Semans Wartime Veteran Still Honoured

 

It’s wonderful to see that those who sacrificed are still honoured. From the Regina Leader Post:

Letter to the Editor, May 14, 2019: Wartime Semans veteran still honoured in Europe

The sacrifices of Canada’s young men during the Second World War have not been forgotten in France or England, writes Sudbury, Suffolk resident Anne Grimshaw.

A commemoration ceremony for Pilot Officer Lewis Leslie Feindell of Semans, Sask., and his fellow crew members is held annually in the churchyard in Landéville, north of Chaumont, in eastern France. Many people from all over the area attend. JPG

April 27 marked the 75th anniversary (1944) of the death of one of Semans’ sons, Pilot Officer Lewis Leslie Feindell (age 20) of the Royal Canadian Air Force. He was a mid-upper gunner in Lancaster LL919 from 619 Squadron, based at Dunholme Lodge near Lincoln, England.

In the evening of 26 April, 1944, his aircraft was heading for the target of industrial town Schweinfurt in southern Germany.

The Lancaster was thought to have been blown off course over a heavily defended area, and was shot down by a German nightfighter. Six of the seven crew were killed and were buried in the churchyard of the tiny village of Landéville, north of Chaumont, in eastern France. There was only one survivor, the bomb aimer, who was badly hurt but helped by a local woman before he had to be handed over to the Germans for much-needed medical treatment.

Every year since 1944, a commemoration ceremony is held in the churchyard in Landéville, which many people from all over the area attend. Presided over by the mayor, André Massaux, standard bearers from French veterans’ associations, local military officials and politicians, as well as local people and a veteran from 619 Squadron attended the wreath-laying at the graves before a vin d’honneur in the Town Hall.

Leslie Feindell was the son of Lewis Loval and Alice Feindell. They passed away, and he was brought up by an uncle, J.T. Green. He trained in various parts of Canada before embarking for Britain in May, 1943, where he underwent further training before joining Flight Lieutenant Guy Gunzi’s crew in late December 1943. The Schweinfurt raid was his 17th operation.

I have been researching this event since 1992, and have been to the commemoration at Landéville several times. It is very emotional and moving. The navigator, Flying Officer Nickolas Vlassie, was also RCAF; he came from Winnipeg.

I thought you might like to know that the sacrifices of Canada’s young men during the Second World War have not been forgotten in France, and there are also memorials to this crew in England.

Anne Grimshaw, Sudbury, Suffolk, England

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