Date: 1943 Jun 25/26 A/C Type: Halifax II SN: HR731 Code: MH-C A/C Nickname:
 File:   051 Airforce: RAF Sqn/Unit:  51 Sqn Mission/Raid: Gelsenkirchen
1 Pilot Sgt. Anthony Osmond                           MIA 9    
2 Navigator Sgt. Geoffrey C. Mortimer         buried Harderwijk 10    
3 Air bomber Sgt. Thomas G. Barton                          MIA 11    
4 F/Engineer Sgt. Brinley Huggan                               MIA 12    
5 WO/AG  Sgt. Phillip Blundell     buried Amersfoort Leusden-Z 13    
6 Mid upper g Sgt. James Emerson                              MIA 14    
7 Rear gunner Sgt. James Rorison                     buried Harderwijk 15    
8     16                    
Crashed in the Lake (Old Zuyder Sea), shot down by a nightfighter on return from Gelsenkirchen. Three men washed ashore and were buried under their name. The other four probably washed ashore or were recovered, identification not possible and could lay buried as 'An Airman, a Sgt, RAF, Known unto God', around the Lake. Date on stone between 27 June 1943 and 28 February 1944.
 


Wreck lay in the water on the north edge of the underwater sand ridge 'The Knar'. It was only 2,5 meter deep there and fishermen must have put a pole with small flag on this wreck, as it lay in the start of their trawl zone, and, it lay on the direct shipping-route Amsterdam (Pampus)-Elburg. The Germans have recovered this wreck completely with their recovery ship BP36 (photos!). The location 10km NW of Harderwijk was marked (received a cross) on the RWS-IJsselmeer sea chart.

During the building of polder East-Flevoland this area became land (Meeuwenweg, close to the Knardijk). There was very little left of HR731. The recovery-team of the Dutch Airforce spend in August 1967 less than one day on excavating the last remains of the cockpit (cockpit only). With the little he had, recovery officer Gerrit Zwanenburg could identify the parts as from the HR731. No human remains were found. A least one of the MIA can be buried in Amsterdam. 


 

Sources:

- Website PATS name card Halifax HR731
- Book 'In the schaduw van de glorie' (1992) by Mr. S.L. Veenstra RNLAF Recovery Team.
- Research ZZairwar on the German IJsselmeer recoveries
- 2012 research of the original Amsterdam war burials files 1940-1945.
- Website CWGC







© ZZairwar (Zuyder Zee Air War)