Relation with Lake (class): Lake Casualty Cemetery (LCC)  
Total nr. of casualties buried here (TC): 11 end WW2, today: 9. 
Lake casualties, initially, end WW2 (LC-I): 5.
Unknown today: 2
of which unknown from Lake (LC-U): 2
of which unknown from North Sea (NS-U): 0
Initial burial site in WW2: yes, Lake Cemetery West side of Lake (LCW)
Post war burial site for collection and reburial from other sites: no. 
Cemetery with Lake casualties today: yes (LCW).


Middenmeer is a village in the centre of the Wieringermeer-polder (1932). Nine airmen are buried here today, eleven in 1945. It is a real Lake IJsselmeer - Airwar cemetery, with five airmen that came from the water. The dike of Lake IJsselmeer (Old Zuyder Sea) is 8 km to the East and a large dike-section (about 15 km) was in WW2 in the care of this community. Also bodies that were brought in by (German) boats in the Oude Zeug Harbour came to this cemetery. Two RAF airmen from the water buried here are not identified. Also two American airmen from B-24 42-63969 were initially buried here, see further below.


Dutch name cemetery: Middenmeer Alg. begr. pl. 
Full name: Wieringermeer (Middenmeer) General Cemetery.
Address (usable for car navigation):
Dokter Hoogkamerlaan, 2. Postal code 1775, Middenmeer. 

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The war graves on below photo were re-located to this prominent and honorable position near the entrance post war. Originally, on order of the Germans, the Allied dead here were buried in the far back-end of this cemetery, out of sight, in the 5th Class graves plot. On below photo this is at the house, visible under the central tree (see also the maps below). Six men here (the 2nd to the 7th grave stone) are one crew of RAF Halifax bomber JN884 of 158 Sqn. Shot down and crashed in a field nearby at Slootdorp on 26 July 1943. They were buried side by side. 


The grave most left is the first airman buried here, Sgt. Raymond. A. Kennedy from London. His Stirling EH889 (RAF 75 Sqn) crashed in the North-West corner of Lake IJsselmeer (at Breezand). The other members of his crew washed ashore at other villages around the Lake. The last two headstones on the right are of the non-identified RAF airmen. The date on their stones is their wash ashore date. The unknown RAF airman of 16 September 1943 can technically be one of the two missing crew members of Kennedy's EH889, but this is speculation, chance is remote. The other unknown airman 7 August 1944 is definitely crew of another RAF aircraft. Two American airmen, also from the water, were exhumed post war and reburied in an American (centralisation) War Cemetery. 

American airmen.

Tailgunner S/Sgt. James W. Bennett and 'L . JP. Songelli' = Co-pilot Lt. Joseph P. Congelli, both of B-24 42-63969, crew Hunt. 

On the 18th of June 1944, the remains of American airman James Bennet washed ashore (or brought in by boat) at/in habour Oude Zeug, see map below. He was buried in Middenmeer on 20 June 1944 in grave 713. Bennet was tailgunner of B-24  42-63969 of the 93 BG-409 BS. This aircraft was lost (and still is) in this Lake on 22 December 1943. S/Sgt. Bennett was post war reburied in the US war cemetery 'Ardennes', Neupré (Neuville-en-Condroz) in Belgium, Plot B, row 10, grave 21.

No doubt 'L. JP. Songelli' (as recorded in the local burial records), was the co-pilot of B-24  42-63969; 2Lt. Joseph P. Congelli from New York. Listed today as MIA. 

File of B-24 42-63969, crew Lt. Hunt: 

As we know now (04 December 2022), the remains of 'L. JP. Songelli' were brought in by boat, on 15 november 1944 in habour Oude Zeug, near village Wieringerwerf. The corps was dressed in a green USAAF flying suit. A leather name plate had 'L. JP Songelli' on it. Since the B-24 crashed in the Lake 11 months before on 22 December 1943, it is not surprising that the name on the leather tag had faded. The body missed the head, both arms and right leg, which is not unusual after almost a year in the water (fresh water, not salt water). Because harbour Oude Zeug was used only for work-boats and German patrol boats, and the cay used as a dump for recovered aircraft material and wrecks, it is possible that the Germans had recovered a part of this B-24 and thus found these human remains. Or a fisherman trawled these remains from the Lake bottom, because a corps does not float and washes ashore in the Lake after 11 months. Nine months is the recorded maximum. 

On 20 November 1944, Middenmeer cemetery undertaker mr. W. Hoes and his assistant mr. S. Wolters, buried American airman 'L. JP Songelli' in Middenmeer grave 716 without a coffin due to lack of wood. This was on order of the Germans. They saw and later declared that the body had no head, no arms and no right leg. 

An American Grave Recovery Team exhumed in 1946 grave 716 and investigated the case. Based on calculations, the reconstructed length of the remains matched that of Lt. Congelli. They knew other crew of B-24 42-63969 came ashore here as well. All was placed in a coffin and sent to the US Identification Centre in Neuville-en Condroz, Belgium. However, when Lt. Congelli was to be buried in the cemetery there (USA War Cemetery "Ardennes" in Neupré), a control revealed the only thing the coffin contained was a single femur-bone, not the described remains of Lt. Congelli from Middenmeer... The US Army conducted a thorough investigation but results were negative. The remains of 2Lt. Joseph Congelli could not be found. He rests probably as 'Known but to God' in USA War Cemetery Netherlands (Margraten) or USA War Cemetery 'Ardennes' in Neupré, Belgium.

Sketch made by the US Grave Team Middenmeer Cemetery 1946: 


War graves Middenmeer then and now. Today this plot no. 5 contains one row of civilians graves and the cemetery is extended also behind the tree line. 


Grave 1448. Sgt. Raymond A. Kennedy, 23 June 1943. RAF Stirling EH889. Washed ashore Juli 1943.
Grave 1449. F/Sgt. Percy Fisher-Watson. Crew RAF Halifax JN884. Crashed 26 July 1943
Grave 1450. Sgt. Ronald J. Wyatt-Matthews.    "
Grave 1451. Sgt. Kenneth R. Larkin   "
Grave 1452. Sgt. James Stewart     "
Grave 1453. Sgt. Edward R. Bray   "
Grave 1454. Sgt. Ray D. Raven     "
Grave 713. S/Sgt. James W. Bennet, USAAF, washed ashore 18 June 1944. B-24 42-63969. 
Grave 714. Unknown airman, RAF, washed ashore 16 September 1943
Grave 715. Unknown airman, RAF, washed ashore 07 August 1944
Grave 716. 2Lt. Joseph P. Congelli, USAAF, brought ashore 15 November 1944. B-24 42-63969. 

Below. The drawing the US Grave Team made 1945, overlayed on the current situation. The war graves in the 5th Class are today in position 'A' at the entrance.

Map 1945. Middenmeer, Wieringerwerf and harbour Oude Zeug (at the arrow). 

Below. The war graves at the entrance still have their old grave nummers of the 5th Class: 1448 to 1454, 714 and 715.



- US files (declassified)
- Historisch Genootschap Wieringen
- site CWGC
- site ABMC

  © ZZairwar (Zuyder Zee Air War)