Lincolnshire

Site of WW2 Lancaster crash marked with plaque in Crowland

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Media captionThe families of 13 airmen marked 70 years since two Lancaster bombers crashed in Lincolnshire

A plaque is being unveiled to commemorate the 13 airmen who died when two Lancaster bombers collided 70 years ago during World War Two.

The men's relatives were told little about the accident when it happened.

However, a group of aviation enthusiasts researched the crash and recovered wreckage in "an epic three-year recovery project".

The same enthusiasts have arranged for the plaque to be installed at Cloot Drove, Crowland, Lincolnshire.

Relatives of some of the airmen - including the son of the only survivor - will attend the ceremony.

Image copyright Unknown
Image caption All but one of the crew of the Lancaster ND981 were killed

Among them is Maree Pollard, who was 11 months old when her father, Warrant Officer Alfred Leonard Lambert, was killed.

"It has always been a big black hole in my life and I think this is something I feel I need to do," she said.

"I personally feel that the organisation have done a fantastic job and I just can't thank them enough for getting this up and running.

"I find it very humbling."

Image copyright Unknown
Image caption Maree Pollard never met her father, Warrant Officer Alfred Leonard Lambert

She never met her father, who served with the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), because she lived in Australia when he died.

The crash, on 23 June 1944, was witnessed by villagers attending a fete in Crowland.

They looked up to see six Lancasters practising flying in formation, but aircraft ND981 accidentally caught the tail of ME625.

Image copyright LARG
Image caption Wreckage was dug up by Lincolnshire Aircraft Recovery Group (LARG)

In 1979, members of Lincolnshire Aircraft Recovery Group (LARG) decided to recover the wreckage of ME625.

ND981 had crashed on top of the land and burnt.

Dave Stubley from Larg said: "A decision was made to recover the wreckage out of the dyke first.

Image copyright LARG
Image caption The wreckage and story is now on display at the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre

"This turned out to be the start of an epic three-year recovery project."

The wreckage is now on display at the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre, home of LARG.

The plaque will be unveiled on a farm building near the crash site at 15:30 BST, about the time the planes crashed in 1944.

Image copyright Unknown
Image caption All of the ME625 crew, including the five shown here, were killed

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