One of the important aspects of the job was the commemorative nature of honoring the deceased with a proper funeral and burial.
This was something that a M.R.E.S. Search Officer had to typically arrange at a village cemetery close to the plane wreck site (unless other arrangements were called for) or if an unknown aviator could be identified in a mass gave site.
The photos that follow of a burial of R.A.F. F/O A. H. Hall I arranged while on assignment with the M.R.E.S. in Denmark illustrate a typical EXAMPLE of the work that had to be done and perhaps clearly speaks to the scope of the job. Typically the locals were most anxious to participate to honor the memory of the fallen hero.
Rob Davis' Bomber Command Losses Database Royal Air Force (RAF) Bomber Command 1939-1945 has ther following information about R.A.F. F/O A. H. (Alexander Henry) Hall and his air crew mates which is reproduced below:
|'BOMBER COMMAND HX151'|
|DATE:||23-Apr-1944 / 24-Apr-1944|
|AIRCRAFT:||Handley Page Halifax II|
|CAUSE OF LOSS:||Shot down by fighter|
|Pilot:||Flying Officer Alexander Henry Hall||RAFVR (151580) [Killed].||Son of James and Harriett Mary Hall of Malpas Cheshire. Husband of Ursula Eileen Hall..||Svino Churchyard, Denmark, Grave 92|
|Flight Engineer:||Sergeant Norman Pearce||RAFVR (1737174) [Killed].||Son of George Cliffe Pearce and Ada Pearce of Newcastle Staffordshire.||Omo Churchyard, Denmark, Row 1 Grave 10|
|Navigator:||Flying Officer Arthur Joseph Painter||RAFVR (151098) [Killed].|| :||Runnymede Memorial, United Kingdom, Panel 208|
|Bomb Aimer:||Pilot Officer Ivan Arnold Weir||RCAF (J/86890) [Killed].||Son of John Stevenson Weir and Mary Caldwell Weir of Belmont Manitoba Canada.||Svino Churchyard, Denmark, Grave 82|
|Wireless Operator:||Sergeant Christopher George Woplin||RAFVR (1423134) [Killed].||Son of George Christopher and Sarah Woplin of South Norwood Surrey.||Svino Churchyard, Denmark, Grave 69|
|Mid-Upper Gunner:||Sergeant Robert Dennis Loke||RAFVR (1819350) [Killed].||Son of Frank Edgar and Constance Beatrice Loke of Leicester||Runnymede Memorial, United Kingdom, Panel 233|
|Rear Gunner:||Sergeant Robert Joseph Clarke||RAFVR (1823047) [Killed].|| :||Runnymede Memorial, United Kingdom, Panel 227|
DETAILS (Numbers following a name are Military Service numbers): Tasked to drop mines in the Baltic. Shot down by night fighter (Lt Walter Brieglieb, 10/NJG3) and crashed 23:42 in the Smalandsfarvendet, east of the Danish island of Omo. Three of the dead are buried at Svino Churchyard; Sgt Pearce in the Omo Churchyard; other members of the crew are remembered on the Runnymede Memorial.
This is another of the many examples of RCAF airmen of NCO rank being instantly commissioned on being posted missing. On a previous incident report, P/O Weir is listed as a F/Sgt; however here he is shown as a P/O. This is to afford the widow or next of kin an improved pension, or if the airman was taken PoW, to give him better conditions whilst in captivity.
Photo Source: All Above Photos From Hubert Brooks Private Collection
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The Life and Times of Hubert Brooks M.C. C.D.