* Report: July 15th, 2023: The Belgians Parade to the London Cenotaph *

RAF unaccounted Personnel
fallen in Belgium between September 1944 and May 1945

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The "Unaccounted": We remember them!

The RAF personnel called "Unaccounted" are soldiers who were occupied with the tasks of maintenance of the airbases and aircraft. In this category, we find all the ground staff employed in the operation of the fleet.

RAF personnel labelled "Unaccounted" are often servicemen (and women) who carried out maintenance tasks on airbases and aircraft. In this category, we find listed all the ground crew who contributed to the operation of the squadrons.

From the landing of the Allies in France, the military authorities organised the posting to the continent of service personnel who were specialised in the construction of air bases, aircraft maintenance and responsibilities for the operation of each unit (catering and kitchen staff, medical services, logistics and equipment etc.). Thus, the first personnel were sent to Belgium when it was liberated and the Germans driven out. Transport was by sea, thanks to Landing Ship Tank (LST) which were already been used for the landing of troops during the Normandy landings.

Access ports were mainly Antwerp and Ostend. After the ports had been secured the RAF authorities quickly began to send personnel to the Belgian airfields abandoned by the enemy. These air bases were used by the RAF and the USAAF to continue the bombardment of enemy positions in Germany and to ensure air supremacy in the skies above liberated countries such as Belgium, Luxembourg, Holland and France.

There were a lot of casualties among the "Unaccounted". The victims were not killed in combat but by events such as that on 7 November 1944 off the coast of Ostend: the ship that was carrying a large number of RAF personnel hit a mine and sank immediately. Nearly 300 people perished in this incident.

Other identified cases mention that people were killed by V1 or V2 rocket landings. This was the case in Antwerp when one came down on a cinema and people of the RAF were killed in the explosion.

We believe that these people, even if they did not died "in action", are entitled to our respect: they were volunteers and they deserve our gratitude and appreciation. Therefore, we include them in this database: we have not forgotten them.


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