Dutch villagers honour memory of RAF crew

AN AIRMAN of the Second World War has been honoured almost 70 years after his plane was shot down.

Wireless operator Sgt James Kiltie was 24 when his Lancaster crashed in Holland while returning from a raid on Nazi Germany.

Sgt Kiltie, from Maybole, Ayrshire, was killed along with four other crew of 166 Squadron RAF in May 1944. Two escaped by parachute but were captured.

The dead were buried by civilians in the southern Dutch village of Goudriaan and a year later his parents were told he had been killed in action..

Now, a memorial has been unveiled in Goudriaan to commemorate the crew, including Sgt Kiltie, whose personal details and photograph were uncovered after a worldwide search.

David Kiltie, whose father was James’s cousin, attended the ceremony for the airman, who worked at the Turnberry Hotel before joining the RAF.

Mr Kiltie, 68, of Maybole, said: “James was posted as missing and it wasn’t until the following year he was confirmed as killed. They [Dutch villagers] wanted to honour [the airmen] and the younger folk turned to Andries [van der Graaf, historian] because he was around at the time.”