Crash information T2990 Nieuwe Niedorp

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 remembrance post

This remembrance post was unveiled on May 5th, 2023

Location of this remembrance post

Crash information

In the night of 22 to 23 June 1941, an RAF aircraft with six Czech crew members on board crashed into the Kostverlorenpolder near the Kanaalweg in Nieuwe Niedorp. The aircraft, the Vickers Wellington T2990 of 311 (Czechoslovak) Squadron Royal Air Force, had carried out a bombing raid on Bremen that night and was intercepted and shot down by a German night fighter on the way back. One crew member managed to jump out of the burning aircraft in time, but was taken prisoner by the occupying forces. The other five crew members were officially missing until recently.

Vickers Wellington

The crew

Vilém Bufka

Flight Sergeant


25 years old


Alois Rozum

Flight Sergeant

Second pilot

28 years old


Vilém Konštacký

Pilot Officer


26 years old


Leohnard Smrček

Pilot Officer

Radio operator

25 years old


Jan Hejna

Flight Sergeant


26 years old


Karel Valach

Flight Sergeant

Tail gunner

23 years old


Reports and press

Great interest in unveilings in Nieuwe Niedorp

On May 4, 2023, more than 200 visitors witnessed the official unveiling of the 18th remembrance post of Stichting Herdenkingspalen Hollands Kroon. A special unveiling because in addition to the remembrance post, the monument was also unveiled that Rutger Jan Bredewold made for the Municipality of Hollands Kroon. A beautiful monument about which Rutger Jan himself explained details about the design and its creation. The unveiling of the monument was done by Mrs. Katerina Sequensová, ambassador for the Czech Republic in the Netherlands, and Mr. Juraj Machac, Ambassador for Slovakia in the Netherlands.

The remembrance post and the monument are in memory of the crew of the RAF bomber that crashed in June 1941 at the Kanaalweg in Nieuwe Niedorp. In the various speeches, the crew members of the Vickers Wellington T2990 were remembered as heroes who made the greatest sacrifice for our freedom. Pilot Vilém Bufka was the only survivor of the crash. The other five crew members were officially missing until recently. After the excavation of the aircraft in 2021, it was confirmed in January 2022 that the other five crew members had been found. In June 2022, these five heroes were buried in Bergen op Zoom. Mayor Rian van Dam, who also unveiled the memorial pole, emphasized the importance of continuing to commemorate. She said that we realize how valuable our free world is. In several speeches, such as those of the Czech and Slovak ambassadors, attention was paid to the situation in Ukraine, one of Slovakia's neighbours.

In between the speeches and stories, the fanfare from 't Veld provided appropriate musical intermezzos. Another musical interpretation came from Dirk Bak, the trumpet player who is present at all the unveilings of the Stichting Herdenkingspalen Hollands Kroon and passionately performed The Last Post and the national anthems of the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The veterans led by Dick Doornik were also well represented as always. Many wreaths and flowers were laid at both the monument and the remembrance post. The Freedom Flame tulips from the foundation of the same name had already been placed, ready for the flowering period.

After the official and ceremonial activities, those present were treated to a "fly-past", the flying over of an original World War II Lancaster bomber. The roaring engines, the low altitude at which the aircraft flew over, the extra lap flown to give the audience a double pleasure, all this made for an impressive conclusion to this memorable day. Afterwards, part of the group went to “De Vriendschap” where they talked and had drinks afterwards.

The organization of this day was in the hands of Chris Dijkshoorn of our foundation, Ingrid Sijtzel and Nanneke Barends of the Municipality of Hollands Kroon. Thanks to their efforts, everyone looked back on a beautiful, impressive and very successful day. Our thanks also go to Matthijs Gemmink and Jan de Vries of the Municipality of Hollands Kroon and Sieb Rienstra and Joke Koomen of the 4 May committee Niedorp.

Video: fly past of the Lancaster by Brent Dijkshoorn

Videoreport by Matthijs Gemmink of Gemeente Hollands Kroon

Videoreport by Joop Luten of SchagenPLUS Team

Videoreport by Klaas Omta of Reg!o Noordkop

Photos of the unveiling of the remembrance post and the monument

The excavation


The aircraft was included in the National Salvage Programme. The recovery of the aircraft started in May 2021. The crashed plane was almost six meters deep underground on the site of a farm whose activities had to continue. It was therefore decided to place the processing location at a distance of 600 meters from the excavation location. Everything that was excavated was transported by truck to this processing location. This is where the research took place. The clay was separated from the remains of aircraft parts, ammunition and any remains of the crew using various machines. In all those years there was a suspicion that the five crew members were still on the plane, but to make sure this recovery had to be carried out. The pilot who had survived had indicated at the time that two of his crew members had also jumped. So the question was whether remains of all five missing would be found, or of only three. The salvage could be completed in June 2021 and it remained to be seen whether the Salvage and Identification Service of the Royal Netherlands Army (BIDKL) had found the remains of the five crew members. On January 13, 2022, it was confirmed that all five missing men had been found.

During the excavation there was also room for a press conference. The Free Czechoslovak Air Force Associates (FCAFA) was invited for this. However, due to the corona measures in force at the time, there was no possibility of coming over from England. The FCAFA has asked Chris Dijkshoorn of our foundation to attend this press event on their behalf. This gave SHHK the opportunity to take pictures of the excavation location and the processing location that day. In addition, questions could also be put to the various authorities involved in the recovery. A report has been made of this and has been published on our site.


On the press day we were also able to take a look at the ammunition found at the processing site. When studying the photos, it was noticed that there was a bullet that had already been produced in 1926. This bullet was on board of the plane 15 years after manufacture, but in this case it was never used.


On June 23, 2022, the remains of the five crew members were buried in Bergen op Zoom. On behalf of Stichting Herdenkingspalen Hollands Kroon, Chris was allowed to be present. On behalf of SHHK, he laid flowers during the ceremony. It was an impressive event with representatives from different countries and from the different defenses. In addition, relatives of the crew members had come over from the Czech Republic and England. Some crew members had a girlfriend or a wife and sometimes even a child or expecting a child in England. In the latter case, unfortunately, they have never been able to see their child.

Photos from the salvage of the aircraft

Pictures of the funeral in Bergen op Zoom

Education program

An educational program "Uit de lucht"  (From the air) has been developed for pupils in primary education around the salvage of this aircraft. Children's book writer Arend van Dam has written stories about the air war over the Netherlands especially for this purpose. Members of the Air War Study Group '39-'45 (SGLO) and the Netherlands Institute for Military History (NIMH) were also involved in the development of the teaching material. The development of the educational program was a project of the Netherlands Air War Heritage Foundation (SELN)

Part of the teaching material is an interview with Jan Jonker. When he was twelve years old he saw the Vickers Wellington bomber crash near his house. The interview can be viewed on the site of the Netherlands Air War Heritage Foundation.


Report by Chris Dijkshoorn and Dennis Mulder about the exvacation of the Vickers Wellington T2990

Report by Matthijs Gemmink about the exvacation of the T2990

The file on the Vickers Wellington T2990 on the site of Zuyder Zee Air War

Documentary 'De Onbekende Bevrijders (The Unknown Liberators) can be seen at omroep MAX

The impressive documentary The Unknown Liberators tells the story of 6 Czech crew members who crashed in Nieuwe Niedorp in North Holland with their RAF bomber during World War II. How did these Czechs end up here? Who were these young Czechs and what motivated them to join the fight against the German enemy?

A remembrance post and monument will be unveiled for this crew on May 4. Omroep MAX has a beautiful documentary about this crew on April 29.

Click here for more information about the documentary