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  • Writer's pictureChristopher Booth

Canadian Commemoration

It was a privilege to attend a memorial service to mark the loss of airmen during the Second World War at Teesside Airport on Saturday. This year, the annual event received a special visitor from Canada, Lieutenant-Colonel Ryan Keen, the commanding officer of 419 “Moose” Squadron.

The 2023 commemoration service.

Organised by the Middleton St George Memorial Association, the gathering also marked Canadian Pilot Officer Andrew Mynarski being posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross for bravery. RAF Middleton St George was a Royal Air Force and Royal Canadian Air Force bomber command station during the Second World War. Mynarski died after saving the life of crew member Pat Brophy from their badly fire-damaged Lancaster bomber, which had come under attack.

The 2023 commemoration service.

I first attended the service in 2005 after The Northern Echo's Forgotten Hero campaign raised £76,000 to erect a statue of Mynarski that stands today. Eighteen years later it was fantastic to see the commemoration so well attended and sculptor Keith Maddison's creation taking centre stage once again, but this time in bright sunshine.

The erecting of the Andrew Mynarski statue and first unveiling by Colleen Bacon, daughter of Pat Brophy, in 2005.

#Mynarski #andrewmynarski #teessideairport #canadianairforce @TeesAirport @TheNorthernEcho #stgeorgememorialservice @AndrewMynarski @RCAF_ARC

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