On a journey of discovery to historical sites? Download the TracesOfWar app directly on Google Play or the Apple App Store.

Cycle Route Wings of Freedom: Crash Site Lancaster Mk II, NN744

On February 21st 1945 at 19.10 hrs. a fleet of 363 Lancasters and 11 Mosquitoes took off from Hemswell to bomb Duisburg. On the way home 7 planes were shot down, one of which was the NN44 taken down by a night-fighter plane that had dived under the Lancaster and from that position could successfully hit the plane with its guns.

The seven crew members all jumped out. The pilot was killed and buried in a grave in a field. The flight engineer got severely injured and died some months later.
They had hoped to be able to land on the other side of the river Meuse (liberated area by then). The German officer said he was tired of war and preferred to be with his wife in Potsdam.

The crash took place at the coordinates: 51.606489, 6.064602.

Pilot Thomas C.B. Smith (28) RAF KIA Jonkerbos War Cemetery
Flight engineer Leslie R. Willis (22) RAF WIA/KIA Steenwijkerwold Cemetery
Bombardier Arthur C.M. Bates (24) RAF POW
Navigator John C. Hartley (21) RAAF POW Stalag Luft VII Moosburg
Radio operator William F.E. Mole (21) RAF POW
Aerial gunner Ronald E. Price RAF POW
Aerial gunner John R. Downing RAF POW

In collaboration with the municipalities of Bergen, Gennep, Mook-Middelaar and Weeze, the initiative was created for cycling routes 'Wings of Freedom' along crash locations.
In the four municipalities, 28 crash sites have been definitively confirmed. Near each crash site is a memorial sign with information about the cause of the crash. Using the network of cycling nodes, there are four routes of approximately 30 - 40 km. deployed along these places.

Do you have more information about this location? Inform us!


Related books

Avro Aircraft since 1908
The Avro Lancaster, Manchester and Lincoln
Avro Lancaster - Handley Page Halifax - Short S.29 Stirling
Avro Lancaster 1945-1965