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The Crew of Lancaster bomber JB221

Burial Services Held For Lancaster Crews at Durnbach

14 October 2015

On Wednesday 21 October, memorial services will be held for the crews of Lancaster bomber ED427 of 49 Squadron, and Lancaster bomber JB221 of 97 Squadron.

The services will take place at St Aegidius Church, Gmund, Germany before moving to nearby Durnbach War Cemetery.

The morning service will begin at 10am and will remember Pilot Officer George Smith of Lancaster JB221.

The afternoon service will begin at 2:30pm and will remember the crew of Lancaster ED427.

Lancaster JB221 took off on 26 November 1943 from RAF Bourn in Cambridgeshire for a bombing mission over Frankfurt in central Germany, but failed to return to its home base. The aircraft was later reported to have crashed 1 mile east of the village of Brandau, 25 miles south-east of Frankfurt.

Three fatalities were recovered at the time and buried locally in Brandau cemetery, and later reinterred at the Durnbach War Cemetery. The four other crew members could not be found and were commemorated on the Air Forces Memorial at Runnymede, UK.

The crew included:

Lancaster ED427 took off from RAF Fiskerton, five miles east of Lincoln, at 9:14PM on 16 April 1943, to attack the Skoda armaments works in the Czechoslovakian brewing town of Pilsen. The aircraft failed to return and may have been downed by enemy flak.

In September 2012 a civilian excavation team unearthed the remains of Lancaster ED427 in the village of Laumersheim, south-west of Frankfurt.

The seven crew members included:

Both services will be conducted by the Revd (Squadron Leader) Colin O'Dell, RAF.  Relatives of the men will attend the service, along with representatives from embassies, the air forces and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. The ceremony has been organised by the UK Ministry of Defence JCCC Commemorations Team and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission working in partnership.