Can you help this New York historian track the family of a Norfolk RAF officer?

Denis Lloyd with his RAF training crew in 1940 Britain. Photo: Submitted

Denis Lloyd with his RAF training crew in 1940 Britain. Photo: Submitted - Credit: Archant

A historian from New York has issued a plea for help to track down the family of a Norfolk RAF officer killed in a failed Second World War mission.

A photo from a 1941 German news paper of the plane wreck. Photo: Submitted

A photo from a 1941 German news paper of the plane wreck. Photo: Submitted - Credit: Archant

Edgar Frederick Drew, from Silfield, Wymondham, served as a pilot officer and gunner in the RAF and was one of four crew members killed when their plane crashed during a bombing mission to Karlsruhe, Germany, on August 25, 1941.

American historian Iain Walker is the grandson of the Wymondham gunner's crew mate Denis Lloyd, who was the sole survivor of the crash.

Mr Walker has been looking into his grandfather's past for more than a decade and said he was keen to share Mr Drew's story with his relatives.

He said: 'As I got into this research deeper, I started to reflect and appreciate just how lucky I am to be here since my grandfather was the sole survivor. We always wondered why my grandfather was so lucky when his comrades weren't.'

The lemon bomber the crew were flying when they crashed over Aach, Germany. Photo: Submitted

The lemon bomber the crew were flying when they crashed over Aach, Germany. Photo: Submitted - Credit: Archant


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Mr Drew's parents, Frederick Drew and Violet Harriet Drew, are listed as being from the Silfield area of Wymondham, alongside his three sisters, Stella, May and Ethel.

The American historian said although records had been useful in his digging, diary entries by his grandfather following the crash bought the young men's last flight to life.

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Reliving the moment the plane nosedived, Mr Lloyd wrote in his diary: 'We went into a spin and the skipper told us to get ready to bale out. This looked like an impossibility as the 'g' pressed me flat on the floor.'

Amid the chaos the radio operator escaped through a hatch and deployed his parachute, moments before the plummeting aircraft burst into flames.

Edgar Frederick Drew's headstone in Rheinberg War Cemetery, Germany. Photo: Submitted

Edgar Frederick Drew's headstone in Rheinberg War Cemetery, Germany. Photo: Submitted - Credit: Archant

He was taken as a German prisoner of war from the crash site in Aach in south-west Germany and the RAF listed the rest of the crew 'missing – nothing heard from them'.

Mr Walker said: 'I want to reach out to family members of his deceased crew, including Edgar's, to let them know about my project and to let them know those brave gentlemen have not been forgotten.'

If you have any information about Mr Drew please contact Mr Walker at Iain.Walker@ice.dhs.gov

The site of the plane crash in Aach, Germany, taken on a reccent visit to the area. Photo: Submitted

The site of the plane crash in Aach, Germany, taken on a reccent visit to the area. Photo: Submitted - Credit: Archant

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