Wartime bomber crew laid to rest
A Second World War bomber crew has finally been laid to rest in Italy, 68 years after their aircraft crashed during operations.
The crew of the Royal Air Force Boston Bomber was given full military honours at the ceremony at the Padua War Cemetery in northern Italy, watched by their families.
Boston BZ590, from 18 Squadron, crashed while taking part in operations in the Po Valley in Italy. It took off from Forli, near Rimini, at 8.45pm on April 21 1945, targeting a river crossing on the Po at Taglio di Po followed by an armed reconnaissance of the Po Valley.
But the bomber failed to return and was believed to have been brought down by anti-aircraft fire.
All four crew members – three British and one Australian and all of whom were 20 and 21 – died.
They were pilot Sergeant David Raikes; navigator Flight Sergeant David Perkins; wireless operator and air gunner Flight Sergeant Alexander Bostock, all 20 and from the RAF Volunteer Reserve, as well as air gunner Warrant Officer John Hunt, 21, from the Royal Australian Air Force.
The remains of the aircraft were unearthed in 2011 by Italian amateur archaeological society Archeologi dell’Aria, which searches for remains of Second World War aircraft.
Their excavation near Ferrara revealed human remains and some personal effects and, as with other discoveries of the remains of British service personnel from historic sites, the Ministry of Defence tried to identify any living relatives so they could be involved in the subsequent re-interment and memorial service.
Relatives of the crew travelled to Italy for the service, from locations including Brecon and West Sussex in the UK, and New South Wales in Australia, and one of them played the Last Post at the service.
The burial was also attended by members of today’s Royal Air Force 18(B) Squadron who currently fly Chinook helicopters, the British Embassy’s Navy and Air Attache, Royal Australian Air Force representatives, members of Archeologi dell’Aria, and Simone Guidorzi, director and curator of The North Apennines Po Valley Park.
News from the Press Association - the national news agency for the UK and Ireland
Latest posts by News from the Press Association - the national news agency for the UK and Ireland (see all)
- Shape-shifting frogs and cannibalistic salamanders – meet the stars of a new BBC wildlife series - August 23, 2017
- Mr Benn turns 50: 8 things you didn’t know about the man in the bowler hat - August 23, 2017
- Meet this year’s Great British Bake Off contestants - August 22, 2017
- Stamps celebrate 10 classic British children’s toys - August 22, 2017
- Big Ben has fallen silent: 7 other iconic sounds which sum up cities around the world - August 21, 2017
Leave a Comment!
Community Terms & Conditions
These content standards apply to any and all material which you contribute to our site (contributions), and to any interactive services associated with it.
You must comply with the spirit of the following standards as well as the letter. The standards apply to each part of any contribution as well as to its whole.
be accurate (where they state facts); be genuinely held (where they state opinions); and comply with applicable law in the UK and in any country from which they are posted.
Contributions must not:
contain any material which is defamatory of any person; or contain any material which is obscene, offensive, hateful or inflammatory; or promote sexually explicit material; or promote violence; promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age; or infringe any copyright, database right or trade mark of any other person; or be likely to deceive any person; or be made in breach of any legal duty owed to a third party, such as a contractual duty or a duty of confidence; or promote any illegal activity; or be threatening, abuse or invade another’s privacy, or cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety; or be likely to harass, upset, embarrass, alarm or annoy any other person; or be used to impersonate any person, or to misrepresent your identity or affiliation with any person; or give the impression that they emanate from us, if this is not the case; or advocate, promote or assist any unlawful act such as (by way of example only) copyright infringement or computer misuse.
Nurturing a safe environment
Our Silversurfers community is designed to foster friendships, based on trust, honesty, integrity and loyalty and is underpinned by these values.
We don't tolerate swearing, and reserve the right to remove any posts which we feel may offend others... let's keep it friendly!