Crashinfo_W4256_EN

Crash information W4256 Waddenzee

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 June 17, 2023

Location of this remembrance post

Avro Lancaster Mk.I

Crash information

On 25 June 1943 at 23:00 the Lancaster bomber had taken off from Syerston Airport (Nottinghamshire) in England with seven crew members on board. The Lancaster was on a mission to the German city of Gelsenkirchen to bomb the Scholven-Buer synthetic oil refineries. In the night 106 squadron lost four aircraft in one mission.


The heavy bomber W4256 had completed fifty-three missions until it was shot down by a German night fighter at 02:31 on 26 June. The pilot of the night fighter was Hauptmann Rudolf Sigmund of the 10./NJG 1. Sigmund had taken off from Leeuwarden airfield in his Messerschmitt Bf110. The Lancaster bomber crashed into the Wadden Sea about 2 km east of Hippolytushoef. All seven crew members died in the crash and are buried in the Zandburen cemetery in Hippolytushoef.

The crew

Stephen George White

Sergeant

Pilot

20 years old

UK

Eric Charles Crook

Sergeant

Flight Engineer

21 years old

UK

Gerard William Board Enright

Pilot Officer

Navigator

30 years old

UK

James Edgar Donald Craigie

Pilot Officer

Bomb aimer

25 years old

CAN

John Frederick Bates

Sergeant

Radio officer

21 years old

UK

Edwin Thomas Harding

Sergeant

Gunner

20 years old

UK

Maxwell Birdwood Watt

Flight Sergeant

Gunner

25 years old

AUS

Photos of the unveiling

19th and 20th remembrance post unveiled at the Wadden Sea


On June 17, 2023, two remembrance posts for crew members who crashed into the Wadden Sea in 1943 with their aircraft were unveiled. Eighty years ago, on June 26, 1943, the Lancaster bomber W4256 was shot down by a German night fighter. All seven crew members from Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom were killed. The youngest was 20 years old, the oldest only 30. The Halifax MKII JD149 also crashed after an attack by a German night fighter in the Wadden Sea. On May 28, 1943, seven young men from Canada and the United Kingdom were also killed.


Gerard Numeijer of Nubo Motors had made his museum in Hippolytushoef available for the reception of the guests. Over a cup of coffee, our chairman, Mark Hakvoort, talked about the events in 1943. In her speech, Deputy Mayor Mary van Gent reflected on the fourteen young men who gave their lives for our freedom. Sgt Nicole Mitchell represented the Canadian Embassy and Mr. Alex Keighley was a delegate from the British Embassy. Dirk Bak was honored today for his services rendered, Dirk and his wife Jetty are present at every unveiling and provide the musical accompaniment as a trumpet player.


The unveiling of the remembrance post for the crew of the Lancaster W4256 took place on the dike at Recreatiepark Wiringherlant at the Noordstroeƫrweg. Sgt. Nicole Mitchell expressed her admiration for the way in which the Second World War is commemorated in the Netherlands. There has never been war within Canada's borders, but Canada played an important role in our liberation. The unveiling of the remembrance post was also performed by Sgt. Mitchell. Dirk Bak played the national anthems of Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom under the watchful eye of the veterans present.


The second unveiling of the day, the twentieth of our foundation, was for the crew of the Halifax MKII JD149. mr. Alex Keighley of the British Embassy addressed the visitors and unveiled the remembrance post. Here too, Dirk Bak blew the national anthems of the United Kingdom and Canada.


The 14 crew members are buried at the Zandburen cemetery. These heroes were commemorated here by playing The Last Post. The sounds of Dirk's trumpet gave an atmosphere of reverence and respect. The saluting veterans, who are well represented at every ceremony under the leadership of Dick Doornik, made the ceremony complete and impressive. The minute of silence that followed also contributed to this. Wreaths were laid at both the remembrance posts and the graves. The Wartena-Kok family has adopted the graves of the fallen crew members. Sandra and her son Nick placed crosses at the graves on behalf of the 102 squadron.



Click here for all information and all photos of the unveiling of JD149