WWII bomber's family traced in time for Berlin memorial; PILOT OFFICER WAS BURIED IN GRAVE FOR 'UNKNOWN AIRMEN'.
Byline: LUKE TRAYNOR Chief Reporter email@example.com @LUKETRAYNORECHO
A RELATIVE of a Liverpool World War II pilot who was killed on a German bombing raid has been traced in time for a spec-ial burial service.
Pilot Officer John Donald Range Cromarty was on a Lancaster JB640 which took off for the German capital on the night of January 2, 1944, but was not heard from again.
Research into the loss of JB640 now shows that it crashed in Germany with the loss of all crew.
Their remains were interred in a grave within what became the East German sector of Berlin after the war, but the grave was marked as that of "Unknown Airmen".
But, after an appeal by the Ministry of Defence's Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre, a re-dedication service is being held in Berlin and relatives of almost all of the crew will be there on April 27.
Rebecca Owen only came to learn of her first cousin once removed when a complete stranger, called Maureen, took it upon herself to trace Mr Cromarty's relatives using ancestry charts, and identified the 59-year-old living in Worcestershire.
Ms Owen has now unearthed the only surviving picture of Mr Cromarty, from her mum's photo albums, which show the future Pilot Officer, aged around three, with the words, "Jack raided Berlin 1944", written underneath.
Ms Owen is disabled and so unable to get to Germany to attend the service, but she will send a close friend to represent the family. She told the ECHO: "John was born in 1921, so I never met him.
"His mother and my grandfather were brother and sister.
"I haven't been able to stop thinking about it all week.
"I've gone over what his parents went through when they got that telegram and spending the rest of time not knowing what had become of him.
"It's fantastic what the Ministry of Defence has done to help find me.
"This holds personal resonance for me. It's very admirable.
"Those men were so young and it's only right their names should be on their graves."
Mr Cromarty was born to Ernest Cecil Cromarty and Margaret Agnes Range on January 29, 1921, in Liverpool.
His last known address was Berwick Gardens, Little Sutton, Cheshire.
A Lancaster bomber
John Cromarty, from Liverpool, as a childPicture: REBECCA OWEN
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|Publication:||Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)|
|Date:||Apr 21, 2016|
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