by Mac Johnston
On Nov. 10, 1997, in Geraardsbergen, Belgium, a nurse from Chilliwack, B.C., went to the funeral of an uncle she had never met. As a tribute, Maureen Thom wore on her coat the WW II wings of Pilot Officer Wilbur Bentz who died four years before she was born.
Wib Bentz was a pilot in 426 (Thunderbird) Squadron of the Royal Canadian Air Force based at Linton-on-Ouse in Yorkshire, England. His plane, Halifax bomber LW682, M for Mother, was part of a 120-bomber raid on the railway yards in German-held Louvain, Belgium. On the flight home, LW682 was shot down at about 1 a.m. May 13, 1944, by a German night fighter. The bomber crashed in a bog and the Germans recovered and buried the bodies of five members of the eight-man crew.
Canadian authorities later declared ...