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World War Two Bomber Crew Laid to Rest with Military Honours in Italy

09 July 2013

The crew of a Royal Air Force Boston Bomber, which crashed 68 years ago while taking part in operations in the Po Valley in Italy, are laid to rest with military honours on Thursday 18 July 2013 at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Padua War Cemetery in Italy.

Boston BZ590 belonging to 18 Squadron took off from Forli near Rimini at 8.45 pm on 21 April 1945, with the target being a river crossing on the Po at Taglio di Po followed by an armed reconnaissance of the Po Valley. The aircraft failed to return and was believed to have been brought down by anti-aircraft fire. It crashed killing all four crew members on board, three British and one Australian. One of the British crew, the pilot, was poet Sergeant David Raikes who had some of his work published by his family during the 1950's.

Relatives of the crew members travelled from Brecon and West Sussex in the United Kingdom and New South Wales in Australia to witness the burial service.

Padua War Cemetery contains over 500 Commonwealth burials of the Second World War.