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RAF aircraft's crash sites in outside the borders
Bedburg-Hau (D)

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Last update: 25/06/23

Elegy to
the Heroes of Silence

* To the 419 Squadron *
* To the crew of JB791-VR-X *
* To the monument erected in remembrance *
* Cemetery where rest the crew *

Crash site of Halifax JB791-VR-X

cest raf squadron
Unit: 419 Squadron
Aircraft: Halifax
Code: JB791-VR-X
Base: Middleton-St-George
Mission: Duisburg
Crew officer: Warrant Officer Glen Allan McMillan
Incident: Hit by Flak

Location: Bedburg-Hau (Germany)



On May 13 1943, Halifax JB791 VR-X set off for a raid on Duisburg Germany at 23:18 hours from Middleton St. George. While crossing the Dutch coast they encounterd enemy anti-aircraft fire but nothing that caused any damage. Arriving early over the target left them circleing to the North of the target, during the run into the target the aircraft became "coned" by the searchlights, (when the search lights have "coned" an aircraft it helps direct flak more accurately towards the aircraft) the pilot made evasive moves to loose the cone concentration.
This series of manuveres again placed JB791 off the target for the run in. Searchlights were often used by the German defences to disorient the pilots and blind them from the target and cause them to fly off course with the target. The run was eventually made 90 degrees to the planned North-South run.
From interviews with members of the crew after the war gave the following story. Not all the incendiary bombs had been released, some were hung up still in the racks. A second run was completed but just as the bomb bay doors were closing the starboard wing and forward fuselage were hit by flak.
The blast destroyed the pilots front screen ("perspex") forcing use of his googles against the air blowing in, after was discribed as 10 minutes the fuel tanks were noticed to be leaking and the original thoughts that no damage had occured were broked by the dash to close off the flow which may have reached the fire on the wing. At some point in this time frame the outer starboard engine appeared to be on fire, so the engine was feathered. Fire the broke out at the fuel tank near the inner starboard engine but in the confusion and loss of perspex causing visual problems the inner port was feathered W/OMcMillan manged to keep the aircraft level while Sgt. Howell unfeathered the port engine and to feather the starboard engine. The run to the Zuyder Zee was ruled out as the flames were spreading fast and the bail out command was given. JB791 came down near Bedburg-Hau, Germany south of Kleve. W/O Glen A McMillan was killed in the action, no information as to how or when, Sgt. Alison was badly injured and died in hospital shortly after.
Source: 419

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

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