05/10/2017
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Missing WWII aircrew found in lake

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Aircraft recovery firm Leemans Speciaalwerken made a grisly discovery while recovering the shattered remains of a WWII Avro Lancaster bomber from a Dutch lake.

Lancaster R5682 of 61 Squadron was on a night bombing raid to Bremen, from RAF Syerston in Nottinghamshire, when it went down in northern Holland. Four of the seven man crew managed to bail out, and were subsequently captured, but the other three were killed. Nothing had been found of Canadian tailgunner FJ Cooper since the Lancaster was lost but experts are now trying to verify that the remains are from the missing airman.

Evander Brokman of the specialist recover firm said that the remains were discovered at the beginning of October but the announcement was made to coincide with a flypast from the Royal Dutch Airforce and the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Lancaster bomber, which is based in Lincolnshire. The flypast was organised to commemorate the crew as the salvage operation near Warten in Alde Feanen, was underway. Broekman commented that the remains were now with the army's identification unit, who would investigate and decide if they belonged to the missing Canadian airman.

At the time of writing Leemans Speciaalwerken’s recovery team had brought up two engines and the main fuselage from the underwater crash site, with more elements expected to be recovered. The eventual aim was to put the wreckage on public display.

 

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