Mission to find missing relatives of bomber MP-X - The Worcester Observer

Mission to find missing relatives of bomber MP-X

Worcester Editorial 15th Jan, 2020   0

A BID to reunite relatives of members of an Halifax bomber which was shot down in the skies over Belgium in November 1943 has led to Worcester.

Graham Davis contacted the Observer in a bid to reach city resident Suzette Cook, who is the daughter of Ron Stokes, the rear gunner of bomber MP-X and a member of the 76 Squadron of the Royal Air Force during the Second World War.

Mr Davis’s uncle was also on the aircraft as mid-upper gunner as the Halifax was brought down on its way to the German city of Dusseldorf.

All of the crew survived the crash and though the pilot, Flight Lieutenant Denis Hornsey, managed to escape the clutches of the Nazis thanks to the efforts of the Comet Line resistance movement, the rest were captured on the ground.

The Comet Line, operating between 1941 and 1944, helped Allied soldiers and airmen shot down over occupied Belgium evade capture by the Nazis and return to the United Kingdom. The scheme enabled Ft Lt Hornsey to reach Spain and onto Gibraltar from where he returned home. After the war, he wrote a book called ‘The Pilot Walked Home’ and all of the crew are mentioned including Mr Stokes.

Mr Davis’s five-year quest to meet Ms Cook came after an e-mail from Professor Martin Alexander of the University of Wales telling him he had met her in Morrison’s cafe in Aberystwyth while he was selling poppies for the Royal British Legion.

“She told him of her father’s exploits during the war and about the Bomber Command forum on the internet which is where he got my details,” he told the Observer.

“This forum has reunited me with my cousin who, whilst researching his father’s wartime service, saw my posts and promptly got in touch after about 45 years so we are both trying to find this lady and organise a meeting for relatives of the crew.”

Anyone with information can call Mr Davis on 01639 687084


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