Finishing equipment manufacturer, Guyson International's Dutch distributor, Blasteq, has been awarded the prestigious task of cleaning the engine of a recently unearthed Short Stirling BK716 second-world-war English bomber. The cleaned engine is to be incorporated into a memorial to the crew of the bomber, located in the local town of Almere near to where the bomber crashed, and become part of The Netherlands celebration of 75 years of liberation and freedom from German occupation.

In memory of the crew members, the municipality of Almere decided to have a work of art made. So at the end of 2019, an appeal was made for artists to come up with ideas and a local jury chose English artist Laura O'Neill and her design ″Rise″.

″Rise″ by Laura O'Neill

Right: Drawing of artwork called ″Rise″ by Laura O'Neill which consists of engine wreckage on which a man-sized young pilot sits looking at a flagpole on the memorial field, inviting current generations to commemorate.

Blasteq has been requested by the artist Laura O'Neill to thoroughly clean the engine that was recovered from the Short Stirling BK716 bomber so that it can be worked on as an installation. Cleaning is to be undertaken using a variety of methods including dry ice cleaning and both dry blast and ultrasonic precision cleaning provided by Guyson finishing equipment.

The Short Stirling BK716 was shot down by a German night fighter pilot, on the night of 29-30 March 1943 during a return flight to Royal Airforce station Downham Market from a bombardment on Berlin, with seven crew members on board; made-up of a mixture of English and Canadians. Pilots often chose to fly over this area of Holland on their return from bombing missions in Germany as this route heightened their chance of survival if their plane would crash and maybe land amongst allies.

The bombers engine recovery, which was only completed in October 2020, is part of the National Aircraft Wreckage Recovery Programme and was commissioned by the municipality of Almere. The Ministry of Defence and specialized contractor Leemans Speciaalwerken carry out the recovery. The Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations and the Association of Dutch Municipalities (VNG) provided funds and advice.

The Recovery & Identification Unit of the Royal Netherlands Army (BIDKL) will examine the human remains found at the crash site in order to identify those of the crew of the BK716. Their relatives have been informed by the municipality of Almerea and have asked that the city recover the remains of their family members to enable them to be given a proper burial; with the relatives given a chance to say goodbye to their beloved family members.

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