Family of WW2 airman shot down in action to be reunited for memorial service

Flight Sergeant Geoffrey Brown Credit: Anglia Research

The family of a World War Two airman who died in enemy action over Germany in 1943 are to be reunited at a memorial service to celebrate his life.

Flight Sergeant Geoffrey Brown, who was born in Coventry, died as a gunner when his plane was shot down by a German night fighter on the evening of April 16, 1943.

He was just 24-years-old.

The seven crew members were on a mission to bomb the Skoda factory in Pilsen in Czechoslovakia - six of them died in the crash.

Once the four-engined Handley Page Halifax was recovered near the villages of Hassloch and Lachen-Speyerdorf, a search began to find Geoffrey's relatives.

Researchers at company Anglia Research, began working with Erik Wieman, co-founder of a crash site research organisation, to track them down.

“Mr Wieman knew that Geoffrey was the son of Ernest and Emily Brown from Coudon, near Coventry. Brown is a very common name but by using some intuition and going through the Births, Deaths and Marriages records and the electoral rolls I managed to back-track through his mother’s line to find maternal cousins, and I also located Geoffrey’s two surviving nephews, Terry and Roger, who both still live in Coventry.”

Miss Jackson, Anglia Research
four-engined Handley Page Halifax Credit: Anglia Research

After the excavation of the plane, there are plans to hold a memorial service for the crew at the crash site and bury a geocache in their memory.

Many relatives in these circumstances, do not know what happened or under what circumstances their relatives died and where.

Miss Jackson found Geoffrey’s family members across the UK including Coventry, Tamworth and Kenilworth.