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Goodbye to a hero from 1942; FUNERAL: Relatives gather in Holland after Midland pilot's body found in wreck.

Byline: By Jane Tyler

THE family of a World War Two Birmingham fighter pilot who has been missing in action for 64 years have finally laid him to rest.

Flight Sergeant Hugh Barton-Smith, from Sutton Coldfield, and the seven other members of the crew of his RAF bomber died when they were shot down in 1942.

But it was only last year the wreckage of their plane and their remains were found.

Yesterday they were buried with full military honours in the Netherlands close to where they fell.

Mr Barton-Smith, aged 26, was a chemist by trade and enlisted in November 1940.

He married his wife May in February 1941 and their son Shaun was only a few months old when he died.

Mrs Barton-Smith has died but Shaun, now aged 64, was at the funeral.

The Stirling aircraft flew from RAF Bourn, in Cambridgeshire, in 1942 to raid Kassel in Germany, and the crew were missing in action.

Remains found in the aircraft will be buried alongside comrades whose graves are already in a military cemetery.

As relatives of the crew looked on, the men were honoured with a fly past by a Tornado GR4 aircraft from the modern-day 15 Squadron, from RAF Lossie-mouth in Scotland.

Their remains were buried in a single coffin at Ambt-Delden cemetery in the Netherlands.

The whereabouts of the bomber and the remaining crewmen remained a mystery until last year when an aircraft was discovered and excavated by the Royal Dutch Airforce.

Human remains found in the wreckage were identified from serial numbers on the engine and relatives of the dead men were traced.

OUR SAY: PAGE 70

CAPTION(S):

SOLEMN DAY... RAF officers join the families of the dead RAF crew at the Ambt-Delden cemetery in the Netherlands. Below, Hugh Barton Smith, from Sutton Coldfield.
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Sep 1, 2006
Words:302
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