Date: 1941 Jan 15/16 A/C Type: Whitley V SN: N1521 Code: GE-J A/C Nickname:
 File:   210 Airforce: RAF Sqn/Unit: 58 Sqn Mission/Raid: Wilhelmshaven
1 Pilot P/O  William E. Peers 9    
2 Co-P/Nav Sgt. Howard Shipley            buried Alkmaar 10    
3 WO/AG P/O  Robert Duncan 11    
4 WO/AG Sgt. Robert Couser 12    
5 Tail gunner P/O Melville Griffiths   (MIA) 13    
6     14    
7     15    
8     16                    
Shot down by a German nightfighter and crashed onto a frozen lake at village Callantsoog (Lake name: Zwanenwater).
Located in the Dutch North Sea dunes. The aircraft smashed in several pieces through the ice. The debries sunk to the
bottom of the (shallow) lake. The remains of Peers, Couser and Duncan were brought to Amsterdam and buried there.

P/O Griffiths is MIA, his remains are somewhere in the lake.

The aircraft crashed in winter, night January 15/16 1941. On 16 May 1941, a child pulled a shiny ring out the water, but the body of co-pilot  Shipley was attached and came to the surface.
Apparantly the link with the aircraft crash in January was forgotten, because the remains of this airman were buried in Alkmaar, not with his crew in Amsterdam. Sgt. Shipley was probably buried as unknown airman, but identified in 1946. He is still buried in Alkmaar today.

See photos in our file on Cemetery Alkmaar. Search on: Cemeteries - Lake Area Cemeteries - Alkmaar.  

- File Alkmaar Cemetery:


- website ARG 
- Broken Wings magazine March 2010
- website CWGC
- 2012 reconstruction of the Amsterdam burial files 1940-1945

© ZZairwar (Zuyder Zee Air War)