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RAF aircraft's crash sites in Province of Limburg:
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Last update: 31/07/21

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Elegy to
the Heroes of Silence


* To the 50 Squadron *
* To the crew of L7301-ZN-D *
* To the monument erected in remembrance *
* Cemetery where rest the crew *

Crash site of Manchester L7301-ZN-D
31/05/1942

aircraft
cest raf squadron
Unit: 50 Squadron
Aircraft: Manchester
Code: L7301-ZN-D
Base: Skellingthorpe
Mission: Koln
Crew officer: F/O Leslie Thomas Manser
Incident: Hit by German Flak

Location: (Prov. Limburg)

crash

Facts

Takeoff at 23:01 hrs for participation in the first 1000 bomber raid with target Köln, Germany.
Damaged by Flak, the aircraft was limping home on one engine when it was shot up by the night fighter crew of Oberleutnant Barte & Unteroffizier Pieper of the 4./NJG 1, who were flying Bf 110 D-3 G9+FM from St Trond (Sint-Truiden) airfield.
The Wimpey was abandoned by six of the crew (unclear whether prior or after the night fighter attack), after which it crashed into a dyke. The testimonies of the five evaders were instrumental in the posthumous award of the Victoria Cross made to their skipper.
The citation in the London Gazette of 20th October, 1942 gives the following details.
Flying Officer Manser was captain and first pilot of an aircraft which took part in the mass raid on Cologne on the night of 30th May, 1942. Despite searchlights and intense and accurate anti-aircraft fire he held his course and bombed the target successfully from 7,000 feet. Thereafter, although he took evasive action, the aircraft was badly damaged, for a time one engine and part of one wing were on fire, and in spite of all the efforts of pilot and crew, the machine became difficult to handle and lost height. Though he could still have parachuted to safety with his crew, he refused to do so and insisted on piloting the aircraft towards its base as long as he could hold it steady, to give his crew a better chance of safety when they jumped. While the crew were descending to safety, they saw the aircraft, still carrying the gallant captain, plunge to earth and burst into flames. In pressing home his attack in the face of strong opposition, in striving against heavy odds to bring back his aircraft and crew, and finally, when in extreme peril, thinking only of the safety of his comrades, Flying Officer Manser displayed determination and valour of the highest order.

crash

Picture of the wreckage short time after crash

Sources:
Crash site Research
Aviation Safety
The International Bomber Command Centre (IBCC)
Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC)
Aircrew Remembered
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