KILLER PEASOUPER

An impromptu visit to a churchyard unlocked the dramatic story of an airman killed in one of the RAF's worst wartime disasters. Steve Hunnisett reveals the story behind a suburban grave

LANCASTER JB219 'R' RETURNED UNDAMAGED FROM BERLIN ABOVE THE MOONLIT FOG AND CLOUD THAT MASKED EAST ANGLIA ON DECEMBER 16, 1943. TRAGICALLY, THAT SILVER SHROUD LED TO THE CREW'S DEMISE 
ARTWORK BY ANASTASIOS POLYCHRONIS

“The grave at which Sam and I had stopped to chat held a more unusual story – as if its occupant wanted us to know more”

Most readers will have seen them, perhaps when visiting a local churchyard for the melancholy duty of attending a funeral, or when simply exploring an unfamiliar part of the country. We’ve probably all noticed the familiar headstones of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and wondered why a particular serviceperson should be resting not in a corner of a foreign field, but much closer to home. 

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