Sergeant Charles Armstrong Bell, of Langley Park, was part of a seven man crew of the Short Stirling bomber BK716 in 1943, during World War II. The plane did not return from a bombing run, and the crew was declared as Missing In Action.

Last week, the plane was found in Lake Markermeer, just north east of the Dutch capital, Amsterdam. The current plan is to retrieve the plane from the lake bed in March, and investigators expect to find the remains of the airmen inside.

To help find living relatives of Sergeant Bell, Durham Constabulary announced: “Charles Armstrong Bell was the son of James Ainsley Bell and Elizabeth Bell and lived at 10, Quebec Street, Langley Park with his wife Frances. On his memorial stone he is listed as a son and husband, making us believe that he did not have children.
Frances later remarried a John Wharton and may have had a sister by the name of Lilly Dobbin. Frances died in 2003 and we can find no record of Lilly Dobbin.
It is unknown where family members may have ended up, so please share this post to maximise our chances of success.
It would be great to help in this worthy cause to ensure that an airman who paid the ultimate sacrifice is represented by his family at his burial.”

Do you have any relevant information about relatives of Sergeant Bell?
If so, please contact Sgt Mawson at Consett Neighbourhood Policing Team

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