The grave of Flt Sgt James McDowell in Harlingen Cemetery in the Netherlands. His was the only body recovered after AJ-K was shot down on the Dams Raid, and the memorial to the whole crew will be placed near his grave. [Pic: 617 Squadron Netherlands Aircrew Memorial Foundation]
News from Jan van Dalen in the Netherlands:
“Due to the current situation, we have made the difficult decision to postpone the unveiling of the memorial plaque to the crew of Avro Lancaster AJ-K, on June 23 in Harlingen. For some time organisational and practical preparations have been unable to take place in a responsible manner within the measures taken to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, and it is unclear how long this situation will last.
However, we have been able to finance the stone from the donations received, which has now been delivered to the stonemason and is ready for further finishing. The order and delivery of the bronze plaque is still uncertain due to the measures.
As soon as we have news about a new date, we will let you know as soon as possible.”
This is not a surprising development, and has obviously been taken in the best interests of everyone involved. Someday, as in the words used by a recent notable broadcaster, “we will meet again”, and we will all be able to commemorate the lives of the seven brave men who lost their lives late in the evening of 16 May 1943.
As Jan said above, enough funds have now been raised to order the stone block for the memorial. However, further money is needed to pay for a bronze plaque and other material, so if you would like to contribute please go to the 617 Squadron Netherlands Aircrew Memorial Foundation GoFundMe page.