Research into the families of the men who died during World War II with my Uncle Bud (Flight Sergeant Frank John Gallagher) has come to the attention of Frank Raeman, Chief Warrant Officer with the Belgian military. He is writing a book about 175 airmen who are buried at the Adegem Canadian War cemetery, the Maldegem communal cemetery and the Eeklo town cemetery as well as the crew members who escaped, were taken prisoner of war and those who, sadly enough, have no known grave.
The goal of my book will be that those boys will never be forgotten. People will be able to read about who these boys were, where they came from … I am still looking for families of all these airmen. Up to now, I have been able to trace 131 families.
It has been my pleasure to provide Frank Raeman with family histories for the following crew members of Wellington BJ 987 which was shot down by the Germans off the coast of Belgium on September 11, 1942:
Flight Sergeant (Air Observer) Frank John Gallagher 1918-1942 – from Toronto, Ontario, Canada [body never recovered, memorialized at Runnymede Air Forces Memorial, Englefield Green, England]
Flight Sergeant (Wireless Air Gunner) Richard Melvin George 1921-1942 – from Sioux Lookout, Ontario, Canada [body never recovered, memorialized at Runnymede Air Forces Memorial, Englefield Green, England]
Flight Sergeant (Pilot) Richard Edgar Bertram 1912-1942 – from Grimsby, Ontario, Canada [buried at Adegem Canadian War Cemetery, Plot I.E. 6, Belgium]
Flight Sergeant (Air Observer) Cleveland John Eggleton 1919-1942 – from Amherstburg, Ontario, Canada [buried at Oostduinkerke Communal Cemetery, Row G, Grave 175, Belgium]
Pilot Officer (Air Gunner) John Robert Agar 1921-1942 – from Faringdon, Hampshire, England [buried at Oostduinkerke Communal Cemetery, Row G, Grave 171, Belgium]
May their sacrifice and service to country never be forgotten.