(photo De Brug Nijmegen)
…this time of the 17 September ‘De Brug’ article, thanks to the kindness of the newspaper’s staff, and again to Google Translate. Any further editing errors belong to us!
Commemoration of a forgotten crash
‘The story is now complete’
Everard Bakker tells pupils of de Lanteerne Primary School in Hees about a British bomber that crashed in 1944 in their neighborhood. “Children should be given a role in the commemoration, but only if they feel at ease. Then it makes the biggest impression. ”
It was on September 25, exactly 70 years ago that a B-25 Mitchell bomber of the British 98th RAF Squadron crashed in Hees after it was shot from the air by Germans. For the first time there is an official commemoration ceremony in St Peter’s Church for this long-forgotten crash.
By Wouter de Vries
Nijmegen – Passionate Everard Bakker tells its story in de Lanteerne Primary School, a stone’s throw from the place where the plane crashed costing four civilians and three crew their lives. Bakker, who works in defence, spent years investigating the crash in his spare time, and only recently through British kin have the final pieces of the puzzle fallen into place. “The story is now complete.”
By coming to the school Bakker hopes to involve kids with the memorial on Thursday 25th September. At this meeting will be several witnesses and veterans who will finally have what they experienced 70 years ago recognised. “If only children are, they told me with tears in their eyes,” says Bakker. “It is important that the human stories will not be lost. And because it happened in their own street it becomes very tangible for the children.”
Attentively, the students listen to the story of the downed RAF device. On Monday, September 25, 1944, the last day of the Battle of Arnhem, bombers flew to Schaarsbergen to take out the German anti-aircraft installation there. Part of the formation were members of the Dutch 320 squadron RAF, a unit composed of personnel from the Dutch Naval Air Service. The FW-211 device was shot from the sky by German fighters and hit at around 18:20 pm in front of St Peter’s Church.
Mayor Bruls and the last veterans of the 320th squadron will be amongst those present at the memorial service. The last commander of the naval squadron even leads the ceremony, to Bakker’s delight. “I’m so glad that so many parties have pledged their participation. The story of eyewitness Mrs. Las (95), who as a 25-year old baker’s wife saw the plane strike her neighbours’, is very special. For 70 years she has looked forward to telling her story. For her it will be a wish fulfilled. ”
The public memorial service on September 25 around the church on the Schependomlaan and starts at 16.15. You can park at Sportfondsenbad West. The day ends with a Spitfire coming over.
Full program: http://www.litho320.veteranen.nl.