06th March 2017: RAF Typhoon pilot 23 year old, F/O. Basil Proddow, forced landed due to fuel problem flying Typhoon Ib JP548 in France in February 1944, evaded capture, returned to England.
Suffering a similar problem the following year and taken PoW - his story as written by him, retold with many photographs. Sadly to pass away at the early age of 44 from a brain tumour leaving a wife and three children.
Relatives of this 174 Squadron pilot would very much like to hear from others who may have served with him.
28th February 2017: Ex RAF navigator, Sq/Ldr. Ken Dodwell tells his story via his son, to Aircrew Remembered.
Covering his training, operational service and mentioning his former pilot and very good friend Fl/Lt. Ivor Charles Brian Slade DFC with whom he had served with on many operations. A fascinating insight into a career of a RAF navigator 1940 - 1946, one of the few that survived. His story told for the first time - with thanks to the many questions asked by his grandchildren. As with many others during his service with 115 Squadron and other units.
(perhaps you also have stories that could be told? Important to remember these chaps. Contact us)
Extensive memorial pages under preparation. A vital part of our history - with pages such as these, you can help other relatives with their own history - in addition, by submitting their stories even more relatives can submit their memoirs!
22nd February 2017: A funeral service will be held for Sgt. Wilfred Lawson of 426 Squadron Royal Air Force on 16 March 2017 at Berlin War Cemetery in Germany. Sgt Lawson was a member of the crew of Lancaster bomber LL721 which was based at RAF Linton on Ouse in Yorkshire. It took off for a bombing mission on Berlin on 27 January 1944. The aircraft was intercepted and attacked before crashing near Karcha, where it burned on the ground for several hours before being removed by a unit of the Luftwaffe. While several of the crew managed to bail out, only three of them survived; they were captured and held as Prisoners of War. Two others’ parachutes failed to open and they are buried in Berlin War Cemetery. The remaining two crew remained missing.
On 7 September 2014 the crash site was excavated and some human remains found. DNA samples were taken and compared against family members of the two missing airmen. The results prove that they belong to Sgt Wilfred Lawson. He will be buried with full military honours in Berlin War Cemetery on Thursday 16 March 2017 at 1030 hours. The service has been organised by the Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre (JCCC) and will be attended by British Defence Staff, regimental representatives and local dignitaries.
15th February 2017: Can you help? The Mayor of Le Coudray-Saint Germer, Mr. R. Guillaux together with our colleague, Mr. Claude Archambault are arranging a plaque to be unveiled in a formal ceremony in January 2018.
We are keen to trace relatives of 4 of the crew of Lancaster PB586 EA-V from 49 Squadron.
Jack Court from Hampshire, Thomas Walker no details, John Sanderson from Morley, Yorkshire and Frederick Miller from Canberra, Australia.
08th February 2017: ABC News, Sidney Australia interviewed Aircrew Remembered to help with tracing relatives of Fl/Sgt. Rex Valentine Donowa.
A few days previously the Daily Telegraph in Sidney Australia published an article with the same aims. Response has been positive and very quick - details now added to the 12 Squadron Lancaster III ND715 PH-R story.
03.02.2017: Portchester Remember Project - There are over 120 serving personnel who at the time were in some way connected to the village of Portchester plus 13 civilians who also were killed due to enemy action, and 2 home guard who were training to protect their county when they were killed. We have a WW1 memorial in the St. Mary's church, but nothing for WW2 or the civilians.
I was approached by Rev Ian Meredith after the display I put on in his church for remembrance week and then by Mr Roger Price one of our local Councillors to see if I would join them in adding a memorial plaque in St. Mary's church.
I would encourage others to take a look at their local war memorials, not just in the United Kingdom, but around the world to make sure that they are up to date and that these brave men, women and children are never forgotten. We of a certain age maybe the last generation to do this and it is so important that the generation to come have the information they need to remember those who gave so much.
All the material from the Portchester Remember 1938-1948 project and this new project will be archived for future generations to access. Kate Tame - Aircrew Remembered.
24.01.2017: The full story of a Battle of Britain fighter pilot now placed on the website after a request by the relatives. Several pages placed to a young 20 year old, not listed in most publications and only now made available thanks to research carried out by relatives and sent to us.P/O. Charlie Young 46 Squadron, Hurricane V7617 - 05th December 1940.
21.01.2017: Most researchers are aware of the great research carried out by Mr. Bill Chorley. He has produced several volumes of the ‘Bomber Command Losses’ from 1936 - 1945. Including the thousands of training losses. (We do refer to his research on almost every page on Bomber Command within our website and acknowledge the source) He now continues his research expanding on these to include, so far, the early part of WW1 and valuable updates to the ‘Fighter Command Losses’ 1939 - 1945 by Norman Franks. Including other Commands, Britain and overseas.
Although this material in unlikely to be published in hard format, Mr. Chorley has kindly submitted his work to us. The purpose of this is to assist relatives seeking further information and also so that relatives are able to contact us with additional details that they are able to contribute to his fine work.
Currently we are unable to reproduce the 1,000 pages plus periodical updates within our website. Your contributions, as far as details of your relative are welcome and will be forwarded to the author of this work. ‘To share is to care.’ Drop us a line with your information.
Search is on for relatives of 304 (P) Squadron Wellington Ic R1473
. We have recently been contacted by researchers in Germany who have pinpointed the crash site and now we are planning to have a permanent memorial placed for the crew. Your help contacting any of the crews relatives would be very much appreciated.
18.01.2017: We are very keen on behalf of relatives to be able to name the people on this 156 Squadron Lancaster crew and relatives (shown on another photograph within the page - are you able to assist? Lancaster III PB177 GT-L lost on operations to Calais on the 24th September 1944 - but photograph taken during awards ceremony at Buckingham Palace on an earlier date. Are you able to assist?
10th January 2017:
This book is about the history of the Lancaster I ME858 JI-J and the crew
whilst with 514 Squadron. The aircraft crashed after an attack by a German night fighter on the night of 20/21 July 1944 in Hunsel (NL).
After a great deal of research, the stories, photos and documents are brought together in this book. Available currently in Dutch only, but a must have for any serious collector. Authors: Ton Bosmans and Carla Mans.
03rd January 2017:
453 Squadron RAAF - 1 photograph - but with 10 plus stories behind it
- that is what difference the photos that you may have when you send them into us! 1 killed by friendly fire, 1 killed hitting power lines, 1 killed and 6 others injured during an air raid on the base, 1 captured by the SS, escaped and evaded capture - keep them, but share them, they make a difference to other relatives. No idea what happened to ‘Sprog’ the Squadron mascot!
(This copy - courtesy of the Australian Archives)
But we know that there are thousands more - ready to be shared!
21st December 2016: We don’t just remember the chaps who flew - thousands died during active service - not even connected with aircrew.
LAC Frederick Carter, died during a transit flight to be with his pregnant wife in 1944. Send us your stories with as much information as you can. Photographs are great, especially if they are group shots - many relatives have never seen one of their lost ones.
02nd December 2016: Incredible it was, landing an Airbus A320 on the river Hudson in 2009 - some of our boys did just that back in 1941, whilst being shot at, without the many technical aids available. The pilot of Whitley V N6561 ZA-J did the same on the Baltic Sea on the 28th June 1941 - all the crew on board survived.
Also on the River Trent 06th September 1943. Lancaster DV232 QR-K pilot landed with all crew surviving.
24th November 2016: A memorial was placed to a 7 man crew of 97 Squadron Manchester I R5792 OF-L that was involved in a mid-air collision with a Hurricane from 57 OTU - the pilot of that also lost his life. Over Norfolk on the 24th November 1941.
November 2016: Aircrew Remembered visited Westminster Abbey following Remembrance day - you really have to go and see the tributes laid.
November 11 2016: in accordance with our tradition of supporting charities operating in our field of interest, we once again donated our homepage for a week to the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal.
10th November 2016: Kate Tame, our Senior Research Editor, recently assisted the church of St. Mary’s Church, Porchester with a display of the fallen from that area. The Portchester Remembered group will be holding their exhibition on in the church from Thursday 10th November until 18th November. It shows information regarding those who lost their lives between 1938-1948 and who were associated with Portchester. Why not visit her work when in the area?
09th November 2016: Many relatives are contacting us prior to Remembrance Day 2016 - we welcome this and we will try and accommodate as many as we are able during this period - please keep with us, we are trying to keep up. Keep sending us your stories on your relatives. Donations do help us, so please donate what you can - small or large - all are welcome to keep these stories online. All our pages are archived with the British Library so even if we do go off line for whatever reason, the stories that you contribute will remain. All the pages are worked on by volunteers - all of us have other jobs but our promise is that we will do whatever we can to have your pages up in time.
07th November 2016: Many people have sent enquiries to our help desk asking for details on the work of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Every year at this time we understandably receive many of the same enquiries. To this end we have compiled a page which, we hope will explain their work and other information. Any problems / further information that you would like to add - contact us via our help desk, we will do what we can.
29th October 2016: Fast approaching the 11th November - Remembrance Day. We would be proud to place any photographs of “your day” this year. Send them in - we would be proud to place them on a page - perhaps we could also add a page to your loved one for 2016?
All we need is a name, a photo would be great - we will try and do the rest for you. No obligation and completed free of charge although donations to help us continue our research are always welcome, no matter how small.
21st October 2016: We are currently receiving many emails from relatives requesting Aircrew Remembered to place pages to their lost ones. This is in addition to many other publications also contacting us, hoping that we are also able to assist them. We are a small team, we endeavour to do our best to accommodate all of these requests. Sometimes our response may not be as quick as we would like, however, please keep the requests coming, we may not be able to place pages immediately, but all are placed on hold to place as and when we find the time. If we happen to overlook your enquiry, for whatever reason, just give us a nudge - we will do our best to add information as soon as we are able.
We are particularly interested in hearing from relatives who have lost aircrew from training accidents - there are thousands (yes - thousands) killed during this period - many are not recorded on most websites - we would like to address this. As always, willing to share and credit information.
10th October 2016:
Aircrew Remembered are proud that following the announcement that the French Government are to award the Legion d’honneur to all “surviving” personnel of the ‘D’ Day Normandy landings we managed to forward details and forms for our good friend, Mr. Roy Fellows (Lancaster I ME732 QR-P - shot down on the 24th September 1944
) he has since received the medal. Any other “surviving” crew members are encouraged to take advantage of this most generous offer - we maybe able to assist. This includes all members of the armed services.
15th September 2016: We are please to announce that an unveiling ceremony will be taking place this Saturday the 17th September 2016 at 14:00hrs.
The 307 Squadron Project has managed to contact some relatives who will be attending. Fl/Lt. Stanisław Madej and F/O. Józef Gasecki were killed when their Mosquito XII HK194 crashed into Withcall Railway Station on the 18th September 1944.
03 September 2016: Aircrew Remembered attended the Polish Airforce Memorial wreath laying service at the Polish Memorial, Northolt London. Aircrew Remembered's technical guru Stefan Pietrzak Youngs laid the wreath to honour his father's 309 Squadron. Again large numbers attending, as they do every year, including veterans and relatives of the various Polish Squadrons serving within the RAF during WW2. This event proves extremely popular every year and even more so in 2016 - despite some recent backlash towards our Polish friends within our community. The PAF Memorial Committee welcome new visitors for the next ceremony on September 02 2017 - contact us for further information.
26 August 2016: In the light of the terrible injuries and deaths suffered by innocent Syria civilians, we donated our homepage to the Red Cross Syrian Appeal. The image of the little boy pulled from the rubble of his home will long live in the memory.
24 August 2016: 58 Squadron Whitley V - 2 New Zealand brothers - both serving in the same Squadron as pilots, one taken PoW - the other killed within weeks of the other in a cruel touch of fate. Pages with many previously unpublished photographs.
P/O. Trevor Harold Hadley Whitley V T4134 GE-T 10/11th September 1940 Whitley V T4134 GE-T 10/11th September 1940
P/O. Ronald Arnold Hadley Whitley V T4137 GE-K 08/09th October 1940 Whitley V T4137 GE-K 08/09th October 1940
18 August 2016: a helping hand to helpful friends. We made our homepage available to our friends commemorating lost aircrew having connections with Bleasby. We are always open to requests from similar groups. Please contact us via the Helpdesk if you are organizing an event and would like our help.
14 August 2016: Insightful newspaper sent into us from a Belgium reader, 'The Adler' (The Eagle) a biweekly Nazi propaganda magazine published by the Scherl Verlag, founded by August Scherl, with the support of the Oberkommando der Luftwaffe.
The page shows a series of images from a crashed Wellington P2515 LF-H from 37 Squadron that crashed on the 24th March 1941. It was then translated for us by another reader.
We do hold a series of higher resolution photographs from the page available to relatives of the crew.
11 August 2016: Michel Beckers, from the Netherlands, continues to contribute professionally researched pages to Aircrew Remembered.
We are proud that he has chosen us to host his great work. Latest page on 42-40016 "The Character" B-17 Fortress from the USAAF - to read his many other articles just use the search button within the website.
09 August 2016: Another Training Loss. 09.09.1943 No 415 Squadron Handley Page Hampden I AD799 F/O Robert Sidney Arnold
Too often aircrew lost during training fail to be properly recognized. Here Senior Research Editor Kate Tame covers a training accident.
Hampden AD799 took off from RAF Thorney Island at 11.05hrs for a night test flight and was seen at 11.29hrs to crash and burn a few miles from the aerodrome. The aircraft flew through trees approximately 20 feet before it hit the ground, but the aircraft was apparently in "stabilized yaw" (turning at low speed and altitude), this being the primary cause of the accident.
02 August 2016: From our Helpdesk: as a result of our story about Leonard Trent VC we received the following message.
"My father was air crew on the Ventura of Vic Duffill on the May 3rd Raid. he passed away last month aged 95 and I am finding now some old material in his possessions, and wanted to try and put names to faces in old pics and find out more about the squadron. My father was awarded the DFM for that day. Any ideas where I could find more info please."
We are now cooperating with our correspondent to add more detail to what is an already impressive body of research from our Senior Research Editor Roy Wilcock. It is interactions such as this that help fill in the people's history. Everyone has a story! We encourage everyone to contribute what they know.
28 July 2016: Our story on the Russian pilot Mikhail Devyatayev 'The Amazing Escape' received more than 400 views over a 7 day period, mostly from people who were visiting our site for the first time. It's gratifying when we reach a new audience because every new viewer is a potential source for hitherto unknown information. Whenever you click a Facebook Like on the bottom of every page, you are doing your bit to spread the good word to your own circle of friends.
25 July 2016: We're very proud to publish our Senior Research Editor Roy Wilcock's latest magnum opus 'Good Show, Skipper'. Roy has developed an extended version of our Archive Reports we call longform, in which he includes the result of extensive and exhaustive research. These longforms make for fascinating reading and only go to prove what we always claim, that each person's story is full of surprising detail.
18 July 2016: We still urgently require various volunteers who would like to work with us. Volunteers available to take photographs of local RAF graves in their own area, others who would like to assist in making up the loss pages, no qualifications - just the passion for accuracy for placing records to the thousands that died in or out of service within the field of aviation.
Also others to help with our various databases. Ability to work on your own, working as much or as little as you feel like.
17 July 2016:
Following contact with another relative and the subsequent advice that we provided, another veteran is shortly to be honoured with the presentation of the French Legion d’Honneur - further details follow.
We are pleased that we have helped many others with this, as well as the application for the long awaited Bomber Clasp - available to thousands of veterans or their relatives.
Despite the many enquiries we receive via our help desk, we try and reply to them all - if we have failed with you - please don't hesitate to either look into your 'junk' folder in case our email landed there, or contact us again.
16 July 2016: A further relative has contacted us in connection to a planned memorial for a 61 Squadron crew that crashed near Gunthorpe. 61 Squadron Lancaster I R5703 QR-D - all 7 crew losing their lives - due to an accident / aircraft malfunction.
The website continues to attract responses from relatives - in the short time we have been online we now can reveal that we have had over 1.3 million people looking at our pages! Many looking at the various databases that we have published - do you have one that you would like us to host for you? Full credits placed and even named after your research such as the Kracker / Paradie Archives - now known to be the one of the most respected research tools of its kind on the internet!
1 July 2016 Canada Day: We donated our homepage to support Wounded Warriors Canada on Canada Day, to honour all Canadians who have served in the cause of freedom.
15 June 2016: We are in the process of building links inside our databases to relevant extended material elsewhere on the site. In this way a search for a name on a database will not only find information on the individual held in the database itself, but will also show a link to much more information where we have it.
We have started this process with our RAF Bomber Command Operational Losses Database which will provide links onto Archive Reports (if they exist) and also onto the Luftwaffe pilot responsible for the loss in some cases. See the entry for Ronald Booth which opens the Database as an example, where links are shown to the detailed story behind the loss and also to the Luftwaffe pilot responsible. Adding these links is a lengthy process and we are only about 5% into the total at the time of writing.
Malta Memorial Database Published
8 June 2016: We are pleased to announce the publication of this important database. Malta saw some of the heaviest aerial action of the war as Germany sought to contest the Allied stronghold's strategic position over the route to Middle East oil. This memorial remembers Allied crew lost in the Mediterranean area who have no known grave.
08th June 2016:
The elderly brother of Fl/Lt. Reginald Miller
urgently seeks any further information on the loss of 257 Squadron Typhoon fighter pilot - killed on the 08th March 1943. Please - if you are able to assist, contact us?
USA Memorial Day 2016
30 May 2016: The last Monday in May is celebrated in the USA as Memorial Day, when the country remembers members of its armed services who died in conflict. We paid our respects by dedicating our homepage to Memorial Day and providing a Donate link to Air Force Aid Society, the official Charity of the US Air Force.
The Alamein Memorial
28 May 2016: We're pleased to announce the publication of this important database remembering members of Allied air forces who were lost in the Desert war and who have no known grave.
24 May 2016: One of the most popular stopping-off points for researchers on the site is the 9300+ compilation of notes on RCAF aircrew from 1914 to the present day. We have now re-published this excellent source as a searchable database, permitting more useful searches to take place that would previously not have been practicable. Those old-hands familiar with the previous version will, we hope, be excited by the possibilities this change permits but if any happen to feel the old way was better, then please get in touch via the Helpdesk and we will see what we can do to help.
21st May 2016:
The full story of F/O. Czesław Oberdak
- his evasion, eventual capture and the murder by the Germans in reprisal to the shooting of Obergruppenführer Hanns Rauter. The Germans murdered some 117 men immediately in the area - elsewhere a further 146 others were also shot. Researcher and author Richard Schuurman has written a book on his loss and eventual grave identification also that of the hundreds of others - Richard contacted us in May 2016.
18th May 2016: We are pleased to announce that one of the leading Blenheim researchers is making his data available via a new database - this is work in progress and will be a huge addition to the various other databases that Aircrew Remembered are making available to our readers.
Hugh Wheeler contributed a great deal of information to the late Graham Warner's publication of the 'Bristol Blenheim'.
07th May 2016: W/O. Anthony Goodwin 1601352, 153 Squadron. Tony is my neighbour still an active 93 year old, joined RAF 153 squadron at Scampton on the 15th March 1945. Although a trained pilot he was a Lancaster Fl/Sgt. Flight Engineer to P/O. L.W. Lowry (NZ) with Sgt. McLeod (Air Bomber) Sgt. Caldecott (Navigator) Fl/Sgt. Miller (Wireless Operator) W/O. Woolfenden (Mid Upper Gunner) and W/O. Wadsley (Rear Gunner). They successfully completed five 'ops' Kiel, Plauen, Heligoland, Bremen and finally Berchtesgarten (Hitler's Lair). Finishing off with 4 'ops' on Manna (Netherlands).
Tony then joined 4 Squadron and piloted Mosquito based at Gutersloh, Germany. He rejected the opportunity staying with a commission and flying jets. He was demobbed in July 1946.
I am wondering whether any of his crew members are still with us? Contact us in the first instance and your details will be forwarded.
06 May 2016: The Fleet Air Arm Database is now on line and fully searchable. Thanks to Jacqueline Freegard for her valued assistance in cleaning up the data required. Over 4,500 names recorded including such details as crash area, next of kin details, ship served, etc. We welcome of course any additions/revisions.
1 May 2016: Victory Day Parade through Red Square is usually portrayed in Western media as a demonstration of Russian military might. But to tens of millions of ordinary Russians this is the day they remember the terrible losses incurred in WW2. To honour our Russian friends we donated our homepage to them, with a Donate facility to the International Red Cross.
1 May 2016: Paradie Achive: after a prolonged struggle against the arcane formatting rules in Excel, we have successfully deployed 45,000 records of RCAF personnel forming the Paradie Archive from its previous incarnation as part of Google Docs into a proper relational database held on our own servers, thereby allowing the full search and sort powers that technology allows. The new approach also overcomes the severe scrolling performance degradation on iPad and other mobile devices that followed a dubious 'enhancement' made by Google to Google Docs about a year ago. Now the Paradie Archive Database responds almost instantly to any search request made upon it.
26 April 2016: We have long wanted to provide coverage of the air war fought on the Eastern Front between the Luftwaffe and the Red Air Force. This was gigantic both in the sheer volume of personnel and materiel involved and the geographic territory over which it raged. Our first effort is the Soviet Aces Database 1941 - 1945. This includes details of over 2700 Soviet pilots and the hundreds of Soviet air units involved. Developed with the help of a Russian researcher we hope this is just the first of many valuable contributions we can make.
25 April 2016: We honour Australia and New Zealand on Anzac Day 2016 by donating our front page in support of the charities in those countries serving veterans of their armed forces. See our Anzac Day front page and the charity appeals.
17 April 2016: We are very pleased to formally announce the publication of our unique Luftwaffe Victories by Name/Date database, after several months work.
This remarkable database extends data in the Kracker Archive (on this site) by providing a daily account of each Luftwaffe pilot's actions against his opponent(s). Using a number of primary and secondary sources, we attempt to list for each pilot, his victories in their date order, so far as this has been possible (records, however, are on many occasions not up to this task). One line thus covers one complete action and victory. Thus, for example, you can read across from a pilot's name to discover that he scored 65 victories in total and the line you are reading is the 38th victory he recorded.
Search on date to show who recorded victories in that date. Search on 'date AND LaGG-3' to show who claimed a LaGG-3 victory on that date. Search on '1944-06' to discover all recorded victories on all fronts for June 1944
In the Links column you may find Links back to the Kracker Archive or forward to an extended story about this pilot, or a reference to his action in one of our other Databases. Where links are not provided, you may search for the pilot's name in our Kracker Archive, or you may use the serial number of his victim to search for further information in our RAF Fighter Command Operational Losses Database, or our RAF Bomber Command Database.
13th April 2016: We have been contacted by friends in Germany in order that someone maybe able to confirm the identity of this Spitfire plate. Thought to have been lost on or about the 18th December 1944. (Reads APP6S477305)
13th April 2016: We are very pleased to announce the publication of our US Aces and Aviators in WW2 Database. This lists all known US pilots with significant victories to their name. You can search on name, theater (theatre) of operation (Europe, Middle East, Pacific), Unit, aircraft type, and which Service the pilot belonged to (Marine, USAAF, US Navy). It is believed this is the first time this information has been made available in the searchable and sortable form found here. 'Searchable and sortable' of course means USEFUL. Links to detailed stories about individual pilots are being added. We are very interested in contacting specialists in US aviation matters with a view to expanding our coverage. If you are at all interested in joining us, please contact us via the Helpdesk. There's no pressure involved, and we will give you any help you need.
02nd April 2016: We are now being regularly contacted with additions and corrections for our many various database. This is very much appreciated. These databases are placed to help you and if you can add to them, please do send the information in.
If you have a spreadsheet of data you've been assembling for years that you think others would find of interest, please send it to us. We will be happy to prepare it for publication as a searchable database and, of course, full credit will be placed to you. We can name it after you if you so wish.
These databases are very time-consuming to assemble, check and then prepare for publication but we believe they are of tremendous value to researchers because they enable you to search through a mountain of data in a few seconds and then sort your result in a way that makes sense to you.
We encourage anyone who finds them useful to think about making a donation to us so that we can expand this important work. We frequently employ people to perform the necessary data checking and spelling correction work and we do need our users to help us defray these costs.
29th March 2016:
Search is on to try and find relatives of an LAC Percival C. Groves 1152645 RAF a former PoW of Stalag IVB Muhlberg (Elbe) from Coventry, England. He and an American Pte. Theodore B. Collins exchanged identities in order that Theodore could move to another PoW camp whilst LAC Groves remained at Muhlberg. Linda Schemieg (née Collins) the daughter of Theodore would like to trace the family in Coventry. Roy Wilcock, researcher at Aircrew Remembered, has assisted Linda with an appeal in the Coventry Telegraph. Anyone who has further information are invited to contact us in the first instance. To read the page in the Coventry Telegraph click the newspaper or here.
Announcing Our First Cross-Database Service to Readers
27 March 2016: Over the past 2 years our staff have been putting into place a technical architecture that permits us to achieve a special goal we have had for several years, that of being able to lead the reader effortlessly through a connected set of information related to their original query, the objective being to make discovery powerful and comprehensive. Most of us start off looking for one thing, but what if the process encouraged us to follow paths we would never have thought of to even more information?
Imagine if you were searching on a family member in our RAF Bomber Command Database and you found that in addition to the information in the database, there was a link to an in-depth researched story in which your family member appears.
How cool would that be?
Further, there is a link in the database to the Kracker Archive where details of the Luftwaffe pilot responsible for bringing down the plane may be found, and further, there is a link in the Kracker Archive to a full account of that Luftwaffe pilot's record.
Well, we now have the pieces in place.
As an example of what can be done, let's imagine you are are related to a person - Ronald Booth - who flew in Bomber Command but you know very little about how he was lost. Click now this link to Ronald Booth in the RAF Bomber Command Database. When you've done that, scroll across to the right to see the link to the Archive Report - researched by us - about this event. Click Read Archive Report. When you've read the Archive Report, come back to the RAF Bomber Command Database and click the link Attacker. This takes you to the entry in the Kracker Archive to Martin Becker, who shot down the plane Ronald Booth was flying in. In Becker's report in the Kracker Archive click Operational Record. This is a full account of this pilot's activities.
These are early days and building the links takes time, but as you can see from this example, the results can be astonishing. In a few clicks you've moved across 4 different databases to get information that might have taken days to uncover otherwise, if it could be done at all by the ordinary reader.
26 March 2016: We have developed our first substantive content in respect of WW1. This was an era that saw the introduction of air power to modern warfare, with flimsy aircraft made of sticks and canvas starting out as observation platforms but rapidly developing into fully fledged attack and bomber aircraft.
The aerial conflict led to the development of many fighting tactics that served in WW2 and on into today. We have developed our Aces and Aviators WW1 Database to list all known fliers who scored a significant number of victories against their opponent, and includes pilots from some 20 nations.
These intrepid aviators could tell you tales that would make your hair turn grey: search the database for Coppens and follow the link to the Archive Report we've written about him. Read the completely astonishing ways this brave Belgian coped with barrage balloons. Any pilot will tell you Coppens must have been one hell of a pilot.
25 March 2016: We have made significant improvements to the Runnymede Memorial Database. Previously this reflected dates which had been originally encoded in a variety of different formats, the upshot of which was that it was impossible to Search on any particular date. We've applied new techniques to preprocessing date information such that it is now consistent across all 20,000+ entries. Search on DateofDeath is therefore now possible. It's humbling to do so. Try a Search in the Runnymede Memorial Database on 1944-02-15 as an example. It sent a chill down our spine.
24th March 2016: New databases currently being worked on include Fighter Command Losses. This is the latest of many more to be added soon. Why don't you submit yours - with your name placed as the author? We're expert in turning lists into searchable databases. Look at how much attention the Kracker archive for the Luftwaffe losses is receiving, and the same is true for the Paradie RCAF archive - prepared and maintained by a serving Major in the RCAF!
19th March 2016: We are now receiving over 20 contacts a day via our help desk.
This is great, but we really need help with this. If you are able to assist us with these valuable enquiries - drop us a line. No prior experience or expertise is necessary - we will provide you with all the assistance you need to be productive.
We also appeal to people who like to work on databases - we have many that need accurate input - drop us a line, we are a friendly bunch and really you don't need to be an expert, just passionate about detail and dedication.
15th March 2016: Research is underway for aircrew relatives of various crews that were killed in the Bleasby / RAF Syerston area. A memorial is currently being planned.
We are delighted to inform you that we are assisting with the research and hope to have further information on the plans as and when they have been finalised.
To date we have a Polish crew all killed on a Wellington Ic R1014 lost on the 06th February 1942 and Wellington Ic R1212 lost on the 15th April 1941. Others are currently being researched.
Any relative of these crews are invited to contact us for further information. Early planning days but funds are being raised with the various planning permissions currently being sought.
Any assistance you can provide would be very much appreciated.
08th March 2016: Due to the large number of hits we receive on our databases it is clear that this is proving a valuable source to researchers and relatives alike. We are working to place additional databases that we have on file within our website - but we know that there are many others that have been created. If you have such a data base we would be proud to place it, crediting you for the work of course. Share the information that you have collated and reach out to an audience that your work deserves.
01st March 2016: The story of two French citizens, executed trying to assist the escape of a Polish fighter pilot.
Sgt. Alexander Franczak of 306 (P) Squadron flying a Spitfire P8524 UZ-A was eventually taken PoW. Others died for assisting his evasion!
26th February 2016: "Stolpersteine" - translated literally ‘stumbling block’. An amazing brass memorial placed within the pavement.
These commemorate some victims of the Nazi regime. These can be sponsored and placed for your relative for as little as 120 euros. Over 50,000 of these have been laid to date - many many more have already been pre-ordered.
Aircrew Remembered are in contact with the artist and the organisation that provide this. Details follow below, but the page on the loss of Halifax MZ351 NP-X from which one of the crew was murdered, has such a Stolpersteine placed.
The Stolpersteine story can be read further here.
25th February 2016: The story of a Wellington crew - 2 killed on the operation, one of the crew lost his wife just 4 months earlier when the Luftwaffe dropped a parachute mine on a public house in Chigwell, Essex.
Over 30 civilians lost their lives on the night of the 19th April, 1941. The full story including the civilian loss list within the page of Wellington Ic X9747 HA-E which crashed at Salhouse, near Norwich.
23rd February 2016: What is the UK Web Archive? There are millions of UK websites. They are constantly changing and even disappearing. Often they contain information that is only available online. Responding to the challenge of a potential "digital black hole" the UK Web Archive is there to safeguard as many of these websites as practical. Its purpose is to give permanent online access to key UK websites for future generations. The UK Web Archive contains websites that publish research, that reflect the diversity of lives, interests and activities throughout the UK, and demonstrate web innovation.
What this means to you? The stories that you submit to Aircrew Remembered are online - forever - memories are kept, even if the website closed down!
18th February 2016: The author of several books including "The Lost Gunner" is now submitting articles for Aircrew Remembered.
Lyndon Pugh's comprehensive research into 101 squadron can be found in his first page on Lancaster ED373, when after being attacked by a night fighter, they were hit, but returned fire taking down the Fiat CR-42.
The pilot managed to nurse the aircraft back to England - 5 gallantry awards to a single crew on one operation!
10th February 2016: We must apologise for any lack of response to any enquiries that have been posted to us. We are a small group, all working in our spare time and consequently we may have have overlooked your enquiry - just email us to jog our memory and this will be resolved. Someone sent us brief detail on a lost aircrew member - just 3 days later asked why the page had not been posted? Although we pride our research with accuracy - if we are unable to confirm the information sent, then we may, or may not add the page. We hope that contributors understand the problem.
7th February 2016: Incredible story regarding an eye witness to a crash of a 78 Squadron Halifax JD375 - a simple graveside photo - revealing further stories regarding some 13 other airforce crew lost over Germany. That, is how important your photographs are that are sent into us.
05th February 2016: Just about everyone has heard of the Mcindoe plastic surgery innovations that were pioneered during the second world war to treat the horrific burns of aircrew, soldiers and civilians. The pioneers of this, from New Zealand included, Mcindoe, Gillies, Pickerill. The son of Sir Harold Gillies, F/O. John Gillies had been a fighter pilot with 92 Squadron
, shot down and taken PoW in 1940. Now a book has been published by Professor Murray Clyde Meikle who also contributed to the story featured on our website regarding the techniques used, who also contributed to the story featured on our website. A French researcher, Jean-Pierre Duriez has also contributed further amazing photographs.
27th January 2016: A new memorial is planned for the 07th May 2016 for a Canadian fighter pilot who sadly lost his life in a Typhoon JR257.
We are hoping that relatives or interested parties of F/O. Justin Gerard Clermont of Toronto, Canada flying with 175 Squadron - see these pages and contact us!
25th January 2016: Not many people are aware that the first fatality in Great Britain from an air raid occurred as far back as January 1915. The webmaster discovered his grave, just yards from his house hidden amongst trees. So, research required and a page place to both victims.
Samuel Alfred Smith and Matilda Mary Taylor and Matilda Mary Taylor both lost their lives during this operation over Great Yarmouth in Norfolk on the 19th January 1915.
31st December 2015 - We have been informed that a possible dedication of a memorial is planned at the Bredenscheld Church on the 9th October 2016 - we would appreciate any contact from the crews relatives in order that we can place them in contact with one of the organisers. Halifax III MZ400 Z5-J lost on the 09/10th October 1944. Any relatives please contact us.
December 25th 2015: Proud to announce that Aircrew Remembered have now just registered in excess of 1,ooo,000 visitors since we started - thank you all for your continued support.
December 19th 2015: Extracts from the last PoW days of Sgt. Harold Bennett, 78 Squadron diaries
added - together with some wonderful drawings.
Sgt. Bennett had been the sole survivor from a 78 Squadron Halifax III LW291 EY-M lost on the 21st January 1944.
December 15th 2015: Medal Reunited New Zealand
- this great website is dedicated to returning medals that have been found - contact Ian Martyn
to establish how you can help. Of course they are unable to try and locate families to reunite them with medals unless they have details. Aircrew Remembered are in contact with these people and their work has to be applauded. New Zealand has been the best nation to continue to follow up on their veterans that we have ever seen!
November 13th 2015: New information received form the son of Sq/Ldr. Peter Stevens - who it is believed to be the only German / Jewish bomber pilot in the RAF - further information follows.
Also a book has been published about his remarkable world war two escape attempts and his RAF career - details to follow.
November 08th 2015: OK - not the Cenotaph London - but Remembrance Sunday in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk. Hundreds take part in the annual remembrance service - thought to be the largest attendance to date!
A small cross placed - just another name, but a story behind it - which is now on the website.
Fl/Sgt. William Cockburn, a local Yarmouth lad of 15 Squadron - killed with all the crew on a daylight bombing operation - July, 1941.
November 01st 2015: Research currently underway to place stories behind all the names listed on the Polish Memorial, Northolt. A long term project! We welcome of course, any amendments that you may have.Once completed it will be made available to the Polish Air Force Committee for use at future wreath laying ceremonies and for the general public.
October 19th 2015: New Memorial unveiled at Kempton Park Racecourse, England for F/O. Carter
and P/O. Borowski
302 (P) Squadron.
Details of the wonderful reception arranged by the Jockey Club of Gt. Britain follow shortly.
September 23rd 2015: Hundreds of D-Day veterans are to receive the French Legion d’Honneur before the end of 2015. Aircrew Remembered have been informed by several survivors that they have been contacted and that they are to receive this, the French governments highest honour (not available posthumously) We feel that as many relatives as possible be informed of this announcement as soon as possible.
The Government of France has told the UK Ministry of Defence that it wishes to recognise the selfless acts of heroism and determination displayed by "all" surviving veterans of the Normandy landings, and of the wider campaigns to liberate France in 1944, by awarding them with the Legion d’Honneur.
This recognition extends “beyond the troops who actually landed on and fought their way up the beaches 70 years ago, and will include Royal Navy and Royal Air Force personnel who operated in support of the landings”.
Requests for the award should be made 'd-day veterans application invitation’ and will be processed by the Ministry of Defence, who will forward the details to the French authorities. The French authorities will then make all the final decisions on the awards.
Any veterans wishing to apply for the award, or anyone enquiring on their behalf, should either send the form to the address as shown below. The French government will be reviewing the applications, so MOD is unable to give any guidance on timings or the arrangements for the presentation of the awards. Awards "will not" be given posthumously, and any further questions should be directed to the French authorities.
The application form can be submitted electronically to the following address
or by post to:
Personnel and Training - Defence Services Secretary
Floor 6 Zone C
Ministry of Defence
September 16th 2015: Six Crew members finally named on graves in Holland after 74 years!
The researchers of the SMAMF group have finally convinced authorities (after a visit to No. 10 Downing Street) the final resting place for the crew of 103 Squadron Wellington R1397.
Further details, videos and photographs.
September 9th 2015: Aircrew Remembered are pleased to announce a new publication (September 2015) on the comprehensive history of 623 Squadron by Steve Smith who we have worked with in the past and hope to in the future. ‘A Short War’ The history of 623 Squadron.
Further details and order information
September 05th 2015: Polish Airforce Memorial Committee honour Aircrew Remembered. At an award ceremony on Saturday 5th September 2015, Kelvin Youngs, founder of the Aircrew Remembered website, was honoured for his “deep commitment to honouring the memory of Polish Airmen”.
A certificate of Commendation was presented to Kelvin by Group Captain David Manning - Commanding Officer RAF Northolt.
Further details and photographs.