Crash near Schijf (English version)

Schijf: June 17, 1944

At 10:54 p.m. on 16 June 1944, the Canadian bomber Halifax Mk III LW433 of the 434th “Bluenose” squadron takes off from Croft Airfield, England, 7.4 km south of Darlington, County Durham to bomb the heavily defended synthetic petrol factory Fischer Tropsch near Sterkrade/Holten (Essen). This bombardment with 321 bombers from, among others, the No. 6 Bomber Command of the RCAF aims to hit industrial targets in the German Ruhr area. Four Heinkels of the Nachtjagdgeschwader 1./NJG 1 from Venlo are patrolling above the south of the Netherlands. The Halifax LW433 of pilot P/O Fred Haldenby is intercepted and shot down by the German night fighter Uffz. Hugo Oppermann in his Heinkel HE 219. On 17 June 1944 at 00:53 the aircraft crashes on the Nederheide in Schijf.

Three of the seven crew members die in this crash, namely P/O Albert E.C. Boehmer (age 22, rear gunner), Sgt. Peter D.F. Ager (age 19, flight engineer) and P/O William A. Good (age 21, wireless operator). Three crew members namely P/O Fred J. Haldenby (age 20, pilot), Flt Sgt. Edward J. Downing (age 25, navigator) and Flt Sgt. John H. Dougherty (23 years old, bombardier) find a hiding place with the help of the resistance, but are arrested by the Germans after being betrayed in Antwerp. After the arrest, they are first transferred to Dulag Oberursel near Frankfurt for interrogation and then taken as prisoners of war to Stalag Luft VII in Bankau (now Bąków in Lower Silesia, Poland). Sgt. Tom Inverarity (20 years old, gunner) went into hiding after the crash and remained in West Brabant until the liberation.

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