finally laid to rest
builder Ian Ludlow, 59, yesterday laid to rest his uncle Bob -- 59 years
after his Lancaster
bomber was shot down on a mission over Germany in 1944.
The wireless operator was buried with full military honours in the Berlin
war cemetery alongside five other airmen -- three Australians and two
Their remains were unearthed two years ago when German historians found the
wreckage of their Lancaster bomber in a forest outside
They were given a formal burial in front of a group of relatives flown in
for the ceremony from Australia and Britain by the RAAF, the RAF and the
Australian and British governments.
``Bob's photo was always up on the wall and we always used to ask about
Uncle Bob and all we were ever told was that he was missing in action,
presumed dead, in Germany and it was never, ever talked about,'' Mr Ludlow
``After it was confirmed that his plane had been found, it was only then
that Dad spoke about his brother. It's obviously been a relief for him to
The Lancaster ED 867 took
off from RAF base Waddington in England in the early hours of January 29,
1944, to bomb Berlin.
But less than three hours later it was shot down 40km north of its target,
killing all seven men on board.
RAF airman Sid Griffiths' body was found soon after and buried in a local
cemetery, before being reinterred in the war cemetery.
But the other men were simply listed as missing in action, their fates
unknown for decades.
The others laid to rest yesterday were pilot Ian Durston, 32, from Brisbane,
upper gunner Phillip Gill, 20, also from Brisbane, rear gunner Flight
Sergeant Jack Sutherland, 22, of Adelaide, and RAF navigator Harold Fry and
flight engineer Francis Aver.
Also present at the burial yesterday was David Sutherland, 60, a sales
representative from Adelaide, who was nine months old when his father Jack
``A friend of mine said `Your father is going to be so happy when you get
there. He's been lying there waiting for almost 60 years for you to come and
see him. Now you're coming across to see him, he's going to be so happy and
so are you','' Mr Sutherland said. ``It is an emotional time.''
More than 20,000 Allied airmen are still listed as missing.
Caption: RIP at last...a coffin containing the remains of one of the
missing airmen is carried during the burial service at the Berlin war