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Irish gunner to be laid to rest

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  • Irish gunner to be laid to rest

    An Irish gunner killed when his bomber crashed during World War II is to be laid to rest in the Netherlands later.

    His sister, Margaret Walsh, 88, from Tullamore, County Offaly, will make the journey to Bergen on Wednesday for the funeral of her brother.

    RAF Sergeant John Kehoe who was shot down in November 1941, is to be laid to rest with full military honours.

    Sergeants Stanley Mullenger and John Kehoe of the RAF's 49 Squadron were onboard Hamden P1206 when it took off from RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire at 1714hrs on 8 November 1941 for an intruder sortie in the Bocholt area of northern Germany.

    The aircraft was attacked over the Dutch coast by a German night fighter and crashed shortly after 2100hrs into farmland along the Dortstrasse of Berkhout in the neighbourhood of Hoorn. The remains of the other two crew members - Warrant Officer Christopher Saunders DFM and Sergeant James D'Arcy - were recovered by the Germans after the crash and buried. Attempts to recover Sgt Mullenger and Sgt Kehoe were abandoned and they have laid with their aircraft ever since, until that is the Dutch Air Force and Army carried out an excavation in September 2007.

  • #2
    It's a touch sad that he never made it home to Ireland, as was his mother's wish. At least now he can finally be given the burial he deserves and may he rest in peace alongside his comrades.
    Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.
    Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
    Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
    Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?


    • #3
      any reason why his body is not coming home

      still may he rest in peace
      for your journey is over brave one
      hurry up and wait, are you back yet


      • #4
        Unfortunately his remains and the remains of the other person in the airplane were too badly degraded to ascertain exactly which parts were him so both were buried together.
        Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.
        Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
        Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
        Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?


        • #5
          I have a cousin buried in FerryBank Grave yard in Waterford.

          F/Sgt Jim Norris 19 years old. Rear gunner in a lancaster bomber ..from sept 1944

          His remains would n't have filled a shoe box.. from his mothers quote but it was enough to bury but it was enough for the family.
          Covid 19 is not over's still very real..Hand Hygiene, Social Distancing and Masks.. keep safe


          • #6
            Hi there
            The Germans and some of the Allied countries were quite particular about retrieving the remains of enemy fallen and rendering proper honours and maintaining meticulous records, despite the vagaries of the war.Which is why modern retrieval teams can often go direct to the site of shot-down aircraft and can have quite detailed information about their intended target before they ever turn a spade.There have been quite a few programmes about this of late on the TV, such as that about the tracing of the wreck of the RAF reconnaisance pilot's (Adrian Warburton) aircraft, which even detailed which anti-aircraft battery shot him down or the location of Bader's Spitfire.I find it fascinating and quite moving to see such programmes and a clear indication of the high regard still held for the fallen.


            • #7
              The physical act of a burial offers the family closure to a tragic event,
              while we would always like to have our loved ones buried at home,
              sometimes, its not possible, due to the circumstances involved at the time.

              While searching through WW1 & WW2 military cemeteries

              in Transylvania, I find my self offering a simple prayer for those marked as:




              Known but to God.

              + May they all Rest In Peace. +

              Connaught Ranger.
              Attached Files


              • #8
                For more details and pictures please see:

                Margaret Walsh (centre), the sister of Sergeant 'Jack' Kehoe,

                at the graveside of her brother during the ceremony at Bergen General Cemetery.

                [Picture: SAC Adam Houlston]

                Connaught Stranger.
                Attached Files
                Last edited by Connaught Stranger; 8 May 2008, 17:39.


                • #9
                  Total respect to the lady who ensured her brother got a proper burial, Respect to the RAF for ensuring that the burial was conducted with proper military honours. I have visited many military grave sites in UK USA and France, always causes one to stop and say a silent thank you to those who rest there. The US graveyard at omaha beach is something to see and any readers of this board who find themselves nearby should pay it a visit. But for me the British graveyard in Bayeaux is more chilling. all the grave stones of exactly the same distance apart except in certain cases four five or six are touching and inscribed along the lines of " here lie the crew of a RAF bomber of a Tank " and you realise that the whole crew of a aircraft or tank were killed in one go and buried together. The German graveyard in Normandy is also worth a visit.....

                  When you vist such places you realise the price people are willing to pay to protect what they hold dear...

                  RIP to all