What we did know is that on June 25, 1944, Fl.
Lt. Barrington Farr Cleeton did not return from his mission flying a
Spitfire over Normandy. A second pilot flying beside Barry said there
was German anti-aircraft fire in the region at the time. Barry, 21, was
classified as missing.
Eventually, the family was informed that Barry had been killed. His airplane crashed in a field on the border of the coastal townships of Omonville and Herqueville, France. Barry may have taken flak through the plane’s windshield. Someone buried him next to his plane, marking the grave with a small wooden cross. His body was later moved to the military cemetery in Bayeux, France.
In the early 1950s, brothers Eugene and Joseph Lenepveu were plowing that same field when a shiny object caught their attention. They uncovered a lighter inscribed with the initials “B.F.C.” Eugene took it home to his wife, Thérèse, who cleaned it up and stored it in a small box. She believed it must have belonged to the deceased pilot, but she didn’t know his name. She held it in safekeeping in the hope that it would one day bring comfort to his family.
If you enjoy reading our online stories about ethical living, justice and faith, please make a donation to the Friends of The Observer Fund. Supporting our award-winning journalism will help you and others to continue to access ucobserver.org for free in the months to come.