Relation with Lake (class): Other Cemetery in Area (OCA)  
Total nr. of casualties buried here (TC): 2 end WW2, today: 7 
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: yes.
Post war burial site for collection and reburial from other sites: no.
Cemetery with Lake casualties today: no.


The war graves in this cemetery represent the cruelty of the airwar and the sacrifice of Bomber Command airmen. Here rest the brave crew of Lancaster JB659 of 97 Sqn (Bourn). Shot down here in the night 30/31 January 1944. They made their first flight 2nd December 1943. Because they were ordered to fly each mission to Berlin, they had statistically no chance of survival, and they knew it... Two months later, on their 9th mission to Berlin, they did not return. Typically, not all crew was found and five men remained deep in the ground in the wreck, their names registered as MIA for 56 years. The bomber was a fireball and crashed onto a Dutch Farm, standing alone in the meadows. Farmer Cornelis van der Byl, his wife and their 9 childeren struggled to get out the inferno with help of their farmworker Piet Gorter, who lived in a house next to the farm. Piet managed to get the 5 oldest children out, the others died. In total 13 people died in this tragical crash.


Dutch name cemetery: Zwanenburg Alg. Begr. Pl. 
CWGC name: Haarlemmermeer (Zwanenburg) General Cem.
Address (usable for car navigation):
Kerkhoflaan, Zwanenburg.

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see address and info at CONTACT.
Please use as subject title: 'Zwanenburg'.

The crashsite was considered a field grave, the farm was rebuild. In the 1990's the Amsterdam port was expanded and the farm had to go. Several organizations asked for recovery of the wreck, which took place June 2000. In 1944, only Australian pilot Allan R. Hart and Canadian W/O Gordon I. Williams received a grave (photo above from 1998). In 2001 the remains of their five crew members were added in one coffin in the grave next to them. All received their own headstone. The found men were Australian F/Sgt. Harold J. Boal, Canadian F/Sgt. Charles M. Price. From the UK: Sgt. Leslie Clifton, Sgt. Douglas F. Hicks and Sgt. Joseph W. Jones. They shall be remembered.

The above is only a summary, read more on: 


© ZZairwar (Zuyder Zee Air War).