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Remains of Five WWII Heroes Reburied

November 30, 2001

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HALFWEG, Netherlands (AP) _ To a bagpiper’s mournful tune, the remains of five allied airmen shot down during World War II were buried in a shared grave Thursday, a year after their plane’s wreckage was recovered from a farmyard.

The bodies of three Britons, a Canadian and an Australian were laid to rest in a rain-soaked cemetery here, 10 miles from Amsterdam, while troops from those three nations and the Dutch air force offered a farewell salute.

About 100 mourners took shelter from their rain under a canopy of umbrellas, including Val Duncan of Australia, younger sister of victim Harold Boal.

``It’s final now. In my memory I now know where he finished his days,″ she said.

Returning from a night bombing mission over Germany on Jan. 31, 1944, the airmen’s Lancaster JB 659 bomber crashed into a farm after it was hit by hostile fire.

The crash killed all seven crewmen and six members of the Van de Bijl family.

Also Thursday, Amsterdam officials unveiled a monument near the site, commemorating the 13 who died _ the six family and the seven airmen.

The bodies of two airmen, pilot Allan Robert Hart of Australia and Gordon Ivan Williams of Canada, were found right after the crash. The others remained inside the wreckage, buried in a 26-foot deep crater that remained forgotten for nearly a half century.

It ws discovered last year when the site was excavated as part of a plan to build a new harbor.

The crew members buried Thursday were flight sergeant Harold James Boal of Australia, Charles Melville Price of Canada and Leslie Clifton, Douglas Frederick Hicks and William Joseph Jones of Britain.

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