A historian is searching for the family of a World War Two flight navigator to invite them to a memorial service in honour of him and his crew.

Sergeant Ronald William Mepsted, who was born in Edmonton, was on board a 100 Squadron RAF Lancaster plane when it took off from an airbase in Grimsby, Lincolnshire, for a bombing mission in Germany.

On June 26, 1943 at 0:54 hours the plane was shot at and crashed in Jisperweg, Beemster, a district of Holland and nobody survived.

The 20-year-old's body was only one of three to be identified due to the ferocity of the explosion.

He was born 1923 to Horace and Kathleen Mepsted, and buried in Amsterdam New Eastern Cemetery.

Greg Harrison who is a historian and archivist for 100 Squadron RAF and the 100 Squadron Association, is trying to track down relatives of the Mepsted family.

He said: “I have been in touch with a colleague in Europe who researches German nightfighter claims, and he has found one matching Sgt Mepsted’s loss.

“Oberfeldwebel – the equivalent to an RAF Flight Sergeant – Karl-Heinz Scherfling attacked and shot down ED 988 at 00:54 hours local time.

“It was his 14th victory. He was a pilot with the German10./NJG1 nightfinder unit based at Venlo.

“In total, 457 British bombers operated that night against Gelsenkirchen.

“It was part of Bomber Commands spring and summer campaign of 1943 against the German industrial towns and cities of the Ruhr.

“We are not sure which person in the photo is Ronald, and if we can find any of his relatives perhaps they’ll be able to help us identify him in it.”

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the crash and Beemster Historical Society is to erect a memorial to Sgt Mepsted and his six fellow crew members.

A service of dedication will be held on the day.

Flight Sergeant Leslie Jack Naile of the Royal Australian Air Force, Sergeant Cyral Connah of the Britiish Royal Air Force, Pilot Officer Charles Pharaoh Reynolds of the British Royal Air Force and Sergeant John Dillon also of the British Royal Air Force also lost their lives.

Contact Greg Harrison at greg@greg-harrison.co.uk or telephone 07564 714 678 to find out more or help with his enquiries.