Malaysia burial for RAF crew killed in 1945

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Media captionThe families of the plane crash victims travelled to Malaysia for the burial

The remains of eight Royal Air Force crew members who died in a 1945 plane crash have been buried in Malaysia.

The burials took place on Thursday, with full military honours, at Cheras War Graves cemetery, in Kuala Lumpur.

The airmen of RAF Liberator KL654 were on a mission to take supplies to what was then called Malaya, from the Cocos Islands, when their plane crashed.

A team of volunteers from the UK and Malaysia led an expedition to recover the remains of the men in 2009.

The crash site had originally been discovered in dense jungle some years earlier.

Relatives of the airmen attended the burials and told the BBC it was a fitting end to what had happened in August 1945 as they flew supplies to WWII prisoners.

It was the end of the war and the men had been sent on what they had hoped would be their last mission before returning home. It is believed the aircraft developed engine faults before the plane and its crew disappeared.

Geoffrey Dovey, the brother of Flying Officer Kenneth Dovey, who was the navigator for Liberator KL654, said: "I'm very pleased that it's all come to an end now.

"We can move on in time but we'll never forget of course. But they've been finally laid to rest which is right and proper."

The remains of the men were interred in a single grave.

The eight were:

  • Flight Sergeant Jack Blakey, age 30 (flight engineer)
  • Flying Officer John Trevor Bromfield, 20, of Cheam, Surrey (air bomber)
  • Flying Officer William Kenneth Dovey, 20 (navigator)
  • Flying Officer Edward Donald Mason, 22 (pilot)
  • Flight Sergeant William Ross, 20, of Gateshead, County Durham (air gunner)
  • Flight Sergeant Raymond Arthur Towell, 21, of Wellingborough, Northamptonshire (wireless operator/air gunner)
  • Flight Sergeant Arthur Turner, 21 (wireless operator/air gunner)
  • Flight Lieutenant John Selwyn Watts, 24 (pilot)

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