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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.
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on 8 December 2016
Interesting read. Informative about an aspect of warfare not generally covered. Very general in places, concentrating of the composition and deployment of units. Some investigative detail and quotations from official documents submitted by personnel is included but this does not quite illustrate how those involved were affected, unlike books which include the recollections by interview of participants in this type of work. I nearly missed some of the meat and detail. With the Kindle book I came upon the advertising for other books, usually found at the end of a Kindle book, and nearly missed the Appendices which contain interesting detail and also offer guidance for tracing information about RAF personnel. Overall a good read and no regrets for buying this book.
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on 2 January 2017
This book was stored away on my E reader for a few months. I am now sorry that I did not read it sooner. The story of the strength of mind and dedication of the RAF servicemen in finding their lost colleagues is astounding. Thus book is well written and based on solid research of dwindling facts and some still secret files. If anyone is curious about the fate of a lost RAF serviceman relative this book will inform them about the huge efforts that went into finding the dead and missing, and the numbers still listed as missing. For anyone with a serious interest in the history of the RAF, this book will be found absorbing.
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on 22 February 2018
Having served in the RAF's Missing Research and Enquiry Service, in Italy and Austria, taking part in this massive detective operation, finding what became of the brave men whoi didn't come home, who were then given a decent burial in immaculate British Military Cemeteries, I was told of this history at the RAF Museum, Hendon. It's not comprehensive, but an important record of the determined work of the Searcher Parties, led by ex-aircrew officers and of the dedicated airmen who briefed, debriefed an d supported them.
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on 21 July 2008
Very little has been written on the important work of the MRES during and after WWII so this study can justly be called ground breaking. Hadaway goes into great detail providing reams of technical information on his subject and this volume is clearly the result of careful research and hard work.

He manages to balance the technical aspects of seeking out the wreck sites and recovering the bodies with the commemorative nature of the work skilfully. The scale of the losses for the RAF is staggering and the work carried out by this little known unit is well worth reading about. Though I suspect that British readers will be primarily interested in the MRES activities in Great Britain, France and Germany, the contribution of the Commonwealth nations is referred to and there are chapters covering the Far East and the Mediterranean/Middle East etc.

A good deal of extra infomation is provided in the appendices and the book benefits from far more photographic illustration than I would expect from a volume of this kind (over 90 photographs). Overall this is a well written book on a very intriguing and thought provoking subject. I strongly recommend it.
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on 24 July 2017
The horrors of war and the efforts and sacrifices made by service men and women to identify and bring deceased missing aircrew home, with dignity and respect. We shall remember them.
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on 6 October 2017
An interesting book on a little-known issue. Very worth reading.
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on 1 December 2017
A lot of detail of the investigations activity. Not as much info on the actual finds as I expected.
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on 18 January 2017
good book well worth a read
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on 23 August 2017
interesting but not as comprehensive as anticipated.
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