* Ceremony of solemn tribute at Rebecq on May 18th, 2022 *
* 78th anniversary of the crash of Lancaster DV309 at Westerlo, on May 22nd, 2022 *

RAF aircraft's crash sites in Province of Oost-Vlanderen:

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Last update: 31/01/22

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Elegy to
the Heroes of Silence

* To the 514 Squadron *
* To the crew of LM180-JI-G *
* To the monument erected in remembrance *
* Cemetery where rest the crew *
* Cemetery where rest the crew *

Crash site of Lancaster LM180-JI-G

crest raf squadron
Unit: 541 Squadron
Aircraft: Lancaster
Code: LM180-JI-G
Base: Waterbeach
Mission: Russelheim
Crew officer: P/O Lawrie John
Incident: Shot down by German fighter

Location: (Prov. Oost Vlanderen)



The Lancaster took off from Waterbeach at 9:44 p.m.. On the flight home, he is attacked up to the Belgium-Luxembourg border by a JU88, Robert Chester-Master shot down. The RAF aircraft lost altitude, a fire broke out followed by engine trouble and the pilot, Fl / Sgt John Lawrie, a New Zealand of 21, understanding that he will fail to reach England, gave the order to evacuate.
John Lawrie remains in command to allow his crew to jump. The Fl / Sgt Thomas Young mechanic proposes to help him put on his parachute, but Lawrie refuses, fearing that if he let go for an instant the steering column, the device immediately plunge to the ground. It will perish in the crash of Lancaster and the Shoemaker Nestor van Heyden inhumera his body in his garden in Bavegem where the plane had crashed, preventing the Germans find out. The remains of John Lawrie were transferred after the war to Schoonselhof Cemetery in Antwerp. A plaque was placed at the entrance of the Church of Bavegem.
Besides Chester-Master, five other men manage to escape: the engineer Thomas Young , the bomber Martin Carter , the browser Fl / Sgt Dennis Reginald Orth, the radio operator Sgt Ellis George Durland and upper gunner F / S Lindsay Rutland Burford, RAAF. We could not verify if these three were actually helped by Comet or not.


The Crew (Picture: Aircreuw Remembered)

Comète Line
The International Bomber Command Centre (IBCC)
Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC)
Aircrew Remembered

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