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Memorial Crashed Lancaster Bomber

This memorial commemorates the occupants of a shot down Lancaster Bomber.

It was hit by a German night fighter near Lemmer and caught fire. The pilot made a turn around Woudsend while on fire and tried to make an emergency landing in the polder near Waterlo (place between Balk and Woudsend). The Lancaster exploded just before the emergency landing. The rear end stood upright in the meadow. The tail turret is still in place, the barrels of the four brownings point straight back. When the people in the area came to see the parachute lines, half out of the dome, half in the grass. There was one of the pilots lying in the grass, clinging to the ropes of his parachute. after a doctor on his motorcycle examined him and pronounced him dead, they checked his papers, this was Flight Sergeant Edward Croal, a 27-year-old Australian. The Germans found a second dead person, who was identified as Sergeant Wilkinson, the observer. They are buried in the cemetery in Ypecolsga. After the war, Edward Croal's wife had the prayer from the Lord's Prayer: Thy Will be done carved on the tombstone.

Ypecolsga is located on the N928, the road between Balk and Woudsend. The monument is next to the same road at hectopal 5.3. The Germans did try to salvage the wreck, but were unsuccessful due to the soft ground.
When the road (now N 928) was built in 1951, a company that specializes in this type of work dug up the wreck and that find shows that the other five crew members were unable to save themselves. Because the remains of all five missing are found in the wreckage.
The pilot was still in place in the shattered cockpit. The watches stop at a quarter past nine, the fatal time. Nias, Callan, Powell, Dening and Stark are buried at the Jonkersbosch war cemetery in Nijmegen.

The memorial also commemorates a resident of Woudsend. Jacob Cornelis Nagelhout was killed on Sunday, April 15, 1945 at the Wellebrug in the road between Lemmer in the direction of Sneek. He was affiliated with a battle group. They succeeded in disarming a German spreng commando and captured three ammunition wagons. The Wellebrug (then rotatable) was turned off and a firefight ensued with about 30 German soldiers. In this battle, Jacob Cornelis Nagelhout was killed on his 28th birthday.

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  • Text: Thys Dijkstra
  • Photos: Bert Deelman (1, 2), Thys Dijkstra (3, 4)

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