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Missing Stirling Bomber Found In Dutch Lake

Discussion in 'WWII Today' started by GRW, Jan 25, 2020.

  1. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

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    "The plane of a British airman who went missing in Europe during World War Two has been discovered in a lake near Amsterdam 77 years later.
    Wreckage of a Short Sterling bomber BK716 manned by Sergeant Charles Armstrong Bell, which disappeared in 1943, was found submerged in Lake Markermeer this week.
    Sergeant Bell, from Langley Park, Durham, was listed as Missing In Action - along with six other crew members - when their Short Sterling bomber BK716 was lost as it returned from a bombing run in Germany.
    Police believe the remains of the crew are still on board.
    As preparations are underway to recover the plane in March, the Bomber Command Museum of Canada contacted Consett Police, part of Durham Constabulary, to help track down any living relatives of the sergeant.
    A family member contacted Consett Police after appeals were shared on social media, and relatives of the six other crew members have also been traced."
    www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7929213/Plane-British-airman-went-missing-Europe-World-War-Two-lake-77-years-later.html
     
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  2. Jack B

    Jack B Active Member Patron  

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    That is amazing.

    I hope the families of the crew get some closure.
     
  3. James Stewart

    James Stewart Active Member

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    Yes, the recovery and burial of the crew would certainly be a good thing to do and the Dutch do this so very well.
    Attached
    1.Details on Sgt. Bell as held by CWGC Runnymede Memorial.
    2. Details of aircraft lost on the night from "Nachtjagd Combat Archive. (1943 Part 1, January -22, June 1943). (Theo Boiten. Published by Red Kite Books).
    3. "Google Maps" Showing the general location of the area in relation to Amsterdam.
    4. Extract from "Bomber Command War Diaries" for the night - Middlebrook & Everitt ( Viking 1985).

    Theo Boiten links the loss to Lt. Werner Rapp. 7/NJG1 one of two aircraft his crew shot down on this night.
    ( He notes Werner Raap was based in Deelen and flew Me-110 G9+CR and were patrolling in "Rame Hase" ( I am going to guess a "Box" within the defense system. WR shot was killed in June 1943 having shot down five Allied bombers)

    Middlebrook states the Stirlings were also tasked to lay mines off the Frisian Islands.
    Correction, it seems Stirlings were sent to Berlin on this night, on can only but pity these crews. ( Their low altitude and speed would have made them the aircraft no one wanted to be on). Also see 29/30.03.1943 No. 218 Squadron Stirling III BK716 HA-J F/O. Harris IMG_1883.JPG IMG_1884.JPG IMG_1885.JPG BELL CA RAF.PNG
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2020
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  4. James Stewart

    James Stewart Active Member

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    When the newspaper said a lake , something of an understatement - the Ijsselmeer is really a shallow inland sea, freshwater according to wiki averaging 5 meters deep covering an area of 1,100 square Km.
    A lot of aircraft disappeared into these waters in WW".
    August Geiger who is mentioned in TB's claims his aircraft was found there a few years ago.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2020
  5. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

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    *Bumped for an update*
    "Plans that could see an RAF World War Two bomber lifted from a lake in the Netherlands by a crane grabber rather than using a dam have been criticised.
    The Short Stirling Bomber, based at RAF Downham Market in Norfolk, was lost returning from a 1943 raid on Germany.
    Plane enthusiast Rick Brooks has voiced anger Dutch authorities could use a crane he likened to an arcade "machine where you grab a teddy" to lift it.
    Almere city council said it had not yet announced the recovery method.
    The aircraft BK716 was found earlier this year submerged in Lake Markermeer, near Amsterdam, and it is thought the remains of the crew would still be on board.
    Mr Brooks, who has been involved in previous operations to recover aircraft, said in the past when wartime aircraft were recovered from rivers or a lakes a cofferdam was used so the site could be properly excavated and the remains of the crew could be carefully retrieved with any items found near their remains.
    A cofferdam allows water to be pumped out, creating a dry area for land reclamation work to proceed."
    www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-norfolk-53199977
     

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