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RAF aircraft's crash sites in Province of Limburg:
Helchteren

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Last update: 31/07/21

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Elegy to
the Heroes of Silence


* To the 15 Squadron *
* To the crew of BF448-LS-T *
* To the monument erected in remembrance *
* Cemetery where rest the crew *

Crash site of Stirling BF448-LS-T
14/02/1943

aircraft
cest raf squadron
Unit: 15 Squadron
Aircraft: Stirling
Code: BF448-LS-T
Base: Bourn, Cambridgeshire
Mission: Koln
Crew officer: Sgt Gladwin Lewis Lee
Incident: Shot down by German fighter

Location: (Prov. Limburg)

crash

Facts

It was a clear frosty night with the moon shining on the top of the cloud cover. The silhouettes of the dark 'raiders' contrasted strongly with this. For the night fighter pilots it was a matter of seeing, not being seen. The Truien pilots realized that it would be their turn again tonight. On the way out of the bomber stream, the II.Gruppe deployed twenty night fighters to fight the bombers.
At around nine o'clock, the night fighters patrolled their designated radar sectors.
At around 9 pm the bomber stream crossed the Kammhuber line. The crew of Fw Fritz Schwellwat and his on-board marconist Uffz Willman at the same time raided sector HR 6A, and soon got 'Feindberührung'. Above them hung the dark shadow of 15 Squadron's Stirling 'LS-T' (BF448) flying over the cloud cover towards Cologne. A salvo from the nose of the Messerschmitt, and the giant bomber blazing to Earth. This was the eighth victory for Fritz Schwellwat. This machine also crashed into a field on Limburg soil, three kilometers northeast of Helchteren. The entire crew was killed there.
The eight airmen were to be buried in Brustem three days later. After the war they were transferred to Heverlee, where they rest in a common grave.

Sources:
Luchtvaarterfgoed.be
The International Bomber Command Centre (IBCC)
Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC)
Aircrew Remembered
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