Crashinfo_LW343_EN

Crash information LW 343 Anna Paulowna

During World War II more than 40 different bombers and jet fighters have crashed within de county borders of Hollands Kroon. The crashes were mostly on land, in the Ijssel lake and the Wadden sea.

Few crew members were arrested after using their parachute to reach the ground, others could flee with the help of the Resistance. However, the majority lost their lives and did not return home safely to their family and loved ones.

Information about the unveiling of the remembrance post for this crash

This remembrance post was unveiled on September 26th 2020

Location of this remembrance post

Plane crash Handley Page Halifax MK II LW343 TL-U of 35 Squadron at Kerkweg, Anna Paulowna

Crash information

On 4 December 1943, at 00.01h, the Halifax took off from Gravely airport in England. In total 19 bombers of the 35th squadron took off. This night 527 aircrafts flew toward the east in the direction of Germany to bomb the city of Leipzig. 23 aircrafts  did not return.


On the way there at exactly 01.49h the Halifax was shot to fire by the night hunter of lieutenant Heinz Rolland. The aircraft still had all bombs on board and tried to unload these but it succeeded partly in doing this. When one wing broke off the Halifax crashed. From the seven crewmembers four died immediately. Three of them, Bonet, Cheal and Smith managed the land safely by using their parachute. During the course of that day they were picked up from different locations and made prisoners of war.

The crew

Druce James Henry Cheal

Flight Lieutenant

Pilot

20 years old

UK

Kenneth Holt

Sergeant

Flight engineer

23 years old

UK

John Cecil Bonet

Pilot Officer

Navigator

23 years old

CAN

Eric Austin Alliston

Pilot Officer

Bomb aimer

20 years old

UK

Peter Harold Smith

Sergeant

Radio operator

20 years old

UK

John Andrew Whitmore McKenzie

Warrant Officer Class II

Gunner

22 years old

CAN

Francis John Dimond

Sergeant

Gunner

19 years old

UK

Photos of the unveiling

Reports and press

4th Remembrance post unveiled


On 4 december 1943 four of seven crewmen died during a crash of the LW343 bomber, the three who survived were captured by the Germans. On the 26th of september 2020 we stood still, to remember these soldiers.


The crew from the Halifax originated from Canada and the United Kingdom. Representatives of the embassies of both countries, as well as the deputy mayor of Hollands Kroon, were present during the official revealing ceremony of the remembrance post.


Many intrest was shown, compareable to the earlier unveiling in Kolhorown, during the unveiling by Cor Zwirs and Deputy mayor Mary van Gent. The ceremony was moreover accponied by the presence of WOII veterans. Multiple national anthems as well as Last Post were performed, which temporarily halted traffic on the Kerkweg.


Flowers and wreaths were placed in front of the rememberencepost. The importance of not forgetting the many young soldiers who perished when fighting for our freedom, was made clear during the speeches of the deputy mayor of Hollands-Kroon and sergant Jo-Anne Wiseman of the Canadian Embassy. Cor Zwirs shared his memories of these times in an inspiring manner. He shared many interesting stories during this ceremony and in the afternoon at Streekcentrum Oud Anna Paulowna.


Chris Dijkshoorn, member of the board of our foundation, took the charge of organizing this ceremony. He received many positive responses during this ceremony, which allows us to conclude that this ceremony was successful. Matthijs from NH Nieuws reported on this unveiling in this video.