7 years 10 months ago#3943by Spirit of Remembrance
Spirit of Remembrance created the topic: Liberator KL654:crew burial at last 18th Oct
I am new to this forum but wanted to spread the word about a very special and important event which takes place on 18th Oct 2012 in Kuala Lumpur.
The 8 man crew of KL654 who were killed on 23rd August 1945 when the plane came down in jungle near Seremban, just south of Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia will be buried on 18th October 2012. The service will take place in Cheras Road Cemetery, Kuala Lumpur.
Gary replied the topic: Re: Liberator KL654:crew burial at last 18th Oct
Yes have been very much aware of this project over the years, I was a member of the 355/356 Association and knew the brother of Bill Dovey. We've helped with this over the years where we can. Matt Poole has been a regular contributor and was instrumental in the recovery process, plus some of the other members of the teams.
Thanks for posting this info.
'Yea, Though I Fly Through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, I Shall Fear No Evil. For I am at 50,000 Feet and Climbing.'
7 years 8 months ago - 7 years 8 months ago#3986by Matt_Poole
Matt_Poole replied the topic: Re: Liberator KL654:crew burial at last 18th Oct
I can claim zero credit for the brilliant work which will culminate in the upcoming KL654 crew burial. I did a tiny bit of snooping at one point, and I corresponded with the kin of one of the casualties briefly, but that was all.
I thought I'd get more heavily involved, but I was absorbed in my other wreck investigations and I decided to leave KL654 to others: Shaharom Ahmad and his Malaya Historical Group volunteers, Capt. Jim Zuraiman of the Malaysian Army Museum, Joe Bamford, Arthur Lane (ex-prisoner of the Japanese), Ed Macy, Clayton Ford, and a few other tremendously focused individuals who refused to take no for an answer. They never gave up when the UK Ministry of Defence repeatedly showed a lack of interest and even refused to ignore the evidence of the Liberator's identity -- until an engine data plate shut them up.
But because the UK won't excavate a foreign wrecksite (policy), Shaharom and the guys mounted an expedition to excavate the wreck themselves. Each time they had returned to the site, more pieces were missing -- most likely the result of visits from tour or school groups [as seen in video links presented in my next posting, on 18 Oct]. Can you imagine how difficult the excavation was, in the Malaysian jungle? Yet they succeeded, and they forced the UK to deal with the remains. And in less than ten days now the families of the casualties will be flown to Malaysia for the burial ceremony. Thanks Shaharom, Jim, Joe, Arthur, and all the men and women who have made this day possible. Hold your heads high, knowing you did the right thing -- and bureaucracy couldn't stop you!
Footage from the service, no commentary, no interviews:
Three YouTube.com videos of tour groups or school groups trekking to the KL654 crash site, before the Malaysians (Malayan Historical Group, Malaysian Army Museum, two or three English volunteers) excavated the wreck and recovered bodies in 2009:
This one has laughing young adults at the wreck...very distasteful to watch, actually.