Correction: It has come to the attention of WHO that the writer mistook RAF Brize Norton for a man rather than a Royal Air Force base. Proper corrections have been made.
A copper WWII plaque in honor of a hero pilot during the war, initially thought to be stolen, has already been returned and mounted in its usual place. According to reports, the ‘stealing’ was just a case of misunderstandings.
The said WWII plaque at the RAF base in Windrush, Gloucestershire, had been reported to the Gloucestershire authorities as stolen earlier in the month of August. The WWII plaque is in honor of RAF pilot Sgt. Bruce Hancock. According to reports, Hancock took down a German war plane, though his own aircraft was unarmed by ramming the former. The heroic deed resulted in his death.
The said WWII plaque was reported missing and stolen between August 6 to 9 this year. However, it was later revealed that the ‘stealing’ was just a case of miscommunication.
According to reports, a serviceman from RAF Brize Norton had removed the WWII plaque to have refurbished. Nevertheless, he did it without any notice. And when a member of the public saw that the WWII plaque was missing from its usual spot at the RAF base, it was reported to the authorities.
A station’s spokesperson attested that the WWII plaque was removed by a RAF Brize Norton personnel from the RAF Windrush Memorial on August 8 after a visiting pilot advised him to have it repaired as its fixings had started to go loose.
The said serviceman had removed the WWII plaque with its best intentions in his mind, said the spokesperson. The latter went on that during that time, the WWII plaque was thought to be a military dedication that the local community as well as the others visiting the base do not fully appreciate its value.
The RAF spokesman also apologized for whatever inconveniences the miscommunication between the involved parties caused. He further went on that the WWII plaque has already been returned and was rededicated in a ceremony.
The Story Behind the WWII Plaque
Sergeant Pilot Bruce Hancock was only 26 years old when he died at the height of the Second World War. he died in the skies hovering above Windrush during the momentous Battle of Britain.
The RAF pilot had been practicing flying at night using his Avro Anson training aircraft when he saw a German war plane flying above the quaint village of Gloucestershire. Without qualms, he chased after the enemy, even as the latter was incessantly firing at him. As the training craft did not carry any weapons, Hancock was left without a choice but to ram the underside of the Heinkel. The enemy was downed along with its crew, but at the expense of Hancock’s life.
In 1988, the WWII plaque was made and placed outside of the RAF Windrush base where Hancock was also based. It is mounted in honor of the pilot’s sacrifice.