The English Lancaster was hit by anti-aircraft fire 75 years ago and then chased by a German night fighter. While burning, the plane then drilled into the peat bog. The salvage of the bomber is necessary, because the terrain has to be cleaned. The aircraft is partly located in the old waste dump of Leeuwarden and this area is polluted.
The last flight of Lancaster R5682:
In the night of Friday 4 to Saturday 5 September 1942, 251 aircraft, including 17 Lancasters, took off from bases in South West England. Target of the Bomber Command were the Focke Wulf aircraft factories in the German city of Bremen. The Allies were not unscathed: during this operation twelve British bombers were lost. Lancaster R5682 – departure base was the English airport Syerston – was targeted by German anti-aircraft guns above the Frisian Wadden Islands. The Messerschmitt Bf 110, a German night fighter based in Leeuwarden, did it all over again.
Flames shot out of the British plane, and at 2.51 it crashed before it reached Germany and dropped its bomb load over Bremen. In the Alde Feanen (Oude Venen), between Warten and Eernewoude, south-east of Leeuwarden, the aircraft drilled into the swampy ground. It ended up partly in the garbage dump of the Frisian capital and partly in a narrow watercourse, the Neare Saiter (Nauwe Saiter). Three of the seven crew members were killed. The crew members are buried in Warten and Eernewoude and the third has never been found. There is therefore a chance that there are still human remains on the plane. The other four crew members were captured.
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