619 Squadron lad to be on Austrian memorial

From left, Norman Johnston, Fred Cole, Gordon Walker, Wilf De Marco, Arthur Sharman, Jack Speers, Edward (Ted) Norman
From left, Norman Johnston, Fred Cole, Gordon Walker, Wilf De Marco, Arthur Sharman, Jack Speers, Edward (Ted) Norman

The name of a Boston member of a squadron whose Lancaster Bomber crashed during one of the last bombing runs of the Second World War is set to appear on an Austrian memorial to be unveiled later this year.

619 Squadron member and Boston teenager Edward Norman was with the crew of Lancaster LM756 F-Freddy of 619 Squadron Royal Air Force which was shot down on a major air raid on April 25, 1945, on the Obersalzberg at Berchtesgaden in Germany.

Back row, from left. Gordon Walker (Rear Gunner), Wilf De Marco (Pilot), Norman Johnston (Navigator), Jack Speers (W/Op).Front row, from left. Arthur Sharman (Bomb Aimer), Edward Norman (Mid Upper Gunner), Fred Cole (Flight Engineer)

Back row, from left. Gordon Walker (Rear Gunner), Wilf De Marco (Pilot), Norman Johnston (Navigator), Jack Speers (W/Op).Front row, from left. Arthur Sharman (Bomb Aimer), Edward Norman (Mid Upper Gunner), Fred Cole (Flight Engineer)

He was one of six crew members, of which four died in the attack.

The raid, on Adolf Hitler’s mountain retreat took place a matter of days before the end of the conflict.

The raid launched from RAF Strubby.

Edward, known as Ted, was 19-years-old and had joined a few months before, having previously been in the reserved occupation of the buying and selling of fruit and vegetables.

Now, almost 70 years later, on April 24, a memorial will be unveiled in Adnet, in Austria, where the Lancaster crashed.

Ted’s nephew Carl Edward Norman said his grandfather, Ted’s brother, had died when he was three or four and that his grandmother didn’t talk about it.

He said his dad, who died a year ago, was only 16 at the time and had mentioned a few ‘snippets’.

He said: “In truth, I don’t think he ever really got over the loss.”

The memorial project has been led by Adnet mayor Wolfgang Auer and 619 Squadron Association supporter Kevin Ruane along with other family, friends and supporters.

It is made of Adnet red marble, a rare and expensive material which has been used in the Austrian parliament’s great hall.

It will have several pieces of the Lancaster entombed within it and further metal from the aircraft has been melted down and sculpted into a bird ornament by the Austrian Stonemason and Sculpture Academy.

Some €15,000 has been put aside to pay for family members and dignitaries to stay for three days, including the unveiling and a trip to Obersalzburg.