World War pilot and his downed Lancaster bomber found in Germany
by Thom Morris
The remains of a Second World War pilot and his downed Lancaster
bomber which dived into woodland have been discovered in a small
For Ashford resident John Tutt it marks the end of decades of
searching for his brother, Sgt Bernard Frederick Tutt, who died
aged just 29.
They grew up in Willesborough and attended the South Central
School. Both worked as greengrocers for the Co-operative.
The father-of-two said: "To have found him after all these years
is just amazing.
"I know for Bernard’s son Keith it is wonderful because Bernard
died when he was just two-months-old and all he knew of his father
was what his mother and I told him.
"He feels that his father is something more than just a story
It was thanks to John’s persistent investigations that he
received a response to a letter he sent 11 years ago to the
Burgermeister of Brandau, a small village 22 miles south east of
Frankfurt where the plane came down.
He continued: "I’d written a letter and had never received a
response but then out of the blue just before Christmas a young
German archaeology student called Felix Klingenbeck wrote to me to
say he had found the wreckage.
"He’d informed the Burgermeister when human remains were
found and the Burgermeister said he had remembered the letter I
sent in 1999 and dug out my address."
The 87-year-old, who served in an anti-tank unit from 1941-1946
and saw action in Normandy and Germany, was at home on leave when
he received the telegram telling him about the death of his
wireless operator brother Bernard.
John added: "Felix sent me a lovely letter with all the
information he had discovered and told me how he had been out with
his metal detector and found parts of the plane.
"It was a bit of a shock. I was able to telephone Keith and
after 67 years without knowing where his father was it was
Archaeology buff Felix Klingenbeck, 20, made the discovery after
becoming interested in stories told by villagers about an English
bomber that had crashed in the woods east of the village.
He found sections of the plane with serial numbers, which he
posted online in the hope that someone would confirm the type of
It was discovered to be the Avro Lancaster III JB221, a make
famed for featuring in the film The Dambusters.
Work has now stopped on excavating the site in dense woodland
following visits by families of the seven airmen aboard which was
made up of English, Scots, a Canadian and an American.
It is hoped a permanent memorial can be erected and
grandfather-of-three John plans to pay his final respects later in
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