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Missing Personnel (Search)

Volume 441: debated on Wednesday 30 July 1947

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asked the Secretary of State for Air how many R.A.F. personnel are still reported missing in Europe; and whether search is still being continued, and with what result.

At the end of the war there were 38,700 members of the R.A.F. who had been lost on sorties to Europe from the United Kingdom, the Mediterranean or the Middle East. Of this number, approximately 12,000 are known to have been lost over the sea, and it is, therefore, unlikely that further positive information about their fate can now be found. Of the remainder, we have discovered what happened to nearly 16,000 officers and men whose deaths had been presumed, and each month about 300 more are traced. Teams of the Missing Research and Inquiry Service are at work in many parts of Europe; Holland. Belgium and Scandinavia have largely been covered; much work has been done in France, Germany, Italy and Greece; a team has begun work in Czechoslovakia; and it is hoped that teams will shortly be going into Poland and Yugoslavia. A few weeks ago, I decided to extend the period for which the Service will continue, and I hope that the task will now be satisfactorily fulfilled.