An eye-witness called Joseph Israelsster saw the bomber crash that night . At the time, he was sixteen years of age, and on seeing the burst of flame, and hearing the explosion from the crash, he cycled to the scene of the disaster. Among the charred remains of the aircraft, they recovered two bodies. The only identification of the pilot was a sock on one of his feet reach marked “Guy Gibson.”
Because Holland was under German occupation, the rule was that enemy bodies were to be buried in the nearest cemetery, and it was not until the war was over that the local inhabitants learned the real identities of the two airmen they had buried.
It was asked why they were not interred in the British War Graves cemetery in Holland, but Guy’s father, and the local people expressed a wish that the two bodies should not be disturbed and left to lie near where they had died.Guy was just 26 years of age. How sad
From the wreckage young Mr. Israelsster gathered some pieces of twisted metal, from which he made a signet ring as a precious memento of that sad day.
On September 19th 1974, just 30 years after Guy Gibson’s death, a memorial service was held at Steenbergen, and a plaque was unveiled by Air Marshal Sir Harold Martin, better known as “Micky Martin,” who piloted one of the aircraft in the front section to attack the Dams, together with Guy Gibson. At the conclusion of the service, the only remaining airworthy Lancaster of the R.A.F, flew past in salute.
On that same date, a Battle of Britain Commemorative Service was held in Porthleven, followed by a wreath-laying ceremony at the War Memorial on the hillside overlooking the harbour, and Guy’s boyhood home.
A street named ‘Gibson Way’ in the village, is planted with trees in memory of young Guy, who died in the prime of life.”