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But their work shows just how much good could be done
on 5 April 2016
This deals with a difficult subject in an even-handed manner. It tells the story of the Missing Research Units that tried to collect and identify the remains of British and Commonwealth aircrew lost in Europe during WWII. Of course the job of locating most of the missing had to wait until the battlefields had rolled on. The sheer amount of work involved involved in putting names on tombstones is well conveyed. Some of the most senior people in the RAF and the Air Ministry lost sons on operations, so there was a lot of sympathy for the grieving families. Money and personnel were found somehow. The RAF "missing" records were to be a tremendous resource, so their story is told, and told well. The difficulties of cooperating with the governments and armed forces of past and current allies are touched on. The story of the Missing Research Enquiry Units is told, though the records at the National Archives are occasionally patchy. The stories of members of the MREUs are added and shows the frantic pace of their work. The most difficulty area of operations was the Ruhr, Stuart Hadaway deserves our thanks for showing the job of the MREUs with restraint in choosing his illustrations. The MREUs have not been given much publicity - unsurprisingly with the Cold War in mind the RAF felt the story of unidentified bodies would discourage recruitment. But their work shows just how much good could be done, and was done. In Memoriam.