Lancaster JN-D crash, Chaamse Bosschen.

Discussion in 'World War 2' started by II./KG26, Mar 8, 2008.

  1. II./KG26

    II./KG26 Guest

    Here the article I made about the crash of the Lancaster JN-D, shot down on 28 May 1944.

    Airplane and serialnumber:
    Lancaster JN-D

    Pilot Francis Scott - KIA.
    Wireless Operator/Air hunner Ron Howson - KIA.
    R/gunner Reg dale - POW.
    Air Bomber Steve Cook - KIA.
    Flight Engineer Max Harris - POW.
    M/u gunner Alan Mantle - POW.
    Navigator “Red” Hill - POW.
    2nd Pilot Clark - POW.

    The cause:
    Shot down by German nachtjagd from the Fliegerhorst Gilze-Rijen.

    Ca. one kilometre from the German "Lager Chaam" in Prinsenbosch, near the road from Gilze to Chaam (Chaamseweg). South of the Witgoordreef.
    Coordinates: 51°31’40.78”N - 4°54’15.86”O

    28 May 1944, 02.30 am.

    Railroad emplacement Aachen, Germany.


    In the twilight of 27 May 1944 32 bombers started off near Ely in Cambridgeshire. The bombers belong to the 75th RNZAF squoadron. With the objective to bomb raildroad emplacements near Aachen, Germany. This together with a fleet of 570 other bombers.
    They fly off to Hoek van Holland and from there in a straight line towards Aachen. With that they will cross the area of Gilze-Rijen. Where the German nachtjagd is allready in the air. Waiting for Allied planes to fly over... that happenend around 02.00 am.

    Not long after that the Lancaster of Pilot Francis Scott was hit in the bombcargo by a German nachtjagd plane, who sets the plane on fire.
    Alan Mantle told the other crewmembers to jump out, 5 of them did.. the others died on this spot in the Chaamse Bosschen, where the Lancasters journey ended.

    Not long after the crash the bombload exploded, which caused huge fire's the following day.
    M/u gunner Alan Mantle landed with his parachute not far of the crashsite, he was badly injurred. After he landed he moved south through the Chaamse Bosschen, after a long walk around 05.30 am he got out of the forest, then moving over the grassland and meadows between Chaam and Baarle Nassau.
    Not long after that he reached a farm (called "Chaambeek"), where he broke in a hayschaft and fell a sleep. When he woke up a old man and 2 boys stand in front of him...
    He asked the guy if he was Dutch, the man answered; No... (Because Dutch sounds like "Duits", which means German in Dutch...), again Mantle asked if he was in Belgium? Again the answer was no... Then Mantle asked him if he was in germany, on that question the old man smiles and said to him he was in Holland.

    The same night a doctor from Baarle Nassau, called Bloem came and helped mantle with his injurries, he had many pieces of metal from the lancaster in his arms and legs, also his eye was badly injurred, and his hair was burn off.
    But after all this there was a tiny bit of luck;
    A Lancaster crew normaly had 7 crewmembers, but 2nd Pilot Clark had join the flight just before it started, when the Germans found the 3 dead bodies near the crashsite and not long after that capturred the other 4 crewmembers they stopped searching...

    After 3 weeks Mantle had recoverd of his injurries, he went to another hidingplace near Ulvenhout, a farm called Hondsdonk. Where he stayed for antoher 6 weeks. Then he was put off to England, but sadly enough he got capturred in France.
  2. II./KG26

    II./KG26 Guest

    Here the crewmembers of the Lancaster JN-D, except for 2nd Pilot Clark.

    The tailsection of the Lancaster on the 28th of May.

    The .303 machinegun recovered from the tailsection.
  3. II./KG26

    II./KG26 Guest

    Some .303 rounds.

    Part of a incendiarybomb, from the Lancaster.
  4. II./KG26

    II./KG26 Guest

    The cotton escape map and some foreign money, in case they where shot down. Found near the crashsite.

    The graves of Howson, Cook and Scott. Burried in Gilze.
    Written on the grave of Howson:
  5. II./KG26

    II./KG26 Guest

    The crashsite in 1979. On the picture Alan Mantle stands to the left. On the right his wife and daughter.

    The farm "Chaambeek" today.

    With help of the books: Vijf Jaar Luchtfront and Dagboek bezetting & bevrijding Brabants Grensdorp.
  6. II./KG26

    II./KG26 Guest

    If there are any questions please ask... hope you guys can read/understand it and I didn't make to many mistakes.

  7. Antipodean Andy

    Antipodean Andy New Member

    Excellent collection and research, Nick. Well done.

    Clark must have been on the obligatory second dickie flight that all new pilots had to do when going operational for the first time???
  8. II./KG26

    II./KG26 Guest

    Perhaps, have no information regarding Clark... not even his first name.
    Thank you.
  9. Kyt

    Kyt Άρης

    Here are some more details on the individuals. Clarke was RNZAF, and I shall check with a source as to his first name and serial number. Hope that helps. It's a great article and pictures.

    Pilot Francis Scott - KIA. CWGC :: Casualty Details
    Wop/AG Ron Howson - KIA. CWGC :: Casualty Details
    R/G Reg Dale (RAF 1818703)- POW No 111
    AB Steve Cook - KIA. CWGC :: Casualty Details
    F/Eng Sgt F M "Max" Harris (RAF 1850150)- POW. 300
    M/U Gunner Alan Mantle (925315)- POW. No 469
    Nav Sgt LG “Red” Hill (RNZAF 426997) - POW. 170
    New Zealander Warrent Officer R T Clark POW No: 770
  10. II./KG26

    II./KG26 Guest

    Thank you very much Kyt!
  11. Kitty

    Kitty New Member

    that is a seriously good summary Nick. Nice to read about it and see some photos. One day I intend to go and photograph all the crash sites in my area. But first I am trying to track down details on a Polish pilot. Thank you so much for all that info
  12. II./KG26

    II./KG26 Guest

    In which region do you live? If I may ask...
  13. Kitty

    Kitty New Member

    on the border between North-West and the Midlands of England. about 3 miles from the Pennine hills. Otherwise known as crash country as this was where all of the training was done.
  14. Kyt

    Kyt Άρης

    Warrant Officer Ronald Thomas CLARK, RNZAF.
    Pilot 75 Sqn 25 to 28 May 1944.

    Thanks to David Duxbury on rafcommands.
  15. II./KG26

    II./KG26 Guest

    And thank you!

    Interessting region where you live.
  16. Kitty

    Kitty New Member

    it has its moments ;)
  17. Antipodean Andy

    Antipodean Andy New Member

    So it looks like he was on his first hop, Kyt? 75 Sqn was known as the "Chop" Squadron wasn't it?

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