RAF historians are hunting for the Midland widow of an RAF sergeant who died after his plane crashed in the Netherlands in 1942.

Sergeant Leonard Edward Moss, aged 28, lived in Coventry, with his wife Jose, before being called up to serve with 15 Squadron, at RAF Bourn in Cambridgeshire.

He was an air bomber on board Stirling W7624 which took off from the base at 9pm on August 27, 1942, for a midnight raid on the German city of Kassel. But German night fighter Vicktor Bauer brought the plane down near Bentelo, three miles west from Hengelo in Holland, at 12.08am on August 28, 1942.

The Dutch Army Recovery Team began excavating the site in May where they found human remains of three bodies. Now historians at RAF Innsworth, in Gloucester, want to trace Sgt Moss's relatives including his former wife, who remarried and may be known as Jose Johnston. Sue Raftree, a researcher with the RAF's historic casework team, is searching for Sgt Moss's widow or relatives.

* Click here to email us with any information you have about the crew of Stirling W7624 * 

She said: "We know Jose Moss lived in Green Lane, Coventry, in the 1940s but realise she could have moved when she remarried and became Mrs Johnston. Whenever human remains are found we have to notify families of our intention to arrange a burial."

The crew was piloted by Flight Sergeant Hugh Barton-Smith, aged 26, from Four Oaks, in Sutton Coldfield, whose body was uncovered. Researchers have located his son, Shaun Barton-Smith, in Gillingham, Kent, to discuss the MoD's plans for a funeral in Holland next year.

Also on board were Flight Sergeant K Wakefield, aged 20, of Bedford, in Bedfordshire; Sgt J V Robinson, aged 23, of Sevenoaks, in Kent; Sgt P S Sharman, aged 19, of Liverpool; Flt Sgt E F Talbot, aged 30, of Morden, in Surrey; and Flt Sgt A Smith, aged 22, of New Zealand.

Flt Sgt Smith jumped but his parachute failed to open. He was buried at Ambt-delden Gene Cemetery, in plot 1b, row K, grave 6.

Two men were buried in graves seven and eight the same day and unconfirmed reports mentioned two men being taken from the Stirling bomber.

The rest of the crew are commemorated at the RAF's memorial at Runneymede, near Kew, in Surrey. 

* Anyone who knows a Jose Moss or Jose Johnston who lives lived in Coventry can call Sue Raftree on 01452 712612 ext 6303 or email historics03.jccc@innsworth.afpaa.mod.uk