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WWII RAF bomber found in Poland
Photo of Warsaw uprising
Poland had a strong resistance - but the uprising was crushed
Historians in Poland have discovered the wreckage of a World War II RAF Halifax bomber along with the remains of its British and Canadian crew.

The hull of the aircraft, from 148 Squadron, was found buried in a field near the southern Polish town of Dabrowa Tarnowska.

The bomber was shot down while dropping supplies and ammunition to the Polish underground during the Warsaw uprising.

Polish historians are now trying to track down the airmen's families.

Records show the Halifax JP-276A took off on its final flight from the Italian city of Brindisi around 2000 GMT on 4 August 1944.

The crew of five Canadians and two Britons, led by Canadian pilot Captain A.R. Blynn, were flying on a mission to drop weapons and ammunition to the Polish underground.

This is an extraordinary, rare find
Project manager Piotr Sliwowski
Although a small amount of human remains from the crash were found and buried in Poland in 1944, the wreckage has remained buried along with most of the remains for more than 60 years.

Warsaw's Museum of the 1944 Warsaw Uprising started to recover the wreck about two months ago.

Relatives search

Project manager Piotr Sliwowski, who heads the museum's history department, told the Associated Press news agency: "This is an extraordinary, rare find - there are only three Halifaxes in museums around the world."

Although the museum's officials were intrigued to find the hull of the bomber as well as documents and personal belongings, it was the discovery of the remains of its crew of young men that left the biggest impression.

The historians have contacted the British and Canadian embassies in Warsaw in the hope that the families of the airmen can be notified.

Mr Sliwowski said: "These were boys aged 28 or 30. Their remains were for decades in the ground, now they will be able to return to their homelands."

Documents, notes and maps and personal items belonging to the crew, like a folding knife and a well-preserved aviator's badge, were also discovered.

"It takes you back 62 years and you start thinking, 'What were they like? What did they look like? Did they have girlfriends?'" Mr Sliwowski said.


Containers of weapons and ammunition were also found on board the crashed Halifax.

The plane's mission was part of the Allied effort to assist Poland's resistance towards the end of World War II.

The city's Home Army had launched a rebellion in an attempt to liberate the Polish capital from the Nazi occupation.

Two restored Halifax bombers are on display at the Yorkshire Air Museum at Elvington, York, and at the Royal Canadian Air Force Museum in Trenton, Ontario, Canada.

A third is on display in what is described as "as recovered" condition at the Royal Air Force Bomber Command Museum in London.

Cliff-top memorial for lost crew
02 Nov 05 |  Cumbria

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