On the 3rd of september 1943, Lancaster EE132 crashed about 1.000 meters behind the Zwijnenburg farm. The aircraft, belonging to the RAAF 460th squadron, had departed from Binbrook and took part in a mission to Berlin.
Lancaster EE 132 took off from RAF Binbrook at 1940 hours on 3 September 1943 to attack Berlin. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take off and it did not return to base. Post war it was established that the aircraft crashed on 3 September and exploded on impact near the village of Benschop, which is approximately 50 kilometers south of Amsterdam.
The aircraft intended to enter the Dutch airspace near Egmond aan Zee, but due to the bad weather the aircraft entered the Dutch airspace near Scheveningen and was probably attacked by a Heinkel 219 from Hauptmann Hans-Dieter Frank(1./NJG1). EE132 crashed at 23.40 hours near Benschop (Benedeneind) behind the farm of
Five crew members lost their lives. Two survived.
Today there are only 17 surviving Lancaster bombers in the world, and only two of them are able to fly. In a rare honouring of the fallen crew, on May 4, 2011, a BBMF (Battle of Britain Memorial Flight) Lancaster made a fly-by over the farm.
The killed crew members are:
Robert McPhan, captain, 30 years old, Australia
Michael Simpson, navigator, 28 years old, England
John Spence, bomber, 31 years old, Australia
Robert Freeman, radio operator, 22 years old, England
Thomas McGulloch, flight engineer, Scotland
Two crew members, both of them gunners, managed to save themselves with a parachute and became POW’s:
Ian Hilton, Scotland,
Bert Stobart, Australia
Bert Stobart still lives in Melbourne and until this day contact he is in touch with the people of Lopik, who take great pride in the work they are doing for the families of lost airmen in their district.
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- Text: Bart Verhulst
- Photos: Dick de Bruijne (1), Arjan Vrieze (2, 3, 4)