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

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Last update: 25/06/23

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the Heroes of Silence

* To the 57 Squadron *
* To the crew of L9180-DX *
* To the monument erected in remembrance *
* Cemetery where rest the crew *

Crash site of Blenheim L9180-DX

crest raf squadron
Unit: 57 Squadron
Aircraft: Blenheim
Code: L9180-DX
Base: Poix
Mission: Reconnaissance
Crew officer: P/O Spencer W C
Incident: Crashed, no specify how

Location: (Prov. Oost Vlanderen)



Bristol Blenheim Mk.IV L9180 (DX-O), 57 Squadron, RAF: Written off (damaged beyond repair) when lost (failed to return) from combat operations on 14 May 1940. One of the three crew was killed, the other two survived and returned safely to their units. According to the official Air Ministry file on the incident (File AIR 81/340): "Blenheim L9180 crashed near Termonde [sic] Belgium, 14 May 1940. Aircraftman 2nd Class O R Beaumont, report of death. Sergeant R N Pike and Pilot Officer W G Spencer injured".
57 Squadron, which had already lost a Blenheim at Dendermonde on 10 May, would lose another machine in the same city barely four days later. The unit was stationed at Poix-de-Picardie at the time, and that morning, at 05:37 am, Blenheim L9180 took off from there for a reconnaissance mission above the Maas near Dinant.
During the sortie, the Blenheim was severely hit by machine gun fire from a Do 17. The pilot, Pilot Officer W.G.Spencer remained unharmed, but his observer, Sgt R. Pike was wounded while AC.2 Owen R. Beaumont (Wireless Op,/Air Gunner) was dead in the gun turret.
At 8.10 am Belgian soldiers saw the Blenheim IV L9180 land in the Dendermond area, along the Dendermonde-Baasrode road, Oost-Vlaanderen, 25 km ESE of Genk. The plane shaved a few more tree tops to come to a halt in a field behind the De Kinder farm in Wolvestraat in Sint-Gillis. Both survivors returned to their base. The killed gunner Owen Beaumont was buried the next day in "the big cemetery" of Dendermonde. After the war, his family placed a commemorative plaque on the grave: "Remembrance of our beloved and only son Owen Ralph Beaumont RAF, killed in action at Dendermonde on May 14, 18 years old. In our thoughts forever. Because of mum, dad and sister Beryl - Norwich, England". He rests somewhere in the middle of the Dendermond cemetery, among the citizens of the city.


The grave of Aircraftman Owen R. Beaumont, to the cemetery of Dendermonden (Picture: Hangar Flying)

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