Plane crashed at Hendrik Ido Ambacht The Netherlands

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Marcel

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I found an account by a dutch policeman about a plane-crash near Hendrik Ido Ambacht (near Dordrecht, The Netherlands). According to the report, the plane crashed after a fierce dogfight. This happened on the 2nd of February, 1943 at 22h15. The policeman described the plane as an Amercan 4 engined bomber. The tail was found with the numbers:
A/RF/790; A/T.R/804; UA/R-H/781; UK/H-A./736.

Does anyone have a clue about what plane (squadron, type) this could be?

Thanks
 
Marcel:

That sounds very much like the 7 Squadron (Pathfinder) Stirling which was shot down that night.

It's actually a famous incident, as the Stirling was one of the first to carry the H2S ground-reading radar. This was the second time the technology had been used operationally, and the set fell into the hands of the Germans. The set was in good enough shape for Telefunken to understand how it worked.

Incidentally, the set itself was destroyed in a later raid by the RAF - complete coincidence. However, another set was captured on the same night the first was destroyed.

Despite the notoriety of the incident, I can't find a serial number / squadron code in Chorley's for you.

Stand by - I know people who will have it.

Cheers,

Mark

PS - Virtually certain that this aircraft was shot down by Hptm. Hans-Dieter Frank, who, according to Tony Woods, claimed as follows:

02.02.43 Hptm. Hans-Dieter Frank 2./NJG 1 Stirling  4225 h: 4.400 m. 22.01 Film C. 2027/I Anerk: Nr.100

The 4225 map reference is just north of Dordrecht.
 
Hi Marcel:

Here's the info I have for you - note that that the Luftwaffe pilot named is different from the one in Tony Woods' list.



"This is what Chorley's says about this aircraft.
The serial was R9264 squadron code MG-L.This bomber t/o 19:26 from Oakington to bomb Köln.But it was shot down by Oblt Reinhold Knacke I./NJG1 and crashed at Hendrik-Ido Ambacht(Holland)
The crewmembers are S/L W A smith DFC MID (KIA)
F/S R N B Brooker DFM (KIA)
F/L B Martin DFC RNZAF(KIA)
F/S W J Dempster DFM RCAF(KIA)
F/S F Quigley (KIA)
F/S J P Bragg RCAF(Pow)
Sgt R G Newnam (Pow)"

Cheers,

Mark
 
Thanks Mark,

That's really interesting!
A few things confuse me. When talking to citisens of the village, I was told that a british bomber crashed at that spot. Some even called it a pathfinder and one even called it a mosquito. So some of this info seems to prove what you say, that it's this Stirling from the pathfinders force (the mosquito was probably wrong, as I cannot find a trace any twin engined bomber crashing in Hendrik Ido Ambacht)
However, I found the police report, mentioned above:
Later I was told by one of the high german officers present that the crashed plane was a 4-engined American bomber
What is really interesting is that the policeman mentions 5 bodies found and at least 1 parachute, so this again agrees with you're info of 5 crewmen killed and 2 POW.
Another interesting thing is that I later found another police report about another crash that day. In the afternoon of the 2-2-1943, a body was found of an airman on the other side of the village. According to the german officer in charge, the man had served in the RAF. The police suspected that the airman came from a plane that crashed in Ridderkerk, close by, at 1 o'clock in the night (so the night before the other one). In Hendrik Ido Ambacht, a piece of the tail was found and this was definately British. Maybe this explanes the difference in your info. So, one of the pilots shot this one down and the other one (probably Dieter Frank as the time fits) the plane at 22.15.
 
Hi Marcel:

Here's the info I have for you - note that that the Luftwaffe pilot named is different from the one in Tony Woods' list.



"This is what Chorley's says about this aircraft.
The serial was R9264 squadron code MG-L.This bomber t/o 19:26 from Oakington to bomb Köln.But it was shot down by Oblt Reinhold Knacke I./NJG1 and crashed at Hendrik-Ido Ambacht(Holland)
The crewmembers are S/L W A smith DFC MID (KIA)
F/S R N B Brooker DFM (KIA)
F/L B Martin DFC RNZAF(KIA)
F/S W J Dempster DFM RCAF(KIA)
F/S F Quigley (KIA)
F/S J P Bragg RCAF(Pow)
Sgt R G Newnam (Pow)"

Cheers,

Mark

Okay Mark, with your serial number I could confirm that this is indeed the plane described by the police report. It was the 42th victory of Oblt Knacke, who shot down 2 more planes that night, filling up to 44 kills, after which his Bf110 was shot down and crashed, killing Oblt Knacke as well.

Thank you very much for your help!!!
 
Okay, it's been some time since I started this thread. I pretty much found out the story of this plane, another big thanks to mhuxt to get me under way.
The plane was indeed Short Stirling R9264 MG-L "Life for Love", piloted by Squadron leader William Arthur Smith. With a mixture of Canadian, New Sealandand Britsh crew (as mhuxt already mentioned). With a formation of 6 Stirlings, this crew flew a pathfinder mission that night to Köln. On their way back they were attacked by Oblt Knacke (not Hptm. Hans-Dieter Frank, as mhuxt first thought) and was his 43th victim. Oblt Knacke was shot down later that night by a British Halifax. Eyewitness account:
We heard the heavy sound of a low flying bomber and looked up. After a few seconds I saw a small flame on the right ront side of the plane. It quickly grew. I thought it would crash in the Kerkstraat, but while it was falling, the plane suddenly exploded and a wing broke off, which was found at some distance later on.
The plane crashed at a distance of 15 meters from a house. The cockpit came loose and in it, the police found 3 bodies. A 4th crewmember was found about 100m from the cockpit. One crewmember aparently jumped but was found dead the next morning. Inside the bomber the Germans found a box with the words "Experimental no.6" on it, later nicknamed "Rotterdam-Gerät". Below a picture of the crew, left to right: F/L B Martin DFC RNZAF(KIA), F/S R N B Brooker DFM (KIA)(standing), F/S J P Bragg RCAF(Pow)(kneeling), S/L W A Smith DFC MID (KIA)(sitting), Sgt R G Newman (Pow)(standing), F/S F Quigley (KIA)(sitting) and F/S W J Dempster DFM RCAF(KIA). The deceased are burried in Rotterdam at the General cemetary Crooswijk :salute:
 

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Hi Marcel,

Thank you for this information!!

I'm researching Barry Martin DFC who was killed in this crash and have found a lot of information on him now. Your first hand account of the crash is fascinating. Would you have any further details about this crash? Can you give a reference to the "Dutch Policeman" you mention initially? Was it his eye witness account that you quoted above?

I would really value any further clarification or information you can provide.

Many thanks,
Sam
 
Hi Sam,

My pleasure, I already answered on your PM.
I've got the report here in front of me and it was written by the veldwachter (local police officer) of the village Hendrik Ido Ambacht Hermanus Gerardus Berkel.
At the the time of the crash he was patrolling at the Krommeweg near the Vrouwgelenweg. I can scan it and send it to you and maybe translate it if you give me time. Translation is sligtly difficult as it is written in old and very formal Dutch.

The eyewitness account above is not from the policeman, it is they eyewitness account of mr P. van Leer, citizen of Hendrik Ido Ambacht and writer of the little publication "De crash van de Padvinder".
 
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Dag Marcel,

Heb jij misschien de link naar het politierapport van Berkel over deze crash? En heb jij toevallig ook geboortedata van de bemanningsleden?
Ik gebruik ze voor het completeren van een lijst met oorlogsslachtoffers in Hendrik-Ido-Ambacht. De lijst wordt bij de dodenherdenking opgelezen door de burgemeester in zijn toespraak.

Bedankt vast voor je reactie.

JanV
 

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