Memorial for tragic airmen

York Press: Vyacheslav Molotov Vyacheslav Molotov

THE daughter of a Second World War airman who died when his plane crashed near York is to attend the unveiling of a plaque in his memory.

Pilot Iain Ramsay died in 1942 along with his crew and a delegation of Russian officers who were on their way to talks in the UK.

The engine of their De Havilland DH95 caught fire, eventually breaking loose from the wing and causing the aircraft to crash into a field at Great Ouseburn.

The details behind the crash were hushed up at the time but have since become public. Now a plaque is to be unveiled in memory of those who died.

Parish council chairman Keith Scott said: “It’s a little-known incident because it was kept secret at the time and it’s been very difficult to get the information, but it’s just become available.”

Coun Scott said the commemorative plaque would be unveiled at Vine House, close to the crash site, during the village’s spring fair on April 29.

“We have just managed to get in touch with the pilot, Iain Ramsay’s daughter,” he said.

“He had two daughters – one of them lives in Canada and the other, who lives in Scotland, will be coming to the unveiling.”

The ceremony will follow a brief service and wreath laying at St Mary’s church in the village at 2pm. Local historian Kevin Kale will also give a presentation on his research in to the last hours of the flight and the artefacts he recently unearthed, with fellow historians, at the crash site.

It is understood that the Russians who were killed were visiting the UK ahead of a high-level visit by the then Soviet foreign minister Vyacheslav Molotov, to discuss the opening of a second front against Nazi Germany According to historians, the tragedy marked the greatest loss of life of any incident in Yorkshire in the whole of the Second World War.

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