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Flt.Sgt Tony La Gruta

 
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DerekR
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Joined: 19 Dec 2006
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Location: Hawick, Scotland

PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2007 9:16 pm    Post subject: Flt.Sgt Tony La Gruta Reply with quote

http://www.cwgc.org/search/casualty_details.aspx?casualty=1802960

Flt.Sjt Tony La Gruta was killed on August 29th, 1941 during war-time training in the Scottish Borders.
He was buried where he died with the remains of his aircraft on Hunt Law near Lauder. His name is commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.

In 1991, the 50th anniversary of his fateful flight, Tony's nephew Jeremy Meagher of Melbourne, Australia, flew over especially to be at this uncle's grave
He said "May this grave be a reminder to the future generations that, not only does "Gruta's grave" symbolise the tragedy of war - but the existence in youth of the capacity for self-sacrifice and a sense of duty.
We, so far away, will today be close amongst you".



Some of the congregation who made the long pilgrimage to Australian Flight Sergeant's La Gruta's memorial high up on Hunt Law, August 1991.
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Last edited by DerekR on Sun Mar 18, 2007 9:23 pm; edited 1 time in total
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DerekR
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Location: Hawick, Scotland

PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2007 9:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote



Tony La Gruta

LA GRUTA, ANTHONY DOMINICA CYRIL
Initials: A D C
Nationality: Australian
Rank: Sergeant
Regiment/Service: Royal Australian Air Force
Age: 23
Date of Death: 29/08/1941
Service No: 400719
Additional information: Son of Anthony and Veronica Imelda La Gruta, of St. Kilda, Victoria, Australia.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: Panel 62.
Memorial: RUNNYMEDE MEMORIAL
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DerekR
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2007 9:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


Nephew Jeremy Meagher gives his address at his uncle's grave.


Group Captain White lays his wreath.
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Merseman



Joined: 07 Aug 2013
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Location: Duns, Berwickshire

PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2015 3:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Slight query here - Runnymede commemorates over 20k airman "who have no known graves". There were many victims of air accidents and crashes, in the Borders, who were buried in local churchyards; this man was buried on-the-spot?
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spoons



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Location: St John's Town of Dalry

PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2015 4:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Merseman wrote:
Slight query here - Runnymede commemorates over 20k airman "who have no known graves". There were many victims of air accidents and crashes, in the Borders, who were buried in local churchyards; this man was buried on-the-spot?


Runnymede is not just for those with no known grave, it is also for those whose grave can no longer be maintained by CWGC. I guess the remote location is the reason for this.

\Paul
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Merseman



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Location: Duns, Berwickshire

PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2015 10:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My surprise was more that he was buried up there instead of his body being brought down - which I understand was the usual practice, even in the hills.

However having found this link (which includes a number of modern photos of the site and memorial), the crash's nature is presumably the explanation.


http://www.aircrashsites-scotland.co.uk/defiant_lammermuir.htm

Quote:

The Defiant aircraft featured here had been assigned to No. 60 Operational Training Unit (OTU) RAF, based at East Fortune Airfield (a support airfield in East Lothian for RAF Drem).

On 29 August 1941, the pilot, Flt Sgt A.D.C. La Gruta, was sent out to conduct a series of 'homing tests' in a Defiant aircraft. It is thought he lost control of the aircraft whilst flying in cloud. The exact reason he lost control remains unclear.

The aircraft struck the ground at high speed in a very steep dive. The bulk of the aircraft ended up buried nearly 5m (16ft) underground. The MoD decided the aircraft and pilot could not be recovered.




http://www.edwardboyle.com/blog/?p=54

http://www.berwickshirenews.co.uk/news/local-news/all-local-news/lammermuirs-memorial-to-australian-airman-restore-1-243607
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