Photospecial unveiling memorial Halifax W7930

On 22 June, 2013, Saturday afternoon, the unveiling of the memorial for the Handley Page Halifax W7930 YE-W took place in Renswoude. The four engined Halifax bomber was on its way to the Ruhrgebiet during the night of 22 to 23 June 1943 in order to participate in the air battle. The bomber was hit by anti-aircraft fire near Soesterberg. South west of Renswoude a fatal skirmish with a German night fighter followed. The aircraft crashed on top of the farm called “de Wetering” (which in English would be called a “Water-course”), which was completely destroyed. All seven aircrew lost their lives. The inhabitants of the farm, the family with the name of Vlastuin, got off with a fright.

Your reporter was present at the unveiling ceremony on behalf of STIWOT and made the following photospecial:

Before the start of the ceremony the memorial is still alone and all by itself. Inside the rebuilt farmhouse a small exhibition shows, amongst others, pieces of wreckage of the crashed Halifax.

Green smoke announces the arrival of a Merlin HC Mk3/3a helicopter of RAF-Benson. The Merlin is crewed by RAF 78 Squadron. The same squadron Halifax W7930 YE-W operated in.

The crewmembers of the Merlin helicopter after the landing together with a representative of the Royal Dutch Air Force.

The ceremony is opened by Ab Rebergen on behalf of the working group who organized the event. Thereafter alderman Didi Dorrestijn speeches on behalf of the municipality of Renswoude. Jan Stutvoet explained on behalf of the organizing working group about the establishment of the memorial. The final words were spoken by Dikkie van de Brandhof in her position of chairman of the Historical Society “Oud Renswoude”.

Following the musicians of “Ons Genoegen” the interested people went on their way to the location of the memorial. There was a large audience, a sign that the crash in Renswoude is still very much in the focus of interest.

The Merlin stands guard during the ceremony while Bert van Beek elucidates the story of the fatal flight of the Halifax.

The unveiling of the memorial by relatives of the deceased crewmembers and the sons of the present inhabitants of the farm, relatives of the Vlastuin family.

The submission of garlands by representatives of the Royal Air Force and of the Dutch Royal Air Force. Followed suit by the national hymns.

Wim van de Burgt receives a book from the relatives in appreciation of all research of the crash. The book was the property of the killed navigator James Ernest Woodward and will be submitted to the Historical Society “Oud Renswoude”. The relatives receive a frame from Wim van de Burgt with information about the crash and with pieces of wreckage of the Halifax.

Dick Lam performs his especially composed song about the Halifax.

After the ceremony has been ended, the youth of Renswoude races for the Merlin helicopter. The crew is amused by their interest and some youngsters are even allowed to take a seat in the cockpit.

And then it is time already to conclude. The Merlin takes off in order to return to the UK. One more time the heli flies around the barn on which Handley Page Halifax W7930 YE-W crashed seventy years ago.

Fl.sgt. E.A. Tipler
Sgt. L.D. Lingwood
Sgt. J.E. Woodward
Sgt. W.A. Anderson
Sgt. C.P. Johns
Sgt. T.H. Bell
Sgt. D.E. Tuddenham

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

Used source(s)

  • Bron: STIWOT
  • Published on: 22-06-2013 21:13:34