Tag Archives: Uwe Benkel

Arbeitsgruppe Vermisstenforschung – Crash Site Investigation (C.S.I.) – A bit of a rant I am afraid…….

I was pleased to see that by this afternoon the post I put up yesterday evening on the “Arbeitsgruppe Vermisstenforschung – Crash Site Investigation (C.S.I.)”, the German aircraft recovery group headed by Uwe Benkel, had been seen so far, by a 100 people.

What disappoints me, however, and this is based on their GoFundMe site, nobody has actually given anything………

The vast majority of people involved in activities related to World War 2 and more specifically the Air War, do what they do, at their own cost, in their own time, basically for the love of it.

I know from my own experience with this blog, that it’s a labour of love – if I costed out the time I spend on 75nzsquadron.com, it wouldn’t exist – it would simply be, in crude financial terms, too expensive to bother – but irrespective of this, I do it and will continue to.

Uwe and his group do not have the luxury as I do, to sit in a warm studio and type – what they do is ‘dirt under the nails’ stuff, they locate, and excavate aircraft crash sites. Often these crash sites are ‘wet’ – still containing the remains of airmen. This, they have to deal with and despite the noble endeavor, must, put simply, be a disturbing and dirty experience – but they do it and hopefully for all of us, will continue to do it.

My theoretical ramblings about the relative cost in time of maintaining this blog is just that, theoretical. To locate, excavate and when necessary remove human remains is not theoretical – it is real and physical and it costs money.

I know from my own experience, that some people see all of this, simply as something to be viewed – whilst not a regular occurrence, I do sometimes get inquiries, that literally expect me to give the world – I have even received complaints, due either to my poor speed of service, or simply because I was unable to furnish the inquirer with a highly specific photograph that ‘obviously’ I must have. Responding to a request, generating an Op history – a few hours work however you look at it – is taken without acknowledgement or thanks. I appreciate some people are just strange and clearly see no issue in behaving this way and I suppose it comes with the sort of interactive community I have tried to generate with the blog.

…… but it still pisses me off…….

If each of the 100 people that viewed last nights post gave just $10 ( £6.46 in pounds sterling), they would have $1000 more than they did this time last night.

Please, get off your arse, put your hand in your pocket and give Uwe’s group a donation. If you do nothing more than this, because your interest extends no further than this, then at least let those that want to act, be able to do so.

If you read all this and it annoys you and you think I am being unfair – prove me wrong and give.

You can donate to Arbeitsgruppe Vermisstenforschung here.

 

Arbeitsgruppe Vermisstenforschung – Crash Site Investigation (C.S.I.)

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I noticed Uwe had made a few posts around Facebook today regarding a request for donations for the Arbeitsgruppe Vermisstenforschung – Crash Site Investigation (C.S.I.) Group. This group in Germany has devoted itself over the past 25 years to the discovery, recovery and identification of crashed aircraft from the War.

I first became aware of Uwe’s and the groups work when I  started researching about Dad. On the night of the 22nd of September 1943, The Mayfield crew took off on an Op to Hanover, with them was F/O Kenneth Albiston, newly arrived at the Squadron, this was his first ‘2nd Dickie’ flight as a new Pilot. The night seems to have been relatively uneventful – the following night Kenneth joined Geoffrey Turner’s crew to fly to Manneheim, along with my Father’s crew and 16 other Stirling from 75(NZ) Squadron.

The night was a disaster for the Squadron – 3 aircraft were lost and they were all from ‘C’ Flight, my Fathers flight. Kenneth Albiston was one of the airmen lost. An optimistic google search turned up “The bone collectors: The search for lost heroes of WWII” an article in The Independent online – to my amazement, it detailed the work of Uwe and included the details of the recovery of Kenneth’s body – identified from an engraved cigarette case found with his remains…….

Read “The bone collectors: The search for lost heroes of WWII” here.

The group has a GoFundMe site where donations can be made to allow them to continue this invaluable and deeply personal work – it is a tribute to Uwe and those that work with him in the group that they find themselves the last link of chance for relatives to discover the remains of their loved ones.

I have given – I think you should all consider giving something as well. The GoFundMe site can be reached here.

From the site, the following information explains what they do, and why they do it………

For more than 25 years, the members of the working group, Arbeitsgruppe Vermisstenforschung, have spent their valuable time, and their own expenses looking for downed WWII aircraft and missing pilots/airmen. So far they have found more than 140 aircraft wrecks and and returned the remains of numerous pilots/airmen to their families.

This is a great and proud group of volunteers. They are not funded in any way by the German, American and British Governments. All of the funds used to find the crash sites and remains of our pilots and their crews are done voluntarily, and with the financial support of generous donors. Most of the work is done at the expense of those who are conducting these searches. So far, with a few donations, they have been able to keep searching, however there are so many requests coming in from all over the world, that they just don’t have the financial resources to spend the time need to continue looking. These are volunteers who have their own families to support, and they’ve given so much of their time and money looking for the numerous crash sites. The number of requests from families who are desperate to find their loved ones crash site are piling up, and that’s where your help comes in to play. The group is approaching their financial limitations, and without some type of funding (government or personal donations) they will not be able to continue the searches that in almost every instance, locate the missing aircraft, and in some cases, the remains of the crew.

In order to continue successful recovery operations, we are asking for your help. Every little bit counts. Please find it in your heart to help this amazing group of searchers continue their work. So many families are relying on this group, and they would like nothing more than to continue their mission to find and recover the planes and their crew. Please consider helping so that this amazing group of searchers can continue doing what the American, British and German governments have turned their backs on – finding those pilots/crews who are MIA and bringing them home.

Your donation, no matter how small or how large, is the best way to thank the many volunteers of this group, the families of the missing, and more importantly, those who are still missing. To those who have already donated, we thank you so very much!

Please donate now, before you forget, or find something less important to spend your money on…….

The GoFundMe site can be reached here.