Memorial to crew of Avro Lancaster ND475

A memorial to eight crewmembers of a Lancaster that crashed at Eastrea is to be diedcated on Friday 19th April - the 80th anniversary of the crash
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In the early hours of the morning of 19th April 1944 Avro Lancaster ND475 of 57 Sqn Bomber Command, RAF was returning from a successful raid on the railway yards at Juvisy-sur-Orge, near Paris, when, without warning, it went into a steep dive and crashed in a field near Eastrea, Cambridgeshire.

The cause of the crash remains unknown, but there was specualtion at the time that the aircaft was brought down by a lone german night-fighter that attacked two other aircraft in the area that same night.

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Only one body was recovered from the scene, that of Tail Gunner Sgt. Willis, who is buried in Bury Cemetery, Lancashire. The remaining crew members were never recovered and remain in that field.

Avro LancasterAvro Lancaster
Avro Lancaster

On Friday 19th of April 2024, the eightieth anniversary of their death, at 10:45am a memorial to the men who died will be unveiled at Eastrea War Memorial, Wype Road, Eastrea. Guests will include members of Whittlesey Town Council, representatives from 57 Sqn RAF, the 57 Sqn Association, Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre, Spilsby (the custodians of the heritage of 57 sqn.), the Royal British Legion, the owners of the land where ND475 crashed and custodians of the site and local resident – including the last living individuals to witness the scene.

The memorial has been privately arranged Councillors Wainwright and Wicks of Whittlesey Town Council.

RAAF 420493 Plt Off Oberg, Albert Edward, Captain (Pilot) (age 32)

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RAAF 425129 Plt Off Culliford, Ronald Firth (2nd Pilot) (age 22)

RAFVR 1522824 Sgt Kinnes, William Duncan (age not known)

RAFVR 174670 Plt Off Crossley, Edmund Forbes (age 34)

RAFVR 174690 Plt Off Pizzey, Herbert Rex (age 23)

RAFVR 1394671 Sgt Richards, Joseph Stewart (age 20)

RAF 174599 Plt Off Adams, Henry Harris (age 40)

RAFVR 2208994 Sgt Willis, John Frederick (age 19)