A total of three soldiers’ bodies were exhumed from a bomber which was crushed deep underground, in Glabbeek on March 5th, 1945. Excavations, started by the Glabbeek municipality, began last Friday and were completed on Sunday.
The aeroplane, a Lancaster NN775, was crushed deep in the ground in Glabbek, after involvement with 170 Royal Air Force bombers in bombing the Gelsenkirchen refinery in Germany, during World War Two.
The aeroplane was crushed when going at a speed of 600 km/h and embedded into the ground at the time. There were seven squadron members in the bomber.
Four bodies were discovered after the crash but only two of them had been identified.
During Saturday’s searches, the mortal remains of Christopher Hogg, 20 at the time and the aeroplane’s rear gunner, were discovered by the team of researchers.
Two bodies were discovered on Sunday. The Mayor of Glabbeek, said that these were a Northern Irish pilot, Holman Keer and an Australian sergeant, Allan Olsen, aged 18 at the time he died.
Members of the Guard of Honour of the British Commonwealth honoured the soldiers’ memory during a short ceremony.
Moreover, the Guard of Honour was present during the searches. The three coffins were draped with the Union Jack and the Australian flag, to reflect the soldiers’ respective nationalities.
It is now likely that the soldiers will be buried in the Heverlee Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cemetery.