Relation with Lake (class): Lake Casualty Cemetery (LCC)  
Total nr. of casualties buried here (TC): 42 end WW2, today 38. 
Lake casualties, initially, end WW2 (LC-I): 35
Unknown today: 3, all airmen.
of which unknown from Lake (LC-U): 3
of which unknown from North Sea (NS-U): 0
Initial burial site in WW2: yes, Lake Cemetery East side of Lake (LCE)
Post war burial site for collection and reburial from other sites: no 
Cemetery with Lake casualties today: yes.


Typical large Zuyder Sea (Lake IJsselmeer) airwar wargraves plot in a civilian churchyard, 38 airmen buried here. Most washed ashore and were recovered from the foot of the dikes alongside Makkum. The wind is usually blowing from the south-west and corpes were pushed into this downwind corner. The community Wonseradeel, with largest village Makkum as administrative centre, had about 11km of the south side of the Closure dam (Afsluitdijk) in its care, and 11km on the Frisian coastline, including the waterfront at Piaam, Gaast and upper part of the Workumerwaardpolder. Fishermen from Makkum also recovered bodies and took them to their home port for burial. 


Dutch name cemetery: Prot. begr. pl. Donia Kerk
CWGC name: Wonseradeel (Makkum) Protestant Churchyard. Address (usable for car navigation):
Kerkeburen 37, Makkum (Wonseradeel), Friesland.

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An aircraft that has a special bond with Makkum is Hudson IIIA FK790 of RAF 161 Squadron (SOE), flown by F/Lt. J.W. Menzies. It was shot down due west of Makkum in the night of 5/6 July 1944. For all info see site 


Above. Scheme of the plot. Same colour are crew mates. All expect one aircraft crashed in the lake. For more information on the 33 Commonwealth airmen, consult the CWGC-website:  Enter there at Cemetery or Memorial: Makkum. The 3 RAF-airmen buried as unknown ('Known unto God') are not on that website, but they are here and make the number of Commonwealth airmen: 36, not 33. See for the data known on the nameless above scheme, or our database 'buried as unknown'. Lt. Johan Walter in grave O-33 was a Dutch militair who had to jump as secret agent, but his aircraft was shot down in the lake. For more info on F/O Kubica, see this page: 

 The wargraves plot has its own entrance. In the background the dike where most of those men washed ashore.

Photo below: Empty spaces. 
The back row, the 5th grave and the 7th grave from left (7th grave not in view), initially held Dutch secret agents Jan Bockma and Pleun Verhoef (buried 14 July 1944). They were collegues of Dutch secret agent J. Walter (back row, 3rd grave). Bockma and Verhoef were reinterred in their hometown after the war, which caused that the 5th and the 7th grave on the back row became empty (grave no. O-35 & O-37). In 1997 parts of their SOE Hudson bomber was found not far from here in the lake. The cockpit contained remains of pilot F/L. John W. Menzies. He was buried in the empty 5th grave on the back row (O-35), the former grave of agent Bockma. A 4th Dutch agent, Pieter Kwint, was found in the aircraft during the 1st recovery of the wreck in November 1945. He was probably not buried in Makkum.

American airmen. B-24D, 42-63969.
In the middle are 2 empty graves (N-34 and 35). Here lay at least one American airmen in N-34 and possibly also in N-35. According to documents attached to the MACR, lay in grave 34 pilot Lt. Grady G. Hunt. He crashed in the lake in B-24  42-63969, 93BG on 22 December 1943. Six months later he washed ashore and was buried here. Of his crew Sgt. Ray Cook also washed on this coast (buried Workum). And co-pilot 2Lt. Joe P. Congelli and tailgunner James W. Bennet washed ashore on the opposite lakeside. Since there are crew members of this aircraft MIA, we would not be surprised if the man next to Grady was a nameless crew member. He would now be in Neupr√© American Cemetery "Ardennes", also there buried as 'Known but to God'.

Church name is 'van Donia church', build 1652.

Photo below. Wing Commander William P. Shand and P/O Christopher Dinsdale Handley. Mosquito DZ386, 139 Sqn. 20/21 April 1943.

In the middle of May 1943, two naked bodies washed ashore near Makkum. It was if they had taken their clothes off for a swim. Both were buried as unknown. In 1948 the wrist watch of P/O Handley led to his identification. The policeman who recovered them in 1943, had recorded their length, eyes- and hair colour. In 1980 an inhabitant of Makkum, Mr. Jentje Hoeksema send this data to the CWGC and pointed out that because both had washed ashore on the same moment and location, the other man had to be Handley's pilot: W/Cmdr. William P. Shand. The CWGC eventually agreed, and in 1981 the headstone of the unknown was changed to that of William Shand, with the remark on it 'Believed to be'.

They had made a night visit to Hitlers birthday party in Berlin. Some German nightfighters waited on the expected return path on high altitude for a Mosquito to pass under them. Although it was night and the Mosquitoes flew below the radar, their silhouette was visible over the water of the lake. In a dive a nightfighter could match the speed of a Mosquito for a short while and could open fire. Apparently DZ386 was hit and Shand and Handley made a successful emergency landing on the water and tried to reach shore swimming. Remarkable is the difference in the date of death.  


¬© ZZairwar (Zuyder Zee Air War). 


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- MACR B-24 42-63969