Tribute paid to Canadian airmen who died in the Netherlands

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by syscom3, Sep 29, 2006.

  1. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2005
    Messages:
    12,631
    Likes Received:
    309
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    Tribute paid to Canadian airmen who died in the Netherlands

    Last Updated: Wednesday, September 27, 2006 | 10:23 AM ET


    Two Canadian airmen killed in the Second World
    War were finally buried Wednesday in the
    Netherlands near where they died and more than
    60 years after their plane was shot out of the sky.

    Flight Sgt. Joseph Thomas Lloyd LeBlanc from
    Quebec and Flying Officer Sidney Glen Peterson
    from Manitoba, died on May 25, 1944, when a
    British Halifax bomber was shot down by a German
    fighter plane in the Netherlands. Five other
    airmen on board also died in the crash.

    A coffin with the remains of Canadian Second
    World War flyers is carried into a funeral
    service at Jonkerbos War Cemetery in Nijmegen,
    the Netherlands, on Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2006.
    The service for Flying Officer Sidney Glen
    Peterson and Flight Sergeant Joseph Thomas Lloyd
    LeBlanc was attended by family, including Roy
    Peterson (center left), brother of Sidney, and
    his daughter, Lisa (center right), who watch as
    the coffin is carried into Our Lady Lourdes Church.
    (Ermindo Armino/ AP)

    Remains of the airmen and fragments of the
    aircraft were recovered last fall from a swampy
    area near the city of Nijmegen in an effort
    funded by the Dutch government. At the time of the crash,
    only one body was found.

    A special funeral service with full military
    honours was held Wednesday for the airmen in
    Jonkerbos War Cemetery in Nijmegen. The cemetery
    holds the remains of more than 1,600
    Commonwealth military service personnel,
    including more than 80 Canadians, who died during the Second World War.

    A few family members of the fallen crew, some
    Canadian, British and Dutch soldiers, a handful
    of townspeople, and Canadian embassy officials attended the funeral.

    All of the airmen whose remains were unearthed were buried in one coffin.

    "It was quite a moving experience," Canadian
    Michael LeBlanc, nephew of Joseph LeBlanc, said of the funeral service.

    "As we were leaving the church, I was looking at
    the faces of the Dutch people at the service,
    and I was struck by how many had tears in their
    eyes," he said. "I was struck by the deep and real sentiment expressed."

    David Common, a CBC reporter in the Netherlands,
    said a Dutch farmer saw the bomber crash into
    the ground. He tried for 20 years to have the
    aircraft and remains unearthed and his efforts
    finally resulted in a salvage operation. It is
    believed to have cost about $400,000.

    Over time, the wreckage sank into the ground in
    a farmer's field because of drainage and land reclamation projects.

    Mona Parker, who lost her brother, Joseph
    LeBlanc, in the crash and is his only surviving
    sibling, said she is relieved that he was finally buried.

    "He never really had a funeral even though the
    family went to the graveside and did all the
    usual things," she said. "So I guess, in
    essence, it is closure for me. I'm the only one left in my family."

    The seven airmen were part of a planned attack
    on German rail lines in the days before D-Day,
    the Allied invasion to liberate Europe from Nazi occupation.

    LeBlanc, originally from Cascapedia, Que., was
    28 when the plane crashed, while Peterson,
    originally from Winnipeg, Man., was 21.

    In the salvage operation, about 80 per cent of
    the plane was recovered. The remains of the airmen were inside the bomber.

    "It is truly an honour to be here today with the
    family members of the airmen as they commemorate
    and honour their courageous loved ones," Masud
    Husain, charge d affaires for the Canadian
    Embassy in the Netherlands, said at the ceremony.

    "The torch of remembrance continues to burn
    bright, as Canadians everywhere remember the
    many sacrifices made by these airmen and their
    comrades for the freedom we have today."
     
  2. lesofprimus

    lesofprimus Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2004
    Messages:
    19,162
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    Communications
    Location:
    Long Island Native in Mississippi
    Home Page:
  3. Hunter368

    Hunter368 Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2005
    Messages:
    2,240
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    Manager
    Location:
    Winnipeg
    Dan! Welcome back, I have not seen you around in a while.


    I salute these men also.
     
  4. Nonskimmer

    Nonskimmer Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2004
    Messages:
    8,848
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    Naval Electronics Technician
    Location:
    Halifax, Nova Scotia
  5. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2004
    Messages:
    41,730
    Likes Received:
    517
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Doctor
    Location:
    Portsmouth / Royal Deeside, UK
    Home Page:
Loading...

Share This Page