top of page

Please click image to enlarge & scroll


Despite strikes in Italy, bad weather and covid increasing again, 47 intrepid travellers arrived in a warm and sunny Nettuno for an amazing few days for the Commemoration service for the 64th Anniversary of the crash. Those that suffered cancellations because of the ATC strike included Barbara and Donald Ogilvy Watson who were sitting on their aircraft for 3 hours before having to disembark, Claire, Evie and Jessica Bannon and Dave Gathergood from Reading, Kirk Bannon from Dublin and Deborah Siggery in Bristol. Synnöva and Ilvy O’Gorman and David Haring from Graz did not let the strike hold them back and arrived Sunday evening to participate in some essential aprés-celebrations. In addition Lois and John Wren in Fairfax Virginia had to cancel because of illness. Pat Macken managed to get to Nettuno but unfortunately went down with covid the first night before the service.


All went well in Nettuno on the 22nd with everyone catching the coach after a lively evening the previous night, and we were given a warm welcome by the Italian military staff, the representatives from the Mayor’s office, and Don Luca Donatis who conducted a benediction and blessing. Once again Massimo DeMarco, a local police officer, did a brilliant job coordinating everything on the Italian side with Terry Bannon.


The speeches by Colonel Dario Porfidia of the Army base, Commissario Bruno Strati from the City Council, Terry Bannon and myself were warmly received and the ceremony finished with a moving rose-laying ceremony led by Rosemary Jones where each family present laid two roses, one for their family member and one for a family unable to attend. Three roses were also laid by Colonel Porfidia, Commissario Strati and Massimo DeMarco. It was a brilliant idea from Terry.


The bus took us back to Nettuno and we strolled down to the square for a fine lunch at Romolo’s restaurant.  This started with a short moving poem entitled Joy and Sorrow read by Roderick Chalmers. There was an excellent buzz of conversation the whole afternoon with a few more impromptu entertaining speeches by Terry and myself. It felt many new friends were made that day, and that the ghosts of those on the plane would have approved. After lunch everyone was presented with the gift of a keyring featuring the tail section of the monument. This kind and thoughtful gesture was made by our many friends in Nettuno who have played such an important role since Terry and Nuala first arrived here in 2004. The discussions  continued well into the evening to finish an excellent day.


Our photographer Nat, captured some excellent moments throughout the day including an hours video at the memorial. As you can see I have put up a small selection of photos on the website but the full video and many more photos will be ready in a few weeks. We intend to put these on a USB stick in a presentation pack with a nominal charge to cover expenses. 


The Italian media attended the ceremony in the Poligono providing coverage in two papers and on Regional TV.

Thank you all for making this such a memorable occasion, and very special thanks to Terry and Massimo for all the hard work over the last six months.

Type & Typewriter.png
bottom of page