This detail from a photograph shows part of the funeral procession for 405 Squadron members, mostly Canadians, who were buried on 22 December 1943 at Cambridge City Cemetery. At the rear are Bill Bessent (nearest the camera) whose twin brother Bob was amongst those killed, and the one surviving uninjured crewmember from Bob’s crew, Les McCrea. Image courtesy of Bill Bessent and Jane Pilling-Cormack.
Every year at this time we remember the crews lost due to fog and low cloud on Black Thursday, 16/17 December 1943. The Pathfinder dead for fog-related crashes were two from 83 Squadron, six from 156 Squadron, fourteen from 405 Squadron, and twenty-eight from 97 Squadron, fifty men in all.
The card below would have accompanied the wreaths sent with the coffins of the twenty-eight 97 Squadron aircrew killed in crashes that night, close to Pathfinder bases in England. This particular card was for Ted Hubbard of the Kirkwood crew.
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