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

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Elegy to
the Heroes of Silence


* To the 426 Squadron *
* To the crew of LW682-OW-M *
* To the monument erected in remembrance *
* Cemetery where rest the crew *

Crash site of Halifax LW682-OW-M
13/05/1944

aircraft
crest raf squadron
Unit: 426 Squadron
Aircraft: Halifax
Code: LW682-OW-M
Base: Linton on Ouse
Mission: Nurenberg
Crew officer:
Incident: Shot down by German fighter

Location: (Prov. Oost Vlanderen)

crash

Facts

On 12 May 44, No 426 Squadron was tasked with the bombing of the railyards at Louvain, Belgium as part of an 120 aircraft raid. Fourteen Thunderbird crews were on the battle order, and each aircraft carried nine 1000-pound bombs and four 500-pound bombs. At 2205 hours the detail began taking off on the four-and-a-quarter-hour mission; all were airborne in fourteen minutes. Eight of the crews are known to have attacked the target between 0028 and 0035 hours, 13 May 44.
Halifax LW682/OW “M”, with Sgt W.B. Bentz and crew never made it to the objective. A Luftwaffe night-fighter ace, Major Martin Drewes, in an Me 110, shot them down near the village of Geraardsbergen. The aircraft crashed into a bog near the River Dender, killing the entire crew. The German records state that the softness of the ground prevented the recovery unit from getting much from the wreck.
The navigator, F/O T.W. Taylor (Chisolm Mills, AB); the bomb aimer, F/O C.S. Phillips (Valparaiso, SK); the wireless operator, WO1 J.E. McIntyre (Biggar, SK); and the flight engineer, Sgt R. Ellerslie (Doncaster, Yorkshire), had each completed two missions. The mid-under gunner, F/S J.E.J.G. Arbour (Montreal, PQ) was on his first mission. The remains of these men were recovered and buried together in the Geraardsbergen (Grammont) Communal Cemetery, East Flanders, Belgium. The pilot, F/S W.B. Bentz (Penticton, BC), and the rear gunner, Sgt F. Roach (Leamington, ON), had each completed three operational sorties. The mid-upper gunner, Sgt J.W. Summerhayes (Brantford, ON), was credited with two operational sorties. The remains of these men stayed lost within their Halifax.
In July 48, the crew posthumously received the Belgian Croix de Guerre with Palm.

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Parts from the Halifax LW682 (Source: Air War Europe)

Sources:
426 Squadron
The International Bomber Command Centre (IBCC)
Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC)
Aircrew Remembered
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