R.K. Begraafplaats in Weerselo
At the R.K. Begraafplaats in Weerselo are five graves located of a six of seven men crew from a Halifax bombthrower. They got shot in the night of 25 to 26 of June 1942 by a German fightplane and crashed in the Marke Dulder, hamlet of De Zoeke. A nearby farmhouse got destroyed. The crew is never indentified and the graves are called ‘Known unto God’.
In the early morning of June 26, the area where the disaster happened, was closed down when a second bomb exploded. Luckily there were no victims. The remains of the plane were carefully removed by the Germans. On the 28th of June the remains of the crew were buried without any indentification in five graves at the R.K. Begraafplaats in Weerselo.
In total, 49 planes did not return from this mission. Of two identical planes from the Handly Page Halifax type the whereabouts isn’t sure. Most likely one of them crashed in Dulder and the other one in the Northsea. Which plane crashed where? Nobody knows. We can’t be sure, and still after a lot of efforts to located them, there is no closing evidence. What we do know is that one plan had 6 crewmembers en the other one had 7 crewmembers. Till this there are still effort to find out who was on those planes.
Both still missing Halifaxes were:
Handley Page Halifax B-II, serial W 7747, registration ‘ MP-G’,of 76 Sqdn. which left its base Middleton St.George on 25.06.1942 at 23.36hrs in the second wave for an attack on Bremen.
Its crew consisted of seven men:
- Sgt. Meyer, John Emerson RCAF (Pilot) Idnr. R/78978
- Sgt. Francoeur, William Cecil RCAF (Bomb Aimer) Idnr. R/77217
- Sgt. Cameron, John McDonald RAF (Observer) Idnr. 1365197
- Sgt. Gasson, Arthur Cecil RAF (Wireless Operator) Idnr. 1310825
- Sgt. Mills, Walter John RAF (Air Gunner) Idnr. 1179483
- Sgt. Wearmouth, Alan RAF (Air Gunner) Idnr. 1032518
- Sgt. Almond, James Stewart RAF (Flight Engineer) Idnr. 567429
Handley Page Halifax II, Serial W 7759, registration ‘ DY-L’ of 102 Sqdn. which left its base Topcliffe at 23.59 hrs. also in the second wave for an attack on Bremen.
Its crew consisted of six men:
- Flt/Sgt. Harris, Carl Clark RCAF (Pilot) Idnr. R/62960
- Sgt. Bicat, Victor Jack Foch RAF (Observer) Idnr. 657342
- Sgt. May, Thomas Henry RAF (Wireless Operator) Idnr. 954180
- Sgt. Smith, John Burton RAF (Air Gunner) Idnr. 778676
- Sgt. Hankins, John Phillip RAF (Air Gunner) Idnr. 1353269
- Sgt. Pratt, George Charles RAF (Flight Engineer) Idnr. 635526
Further research learned both aircraft carried the same bombload of 3x 1000lbs. H.E. bombs, 210 x 30lbs. I.C. bombs and 9 containers of 90 x 4 lbs. I.C. bombs.
- Meyer, John Emerson, born 19-09-1918 in Zurich, Ontario, Canada.
- Parents Frederick Bauer Meyer and Alice born Hooey from New Hamburg, Ontario.
- Married with Margaret Eva born Pletsch,
- Francoeur, William Cecil, born 04-09-1919 in Montreal, Canada.
- Parents Walter James Francoeur and Ethel born McMahon from Montreal.
- Cameron, John McDonald, born 1923 in Corstorphine, Edinburgh, Scotland.
- Parents John McDonald Cameron and Margaret Oman born Manson from Edinburgh.
- Gasson, Arthur Cecil, born 1915 in Southwark, England.
- Parents David Gasson and Alice Amelia born Arthurs from Surbiton, Surrey.
- Married with Winifred born Folley.
- Mills, Walter John, born 04-10-1914 in Frome, England.
- Parents Frederick Mills and Lucy Jane born Coleman from Frome, Somerset.
- Wearmouth, Alan, born 1922 in Durham, England.
- Parents Robert Wearmouth and Laura L. born Gould from Oakenshaw, Durham,
- Almond, James Stewart, born 1918 in Portsmouth, England.
- Parents Percy Almond and Clair born Armstrog? from Portsmouth.
- Harris, Carl Clark, born 10-03-1919 in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, Canada.
- Parents Colin Clark Harris and Laura Stella born Morrison from Sydney, Nova Scotia.
- Bicat, Victor Jack Foch, born 1918 in Rochford, Essex, England.
- Parents Joseph Bicat and Emily Julia born Bowra from Leigh-on-Sea, Essex.
- May, Thomas Henry, born 01-05-1915 in Corsham, Wiltshire, England.
- Parents Samuel May and Florence born Bull from Wallsall, Staffordshire.
- Smith, John Burton from Surrey?
- Hankins, John Phillip, born 1921 in Brighton, Sussex, England.
- Parents Charles John Frederick Hankins and Gertrude Ellen born Tricker from Brighton.
- Pratt, George Charles, born 1920 in Shardlow, Derbyshire, England.
- Parents Samuel Richard Pratt and Jennie born Thompson from Long Eaton, Derbyshire.
If you have information to help us solve this case, please let us know!