Welcome to the website of our foundation Herdenkingspalen Hollands Kroon, founded 29 March 2019.
The foundation’s main goal is to remember the aircrafts and crew members who have crashed in the municipality Hollands Kroon during World War II, by placing remembrance posts.
Hollands Kroon is a merge of the municipalities Anna Paulowna, Nieuwe Niedorp, Wieringermeer en Wieringen
Relatives of Campbell in Middenmeer
On October 22, Dave Campbell and his wife Kristin visited the remembrance post on the Tussenweg in Middenmeer. Under the guidance of Mark Hakvoort and Harry Iwema, the crash on november 6, 1944 of the B17 bomber "Lady Jane" was commemorated. Dave's uncle, Fred Campbell, was on board as a navigator when the aircraft made a successful belly landing. After the emergency landing, the crew members were actually captured by the occupying forces.
Dave and Kirstin also spoke to Mrs Rispens who was an eyewitness to the crash. Mrs Rispens spoke to the crew members shortly after the crash.
Lars Rustenburg gave a tour at the Medemblikker war museum where some parts of the Lady Jane were also displayed. The Noordhollands Dagblad reported on the visit.
Unveiling of the 22nd and 23rd remembrance post
Our 22nd and 23rd remembrance posts were unveiled on October 7. The guests were received in the Cultuurschuur in Wieringerwerf with coffee and a welcome word from Jan Wouts, chairman of the Historical Society Wieringermeer. Our chairman Mark Hakvoort welcomed everyone, a special welcome was given to Colonel Juris L. Jansons of the U.S. Air Force. The American representation had everything to do with the two unveilings of this day. All crew members commemorated today are American nationals. A total of 10 young heroes died in 1943 when their aircraft crashed in the IJsselmeer after fighting with the occupying forces. Mark Hakvoort emphasized once again in his speech that freedom cannot be taken for granted in this day and age, we owe our freedom today to these and many other heroes.
Today's first unveiling took place at De Oude Zeug. There, Mayor Rian van Dam addressed the visitors, performed the official unveiling of the remembrance post and laid a wreath on behalf of the Municipality of Hollands Kroon. Mark Hakvoort mentioned the names of the nine crew members of the B-24 bomber, all young men between 20 and 31 years old. Unfortunately, the age of tail gunner James W. Bennet is unknown. The veterans led by Dick Doornik were, as at all previous unveilings, well represented and added cachet to the ceremony. Dirk Bak blew on his trumpet The Last Post and the American national anthem.
The second unveiling of this day was in memory of the American pilot Frank Gallion who crashed his P-47D Thunderbolt into the IJsselmeer in 1943 and was killed. The remembrance post has been placed at the Dijkgat, the place where the occupying forces blew up the dike on April 17, 1945, flooding the recently drained Wieringermeerpolder again. Colonel Jansons of the American embassy addressed the visitors. In the short time that he has now been in the Netherlands, he said, in excellent Dutch, that he was surprised by the way in which the Dutch commemorate the Second World War and show gratitude and respect to the liberators. Colonel Jansons also brought a surprise, the original belt buckle of pilot Frank Gallion, beautifully framed. Jansons had the honor of officially unveiling the remembrance post and laying a wreath. The Wieringermeer Historical Society and the Municipality of Hollands Kroon also laid wreaths at this remembrance post. Dirk Bak played The Last Post and The Star-Spangled Banner in a truly excellent manner. With a minute of silence and the veterans present, this ceremony was also complete and impressive.
Colonel Jansons was taken by Mayor Rian van Dam and the board of our foundation to the Dijkgat afterwards, where details about this event can be read, but the knowledge of both the mayor and our board members also made it an informative end to this day.
Unveiling of the 21st remembrance post in Wieringerwaard
On July 15, 2023, our 21st remembrance post was unveiled in memory of a special event in Wieringerwaard. On January 17, 1945, pilot David Winston Gaunt made an emergency landing with his Bristol Beaufighter NT918. Although he and his navigator Ronald Chrisp survived the crash, they were captured by the occupying forces.
For this special ceremony, the pilot's two sons, Bruce and Geoff Gaunt, came over from Canada, along with their wives Julie and Rosemary.
All guests were warmly welcomed in the White Church in Wieringerwaard, which previously served as a base for other unveilings. Chris Dijkshoorn welcomed everyone with a special welcome to the family of the pilot from Canada, Colonel Marc LaFortune and Sergeant Nicole Mitchell from the Canadian Embassy, Mayor Rian van Dam, all veterans and our loyal trumpeter Dirk Bak. There were also former residents of the crash site and representatives of the 4 May Foundation Wieringerwaard.
After Chris's opening speech, all guests made their way to the Kruisweg for the unveiling ceremony. Before the unveiling took place, mayor Rian van Dam spoke impressive words about the importance of continuing to remember, especially now that freedom seems obvious to our generation while a war is raging so close by.
Colonel Marc LaFortune indicated that he was deeply impressed by how the Netherlands commemorates the Second World War and emphasized that it is special that the Netherlands is the only country where Canada is seen as a liberator.
The remembrance post was unveiled by Bruce and Geoff Gaunt. While Dirk Bak played the national anthems of the United Kingdom and Canada, the ten veterans present gave a salute. Dirk also blew the beautiful "The Airman's Hymn". Mayor Rian van Dam laid a wreath on behalf of the Municipality of Hollands Kroon. Colonel LaFortune and Sergeant Mitchell did the same on behalf of the Canadian Embassy.
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 Noordstroeërweg. 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 W4256
Click here for all information and all photos of the unveiling of JD149
To reach our goal we want to place remembrance posts throughout the municipality, at those points where planes have crashed.
To purchase these posts we need financial funds. If you are interested to support us you can contact us through email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
We will get in touch with you as soon as possible. For more information check out our list with current sponsors.
For your tomorrow, we gave our today
In 2012, pilot H.N. (Bluey) Mottershead, commander of 158 squadron, spoke these words. He flew more than 25 bombing missions in World War II. After the war, Mr Mottershead dedicated himself to the memory of fallen airmen.
During World War II more than 40 aircrafts have crashed in Hollands Kroon and in parts of the Wadden Sea, Amstel lake and Ijssel lake.
Crew members of these plaines were killed, captured, went missing or found ways to escape from the enemy.
We want to remember all those crew members to make sure that they will never be forgotten.
They have fought for our freedom and as said many have given their lives. We should not ever forget this.
In the municipality Hollands Kroon, crew members from the following countries were crashed:
United States of America
Germany / Austria
April 11, 2023: Commemoration ceremony Z8838 at the Molenweg in Middenmeer
April 19, 2023: Memorial to pilot Donald Ewart Larkman and his crew
April 25, 2023: Unveiling remembrance post ND357 in Kolhorn
May 4, 2023: Unveiling remembrance post T2990 in Nieuwe Niedorp
June 17, 2023: Unveiling of remembrance posts for the JD149 and the W4256. Both crashed in the Wadden Sea. Location follows.
July 15, 2023: Unveiling of the NT918 remembrance post in Wieringerwaard
October 7, 2023: Unveiling of remembrance posts for 42-7924 and 42-63969. Both crashed into the IJsselmeer.
Not yet known: Commemoration at the remembrance post W4769 at the Oostermiddelmeerweg, Wieringerwerf
Crashes on the map
On each post, an information panel is placed on which can be read what exactly happened on that location.
What was their mission? What happened with the crew members? What type of aircraft?
This information is collected by volunteers with the greatest care.
On the map is indicated, the locations of the crashes and therefore the locations where remembrance posts are or will be placed.
Overview crashed planes and unveiling of our remembrance posts