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Chain potentially belonging to Newport war hero found

3 Novembre 2014 , Rédigé par Jean-David Desforges Publié dans #Epaves aériennes

[ROYAUME-UNI - ALLEMAGNE]

A NECK chain potentially belonging to a Newport war hero has been found in Wolpertshausen, Germany.

Pilot officer Arthur Fitzgerald, 20, of Cyril Street, was part of a seven-man crew of the no 207 Squadron at RAF Langar near Nottingham.

He took part in a daring RAF bombing raid to destroy a secret research facility in Peenemünde in northern Germany on August 17, 1943 - delaying the Nazis’ construction of V2 rockets by seven weeks and killing two German scientists.

But office Fitzgerald and his crew set off for the last time in a ED627 Lancaster bomber on August 28, 1943 - when they were shot down a night fighter and crashed on Markung Hohenburg in the district of Wolpertshausen, near Schwäbish Hall, 60 miles west of Nürnberg.

Officer Fitzgerald’s cousin, Shaun McGuire, 67, from Bettws, set up a website in tribute to his hero cousin 12 years ago and has built up correspondence with numerous historians, reporters, and residents in Wolpertshausen. The website has received over 45,000 views.

One of the residents he has been in contact with, Siegfried Neidlein, discovered a chain, shrapnel, cartridge cases, bullet heads, and a threaded copper cap with a metal detector, two weeks ago and sent some of the haul to Mr McGuire.

Mr McGuire said: "The find was in a hedgerow about a mile away from the crash at Wolpertshausen. There was no fighting on the ground to account for it, so it must have come from the air.

“I originally thought it was a dog tag chain, but it’s too small for that. I think it’s a personal chain that probably had a pendant or cross attached to it. I cannot see any marks on the chain and it’s not rusty, so it may well be silver.”

He said the cartridge cases and bullet heads are still in Germany, but he hopes that Mr Neidlein returns to the site to see if any more artefacts can be found.

“I hope he digs for more, but finding shells is a dangerous business and if you find munitions, you have to inform the police," Mr McGuire added.

Last year, the Argus reported how Mr Fitzgerald - who attended St Julian’s High School, which features a war memorial including his name - was to be commemorated for his bravery at a ceremony in London, marking the 70th anniversary of the Peenemünde raid with a walk and a memorial service.

Mr McGuire's website, in tribute to his cousin can be found at http://www.lancastered627.shaunmcguire.co.uk

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