Relation with Lake (class): Lake Casualty Cemetery (LCC)  
Total nr. of casualties buried here (TC): 245 end WW2, today: 233. 
Lake casualties, initially, end WW2 (LC-I): approx. 38.
Unknown today: 10.
of which unknown from Lake (LC-U): 10
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: yes 
Cemetery with Lake casualties today: yes.


Cemetery south of the city of Amersfoort, near village Leusden-Zuid. It completely is (unintentionally) an airwar cemetery with all 233 casualties airforce men, one Arnhem paratrooper included. From 1942 until April 1945 approx. 185 men crashed in the vicinitity and found a resting place here. Another 33+ airmen washed upon the Southern shore of the lake or were brought in by fishermen from the Old Zuydersea villages Bunschoten-Spakenburg and Elburg, At least 7 of the airmen from the water were American. They were moved to Margraten (USA "Netherlands") war cemetery in March 1946. All 10 unknowns on this field of honour are also from the Lake. In July 1947 the cemetery received 18 war dead for reburial from the Zuyder Sea village of Urk and 4 from Amsterdam. 


Dutch name cemetery: Amersfoort Alg. Begr. pl. 'Rusthof'. 
Full name: Amersfoort (Oud Leusden) General Cemetery.
Address (usable for car navigation):
Dodeweg 19-30, Amersfoort. Motorway A28, Exit 6, Leusden-Zuid

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

When entering the war graves plot, a civilian grave with a B-17 propellor is on the right hand side. This is the grave of the unofficial caretaker of the field, Mr. Kees Blankenstijn. The grave is marked with a star on the underneath map. He daily maintained the war graves, regardless the fact that he became blind later in life. Mrs. Olga and Mr. Ron Berghuis set up an internet site on this cemetery with Kees in 2001, it is in English, with details on every aircraft. Recommended. Site name is RUSTHOF or Google 'Kees Rusthof'. When on this site, click also on his portrait-photo to see more information, photo's and a newspaper article in English.


Next to Kees Blankenstijn in B1 is the grave of airborne soldier Ron Lansdowne. He is the only army soldier on this cemetery.    

Private Lansdowne entered Holland in a glider near Arnhem. He died in the night of 25 on 26th September 1944. As an airborne and with such initials, he is certainly not out of place to lay here at rest on this airwar cemetery.

Lansdowne was killed in an attempt to escape Arnhem in the last night, when he swam across the river to get to the Allied side. His body was found 2 months later downstream on the riverbank near the Dutch town of Vianen. That is 60km west of Arnhem and south-west of Amersfoort.

The fact that he lays alone can be explained by that he was buried in a field grave near the river and moved to here just after the war. The cemetery was then quite full.

Elements of the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry ('Ox 'n Bucks') were part of the British       1 st. Airborne Division.       

















The CWGC-photo on the right shows the old situation of the plot when trees en vegetation were growing between the rows of headstones. 

A few years after this photo was taken, the shrubs and ferns had became so high and dense  that overlooking the cemetery from south to north, as on this photo, had become impossible. It looked like a botanic garden. Meandering through it was suprising to find yet another row of headstones around each corner, but it was solemn and dignified in its own way.

In 2012 the plot (plot 13) received a major overhaul by the CWGC in which the trees and plant life were removed.

For more photo's on the old and the new situation see the site and the facebook page of the CWGC: 

Photo's by the CWGC on facebook

When on this facebook page, click on the photo's to enlarge. 










Amersfoort itself does not have a port or fishing boats. It was the nearest big city with more facilities to identify and bury Allied airmen.

The bodies found on the Southern side of the lake came from Eemnes, Bunschoten-Spakenburg, Nijkerk and also from Elburg.

In the ports the local police and undertaker took the bodies from the boats to the village morgue. 

The Germans transported the coffin to Amersfoort for burial. Sometimes the body was again inspected in Amersfoort.

On the photo right is the BU12 under full sail. This boat recovered the body of S/Sgt. Thomas S. Pozder of B-17  42-102565. The BU12 is a Botter-type flatbottom and nowadays a charter for rent ( 

The first recovered from the Southern lake and buried in Amersfoort was F/O R.P. Worthy, pilot of Hampden AE716. His grave number is now Row 2, grave 31. In 1942 row 2 was the first row with Allied graves. From row 2 it went on with row 3, 4, 5, 6 up to row 7, 8 and row 9 in the back. Then end 1944/1945 they moved to the front again by filling row 1 and 12. The Americans were buried in row 9, probably row 2 (the now empty side of row 2) and row 12 grave 200 (under the front path of the cross, it didn't exist at the time) to grave 207.

In 1946 the Americans in Amersfoort were moved to Margraten, the US war cemetery in the Netherlands. The empty positions found a re-use: in July 1947 the war graves in Urk were cleared and the 18 airmen from Urk (all Lake-casualties) were reinterred in Amersfoort in row 8, 9, 12 and 13 (208 to 210).


The 6 Polish airmen from Urk were reburied next to each other in row 12, grave 202 to 207. The 6 are not all crew of Jerzy Rozanksi's Lancaster LL807; in grave 205 is Ludwik Karcz. He crashed in the lake in May 1941 and his aircraft was Wellington R1322. Read more on these men incl. photo's on the site Polish war


























Ramrod 16 was the code name for a daylight bombing-raid with 11 Lockheed Venturas on a power station in Amsterdam. In this disastrous raid in which all aircraft except one were shot down, Sqn leader Leonard H. Trent of the RNZAF 487 Sqn was awarded the VC (Victoria Cross). Most of whom killed are buried in Amsterdam.

One of the aircraft that stuck to Trent to the last second was his wingman P/O  T.J. Baynton, also a New Zealander and of the same age (27). Baynton flew Ventura AE716 and was shot down by German fighters just before Trent.  I

In 1947 the wreck and brave crew of AE716 were found in soft ground in an area that is now known as the Amsterdam Westpoort industrial area. Baynton is buried on row 9 in 173, Sgt. Peter Davies in 174 and in Joint grave 175 are F/Sgt. Lamacraft & Sgt. Price. Joint means that their coffins are on top of each other or their remains are in one coffin. 




In Amersfoort are 10 airmen buried without a name 'Known to God'. Before 2003 there were 12 Unknown. Kees Blankenstijn managed to identify 2 men that were buried as unknown in row 12, grave 196 and 197. They came from a crashsite in Soest that proved to be Mosquito PZ161 of 515 Sqn, crashed there on 27th of August 1944. Unmistakable the unknown were the pilot and navigator: W/O Ernest Smith and Sgt. J.E. Harling. In April 2003 the two received a headstone with their name on it. 

The 10 unknown remaining are all from Lake IJsselmeer. Six were brought in from Bunschoten-Spakenburg, Elburg and the Southern coast (x), 4 came from Urk (x-u). On this map their position and grave numbers are marked.

Because of the details locally known, wind directions at the time and recovered crew members in the same area and their burial position, we believe that the unknown on row 8 in grave 162, 166 and 168 have a relation with Halifax HR731 of 51 Sqn, crashed in the lake on 25/26 June 1943. Missing from that aircraft are Sgt. Anthony Osmond, Sgt. Brinley Huggan from Glamorgan, Sgt. Thomas J. Barton from Slough and Sgt. John Emerson from Wallsend (all RAF). They were not found on the wrecksite in 1967.

For the same reason, the unknown Australian airman on row 9, grave 187, can be F/Sgt. Kenneth W. Longmore, RAAF, pilot of Stirling EH937 of 90 Sqn, crashed in the lake on 23/24 August 1943. He hailed from Cobar, New South Wales, Australia.

We have also reason to believe that the unknown Officer on row 3, grave 41, is a Polish Flying Officer.




On the left side is a row with graves with men from Portugal, Italy, Greece, Czech-Slovakia, Yugoslavia, Hungary and Romania. Most of those men were killed in Germany on the end of the war and buried here. All around the Allied plot is a circle of Dutch military wargraves (just visible on this picture).



- Site Kees Rusthof
- Site 
- Site Polish War Graves
- Police reports

  © ZZairwar (Zuyder Zee Air War)