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

Memorials to RAF Airmen erected in Province of Antwerpen
Westmalle: Halifax JD409-EY-D

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Last update: 25/06/23

Elegy to
the Heroes of Silence

* To the 78 Squadron *
* To the crash of JD409-EY-D *
* To the crew concerned *
* Cemetery where rest the crew *

poppiesThe Memorial dedicated to the Airmenpoppies
of Lancaster JD409-EY-D

We Remember Them

The Sint-Bernarduskapel is situated along the N12 at the Trappistenabbey of Westmalle (Antwerp limestone road 496.) Just before the cafe “the trapists" take the drive to the abbey, on the left side of the dreef stands the chapel. The chapel is well visible from the N12. She was built by the brothers of the abbey in 1947 as a sign of gratitude that the abbey has been spared during the war, especially during two plane crashes in the immediate vicinity.
It is about the Lancaster I (R5537, OR-B) of the 97 Sqn, Shot by Oblt Loos (I./NBG) during a raid on Frankfurt on August 25, 1942. The crew: pilot F/O DFC Gilbert C. Hooey (†,) Flight Engineer Sgt Victor J.A. Butler (†,) Navigator F/Sgt Arthur H. Withers (†,) Bomber F/Sgt Leonard Grundy (†,) Wireless Operator P/O Edward J.. Smitherman (†,) up-gunner Sgt Ronald C. Martin (†,) rear-gunner Sgt Percy V. Parry (†.)
Also for Halifax JD409 (EY-D) of 78 Sqn RAF deposited nearby on August 31, 1943 during a raid on Monchengladbach. Inside the chapel is a memorial plate for the crews as well as a beautiful RAF glass window.
The Halifax had taken off from Breighton and was shot at 4:08 AM by HPTM Rupprecht (Stab11. /NJG1.) The dead crew is buried at the Schoonselhof: Sgt. A. D. Johnstone, Sgt A.A. Reeves, Sgt W.P. Williams, Sgt A. H. Peadon, Sgt K.W. Smith and Sgt T.I. Goodwin. Just Sgt H. T. Street survived the crash.
The chapel is always open and protected as landscape around the abbey. The damaged glass windows have been repaired.
On one of the black and white photograph’s by Jean Dillen you see the forest where the Halifax came down. You recognize that location because when the picture was taken (1974 ?) the trees that were cut off have not yet been fully grown.





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