Models of downed bomber presented to family members
- Credit: Supplied by David Russell
Models of a Royal Air Force bomber which crashed in north Norfolk more than 80 years ago have been gifted to relatives of its crew.
Pat Le Ray, whose brother, Sergeant Stanley Elliott, was the wireless operator/air gunner on the X3023 Handley Page Hampden, said the models were a "wonderful gesture" which would give her a sense of closure.
Mrs Le Ray, 82, who lives near York, said: "I've had a lot of help and assistance from people in north Norfolk, and now they have made this model which is absolutely brilliant. It's a nice surprise."
Models of the Second World War aircraft were made by David Russell, from Roughton, and Nigel Pearce, to be given to Mrs Le Ray, as well as sisters Rachel Elkin and Joanna Green, whose grandfather, Sergeant Jack Ottaway, 25, of Watton, was the bomber's pilot.
Mr Russell said: "This is something that we had been planning to do for some time. I know the families are very appreciative to know that they are still thought of and not forgotten."
The bomber crashed into woodland at Northrepps on November 20, 1940, after it was attacked on a mission to occupied Europe.
The bomber never reached its target after taking off from RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire, and the crew may have decided to turn back after coming under fire shortly after crossing the Dutch coast.
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Sgt Ottaway is said to have displayed "supreme airmanship" in flying the plane over the North Sea in atrocious weather.
As well as Sgt Ottaway and Sgt Elliot, the crash also claimed the life of navigator, Pilot Officer Archie Kerr.
Another air gunner, Sergeant Stanley Hird, survived the crash.
Mrs Elkin, who lives in Happisburgh, said at a service for the downed airmen last year: “Their courage and their selflessness is mind blowing and extremely humbling.
“Eighty years is but a chapter in a history book, but when I picture Jack and his chums in the mess, string band in the background, enjoying a few beers before the next insane raid, it is a world away from our lives today."