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Search for Dambuster's stolen log book

The following appeal has been issued by the Metropolitan Police. Please have a read, and if you can help, please contact the authorities (listed at the bottom). Although the culprit has been convicted, the family of the late Flt Lt John W Fraser, 617 Squadron, are sadly no nearer to finding the Dambuster bomb aimer's stolen log book...


Canadian airman Flt Lt John W Fraser flew as part of Flt Lt John Hopgood's crew on the 1943 Dams Raid. Despite suffering severe damage and casualties, the crew persisted with its raid. Hopgood then attempted to gain height, so that the crew could bale out. Fraser was one of only two to survive, and spent the rest of the war as a prisoner. He never forgot Hopgood's sacrifice and named his children after him.

A man has been found guilty of stealing a treasured log book from the widow of an RAF airman who was part of the legendary World War II 'Dambusters' squadron.

Last week Alexander Bateman, of Headstone Lane, Harrow was found guilty of theft. However, despite officers proving that the log book was stolen, the treasured item has yet to be recovered.

Bateman, a keen military historian, contacted the victim and asked if she could send him anything belonging to her late husband, which would assist him with his research. The victim duly sent her husband's log book to assist with his research.

Several years later, the family requested for it to be returned, but Bateman declared that the log book had been gifted to him by the victim. He produced a Christmas card which he claimed was from the victim, that had a note inside saying she had gifted it to him. Bateman then stopped returning any calls and suspiciously reported a burglary at his address where he claimed intruders broke into his home and stole the log book - a day before a national newspaper published a story about the dispute.

However, writing experts later carried out analysis of the card, and concluded that it was almost certainly not written by the victim.

Acting Detective Sergeant Henry Childe said: "Bateman lied about his willingness to return the treasured RAF log book, which belonged to the widow of one of the 'Dambusters' air men. Sadly, the log book has never been found and Bateman has refused to tell us what happened to it.”

Anyone with information about the missing log book should contact Henry Childe on 020 8345 4552 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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