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Lost WW2 bomber crews remembered in German service

Headstones of airmen at the war cemetery in Berlin Image copyright Crown Copyright
Image caption Wreaths were laid at the rededication services in Berlin

Services have been held at a German war cemetery to remember 10 previously unknown RAF airmen, whose remains were recently identified.

The re-dedication services took place at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission's Berlin 1939-1945 war cemetery.

A Lancaster and a Halifax bomber crashed while on bombing raids over Germany in January 1944.

New headstones were carved to replace those which previously had no names.

Members of the families of the airmen attended the service after the MoD appealed for relatives to come forward earlier this month.

Lancaster JB640 took off for Berlin on 2 January 1944 with seven crew on board, but was never heard from again.

Image copyright Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Image caption One of the services was to honour the crew of a Halifax bomber like this one, who died on a bombing raid of Germany

The other seven-man crew, on Halifax LK709, failed to return from a bombing raid on the German capital on 28 January 1944, when the aeroplane crashed into a lake.

Four members of the Halifax crew already had named graves in the cemetery.

The ceremonies were organised by the Ministry of Defence's Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre (JCCC) based at Imjin Barracks, Gloucester.

The men on Lancaster JB640

  • Pilot Officer John Donald Range Cromarty (aged 23) - from Liverpool.
  • Flt Sgt Dennis Frederick Burtenshaw (20) - from Sydney, Australia. Later lived in south London.
  • Flt Sgt Leonard Norman Lapthorne (21) - from Birmingham.
  • Flt Sgt Reginald Joseph Collens (31) - from Croydon, south London.
  • Flt Sgt Kenneth Sidney James Chapman (20) - from Westbury, Wiltshire.
  • Sgt Frederick Edwin Woolven (23) - from Arundel, Sussex.
  • Sgt Norman Henry Colebatch (20) - from Walsall.

The men on Halifax LK709

  • Pilot Officer William Proffitt White (23) - from Shotteswell, Warwickshire.
  • Flt Sgt Norman Thompson Steele (21) - from Ashington, Northumberland.
  • Flt Sgt Arthur Binnie Walker (21) - from Glasgow.
  • Sgt Thomas Ernest Edwards (22) - from Durham.
  • Sgt Leslie Raymond Bright (22) - from London.
  • Sgt Kenneth Bray (21) - from Grimsby.
  • Sgt David Winston Jenkins (22) - from Swansea.
Image copyright Crown Copyright
Image caption The services remembered crews of a Lancaster and a Halifax bomber who were killed in 1944
Image copyright Crown Copyright
Image caption An RAF bugler sounded the last post at the rededication service

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