* Report: July 15th, 2023: The Belgians Parade to the London Cenotaph *

RAF aircraft's crash sites in which Belgians were involved:
Withington (UK)

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Last update: 25/06/23

Elegy to
the Heroes of Silence

* To the 22 Squadron *
* To the crew of DF743-LT-L *
* To the monument erected in remembrance *

Crash site of Wellington DF743-LT-L

crest raf squadron
Unit: 22 Squadron
Aircraft: Wellington
Code: DF743-LT-L
Base: Gaydon
Mission: Training
Crew officer: Sgt John O. MUNRO
Incident: Emerged from cloud, crashed and exploded




Etienne Bataille and Florent Depauw were Belgian war volunteers with the 1st Independent Belgian Parachute Company (from January 1944, the 1st Belgian SAS Squadron). they had fled occupied Belgium and it took them 22 months to reach Britain. To familiarize the formation paratroopers with the flight and to check whether they were not sensitive to air sickness, they flew several flights as passengers on aircraft available at the time. Etienne Bataille and his fellow paratrooper Florent Depauw were aboard the Wellington DF743 of the 22 Operational Training Unit on 19 April 1943. However, the plane crashed at Staple Farm, killing all five crewmen and two passengers. The investigation could not determine the cause of the crash.
In 1998, a plaque commemorating the unfortunate crew and two passengers was unveiled at St. Michael & All Angels Church in Withington.


The International Bomber Command Centre (IBCC)
Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC)
Aircrew Remembered

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