Queen's Colour Squadron participates in funeral

by Eric Molenaar

Members of the Queen's Colour Squadron will carry the coffin.

BERGEN - Members of the Queen 's Colour Squadron of the Royal Air Force Regiment will lead the funeral procession for the airmen John Kehoe and Stanley Mullenger on the 7th of may.
The remains of the two air gunners will find their final resting place in a commonwealth war grave at Bergen General Cemetery, behind the graves of pilot Chris Saunders DFM en navigator James D'Arcy. The crew of the Hampden bomber P1206, which crashed on the 8th of November 1941 in Berkhout, will finally be reunited.
To make this possible there will be an extra row between the graves of Saunders and D'Arcy and the Cross of Sacrifice. The intention is to place the headstones of the Irish Kehoe and the Briton Mullenger back to back to those of their comrades.
Mike Drewett, head of public relations of the RAF, says there are both practical and symbolic reasons to give the two a joint grave. ,,They flew together, died together, and now they're buried together.''

The Queen's Colour Squadron (63 Squadron) is unique as a dual role squadron undertaking both ceremonial and field squadron commitments. It is responsible for representing the Royal Air Force at most ceremonial occasions. It also provides Guards of Honour for the Royal Family and it mounts The Queen’s Guard at Buckingham Palace, amongst others. The squadron is also known for its unique and world-renowned Continuity Drill Displays. It appears in the Guinness Book of Records having completed over 2,700,000 foot and rifle drill movements in 23 hours and 55 minutes. A record that hasn't been challenged.
Along with its ceremonial responsibilities the squadron maintains an operational role as No 63 Squadron RAF Regiment serving in the defence of Royal Air Force assets and installations around the world.
Six members of this unit will carry the coffin from the catholic Petrus en Pauluskerk to the cemetery.
In the church at 10 o'clock there will be a joint memorial service from the Catholic Church and the Church of England. It is not known yet who will conduct the ceremony.
The funeral is at 11:00 hrs. No blanks will be fired during the ceremony. The servicemen will salute, while a trumpeter will sound the Last Post.
If possible, there will be a flypast from one or more planes, as a mark of respect. The RAF has asked the Dutch Airforce for their cooperation to arrange this.
In the afternoon, at 14:30 hrs, a memorial to the crew of Hampden P1206 will be unveiled near the crash site at the Westeinde in Berkhout. For the community of Koggenland this is the closing up of an operation that included also the clearing of an aker nearby Ursem from the remains of an American bomber that went down in 1944 and the salvage of a bomb in Berkhout.

Source: Noordhollands Dagblad March 18th, 2008.

Ceremony in Delden, where in 2006 the crew of a Short Stirling was buried.

The Petrus en Pauluskerk in Bergen, where the joint service at May 7th will be held.