WWII RAF Airman’s Grave Located After 70 Years

Royal Air Force 1939-1945- Lancester Bomber Command.  Source: Wikipedia
Royal Air Force 1939-1945- Lancester Bomber Command. Source: Wikipedia

Sgt. Arthur Pulman of Liverpool was 19 when the RAF Lancaster bomber that he was a gunner on was shot down over Germany in 1944. Over 70 years later, his grave has been discovered, and the Ministry of Defence’s Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre (JCCC) is looking for his family.

Pulman grew up on Dane Street, Walton. In 1943, at the age of 18, he enlisted in the Royal Air Force. He was the tail gunner on Lancaster EE173, a part of 207 Squadron Royal Air Force. On January 30th, 1944 at 5:18 pm, the plane took off for a bombing raid on Berlin.

The RAF lost contact with the plane during the raid, and it never returned. The rest of the crew had bailed out and were taken as prisoners of war. When the war was over, they gave their accounts of how Pulman had been killed in action.

In the 1970s, an RAF Lancaster was recovered from Lake Krumme Lanke in the American sector of Berlin. The engine numbers matched those of Lancaster EE173. The remains of one crew member were found and buried as an “unknown Airman of WWII” in Rheinburg War Cemetery, Germany.

Lately, experts have been re-examining records from 1944 and the 1970s. They believe that the airman buried in Rheinburg can only be Sgt. Arthur Pulman. The MoD is looking for any surviving relatives so that they can be invited to a service rededicating his grave in Rheinburg War Cemetery in September.

Louise Dorr of the JCCC said, “Arthur’s records don’t give us a great deal of information about him. We know he was a plumber’s mate before he enlisted and that his last known address was in Dane Street, Walton. He was born in Liverpool on 31st of May 1924 to George and Evelyn Pulman, and we think he may have had an older brother, Peter, who we hope, may still have family living in the area. Unfortunately, that is about all we know about him and his family, and that’s where the trail goes cold.”

If you can help find his family, please contact alan.weston@trinitymirror.com.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE