A service of rededication for the crew of Lancaster DS678 will be held at 11am in the Commission’s Niederzwehren Cemetery near Kassel in Germany on Wednesday 27th June.
Lancaster DS678 KO-J took off on the night of 24 March 1944 to attack Berlin; it failed to return. DS678 was flying over Leipzeg on the way home when the end came and Pilot Officer Leonard Myles McCann RCAF died with four other of his crew. Two of the crew survived and were taken into captivity.
The dead were buried in the Prisoner of War cemetery at Ohrdruf. The exact location of their graves has been lost over the years as Ohrdruf was used by Soviet forces as a training area after the war and remained a restricted area until the reunification of Germany in the 1990s.
The service has been organised by the Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre, Ministry of Defence, and will be attended by British Defence Staff, regimental representatives and local dignitaries. The CWGC will provide the Special Memorial headstones which commemorate the five crew members known to have been buried at Ohrdruf, but who are now remembered at the Commission’s Niederzwehren Cemetery.
The crew are remembered on the panels of the Runnymede Memorial.
J.19862 115 Sqd Cpt. L.M. McMcann (Pilot/Officer) Fate: Killed
J.35834 115 Sqd W/O. H.L Gray (Nav) Fate: Prisoner of War
1095610 115 Sqd Sgt. W. Bowey (Wop/Air) Fate: Killed
1394781 115 Sqd F/S. D. Geach (A/B) Fate: Prisoner of War
1851938 115 Sqd Stg. V.J. Watson (A/G) Fate: Killed
1381057 115 Sqd Stg. D. Keeley (A/G) Fate: Killed
1652303 115 Sqd Stg. J.W. Burke (F/Eng) Fate: Killed
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