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Wellington bomber MF509 crew remembered in mountain walk

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: November 15, 2012

By geraint thomas

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Scores of people have climbed a mountain in the Upper Swansea Valley to take part in a service of remembrance dedicated to the lost crew of a Second World War bomber.

And the experience has been captured on video for families of the fallen to watch.

Nestled on the western rocky slopes of Carreg Coch, above Dan yr Ogof caves in the foothills of the Brecon Beacons, lies the wreckage of Wellington bomber, MF509, which on the night of November 20, 1944, hit the mountainside, killing all six crew members from the Royal Canadian Air Force. The crew, who were on a night flying exercise, radioed that there was problems with the starboard engine, minutes later, with iced up wings and swirling mists, the plane crashed into Carreg Coch.

To this day wreckage remains on the exposed mountainside and a memorial stone, dedicated to the crew, stands over the site.

Alwyn Williams, of the Llanelli Ramblers Association, who led the Remembrance Sunday stroll, said that the service was videoed so that the families of the aircrew could view it. He said: "For the past five years we have conducted a wreath laying service on the site, which is conveyed back to the families in Canada along with McGill University Montreal. This year around 100 hundred or so made the three-mile pilgrimage. Thanks to some publicity from the Evening Post 20 individuals, not accustomed to walking in their leisure took up the challenge and joined the pilgrimage."

The First World War poem Flanders Field was read by Geoff Thomas, the exhortation and epitaph spoken by Alwyn Williams the wreath laid on behalf of Llanelli Ramblers by Jeff Davies and a wreath placed by Tawe trekkers with individuals placing crosses. Hymn Abide With Me was sung followed by the reading a letter from Bill Allison one of the crew members to his family on November 19 1944 a day before his plane went down.

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