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Thread: Missing Stirling found in Holland

  1. #1
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    Default Missing Stirling found in Holland

    From my friend in Australia on another forum please find the following link:
    http://www.sundaymercury.net/news/midlands-news/2010/03/21/body-of-world-war-two-birmingham-bomber-found-after-66-years-66331-26075468/

    The final paragraphs are interesting as the recovery of the aircraft as well would be a major event especially if she's reasonably complete. Who knows? Best wishes to the family's efforts.

    Dee

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    Dee
    I read the Mercury article with interest .Crashed WW2 planes, or pieces of them, are still being found, deep in the ground & underwater in various parts of the world .There seems to be a British or RAF policy of declaring wartime planes, found in water [sea or lakes] with crew remains inside, as War Graves. Is this to keep the "floodgates " closed ?

    Some people think it's best to leave them in peace, This was the case in an investigation I recently attended in Denmark.
    But it's hard to think rationally when a relative's remains are being left where they crashed. I would prefer NOT to know where my M.I.A. father's plane was -rather than know it was underwater, in a certain area & the crew remains were to be be left there, rather than being brought up and buried in a CWGC cemetery.

    Others may think differently .

    There can be the problem of plunder by some unscrupulous divers if an underwater War Grave site becomes known.

    I was told that the Americans try & bring the remains of their wartime servicemen home to be buried, with honours, in US soil. If at all possible. I don't know if this is still the case ?

    A very emotive subject.

    Anne
    Last edited by aestorm; 22nd July 2010 at 23:28.

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    This is indeed a remarkable story.Discovered by accident by local fishermen one year ago.The fishermen contacted the Dutch Revovery Group.They started a research to identify the bomber and it's crewmembers (Stirling BK710 OJ-A of 149 squadron,crashed May 26,1943) and after that the recovery group did send 400 letters to possible relatives in the UK.At this time I think they found relatives of all crewmembers accept one.
    There is a possibility that there will be a salvage of the bomber and the remains of the crewmembers but relatives of all the crewmembers has to agree with that.

    Mike

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    Default Missing RAF aircrew

    I for one think that the bodies should stay wherever they are, be they underwater or underground! As I know which sea my Uncle and the rest of the crew & I am happy with that, and they should not be disturbed after all this time. After all who knows if indeed there is any remains left at all . The aeroplane may have taken a direct hit and with a full load of depth charges aboard, well there not going to be alot left; if at all it will probably scattered over a wide area?

    It is quite a different thing if the aeroplane went down and it was empy of all personnal then I think that if people want to haul it up from the deep (or into the ground) then let them.

    But for my Nans and Granddads sake who were far more aware of it at the time I think the war grave ruling should remain a law, but I am not sure how it would affect aeroplanes that are not in British waters?

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    Ant

    I respect your decision.. However, the issue is that once something is found 'you can't put the cat back into the bag' and unfind it...

    In the UK anyone would need a licence to recover a crashed aircraft opr bits of one, but this does not apply outside the UK and you would be dependant on the laws of the country the aircraft now resides in..

    I do not know how robust the laws are in the Netherlands, but what is to stop any diver from exploring and removing bits from the Stirling now it has 'been found'

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    Paul,Ant & Mike
    A search was made in Lake Bolsena, Italy in 2006 for my MIA x RAAF father's Liberator,a SAAF/RAF/RAAF crew & SAAF sqdn plane, part of the 205 group RAF,organised by officials at the British embasssy in Rome

    It was felt that it may be on the lake bed [there are other wartime aircraft in the lake] by an Italian search team with sonar & a contact living there. I was told by the RAF that if bodies were found it would be a War Grave, which I found disturbing ,as did my elderly mother, though I could understand great difficulties in retrieving human remains from underwater wrecks . I also understood others' feelings about not disturbing any remains.

    Divers had already worked on some of the plane wrecks in the lake, as far as I know, without human remains in them.

    I never found out the Italians view of removing bodies as the ROV underwater camera snagged on a helicopter underwater & the search was abandoned, even though the ROV was later retrieved.A costly procedure for the Embassy but which received very generous , kind & interested support from local Italian officials & citizens .

    Anne
    Last edited by aestorm; 23rd July 2010 at 11:38.

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    I think given the Stirling is obviously accessible to divers, a survey should at least be made to see if there are any remains on board ... before, as suggested above, less scrupulous divers 'find' it.

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