Relation with Lake (class): no. Former Cemetery in the Area (FLC)
Total nr. of casualties buried here (TC): 25 ? end WW2, today 0 (cleared).
Lake casualties, initially, end WW2 (LC-I): 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. 
Post war burial site for collection and reburial from other sites: NO.  
Cemetery with Lake casualties today: NO.


Petten is a coastal village in the dunes/on a North Sea dyke. In 1929 it merged with the inland sister community Zijpe ('Zype'). In WW2 airmen recovered in both communities were buried in this cemetery. Most of the casualties washed ashore on Petten beach (5 km). In 1941 this churchyard contained 4 German war graves and at least 5 Allied (see photo below with the 2 men in front). In August 1942 the Germans started an major evacuation; Petten village had to be demolished completely for the construction of the 'Atlantic Wall'; the anti-invasion defenses. The whole area came full with bunkers, strongpoints, barbed wire and mine fields. As last building also the typical white church was demolished in 1944, however the graveyard remained intact, used by the German troops that defended and patrolled the Petten shoreline. On the 25 and 26 January 1944, the Germans exhumed their own war dead from Petten and reburied them in Bergen aan Zee cemetery (7 km south of Petten). After the war, the French (Dunkirk victims), American and Commonwealth war graves were all exhumed and reburied on centralization war cemeteries. The Commonwealth casualties from Petten were reburied in the Bergen-op-Zoom War Cemetery.  


Dutch name cemetery: Petten Alg. begr. pl.
Full name: Petten General Cemetery
Address (usable for car navigation):
Bergeendweg, Petten (gem. Zijpe).

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On the 28th of February 1946 came the 3rd platoon of the 605th US Graves Registration Unit in Petten to exhume the 4 American dead. In grave 66 the body of Sgt. Howard W. Holmes (KIA June 20 1944. B-17G 42-97245, 92 BG, crew Lt. Wareham) was not found. In stead a German soldier lay in the grave. All graves were opened, but Holmes cound not be discovered. He had washed ashore there 13th August 1944 and was reported to the Red Cross. He is now commemorated on the Wall of the Missing in US War Cemetery "Netherlands" in Margraten, Limburg province, NL. One of the Americans buried here was Sgt. H. MacDougall, crew of B-26 41-18090, pilot 2Lt. Edward R. Norton. Norton is MIA since the ill-fated Stillman B-26 raid on 17 May 1943. Who the other 2 American airman buried here were is under investigation.  





The white protestant church stood on an
high ground, only 100 meters from
the North Sea. It was the last building 
standing when the Germans demolished
the village end 1942/1943. In 1944 also
this church was gone.  

Remains of the church foundation are visable
today and the graveyard (without war graves) 
still exist. See photo's under.


Post-war, the Petten war graves were moved to Bergen-op-Zoom War
Cemetery and remained together on row 28B and 30A.

- Zijper Museum Schagerbrug
- Zijper Historie Bladen
- Own research on the BOZ war cemetery