York & North Yorkshire

New memorial to WW2 bomber crew unveiled

North Yorkshire County Councillor Peter Sowray, chairman of the War Memorial Committee Nigel Denison, and Roger Clements of Brafferton Parish Council with the new memorial
Image caption Councillor Peter Sowray, Nigel Denison of Brafferton and Helperby War Memorial Committee, and Roger Clements of Brafferton Parish Council with the new memorial

A weather-damaged memorial to seven RAF airmen killed in World War Two has been replaced.

Halifax bomber NA612 was returning to its base at RAF Dishforth in the early hours of 4 March 1945 when it was shot down by a German night fighter over Brafferton near Thirsk.

The crew of seven, six Canadian and one British airman, all died.

The community installed a stone plaque near the crash site in 2013, but it has deteriorated over the past five years.

Image caption The original plaque was damaged by the weather

North Yorkshire County Council's locality fund paid £500 for a new granite plaque, situated near St Peter's Church in Brafferton, bearing the names of the crew, who were aged between 19 and 27.

It is hoped the hard-wearing granite will last much longer than the original stone.

Councillor Peter Sowray said the old plaque was not a "fitting memorial" to the Canadian Royal Air Force and British Royal Air Force volunteer reserve servicemen.

Halifax NA612 was returning from a bombing raid when it was shot down as it came in to land at Dishforth. It set on fire and exploded as it hit the ground near Brafferton.

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