Date: 1941 Apr 09/10 A/C Type: Wellington II SN: W5375 Code: PH-D A/C Nickname:
 File: 221 Airforce: RAF Sqn/Unit:  12 Sqn Mission/Raid: Emden
1 Pilot Wing Commander Vyvian Q. Blackden     (Lemmer) 9    
2 Nav F/O John Du Vernet Broughton                  (Lemmer) 10    
3 WO/AG P/O John C.A. Bond                         (Bergen aan Zee) 11    
4 AG F/O Harold Marshall                         (Harderwijk) 12    
5 WO/AG Sgt. George H. Bishop                                    (Urk) 13    
6 WO/AG Sgt. Duncan McDougall                                 (Urk) 14    
7     15    
8     16                    

Crashed in the northern part of Lake IJsselmeer (Old Zuyder Sea), we estimate between Medemblik and Stavoren, time 01:00u.  Cause:  Nightfighter Oblt. Egmont Prinz zur Lippe-Weissenfeld. 


Wellington W5375 early crash (April 1941) is very representative for what would follow in the years to come: RAF aircraft shot down over the Lake at night, no survivors. Crew washed ashore and buried in different locations around the Lake. This aircraft came down north part in the Lake, the first of many to follow.

The crew were found on a horizontal line, west and east of the crash location. Pilot Officer John Bond is buried in Bergen aan Zee. This indicates that he was found or brought in by a fisherman on the north-western shore of the Lake between Enkhuizen and Den Oever (it was Andijk). He was buried in Bergen on row 1, between May 12th and June 13th 1941.

Wind came predominantly from the west and drove the other crew slowly towards the Northeastpolder dike. Six weeks after the crash, Flying Officer John Du Vernet Broughton was recovered by the lifeboat 'Hilda' from Lemmer and buried Lemmer 28 June 1941. He was buried as first on the plot, on the back row near the morgue/tool shed, first grave left. A month later, his pilot, Wing Commander Vyvian Q. Blackden also washed ashore here. Buried as third in the Lemmer plot, which was in the centre of the back row. In the next four years, the whole plot became full with washed ashore Allied airmen. They were gradually buried in wider rows every time (necessity). In this way, the plot got the shape of a tree, with the oldest graves in the top. And in the peak of the tree, as an organogram, is laying the highest ranking officer, Wing Commander Blackden, as a commanding officer watching over the 44 RAF airmen in this field of honour.

The first or 2nd recovered of the W5375 crew, involved Sgt. Duncan McDougall, May 21, 1941. His body lay on the bottom of the Lake and he was fished in the trawl net ('kuul') of the UK38 by skipper K. Wakker. Buried on May 25th 1941, as first Allied airman on the former Island of Urk. A funeral that the whole village attended. He could not be identified, on the grave-monument was engraved 'D.Mc.D'. Our research on the 25 airwar graves in Urk (exhumed 1947), revealed it had to be Sgt. Duncan McDougall. He now rests in cemetery Amersfoort 'Rusthof' in Leusden-Zuid.

Flying Officer Harold Marshall's body passed the Northeastpolder dike and drifted further south were it washed ashore or was found by a fisherman from Harderwijk. Buried there on 14 July 1941 as second airman on this cemetery (43 to follow...). The first airman buried in Harderwijk was Sgt. Gordon W. Brown, also crashed in the Lake in a Wellington (R1440), same night as Marshall. Brown washed ashore only a few days earlier on 10 July 1941. Five crew of Browns Wellington R1440 are MIA, aircraft is never found. In 2012, the historical society of Harderwijk erected a monument in the Lake, outside their city walls, representing the tail of a Wellington bomber to commemorate all WW2 Lake casualties. Link: ZZAirwar - Cemetery Harderwijk city Allied war graves plot

Last person to be recovered of the Blackden crew, was Sgt. George Bishop. His remains washed ashore at a construction site in Urk harbour (sluice Urkervaart, near pumping station Vissering -> where mr. Dirk de Boer was working, see ZZairwar News, 09 May 2021). Sgt. Bishop's body was in the water for five summer months and was in terrible condition. He was buried 10 September 1941 as 'Unknown English Flyer' in an empty section of the Urk-cemetery, during the war known as 'The English Corner' (contained also a number of Americans). All airwar graves in Urk were exhumed in 1947. Today Sgt. Bishop rest in Amersfoort 'Rusthof', not far from his crew member Sgt. Duncan McDougall.

The above is the result of years of research by us and others around the Lake. 

-  Stichting Urk in Oorlogstijd, Pieter Hoekstra, Robert Hofman, e.a.
-  cemetery files
-  website CWGC

© ZZairwar (Zuyder Zee Air War)