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Denis Harry Ralph Plear

Servicenumber : 658895
Rank : Flight Sergeant
Regiment : Royal Air Force
Unit : 48 Squadron
Date of Death : 21-09-1944
Age : 26
Grave : Joint Grave 1 
Denis Harry Ralph Plear was a son of Harry and Dorothy G. Plear, of Hillingdon, Middlesex.
Plear was the co-pilot of Dakota KG-579. It left Down Ampney airfield on 21 september 1944 on a resupply mission. The aircraft was shot down by German fighters, and crashed on Volkel airfield at about 17.30 hrs. Denis Plear and Pilot David Arthur Webb were killed in the crash. Their bodies were recovered from the wreckage and given field burials next to the wreckage. They were buried as unknown soldiers. On 23 september 1944 they were reburied in the Roman Catholic Churchyard at Zeeland, The Netherlands. Two men were killed in the air during their parachute descent: Wireless Operator Gordon Birlison and Lance Corporal James Pilson. They were buried in a field grave opposite the Generaal de Bons barracks at Grave. They were later reinterred in the Uden War Cemetery. Of the survivors navigator Clark evaded. The air despatchers Driver Everett, Lance Corporal Harribin and Lance Corporal Moorcroft were wounded, but reached Allied lines as well.
The author of the book '"Green On!" (Arie-Jan van Hees) wrote about the crash of KG579 on pages 228 and 229. He wrote the aircraft was hit by cannon fire after the drop of the supplies. The crew at first thought they were hit by flak and evasive action was taken. Then they saw a Focke-Wulf 190 fly past and they realised they were being attacked by enemy aircraft. At least 15 FW190's were seen. The starboard engine caught fire and the aircraft went into a steep dive apparently out of control. The 4 air despatchers and the wireless operator baled out. On the way down 6 of the FW190's strafed the parachutists.
Picture: 31-10-2015
O for the touch
Of a vanished hand
For the sound
Of a voice that is still
 
Sources: Website CWGC, Roll of Honour,'"Green On!"', 'The Royal Air Force at Arnhem' , A. Verbakel  and website www.go2war2.nl 

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