Memorial to honour the fallen airmen of Handley Page Halifax JB803 KN-G

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On May 1, 1943, in the morning about a quarter to three, a British Halifax bomber, shot by a German night fighter, who was on the way back from a successful flight to Essen in the Ruhr area, tried to make an emergency landing in the pasture. from the Nell family from Muiden.

On board were only two of the seven crew members:

Sergeant (Pilot), Gordon Watson, RAF, 1383608.


Flight Sergeant (Air Gnr.) Thomas Deuel Scarff, RCAF, R/95040.

In the 15 minutes that the damaged plane has circled above Muiden, the Ijsselmeer and Muiderberg, looking for a suitable place for an emergency landing, five of the seven crew members have jumped out of the aircraft with their parachute. The risk of getting killed in the emergency landing was considered to be greater than the dangers of a jump in the dark.

It was a very dark night, with a moderate southeast wind and drizzle. The five men faced their death, because the next day, on Sunday morning 2 May, the body of Flying Officer (Nav.) Arthur Edward Parsons, RCAF, J/11636 was found in thewater at the dike, near what is now called the Ballasthaven.



Parsons had drowned in the cold Ijsselmeer. He was buried on Monday, May 3 at 8 o'clock in the evening, next to Watson and Scarff, who had been found dead near the wreck of the bomber.

The emergency landing had failed; the plane exploded and caught fire. They had already been buried the same day, on the 1st of May, at eight o'clock in the evening.

On 3 May, the corpses of three crewmembers also washed ashore: That of Sergeant L. Hannam RAF, 1383305, gunner in the front machine gun dome.

Sergeant (Flt. Engr.) Ian Douglas Crawford, RAF, 634710.

Sergeant (Air Gnr.) Raymond Shepherd, RAF, 929961, gunner in the tail turret. They were also found along the Ijsselmeerdijk and buried at the General Cemetery in the Muider forest the next day, 4 May, in the evening at 8 o'clock, under curfew. Their graves were numbered from 80 to 85.

One crew member was still missing: The sergeant telegrafist W.R. Louth. He was never found and officially still missing. As the only crew member of this Halifax he was married. His family remained in uncertainty in England.

The graves were adopted by the municipality of Muiden and after the war the British government provided white gravestones. Every year on May 4 at 8 o'clock in the evening the commemoration of the dead in Muiden takes place at the graves of these 6 men. The wreck of the Halifax was recovered by the Germans during the war. With various trucks, the scrap was removed for reuse in the war industry.

source: http://www.begraveninmuiden.nl/08_meer_info/pages/001_content.php