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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 202647
Last updated: 8 March 2021
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Date:16-APR-1942
Time:04:45
Type:Vickers Wellington Mk III
Owner/operator:156 Squadron Royal Air Force (156 Sqn RAF)
Registration: X3697
C/n / msn: GT-
Fatalities:Fatalities: 6 / Occupants: 6
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:1.5 km west of Vlissegem, De Haan; West-Vlaanderen -   Belgium
Phase: Combat
Nature:Military
Departure airport:RAF Alconbury
Destination airport:Dortmund, Germany
Narrative:
Shot down by 2 & 3/Res Flak Abt 252 1.5km West of Vlissegem at 04:45. Vlissegem was startled by a huge blow on the land between the farms of the farmers Bodez and Demeulenaere. The next morning, five heavily mutilated bodies were recovered from the still smouldering wreckage by the Germans, and transferred to the morgue of Vlissegem. The entire neighbourhood was examined for a sixth crew member, but without result. Four days later, the five crew members with military honours were in the presence of a German chaplain and the pastor buried in the municipal cemetery. After a short speech by the chaplain, German soldiers who formed an honorary fire fired a salvo, after which the dead were ordered to the earth. After about ten days the wreckage was taken away by the Germans, and they found the sixth victim under the rubble. It was given a final honour in the same way as his comrades.


Crew
Pilot:J/15231 Plt Off Allan George Griffith RCAF - Vlissegem Cemtery Grave 6.
Pilot:1180424 Sgt Oliver Raymond East - Vlissegem Cemtery Joint grave 4.
Observer: 281125 Sgt Roy Charles Edgar Willingham - Vlissegem Cemtery Joint grave 4.
Wireless Operator/Air Gunner: 1170645 Sgt Graham Donald Randall - Vlissegem Cemtery Grave 3.
Air Gunner: 1181845 Sgt Alexander Charles Frederick Digby - Vlissegem Cemtery Grave 2.
Air Gunner: 1377475 Sgt Eric George Andrew Stevens - Vlissegem Cemtery Grave 5.

Sources:

Nachtjagd Combat Archive The Early Years part two
CWGC
Bomber Command Losses 1942
https://luchtvaartgeschiedenis.be/content/wellington-te-vlissegem
Google Maps


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
07-Dec-2017 20:53 Red Dragon Added
03-Nov-2018 10:15 Nepa Updated [Operator, Destination airport, Operator]
03-May-2019 17:51 Anon. Updated [Time, Destination airport, Narrative]
18-Apr-2020 09:50 TigerTimon Updated [Other fatalities, Location, Phase, Destination airport, Source]
18-Apr-2020 09:51 TigerTimon Updated [Location]

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