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Location of RAF aircraft's crashes in the Province of Limburg

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Last update: 25/06/23

Elegy to
the Heroes of Silence

* To the 35 Squadron *
* To the crew of HX270-TL-M *
* To the monument erected in remembrance *
* Cemetery where rest the crew *

Crash site of Halifax HX270-TL-M

cest raf squadron

Unit: 35 Squadron
Aircraft: Halifax
Code: HX270-TL-M
Base: Graveley
Mission: Frankfurt
Crew officer:
Incident: Hit by Flak

Location: (Prov. Vlaams Brabant)



East of the Sint-Truiden base, the wreckage of the Halifax HX270 «TL-M» of 35 Squadron was found, which had taken off from Graveley at 5.30 pm the night before. Only meager remains were found among the twisted aluminum - they were three New Zealanders, and all three wore the DFC: F / Lt James Wright (pilot, 23 years old), F / Lt Sidney Mackie (navigator, 23 years old) and P / O Thomas Robson (Air Gunner, 29 years old). They were interred at the Truien cemetery. After all, it was an experienced Pathinder crew. Two survivors were captured almost immediately (they must have been either P / O H. Matthews, F / Sgt W. Dingle DFM, or Sgt W. Barrington).
Scottish Flying Officer William Sinclair had better luck: « We were hit by Flak, I jumped, and landed near Alken. I walked on and hid in the first bushes that lay along my way. The next day I met a Belgian lumberjack who was extremely friendly. He brought his friend who gave me food and clothes. At the other end of the forest was a patrol of eight SS men, so they disguised me as a Belgian woodcutter and took me to their home in Alken.
The morning of December 22, my radiotelegraph operator was brought in and we then cycled to Rekkem. »
The two were hidden for weeks in the region around Tongeren and Liège. They were given false papers, but the intention was to transfer them to Brussels. In the meantime they had been joined by a navigator who had jumped over the Netherlands, according to William Sinclair in 1945: « We climbed aboard the express train to Brussels in Liège, but an SS patrol checked our papers along the way. Ours were okay, but the navigator from the Netherlands had a Yugoslavian passport. Because of this we were all suspected and taken prisoner. The navigator and my radio operator were thrown off the train and beaten for not wanting to answer the questions. Our guide tried to defend us, but when he noticed that it didn't work, he left unseen. We were taken to the Liège prison and placed in solitary confinement for six days - we were also chained there. Finally we were taken to a Dulag Luft. In the meantime we learned that the young Belgian who helped us in Alken had been sent to Germany. Nothing has been heard from him again.. »

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

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