• Plage Bonaparte à Plouha (Côtes d'Armor) - Haut-lieu de la Résistance

  • Sacy-le-Grand (Oise) - Mémorial en souvenir du F/O H. H. MacKenzie (RCAF)

  • Supermarine LF Mk.Vb Spitfire EP120 - G-LFVB - (The Fighter Collection)

  • Le Cardonnois (Somme) - Stèle à la mémoire de l'équipage du Boeing B-17 #42-31325, 452nd Bomb Group

  • B-17G-85-VE 44-8846 - F-AZDX - (FTV)


8th July 2018


Cormeilles (Oise)


Ceremony in memory of the Lancaster JB486

RAF 57 Squadron



                                                                                                             Copyright © 2018 - Association des Sauveteurs d'Aviateurs AlliésAll rights reserved -
                                                                                                             En français france




On 8th July 2018, at the initiative of the Communauté de Communes de l’Oise Picarde, a memorial was unveiled in memory of the sacrifice of the crew of a British bomber shot down on the night of 4th to 5th July 1944 in the vicinity from the village of Cormeilles (Oise).

Aboard the Lancaster JB486, RAF Squadron 57 the seven airmen, of English, Canadian and Australian origin, participated in a large-scale raid to destroy the V1 flying bomb storage centre located in Saint-Leu d’Esserent.

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For this tribute, the audience first gathered in front of the town hall...

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...before going, flag bearers of the Veterans Associations at the head of the procession,

to the place of the commemoration, at the entrance of the cemetery.

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The bands of Cormeilles and of Domeliers were associated with this tribute.

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The welcome speech by Jean-Marie Tallon, Mayor of Cormeilles ...

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...followed by the evocation of the events that occurred during this tragic night of 4th to 5th July 1944,

by Delphine Labeau, Deputy Mayor.

"... That night, the crews of the Royal Air Force had to be particularly vigilant: the Oise skies were full of combat aircraft: 246 bombers which left for Saint-Leu d'Esserent were to cross other RAF Squadrons composed of 242 other bombers returning from a bombing operation on the marshalling yards of Villeneuve-Saint-Georges. On the night 4th to 5th July 1944, about 600 aircraft crossed in the skies of the Oise.

Of the 246 aircraft that took part in the raid on Saint-Leu d'Esserent that night, 13 did not return to their English bases. 7 of them crashed on the soil of the Oise.

A total of 77 airmen of the Royal Air Force lost their lives in what was the second bombing raid on the V1 flying bomb storage facility. Among them, the entire crew of Lancaster JB486: F/Lt. Anthony Grubb, 21, Sergeant Harry Lees, 32, Sergeants George Osborne 23, Clifford Stalker, 31, Joseph Nixon, all British, as well as W/O² James Weyers, Canadian, and F/O Jack Hodges, Australian, respectively aged 32 and 22 ... "

Contact was established, on several occasions, with Steven Gascoigne, nephew of the pilot. Regretting that he could not be present, he asked Delphine Labeau to convey this message: "Let's pay tribute to Anthony, Harry, James, Jack, George, Clifford and Joseph. They paid the ultimate price to free Europe from Nazi tyranny and to restore France's democracy and liberty. Long live France! "

Although young children during the Second World War, some people have always remembered the horrible sight of the disaster at the edge of the Gantel wood and the bodies of young airmen found among the scattered debris of their aircraft. Their testimonies were mentioned.

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Marcel Lefèvre, now Honorary Mayor of Blancfossé, was a 10-year-old boy in 1944.

With a great emotion, he shared his memories of this tragic time.

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The unveiling of the stele by two young children of the village.

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The names of the seven airmen were read out and Mr Jacques Cotel,

President of the Communauté de Communes de l’Oise Picarde, then took the floor...

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... followed by Denis Pype, Regional Councilor

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... and Senator Olivier Paccaud.

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Laying of wreaths by the Association of Rescuers of Allied Airmen-Oise and the municipality of Cormeilles.

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Tribute to the heroes. Minute of silence followed by the national anthems.

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At Cormeilles, this memorial will henceforth perpetuate
the memory of these seven airmen fallen for our Freedom.

In the village hall, the Association of Rescuers of Allied Airmen-Oise, partner of this event, presented an exhibition with various materials and British uniforms of the time. The opportunity for the public to discover the equipment used by these liberators from the skies who brought to the inhabitants of our towns and villages, often at the price of the greatest sacrifice, the hope of a free world.

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