org.uk

    Letter to father of Buckmaster:

    http://550squadronassociation.org.uk...s/DSCF2735.JPG

    POST PRESUMPTION MEMORANDUM NO. 2220/49

    http://550squadronassociation.org.uk...s/DSCF2738.JPG

    PS. Just noticed the date of the original query. If the above is of no use, please disregard.

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 11th January 2021 at 08:09.

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    Default Re: Initial Burial, Crew Members 550S PA995, 7-8/3/45

    Hi Col and Paul,

    thanks for the replies and for confirming Harvey's first burial at Hoppenstedt.

    The original case is even more perplexing, since the Germans recovered at least two of the three bodies. Here are two decrypted Luftwaffe Enigma messages from files at TNA:

    File, HW 5/658
    CX/MSS/C.452
    "Communication, dated 9/3, from Airfield Detachment HALBERSTADT to Intelligence Centre West OBERURSEL, reported shooting down of a Lancaster by night-fighters at 2150 7/3, 4 km W of OSTERKIRCH. 1 killed, airman L.W. Harvey recognition no 182139, 4 prisoners."

    File HW 5/685
    CX/MSS/R.506/A/30
    "Dated 21/3, from Airfield Detachment HALBERSTADT to Intelligence Centre West OBERURSEL: Lancaster shot down 4 km W of Osterwieck at 2150/7/3. In course of salvaging a/c, 1 more unknown corpse dug out. Burial on 9/3 in Hoppenstedt"

    Note that a second airman from the crash was buried at Hoppenstedt... The text of the second message suggests that the third body was recovered earlier ("1 more unknown corpse dug out.")

    The Bomber Command Loss Card records:

    "F/O Jones, F/O Buckmaster - B.O. Believed to have been shot. W/O2 Harvey - later buried believed to have been shot"

    However, in light of the ULTRA messages, two, perhaps three bodies were buried at Hoppenstedt. This begs the question, why was only one body recovered?

    Regards

    Rod

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