THE Polish flag flew over the east Devon village of Beer on April 12 as a tribute to two Polish aircrew who were killed when their night fighter crashed into the sea near the village in 1942.

The aircraft was a Beaufighter from 307 Squadron based at what was then RAF Exeter, and was patrolling Lyme Bay to intercept German bombers en-route to targets such as Bristol, Cardiff and Liverpool. It crashed into the sea a mile off Beer Head on the night of April 12, 1942 and the incident was observed by Beer coastguards.

The body of the navigator, Mieczyslaw Swiertz, was recovered from the sea and buried in Exeter, but the body of the pilot Roman Smok, was never found.

A ceremony of commemoration on the coast path near Beer Head was attended by relatives of the crew, Polish veterans, members of the Royal British Legion and members of Bridport and Lyme Regis Royal Air Force Association (RAFA).