Son still looks for closure, as he remembers his dad on the 75th Anniversary of his passing

British Flyers Remembrance Ceremony

‘To the father I never met…Dad, although we never met, 75 years on, I know you very well, your loving son, John.’

Those words hang above the tombstone of Kenneth Raisbeck, who died on the 26th of June 1944, at just 26 years old.

“3 weeks away from being awarded his wings, unfortunately he had an accident when he was doing some aerobatics over the Oswego area and unfortunately his plane nosedived into the ground” said John Raisbeck, Kenneth’s son.

Jon was born a month after he had left for Miami as a cadet for the Royal Air Force.

John continues to search for answers to father’s death.

“I felt I owed it to my biological father to come and find out more about what happened here and I got the bit between my teeth now and it won’t go away.”

So far he has located the area of the crash site, but says he still needs to find the exact pinpoint of it. He says there’s one more thing he is after.

“Unfortunately I have not been able to find that report, so the ultimate closure for me would be to read the crash investigation report.”

The 75th anniversary of the passing of his father was honored during the 9th Annual British Flyers Remembrance Ceremony. It is held each year at the Grand Army of the Republic cemetery. His father is buried there, alongside 15 other cadets who lost their lives during training accidents at the Spartan School of Aeronautics, during WWII in the early 1940’s.

“It’s amazing that they all came here and it was so different from where they came from, and they are remembered to their families to this day, how they were treated in our community” added G.A.R. Cemetery Director, Kim Horn.

John hopes to pass down the tradition of returning for the remembrance ceremony.

“I came here 25 years ago with my son, who is now 45, and he’s now got a son, so hopefully my grandson will also carry the torch”

The torch of keeping his father’s memory alive.

“It will never, the flame will never be extinguished” added John.

Local veterans from the American Legion and Marine Corps League participated in the ceremony. There was also a musical tribute to the British Flyers from the City of Tulsa Pipes and Drums. Each cadet’s name was read aloud, and a rose was placed at their grave.

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