Relation with Lake (class): Former Lake Casualty Cemetery (FLC)  
Total nr. of Allied casualties buried here (TC) end WW2: at least 1, today 0. 
Lake casualties, initially, end WW2 (LC-I): 1
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, Lake Cemetery East side of Lake (LCE)
Post war burial site for collection and reburial from other sites: no
Cemetery with Lake casualties today: no.


Cemetery modernised in 1903 in the centre of Nijkerk. It has a remarkable resemblance to the cemeteries in Wieringerwaard and Medemblik, probably the same architect was used. The village of Nijkerk has a stretch of 10km coastline and a port, but during WW2 washed ashore Allied airmen were not buried here. They were transported to the nearby city of Amersfoort for burial. At the end of WW2, Nijkerk was liberated by the Canadian First Army on 20 April 1945 and lay in the frontline for 2 weeks. During the fighting, an American airman washed ashore on the beach of Nijkerk around 25 April 1945. Transport to German held Amersfoort was not longer an issue, therefore the airman was buried in Nijkerk itself. A year later the remains were exhumed by a US Grave registration company and with this Nijkerk lost its only Allied wargrave.


Dutch name cemetery: Nijkerk Alg. Begraafplaats 
Full name: Nijkerk General Cemetery.
Address (usable for car navigation):
Frieswijkstraat 52, 3862 BL, Nijkerk.

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

Although the body of the American airman had been in the water for 5 months, he could be identified thanks to the ID on him. It was T/Sgt. Patrick J. Flaherty from Nelson Avenue, the Bronx, New York. He was crew of bomber B-24  42-95180, crashed in the lake 10km to the west on 21st November 1944. The pilot, Lt. John H. Quinn survived and was in hiding with the underground on the German side of the frontline. The news that his crewmember Sgt. Flaherty had washed ashore on the banks of the 'Sider Sea' after months and was buried by the Canadian forces in 'Nikerck' reached him via Dutch resistance fighters.  


Photos above and below: Today between two Dutch WW2 graves is still an empty (emptied) grave. Left rests Dutch resistance fighter Jacob Brink and right Dutch soldier (huzaar) Lodewijk G. Onstenk. It is well possible that the empty grave was the initial resting place of USAAF Sgt. Patrick Flaherty. But also on the left side in front of the wall are empty spaces. If the US Grave registration company also took with them other American airmen (buried nameless) from Nijkerk to the identification centre in Neuville-en-Condroz (Ardennes American Cemetery) needs further investigation.


Map frontline April 18, 1945. 

Map frontline April 19 towards May 7, 1945.


- Site ABMC

© ZZairwar (Zuyder Zee Air War)