The lives of six young airmen killed when in a wartime plane crash at Higher Clovelly have been honoured 75 years on.
The Vickers Wellington anti-submarine crashed into a field on Tuesday, August 24, 1943, some 20 minutes after takeoff from RAF Chivenor, leaving no survivors.
On Wednesday a memorial was held in memory of Wing Commander Rowland Musson (commanding officer of 172 Squadron at Chivenor), Flight Officer Edward Rodda, Lieutenants Edmund Carr and Leslie Burden plus Sergeants James Walker and Brian Todd.
Attending the memorial was Andrew Musson, Rowland’s son, as well as Derek Rodda, the son of Edward, paying tribute to the fathers they never knew.
The event was organised by Graham Moore, Rob palmer and Stephen Heal of www.britishmilitaryhistory.co.uk who have researched numerous wartime plane crashes and tried to contact surviving relatives.
Also in attendance was the Hartland branch of the Royal British Legion, John Rous of Clovelly Estates, Air Training Corp Hartland and a service was led by the Reverend Madeline Bray.
Rob Palmer’s crash report said the aircraft came in low, struck telephone wires and some low tension cable, carried on another 100-plus yards before striking the ground again and then skidding along for 200 yards, breaking through two hedges. The main wreckage caught fire and a depth-charge exploded.
There was no evidence of mechanical failure and it is assumed the pilot had thought he was actually over the sea at Hartland.
The memorial crew is beside the road at Higher Clovelly and was originally installed to mark the 50th anniversary of the crash.
Mr Musson lives in Toronto, Canada, but was on holiday in Jersey and was able to attend the ceremony, along with his daughter, son-in-law and two grandchildren.
He said: “I think it’s amazing, that 75 years later people still remember and honour those who participated in the war like my father and his crew.
“I was just coming up to my third birthday and sadly have no memory of my father at all, but my mother went and lived in with his family and I do remember that.”
Mr Rodda, who was born five months after his father died, added: “It’s nice in today’s world that people remember that sacrifice, it’s easy to forget.”