For the last seven years, concerted efforts have been made to locate the possible final resting place of a 619 Squadron Lancaster I ME846, which was shot down by a German night-fighter on the night of June 22, 1944.
The aircraft was crewed by five British airmen; one Australian airman and one Canadian airman. Four of the airmen survived the subsequent crash – one evaded and three became prisoners of war. Three airmen were killed ñ two are buried in Schoonselhof Cemetery in Antwerp, Belgium, whilst the remains of the pilot, Pilot Officer Mark Anthony Hamilton ëDaveí Davis have so far not been recovered.
Recent discoveries in Belgium lead researchers to believe that the crash site may now have been located. This is in the vicinity of a memorial to the crash near Mol ñ Postel that was unveiled in September 2006. It is possible that the remains of Pilot Officer Davis lie at this crash location.
Towards the end of October 2010 members of the ME846 Family were contacted by a Belgian military researcher who had been inspired to aid the search for ME846. Through his investigations he has located a site, which has yielded British calibre ammunition, some fragments of aluminium and a piece of canvas webbing with metal attached.
The site has now been visited by several other prominent Belgian researchers. The general consensus of everyone involved in this search in Belgium is that it is highly likely that the location of the ME846 crash site has now been identified. So much so the SO3 Post Death Admin Comms & Licensing Department at RAF Innsworth, UK have been notified of the possible location and their advice has been sought on how to progress with the investigation of this site.
This process will involve close co-operation with the appropriate regional and statutory Belgian authorities. There are still some important decisions to be taken about how the project should proceed, not least whether or not a further investigation / excavation should be carried out.