Second World War airman laid to rest

Second World War airman laid to rest


The United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defence laid to rest Second World War airman Sergeant Wilfred Lawson of the Royal Air Force at the Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery on March 16.

The Canadian Department of National Defence (DND) assisted in the identification of this missing British airman when his remains were found three years ago.

Sergeant Lawson was killed the night of Jan. 27-28, 1944, when his Lancaster II bomber, LL721 from 426 Squadron, was shot down near Berlin. Six other crew members were with the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF). Three of them survived and were taken prisoner; two died and were buried in the Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery. The remaining two crew members (Sergeant Lawson and RCAF Pilot Officer Alfred Carlson) were declared missing.

On Aug. 16, 2014, parts of the bomber were recovered in Germany, with the remains of one crew member, believed to be Sergeant Lawson. When DNA testing with one of Sergeant Lawson’s descendants proved inconclusive, DND offered to arrange a test with a descendant of Pilot Officer Carlson. The result excluded him as a match, allowing for the positive identification of Sergeant Lawson’s remains. As a result, he could be laid to rest with a name by his unit.

The families of both Sergeant Lawson and Pilot Officer Carlson were invited to attend the funeral service.

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