Date: 1944 Nov 20/20 A/C Type: P-51D Mustang SN: 44-13615 Code: QP-R A/C Nickname:
 File: 400 Airforce:  USAAF Sqn/Unit: 4 FG - 334 FS Mission/Raid: Bomber support/strafing Koblenz area.
1 Pilot 1Lt. Donald L. Bennett        POW 9 RWG  
2 Co-pilot   10 TG  
3 Nav.   11    
4 B   12    
5 E   13    
6 RO   14    
7 BTG   15    
8 LWG   16                    

Returning from Germany, collided in clouds with P-51D 44-13411 of Lt. Werner. Both went down in Lake IJsselmeer west of Harderwijk 13:00h. Lt. Bennett landed with his parachute on a roof in Harderwijk and became POW. Lt. Werner landed in water and is MIA.  

Policeman Kraaijenbrink, Harderwijk 20 Nov. 1944, 12:50h. He refers to Lt. Bennett as Englishman and 'Tommy', but unknown to him the pilot was American.  

"Some distance out from shore, over sea, flames poure out and the machine falls down. Apparently the pilot already jumped, because a parachute drifts, rapidly descending, towards the town. He makes a hard adverse landing on the rooftop of a house in the Hoogstraat, where a gust of wind pulls the parachute off the roof and smashes the pilot into the street. From all sides spectators come to the scene, also German soldiers and armed Dutch collaborators. One of them had fired shots on the descending Tommy. The collaborators ('Landwachters') appear to see something dangerous in the situation and also fire some rounds on the bystanders, but luckily they miss. A police officer arrives and takes the pilot, with help of a German soldier and a collaborator, into a house where a German doctor and some medics dress the wounded man, a 24 year old Englishman. Although the man has a severe head wound, he is fully conscious. He is brought to Westerholt, furnished as hospital. Nothing heared on him since".


The wreck of the Bennet's P-51 Mustang was discovered in 1977, 100 meter from shore by a swimmer at beach 'Horst'. He hit his foot against an underwater obstacle. The aircaft was recovered by the Dutch Air Force at position No. 147, inside the community boundry of Harderwijk. More on the crash:



Website PATS:

Map 20 November 1944.

© ZZairwar (Zuyder Zee Air War)