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Mystery of Lancaster ME-752 unravelled

rnzaf rocky roche heythuysen lancaster bomber world war 2

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#1    taniwha


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Posted 02 May 2014 - 08:28 PM

For 70 years a New Zealand family has lived with the sorrow of never knowing where a brave Kiwi pilot fatally crashed his aircraft after being hit by enemy fire during World War II.

Flight Sergeant Gerald "Rocky" Roche and the stone memorial to the dead airmen erected in Heythuysen, the Netherlands.
Flight Sergeant Gerald Brian "Rocky" Roche was just 21 when his RNZAF Lancaster bomber was shot down behind enemy lines on July 21, 1944. But seven decades after the young airman was killed, his family finally learned the true story of his death - and his exact burial spot.

The mystery was unravelled by the relentless detective work of Ria Schmieder-Brouns from the small Dutch town of Heythuysen.


#2    taniwha


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Posted 02 May 2014 - 08:36 PM

A small but impressive memorial in remembrance of the crew of the Lancaster ME752 of the 75th (NZ) squadron of the RAF which crashed on the field behind the monument on the 21st of July 1944.

The text on the memorial:


(For ever and ever be strong)

On July 21st 1944 the Lancaster ME-752 from Squadron 75 Royal New Zealand Air Force crashed on this foreign field.
Five crewmembers lost their lives.
This is their Memorial.

Joseph Armstrong (raf)
Jack Frank Macdonald Barson (raf)
Horace Callow (rnzaf)
Gerald Brain Roche (rnzaf)
Keith Emmet Smith (rnzaf)

They shall not grow old as we that are left grow old
Age shall not weary them nor the years condemn
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them
( L. Binyon)
( Onthult 13 november 2003 door :
HE Mr.D.Payton Ambassadeur of New Zealand)


Very touching.

#3    TSS



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Posted 02 May 2014 - 09:34 PM

So many of these untold stories from the great wars...and an iconic plane too. Thanks for posting it, I enjoyed reading that! :tu:

"Equipped with his five senses, man explores the universe around him and calls the adventure Science". ~ Edwin Powell Hubble

#4    psyche101


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Posted 07 May 2014 - 04:15 AM

I enjoyed that too, thank you for sharing that.

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#5    Shiloh17


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Posted 07 May 2014 - 05:33 AM

Too many unsung heroes go unnoticed. Great article.

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