207 SQUADRON ROYAL AIR FORCE HISTORY
The burial of the crew of Lancaster ME681 EM-T
Margny was not liberated by the Americans until 28 August. Knowing of the harsh attitude of the Germans elsewhere, it was astonishing that they permitted such a patriotic ceremony. According to Joachim Lelongt, 5 minutes was permitted for the religious celebration and 15 minutes for the interments. The Germans were particularly concerned that photos should not be taken. They failed.
In 1994 one of the local newspapers had this account from a witness who was 23 at the time:
"I was unable to get to sleep. I heard bursts of firing and I thought it was aerial combat. The window was open and as I went towards it I saw a ball of fire which fell nearby. All the crew were killed in the crash and by dawn there was very little to recover of their bodies. I took part in the service at the village cemetery. Many villagers came to pay their respects."
Margny was not unfamiliar with the RAF.
An 83 Sqn aircraft JB402 OL-R (Sqn Ldr Sparks) had come down in the area on the Mailly le Camp raid of 3 May 1944. Three of the crew were hidden in Margny before moving down an escape line. Altogether six of the crew of eight evaded, the other two becoming POWs.
Unless otherwise specified, all photos: Mairie of Margny, via Lelongt