ON the night of June 21/22, 1944 Lancaster bomber, LE-U (Serial no ME843) of 630 Squadron based at RAF East Kirkby in Lincolnshire was scheduled to take part in an operation to bomb the oil refinery at Wesseling.

The aircraft was believed to have been attacked by a German night-fighter and it crashed in flames between Hamont (Limburg) on the Dutch/Belgium border and Bocholt, a small town 3km NNW of Bree. All the crew died as a result of the crash when the Lancaster was piloted by Flying Officer Robert Cecil Hooper DFC, service number 172176.

The crew were all buried in Heverlee War Cemetery, the graves being maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Organisation. Fg off Hooper's records show that his next of kin were located in Bridgwater.

I act as the information officer for the 57/630 Squadron's Association and have recently been approached by a Belgian aircraft recovery team who are excavating the site of the crashed aircraft. They have recovered information and some artefacts as a consequence of their efforts and would dearly like to get in touch with any of Hooper's new kin to pass on this evidence.

If by chance there are any relatives located in the Bridgwater area, or if there is anyone who can offer help in this matter, I would appreciate them contacting me at the address below or on 01643 705166.

Any assistance would be much appreciated.

Allen Hudson Information Officer 57/630 Squadrons Association 1 Heather Close Minehead TA24 6LL