Seven men who died in a “forgotten” RAF accident in Spain almost 70 years ago have been honoured with a memorial.
A Wellington bomber from RAF Shawbury, Shropshire, crashed on a mountain above Denia in Alicante, on 5 December 1950.
Last week, relatives and airmen gathered at the site to see a plinth unveiled, thought to be the first in Spain dedicated to an RAF crew.
“I can’t believe how special this has been for our family,” said Martyn Shaw, grandson of Flt Sgt Ernest Hansom.
Details of the accident were pieced together by the North Costa Blanca branch of the RAF Association (RAFA).
Members found that pilot Flt Lt Leonard West had boarded the Wellington Mk 10 in Shrewsbury as commander of a formation on its way to Gibraltar for a training exercise.
A strained relationship with Spain’s fascist dictator General Franco meant UK aircraft were not permitted to fly over his country’s airspace and a route over the Mediterranean was planned.
Also on board were Master Navigator Peter Pullar, Flt Lt Robert Baker, Flt Sgt Hansom and three aircraftmen: Neville Jones, Roy Ousley and Peter Field Thorne.
But the bomber came down in a thunderstorm on the Montgo mountain, with the resulting explosion heard by locals in the nearby town of Denia.
The RAFA North Costa Blanca thanked people who recovered the bodies.
“They contacted the Air Ministry, and at their request, arranged for the crew’s bodies to be transported to Gibraltar where they received a full military funeral,” said Wing Cdr Cameron Gair, branch president.
The plinth was unveiled by Air Marshal Sir Graham Stacey, RAFA European Area President, who praised his branch’s efforts in raising €1,500 (£1,267) for it.
Sixteen relatives travelled from the UK to mark the occasion, which was followed by a church service and lunch also attended by representatives from RAF Shawbury.
Mr Shaw, who was among them, said: “I have been so impressed by everyone and it is a remarkable thing to do to honour the crew.”
Did You See This CB Softwares?
37 SOFTWARE TOOLS... FOR $27!?Join Affiliate Bots Right Away
Follow BBC West Midlands on Facebook, on Twitter, and sign up for local news updates direct to your phone.