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News Items 2009 - 2012
October 3rd 2012: New memorial unveiled today to the crew of Wellington R1451, 11 O.T.U. at Watlington, with 16 crew relatives in attendance.

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September 2011: Under Sea Wreck Of Savoia Marcheti SM.79 Located. Search for Surviving Crew Members/relatives:
The Society has recently been contacted by Vasilis Mentogiannis a member of the UFR diving team, who have recently discovered the almost intact remains on an SM.79. The aircraft was forced to ditch returning from an operation against enemy shipping on the 4th/5th August 1944.
savoia-marcheti-sm.79--mm22229-marcello-perina002c-neri002c-manfrino002c-appolloni002c-zanch-2 Aircraft is laying near the island of Poros, at the depth of 60 meters.
The aircraft serial number is MM 222298, all crew members survived the ditching and the search is now on to try and locate them, or any of their surviving relatives or comrades.
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Crew: Pilot: Ten. Marcello Perina. 2nd Pilot: Ten. Gianfranco Neri. Engineer: 1 Av. Mat. Marcello Manfrino. Wireless: Serg. Marc. Giuseppe Apolloni. Armourer: Av. A. U. Arm. Franco Zanchi. Crew were attached to Aerosiluranti "Gruppo Buscaglia" No. 2a Squadriglia.
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Any help in tracing any survivors from this historical aircraft find would be very much appreciated. Email us. David King. Chairman: Aircrew Remembrance Society. August 2011: Messerschmidt Bf 109 G-14 of Luftwaffe Fighter Ace, Major Erich Leie, Recovered in Poland: Details from Peter Sikora. Engine has been found in Drogomysl, Cieszyn Silesia, Poland.
messerschmidt-bf-109-g-14-major-erich-leie  messerschmidt-bf-109-g-14-erich-leie Pictures courtesy of Zbigniew Legierski and Grzegorz Kasztura.
Major Erich Leie flew the Messerschmitt Bf 109 and the Focke-Wolf, FW190 . He claimed his first victory on the 14th May 1940 in the Battle of France. By the end of 1940 he had 11 victories to his credit. In 1940-41 during the Battle Of Britain, Erich Leie shot down a total of 21 planes and was awarded the Ritterkreuz. On the 19th of August 1942 he was shot down and wounded in the air battle over Dieppe, he baled out of is Fw 190-A3 and survived to fly again.
messerschmidt-bf-109-g-14-helmut-wick-0028center0029002c-erich-leie-0028right0029-on-22-october-1940 Helmut Wick (centre), Erich Leie (right) on 22 October 1940, with JG2. (Courtesy Bundesarchive)
He became commander of I/JG2 on the 2nd of May 1942 and was transferred to JG 51 on the eastern front. By the 11th of June 1943 he had scored his 100th victory, at the age of 28 Major Leie had flow continuous combat missions like most of the Luftwaffe pilots without any respite. On 7th of March, 1945 less than a month before the end of the war, during a large air battle again Russian Yaks, a downed fighter falling out of control smashed into Erich Leie's Black <1+ Messerschmitt G14 at an altitude of just 200 ft. Major Leie managed to break free of his cockpit but his parachute failed to open and Leie fell to death, thus ending the life of one of Germany's greatest pilots. Erich Leie flew over 500 missions and scored 118-121 victories. 76 over the Eastern Front and 42 in the Western skies. He had 30 victories over the Spitfire, 8 Hurricane victories as well as 32 IL-2 Sturmoviks among others. He served with distinction in JG 71, 5/JG51, III/JG2, Stab JG2, and Kommandeur of I/JG2, I/JG51 and was also Kommandeur of JG77. Victories: 118 Awards: Deutsches Kreuz in Gold (20 October 1942) Ritterkreuz (1 August 1941) Units: JG 71, JG 2, JG 51, JG 77 16-04-2011: Search for relatives of Stirling crew lost 20/21st April 1943: The Society is pleased to announce that following the inclusion of a recent page of remembrance to our site regarding the loss a 75 Squadron crew, along with additional details that we have been able to supply, relatives of two of the crew, Diane Ramsey (Nee Upton) and Lynne Truex (relative of Sgt Ellis), have now received a great deal of interest and support in their search. Both are seeking contact with relatives of other crew members, with the view of inviting them to attend a service, at the unveiling of a new memorial to the crew at the crash site in Denmark-. Firstly “The Kentish Express” have published the story this week:
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In New Zealand, Auckland TV will be running a feature, such is their interest that they will be flying Dianne Ramsey to their studio for the recording. Here in England “BBC South East Today” also want to run a feature, as do “ITV Meridian Tonight”. If you are in anyway connected with this crew, be it a relative, an old comrade that knew them during service, an old friend, or have any additional details or photos relating to this sad loss, please contact the society. David King. Chairman: Aircrew Remembrance Society. Contact (Here) Crew details (Here)
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08-04-2011: Reburial of Flight Lieutenant Henry Smith: The burial of Fl/Lt. Henry “Lacy” Smith will take place at Ranville War Cemetery, France with full military honours on 19 April at 10.30 am. We are indebted to a supporter of the society, Dale Heighway, who will be attending the service and taking photos on our behalf, which will be made available for display here courtesy of Dale following the service.
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Australian Flight Lieutenant Henry `Lacy' Smith was found when his Spitfire IX MJ789 was recovered from an estuary in Ouistreham, in Normandy, northern France, in November last year by French war museum owner Fabrice Corbin. More details of F/Lt Henry “Lacy” Smith (Here) Flight Lieutenant Henry L Smith will be buried in plot 5 row F grave 16, adjacent to fellow Australian F/Lt T.R.B Anderson of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). More details of Fl/Lt T.R.B Anderson R.A.A.F. (Here) 28-02-2011: Search for brother Lancaster crash site: The race in now on to find the location of a Lancaster crash site in Holland! Thanks to the intervention of Melvin Brownless responding to the request from relatives of Sgt. Leslie Brettle, contact has been made with fellow researchers in Holland. Hans Ooms and Jaap Woortman, are together working against the clock to locate the exact spot, to coincide with the brother of Leslie’s visit to his grave in Holland. Nephew Ray Brettle who will be visiting the cemetery of his Uncle, along with the sole surviving brother of Sgt Leslie Brettle, told us he had expressed the wish to be able to visit the location were the aircraft had come down, in December 1942. Both Hans and Jaap are currently searching through local records and are hopeful of unearthing details that will revile the location, in time for the families visit in early April this year. Email us. 05th November 2010: Hajo Herrmann died on November 5th 2010 Aged 97. Hajo was the Originator of the Wilde Sau, or Wild Boar, single-engine night-fighter tactics.
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22nd August 2010: Having recently visited Grangemouth in Scotland we met up with a representative from the 1333 Squadron ATC. THey are hoping to raise funds to place a Spitfire near the memorial wall recently erected. Further information will follow how you can help with this superb memorial.
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14th August 2010: It is with regret that we announce the loss of our great researcher friend from Holland, Rob Philips. He died last week aged just 58 peacefully at home surrounded by his close family. Rob dedicated himself to preserving the memories of those airman who fought the good fight in the skies over his beloved Holland in those dark days of the Second World War. He has earned his own wings and flies with them - "through adversity to the stars" a tribute to Rob. The Aircrew Remembrance Society are proud that he had chosen us to continue with his work and over the coming months add to his great research. Our thoughts are of course with his family at this time. Stil van verdriet en met respect voor de enorme hoeveelheid getoonde wilskracht laten wij u weten dat van ons is heen gegaan: Robert Guy Philips.
r.g.-philips Rob Philips - 7th January 1952 - 1st August 2010

5th May 2010: Our Researchers from Holland continue to honour the graves of the recovery we all helped happen. Below and also see "HERE"
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14th March 2010: Our friends over in Saint Nazaire have just recovered a propeller that we understand is from a downed B-17 - the item is in superb condition and further research is also being undertaken to establish which aircraft this is from and of course the story behind it. More follows!
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14th February 2010: We would like to place an appeal for any surviving relatives of the crew from Stirling EE873 lost on 13/14th July 1943. Please see the article "HERE". The owner of the land a Mr. Sylvester Colson has built a superb memorial to the crew and is seeking relatives to contact him (Via us) in order to arrange a visit.
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1st September 2009: A.R. Society contacted again by Laurent Taveau from France regarding the Polish fighter pilot, Chudek - with no known grave. A probable location has been established and a recovery is planned for the recovery of the body later this year. Following this a proper burial will be arranged. Parts from the aircraft and the watch from the pilot have been recovered. More to follow.

1st September 2009: A day of commemorations is taking place in Poland to mark the 70th anniversary of the outbreak of World War II.
The first ceremony took place at dawn on Westerplatte peninsula near Gdansk, where a German battleship fired the first shots on a Polish fort in 1939.
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23rd July 2009: We recently supplied small memorial plaques for a relative to place at the crash site in France of a Halifax in 1944. Now added see here.
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30th June 2009: Alexander Chudek memorial unveiled in Normandy this week. Massive media coverage of the event. Further pictures being prepared for the website.
Pictures kindly supplied direct to us by Laurent Taveau from France who has been one of the main organisers of this splendid memorial plaque.

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The British Library is preserving this site for the future in the UK Web Archive at www.webarchive.org.uk All Aircrew Remembered on our Remembrance pages, are therefor not just remembered here, but also subsequently remembered and recorded as part of our nation’s history
and heritage at The British Library.