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RAF aircraft's crash sites in Province of Hainaut:
Haulchin

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Elegy to
the Heroes of Silence


* To the 10 Squadron *
* To the crew of JD368-ZA-A *
* To the monument erected in remembrance *
* Cemetery where rest the crew *

Crash site of Halifax JD368-ZA-A
28/08/1943

aircraft
cest raf squadron
Unit: 10 Squadron
Aircraft: Halifax
Code: JD368-ZA-A
Base: Melbourne
Mission: Nurenberg
Crew officer: P/O LAURENCE F N
Incident: Shot down by German fighter

Location: (Prov. Hainaut)

crash

Facts

The Baker crew on board JD368/ZA-A, Halifax MkII, took off from RAF Melbourne, Yorkshire, at 2049Hrs along with 14 other 10 Squadron aircraft detailed to bomb Nuremberg. The primary targets were bombed by 12 of the 10 Squadron crews before they began their homeward journey back to England.While flying west along the Belgian/French border near Binche, Belgium, JD368 was attacked at about 0230hrs by a 2 engine, Messerschmitt BF110, piloted by Hptm. Fritz Sothe of 3/NJG4 night fighter wing.(Fritz Sothe; born 26Sep’14, was killed the night of 28/29Sep’44 when he was shot down over Lambrecht-Neustaat, Germany, by an RAF Mosquito. He was given credit for 18 victories) JD368 was badly damaged in the attack and was immediately set on fire. All four engines stopped, the control panel was completely out of action, the intercom was not working, and the plane began to descend into a steep, out of control dive. Except for rear-gunner George Warren, all other 7 members of the crew were able to successfully bale out of the burning Halifax and land safely on the ground in the area around Estinnes/Harmignies, Belgium.JD368 crashed and came to rest in a farmer’s field, 1KM southeast of the village of Haulchin/Estinnes, and 300 metres from the farmhouse of the Fouquet family. The fire from the burning Halifax lit up the night sky and the flames could be seen on the ground for miles, even after burning for 3 hours. Very shortly afterwards a German military party arrived and cordoned off the burning aircraft while other soldiers began to patrol the area looking for surviving JD368 crew members.
The next day a Luftwaffe recovery team arrived to inspect and search the remnants of the aircraft, then began preparations to salvage the wreckage of JD368. During their inspection the body of rear-gunner George Warren was found among the burned remains of the aircraft, recovered by the Germans, and buried with full military honours at the Gosselies Communal Cemetery near Charleroi, Belgium.
The Luftwaffe recovery team was at the crash site for several days, during which time they treated the family decently and the Fouquet family made the best of a bad situation. Their farmhouse was only 300 metres from the JD368 crash site and is where the recovery team soldiers slept in an outbuilding and their officer stayed in a room in the farmhouse. When the Germans finished their work, the Luftwaffe officer in charge of the recovery operation presented the Fouquet family (father, mother, 3 daughters, 1 son) with the burned remnants of George Warren’s parachute as « souvenirs of a brave comrade ».
The Fouquets eventually learned the name of the Canadian airman who had died so near to their home in 1943 and for almost 65 years were hopeful that one day they would meet the family of George Warren and present to them his parachute. In 2007, George’s nephew, Geoff Warren, travelled to Belgium from Canada, met the Fouquet family and repatriated the parachute. While there he attended memorial ceremonies organized by local officials, witnesses to the crash of JD368, together with many interested people from the surrounding towns and villages. The parachute remnants were returned to Canada and given to George’s last surviving sibling, his older sister Winifred (« Win »), who in January 2013 celebrated her 96th birthday.

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The wreckage of the Halifax JD368-ZA-A

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The House of the witnesses Fouquet

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M. & Mrs Fouquet

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The rest of the parachute of Fl/Sgt G. Warren

Sources:
Halifax JD671 website
The International Bomber Command Centre (IBCC)
Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC)
Aircrew Remembered
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