|At the Air Force band concert on|
June 9, the two crews, of the MZ 532
and the MZ 684, were displayed
on the screen above the musicians.
|L to R: Deborah and Dr. Rex|
Henderson by the grave of Rex's
father Tom, pilot of the MZ 532.
This and all following photos by
That is because they were part of a larger celebration of V-E Day, the end of hostilities in Europe in 1945, and the Town of Laval turned out in large numbers.
But this year's memorial on June 10 was unquestionably more special for the family members who came. (Missing from 2011 were Nicola and Robin Sumner; Robin is the nephew of Daniel Gilbert.
|Crew members of the MZ 532 as|
shown on the monument (stele) at
Another reason this year was special is that the families of six crew members were represented by their families - one more crew member than in 2011. Also, 20 family members showed up to pay their respects, eight more than in 2011.
This year, three crew members from each plane were represented by family.
In 2011, from the St. Berthevin-crash plane, MZ 532, only Sgt. Edward C. ("Eddy") Wicks had family there.
|Representatives of the families of Sgt.Wicks (on left) and Sgt.|
Brotherton (on right), whose younger brother and three
more generations attended in 2014 for the first time.
From the plane that crashed in Entrammes, the MZ 684, three crew members were represented again, as they were in 2011 - the pilot, Dr. Willem J. van Stockum, F/O John Ellyatt by his son, and Sgt. Fred Beales by his great-niece Cpl. Pamela Turney, who was in the uniform of the Canadian Forces Air Command.
|Crew members of the plane that|
crashed in Entrammes, the MZ 684.
|John Tepper Marlin, nephew of F/O|
Dr. Willem J. van Stockum (pilot of
the MZ 684), and wife Alice Tepper
Marlin. Photo w JTM camera.
The MZ 532, by contrast, had two Pilot Officers, the rest being Sergeants. In other words, the MZ 684 had twice as many officers aboard.
|Cpl. Pamela Turney next to|
the marker of her great-uncle,
Sgt. Fred Beales.
Van Stockum's work as a mathematician, utilizing Einstein's equations, has earned him a place in the history of time travel and the father of scientific approaches to the subject. Dr. Robert Wack, an Army Major and pediatrician, has written a science-fiction novel, Time Bomber, centered on van Stockum's life and death.
|View of gravesite looking away from the|
flag - the MZ 684 end of the site. At left
is M. Cousineau of the Canadian Embassy
in Paris, who attended with his wife.
If someone from the Dutch Government ever attends an event at Vaufleury, it would be good for them to know that when they asked my mother what she wanted on the tombstone, her answer was: "Greater love hath no man..."
It would be nice if this request were some day honored, especially since the Dutch Government wrote to my mother to ask what she wanted inscribed. The minister who officiated at the ceremony on June 10 cited that exact quote...
For those unfamiliar with Anglophone military ranks, the following guide may be helpful: