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* The Newsletter 2022 *

RAF aircraft's crash sites in Province of Limburg:
Achel

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Last update: 31/01/22


Elegy to
the Heroes of Silence


* To the 7 Squadron *
* To the crew of EF366-MG-L *
* To the monument erected in remembrance *
* Cemetery where rest the crew *

Crash site of Stirling EF366-MG-L
22/06/1943

aircraft
cest raf squadron
Unit: 7 Squadron
Aircraft: Stirling
Code: EF366-MG-L
Base: Oakington
Mission: Krefeld
Crew officer:
Incident: Shot down by German fighter

Location: (Prov. Limburg)

crash

Facts

The Stirling EF-366, one of the leading bombers, had to mark a turning point to the south-east of Eindhoven to lead the main body of the bombers to Krefeld. Soon after having completed this first mission, the crew was engaged in combat with two German nightfighters, who had seen the Stirling's shadow above the beacons.
At 11,000 feet the aircraft was so badly damaged that the pilot gave the order to bail out. The centrifugal force of the plane was so strong that the crew could hardly move. The pilot, Flying Officer Robert Bruce Meiklejohn, stayed at the controls until he knew all had escaped. When the plane came down in a screaming dive and fell towards the centre of the village Achel, he still managed to nose up the plane just before striking the ground. The sky was clear and there was a full moon that night. Thus not only five crew members, but also an important number of villagers at the centre of Achel, owe their lives to pilot Robert Bruce Meiklejohn.
He was to pay the ultimate price, dying on that night, as did one other crew member, navigator Flying Officer C.H.D. Redwood.
The Stirling was shot down by Hauptmann Siegfried Wandam, who himself was shot down and died with Bordfunker Fw. Schöpke in his Messerschmitt Bf 110 only a few weeks later, on July 4, 1943. The surviving five crew members of the Stirling EF-336 later wound up in prisoner-of-war camps. Two of them, Mr. Frank Hugo and Mr. Bill Cole, stayed with the Spelters family at Haspershoven Overpelt for 10 days, before the resistance movement tried to help them escape

crash

The crash site, on 22/06/1942

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