Relation with Lake (class): Former Cemetery in area with war grave (FLC)  
Total nr. of casualties buried here (TC) end WW2: 1, today: 0 (West-Grafdijk also: 1)
Lake casualties, initially: 0
Unknown today: 0
of which unknown from Lake (LC-U): 0
of which unknown from North Sea (NS-U): 0
Initial burial site in WW2: yes.
Post war burial site for collection and reburial from other sites: no
Cemetery with Lake casualties today: no.


Buried in the churchyard of the Protestant church in Akersloot on 9 February 1945, was American S/Sgt. Arthur S. Humphreys. His parachute burned and he fell dead on the ground. His aircraft was B-24J 42-50505 "The Gremlins Roost" (93 BG, pilot 1Lt. Howard E. Jennings, 6 Feb. 1945). Sgt. Humphreys was exhumed after the war and brought to an US centralization cemetery. Nothing today here reminds of his burial, name or sacrifice.


Dutch name cemetery: Hervormde kerk en begraafplaats.  
Full name: Akersloot Protestant Church and its churchyard
Address (usable for car navigation):
Dielofslaantje 17, Akersloot

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The B-24J 42-50505 received a direct hit of German Heavy Flak between motor no. 2 and the fuselage. This was over the Dutch North Sea coast line, at high altitude, on route to Germany (inbound). After some minutes flying, the aircraft stalled and broke up in the air in four pieces, crew had jumped just before. The debris fell on the west side of the canal, north of the village Akersloot near the ferry. Date was 6 February 1945.

S/Sgt. Vance K. Jeffers, buried in West-Grafdijk (see further below).
On the other side of the canal (east side) the crew landed by parachute. LWG S/Sgt. Vance K. Jeffers had a flak would under the heart and stumbled into a Dutch farmhouse for help. He died inside the house and was buried 9 Feb 1945 in the nearest village named West-Graftdijk, only a few km east of Akersloot. 


Killed resistance fighters Wim Woestenburg and Lou Beumer, shot by the Germans.

In the process helping evade the seven other crewmembers of "the Gremlin Roost", Dutchmen
Wim Woestenburg (25) and Lou Beumer (26) helped two airmen crossing a canal in a rowboat.
They were caught by two Germans soldiers who arrested the Americans. Wim and Lou tried to get away (knowing the consequences) and started a struggle. They were shot dead at close range.

On the location where this happened is a small monument (cross) with their names. This is north of village named Graft, street Noordeinde (see photo right). This is 5km from crash position.

After the war, Wim and Lou (Laurentius) received a Dutch military grave stone on the Roman Catholic Cemetery in village de Rijp. Still there today (photos further below). Also their names are mentioned on the Egbert Snijder Monument in Edam. 

The surviving seven crew of the Gremlin Roost all became POW that day.  

Photo below: Akersloot Protestant Churchyard. Initial resting place of S/Sgt. Arthur S. Humphreys.



Below: the cross the Germans placed on the grave of Sgt. Humphreys in February 1945. The crew of B-24 'Gremlin Roost' were a veteran crew, they had made 25-27 missions. Three months later, May 1945, the war was over and the villagers of Akersloot placed these flowers on the grave. German text on the cross reads: 



Translation: Here rests an American flyer, Arthur S. Humphreys, fallen 6 February 1945.

Position of the grave was behind the church, on the right of the entrance.



S/Sgt. Vance K. Jeffers walked wounded into a farm and died. He was buried in West Graftdijk Churchyard, photos below.

Post war reburied in a US-centralization cemetery in Europe, in 1949 reburied in Arlington:

Photo grave:



Below: the toolshed. Behind it the bridge that serves as rear entrance to the churchyard.


Below: view from the church towards the fields where the crew tried to get away.

Below: A few kilometers into the field, the spot where the pilot helpers were shot. This is the slope of a dyke and on the other side is a canal. In the rowing boat on the canal with the Dutch, were co-pilot Ralph E. Sanderson and T/Sgt. Martin H. Rubin. After the arrest on this position, the Americans were lead away in a German car, after which the fight with the two German soldiers began. The Americans did not see that. In 1984, Mr. Martin H. Rubin was invited back to Holland. They made the same rowing boat trip, but it became an emotional moment here, because he had never knew what had happened after his arrest.     



Below: Village De Rijp Cemetery.



- Local history and newpaper articles
- B24 web

 © ZZAW  (Zuyder Zee Air war).