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EFFORT TO LOCATE Establishment Of Research And Inquiry Service R.N.Z.A.F. Official News Service • LONDON, July 18. To obtain traces of air crews who disappeared on operations during the war in Europe the Air Ministry has set up, in conjunction with the Dominions, a Royal Air Force and Dominion Air Forces Missing Research and Inquiry Service. The functions of the service are twofold —to follow up definite clues provided by the Air Ministry or Dominion overseas headquarters and to conduct a general search of the whole area of North-west Europe where aircraft may have crashed. This latter is obviously an enormous commitment. Sections of the service are being located in the liberated areas as soon as local conditions justify their operations.

Working from Paris since January last, the first of these sections has already enabled many hundreds of outstanding problems to be solved. Contact is made by specially-trained officers travelling by car with local officials and country people in the neighbourhood of known crashes. Two mobile sections are also at worjk in the French area, visiting provincial .centres to collect information from the population, who have had notice of their coming. Many Families Relieved In Belgium the same work is being done by the Belgian section of the service. Holland will be undertaken next, then Norway and Denmark and finally Germany itself. It may be a long time before conditions in Germany are suitable for such operations, especially within the Russian zone, but it will be undertaken and any available information will be obtained. Posts in the-*establish-ment of the missing research and inquiry service are held by representatives of the Royal Canadian Air Force, the Royal Australian Air Force and the Royal New Zealand Air Force. These officers take their turn on the search missions with those of the Royal Air Force. Officers in charge of the sections report direct to Dominion Air Force Headquarters, London, or to the Air Ministry casualty branch, whichever is concerned. It is the Air Ministry casualty branch which is responsible for general co-ordination of the work of the missing research and inqxiiry service. By this means it has been possible to relieve many wives and families of uncertainty regarding the fate of missing officers and airmen.

. With the assistance of local inhabitants it is frequently possible to obtain evidence of death and to identify the occupants of unknown graves.

The Air Ministry states that the large number of cases to be dealt with and the enormous area to be covered make it quite impossible to give priority to any particular case, but next-of-kin can be assured that no stone will be left unturned and that a complete review of all missing cases from the beginning of the war is to be undertaken.

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Bibliographic details

MISSING AIRMEN, Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 171, 21 July 1945

Word Count

MISSING AIRMEN Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 171, 21 July 1945

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