Long lost family of Second World War pilot finally found
- Credit: Supplied by Mike and Sara Nash
Living relatives of a Second World War pilot from Norwich who was killed in action have been discovered after his photo was spotted in an Evening News appeal.
The hunt was started by chairman of Friends of 75 (New Zealand) Squadron Association, Kevin King, for the families of those who lost their lives during Second World War.
Flt Lt Eric George Parsons led his crew of seven on a daylight attack on an oil plant in Germany in March of 1945.
The entire crew perished.
The military serviceman then made contact with Parsons' niece Sara Nash and her husband Mike.
A process that generally takes days or weeks, Mr Hillier managed to find living blood relatives in a matter of hours.
He said: "I don't pick the paper up every day but I just saw it there and really wanted to help out.
"I managed to find them through a family tree. Once I had that, I could contact the people and confirm whether this was their relative and by what way."
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Sara, 69 is Norwich born and bred but now lives in Stevenage.
She said she was taken aback when Mr Hillier got in touch.
She said: "It was totally out of the blue. We have a few family photos but not a lot. Eric was quite young, 23 when he died. He was my mother's younger brother.
"My mother died around 30 years ago at the age of 74 and she was one of the last with a living memory of Eric."
Sara's mother Sybil - Eric's sister - married Frederick Russell, and Ellen Parsons (Sara's grandmother and Eric's mother) lived with the pair soon after they tied the knot.
She added: "She was so distraught after losing her son and her husband within a year of each other."
Sara added: "My mum didn't like talking about anything to do with the war at all. I think she just found it too upsetting. Any talk of the war just got shut down."
Friends of 75 (NZ) Squadron Association is also on the hunt to track down the families of other members of Flt Lt Parsons' crew.
Flt Sgt Francis Henry Ebbage
Air Bomber, 21.
Son of Henry and Mabel Florence Ebbage of Whinburgh, Norfolk.
Sgt Charles Albert Longstaff
Flt engineer, 31.
Son of Charles Henry and Mary Longstaff of Middlesbrough, Yorkshire.
At the time of enlistment Charles was living and working in Halifax for the General Post Office.
Sgt John Nichol
Rear gunner, 28.
Son of John Albert and Louise Nichol of Gosforth, Newcastle-upon-Tyne.
Flt Sgt William Phinn
Son of Peter and Mary Ann Phinn of Denton Holme, Carlisle.
Flt Sgt Eric Ramsay
Wireless operator, 20.
Son of Thomas and Eliza Ramsay of Moston, Manchester.
Sgt John Lawrence Beard
Mid Upper Gunner, 19.
Son of Lawrence Arthur and Lilian Beard of East Dulwich, London.