TOP COSTA BLANCA NEWS: 'Forgotten' Shropshire RAF airmen honoured in Spain Mountainside memorial

TOP COSTA BLANCA NEWS: 'Forgotten' Shropshire RAF airmen honoured in Spain Mountainside memorial

FLYING to Gibraltar on a navigational training exercise, a Wellington bomber from RAF Shawbury, Shropshire, crashed on a mountain above Denia in Alicante, Costa Blanca, on 5 December 1950.

The twin-engine aircraft NA598 was hit by extreme weather and flew off course into catastrophe.

Last week, relatives and airmen gathered at the site in an emotional ceremony 69 years later to see a plinth unveiled, thought to be the first in Spain dedicated to an RAF crew.

Details of the accident were pieced together by the North Costa Blanca branch of the RAF Association (RAFA).

At the time of the flight, a tense relationship with Spain’s fascist dictator General Franco meant UK aircraft were not permitted to fly over Spain’s airspace and a route over the Mediterranean was planned. But the twin-engine aircraft came down in a thunderstorm on the Montgo mountain.

As Euro Weekly News understands, the explosion was heard by locals in the nearby town of Denia. The people who recovered the bodies have now been officially thanked by The RAFA North Costa Blanca.

The RAF airmen on board were: Flt Lt Leonard West, Master Navigator Peter Pullar, Flt Lt Robert Baker, Flt Sgt Hansom and three aircraftmen: Neville Jones, Roy Ousley and Peter Field Thorne.

RAFA European Area President, Air Marshal Sir Graham Stacey, unveiled the plinth and praised his branch’s efforts in raising €1,500 (£1,267) for it.

Sixteen relatives travelled from the UK to mark the occasion, which was followed by a church service and lunch also attended by representatives from RAF Shawbury.

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Written by

Cristina Hodgson

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