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RAF aircraft's crash sites in Walloon Brabant:

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Last update: 25/06/23

Elegy to
the Heroes of Silence

* To the 550 Squadron *
* To the crew of JA721-BQ-H *
* To the monument erected in remembrance *
* Cemetery where rest the crew *

Crash site of Lancaster JA712-BQ-H

cest raf squadron
Unit: 550 Squadron North Killingholme
Aircraft: Lancaster
Code: JA712-BQ-H
Base: North Killingholme (Lincolnshire)
Mission: Bombing Rothe-Erde near Aachen
Crew officer: Purney
Incident: Shot down by German fighter

Location: Rebecq (Walloon Brabant)
Chemin du Stoquois, at the other side of river Senne, in meadows



Lancaster JA712-BQ-H took of from North Killingholme (Lincolnshire) on May 27th 1944, at night with several other aircraft of the 550 squadron to bombard the marshalling yards ROTHE-ERDE of AACHEN, east of the city.
The target has been touched, in spite of the light mist covering the railways, during this night, following the mission's reports.
The Lancaster JA 712-BQ-H was attacked by a German night fighter while it flew at the level of Tongeren. Pilot-Officer Purney tried to maintain the aircraft fying.
After few time, he had to resign to make the plane land quickly. Over the village of Rebecq, the bomb-aimer was able to jump with his parachute, but the rest of the crew had no time to escape from the burning aircraft.
Finaly, after having avoided the village, the aircraft fell in a meadow, at 800 m. of Rebecq. When plane crashed, it exploded and many parts scattered in the surroundings of the incident.
The turret of the mid-up-munner was expelled at 200 m and the gunner David Yardley landed in a tree, seriously wounded.
The five other airmen died in the crash.

Parts of aircraft which were retroceded to the 550 Squadron's museum crash

Few parts of the aircraft were taken by villagers. At left, a rudder-tail witch been used as cot to carry the wounded airman to the hospital; at right, few technical parts and several decorations of pendants cut in the Plexiglas of the wreck (These items were been returned to the 550 Squadron association and remain in the 550's museum


Receip of recovery of a fuel tank of the aircraft, signed by the Germans on July 2nd, five days after the crash.


Receip of recovery of the wreckage ot the Lancaster done on August 4th, two months after the crash. Tree bodies were yent bloqued in the cabin's wreck.

* Mémorial de Rebecq
* 550 squadron RAF North Killingholme association
* Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC)
* Aircrew Remembered
* Internationa Bomber Command center (IBBC)

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