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Dutch RAF/FAA Aviators Who Were Killed or Survived a Landing at Sea

In the period described, eleven Dutch RAF aircraft made emergency landings, most on the North Sea or the Channel. In all cases crewmembers were rescued, but one to two crew members were lost in three cases. The Dutch have done their bit of dinghying. In four cases the Germans got to the landing sites first, leading to captivity for the paddling aviators. Amongst these eleven aircraft, there is only one fighter, a Spitfire, that was in fact send on an ASR patrol. The others are three Hudsons and seven Mitchells. Aircraft are not designed to float, but it would seem that the bombers floated a bit better, meaning seconds longer, than the fighter aircraft, giving the crew that bit more time needed to deploy and board the dinghy.

The procedure of Air Sea Rescue was as follows. If the landing was observed from other aircraft, and if a good position fix was transmitted by radio to home, then a fighter patrol would be send out to guard the area, and to radio in a rescue floatplane, or a fast rescue launch. If no position was known, then a patrol, usually with one or two fighters, would be send out to search. These searches were quite often in vain, so a good fix on the ditching position was imperative to the crew's survival. Meantime, the Germans raced their rescue craft to the sites too. If an aircraft emergency-landed close to Europe's coast, then chances were that the enemy would get there first. Unlike some other aircrews that had to dinghy for days, all Dutch paddlers were rescued in hours after the sea landing. Two Dutch RAF paddlers gained a reputation by dinghying to safety twice: Off Vl 1kl G. van der Wolf and Sgt Telegr A.J. de Haan.

Off Vl 1kl G. van der Wolf

Sgt Telegr A.J. de Haan.

In all, 36 Dutch RAF airmen were rescued from the sea. Of these, nine were taken POW. All nine survived the War. Of the 27 others, five would die in combat later in the War.


Aircraft

1. Hudson Mk. III Nr. V9063 'Islawreker'

Ditched

30/8/1941

Place

North Sea near the Lista peninsula, Norway

Crew lost

1. Ltz 2kl K. Deen, Obs - MIA

2. Marinier 1kl H.J. Heeren, Ag - MIA

3. Seinersmaat E.H.Chateau, Wop - MIA

Crew Rescued

4. F/Lt. W. Bakker, Pilot - POW

5. Sgt. C.E. van Huijstee, Ag - POW

Squadron

RAF 320 (Dutch) Sqn Coastal Command

Base

RAF Leuchars, Fifeshire, GB

Mission

Attack on German shipping

Status

Aircraft shot down by enemy fighter

Remarks


Aircraft

2. Hudson Mk. III Nr. AM939 NO-E 'Cheribon'

Ditched

29/5/1942

Place

North Sea off Terschelling, NL

Crew lost

None

Crew Rescued

1. Off Vl 1kl H. Schaper MWO, DFC, Pilot – POW

2. Sgt Vl A.C. den Boer, Obs – POW

3. Sgt Telegr A.J.I. Lensing, Ag – POW

4. Matroos 2kl M. Loos, Ag - POW

Squadron

RAF 320 (Dutch) Sqn Coastal Command

Base

RAF Bircham Newton, Norfolk, GB

Mission

North Sea anti shipping patrol; take-off 23:00h

Status

Shot down by enemy Flak ship

Remarks

All crew were rescued by the Flak ship


Aircraft

3. Hudson Mk. I Nr. N7302 NO-Y

Ditched

26/10/1942

Place

Irish Sea off West Kirby

Crew lost

1. Korp Vltg Telegr R.J.van Woerkom, Wop - MIA

Crew Rescued

2. F/O. A.A.J. van Amsterdam, Nav

3. Ac1 A. Hamelink, Ag

4. F/O. N.J. van Lessen, Pilot

5. Off Vl 1kl G. van der Wolf

Squadron

RAF 320 (Dutch) Sqn Coastal Command

Base

RAF Bircham Newton, Norfolk, GB

Mission

Training

Status

Aircraft was emergency-landed at sea as a result of engine failure

Remarks

Survivors were rescued by coaster 'Conister' on 27/10/1942, 06:00h.


Aircraft

4. Spitfire Mk. Vb Nr. EP251 VL-R

Ditched

13/11/1942

Place

North Sea 30km Northwest of Bergen aan Zee, NL

Crew lost

None

Crew Rescued

P/O. C. Geesink, Pilot – POW in Stalag Luft III Sagan

Squadron

RAF 167 (Gold Coast) Squadron Fighter Command

Base

RAF Ludham, Norfolk, GB

Mission

North Sea ASR patrol Hoek van Holland to Texel, NL

Status

aircraft shot down by Lt. W. Tschira with Fw.190 from 5./JG1

Remarks

Rescued from the sea by the Germans


Aircraft

5. Mitchell Mk. II B-25C Nr. FR147 NO-C

Ditched

20/8/1943

Place

North Sea 150m West of Hoek van Holland, NL, 15:50h

Crew lost

None

Crew Rescued

1. P/O. H. Nienhuis, Pilot

2. P/O. J.P. Oele, Obs

3. Cpl. F.A.J. Prinzen, Wop

4. Cpl. D.H.J. Born, Ag

Squadron

RAF 320 (Dutch) Sqn Bomber Command

Base

RAF Attlebridge, Norfolk, GB. Aircraft took off from RAF Foulsham, Norfolk, GB, 14:20h

Mission

Ramrod to 'De Schelde' shipyards, Vlissingen, NL

Status

aircraft was emergency-landed at sea at 15:50h after Flak damage

Remarks

All crew were rescued by a SAR-Walrus floatplane at 18:20h


Aircraft

6. Mitchell Mk. II B-25C Nr. FR166 NO-R

Ditched

25/10/1943

Place

Escorting fighters saw the aircraft go down at 49º40' N 04º30' W, Center Channel between Brest, F, and Plymouth, GB.

Crew lost

1. Res Sgt Vl C.J. Bank, Pilot - MIA

Crew Rescued

2. Sgt. J. van Dijken, Copilot/Obs - POW, camp unknown

3. Ac1 H.A. Kaufman, Wop/Ag - POW in Stalag Luft III Sagan

4. Cpl. C. Schot, Ag - POW in Stalag Luft I Barth-Vogelsang

Squadron

RAF 320 (Dutch) Sqn Bomber Command

Base

RAF Lasham, Hampshire, GB

Mission

Raid on Lanvéoc-Poulmic airfield, Finistère, France; take-off 12.36h; time over target 14.30h

Status

aircraft was emergency-landed at sea after Flak damage sustained over Lanvéoc-Poulmic airfield

Remarks


Aircraft

7. Mitchell Mk. II B-25C Nr. FR177 NO-M

Ditched

18/3/1944

Place

Channel

Crew lost

None

Crew Rescued

1. Off Vl 2kl H.J. Voorspuij, Pilot

2. Sgt Wnr J. Vink, Nav

3. Korp Telegr K.F. van Nouhuys, Wop/Ag

4. Korp Schutter z/m M. Engelsma, Ag

Squadron

RAF 320 (Dutch) Sqn Bomber Command

Base

RAF Dunsfold, Surrey, GB

Mission

Construction works at Gorenflos, Somme, France (between Abbeville & Amiens)

Status

aircraft was emergency-landed at sea, position 50.21N/00.45E at 13:14h after Flak damage received over Abbeville, Somme, France

Remarks

All crew were rescued by a SAR-Walrus floatplane at 14:19h


Aircraft

8. Mitchell Mk. II Nr. B-25D FR180 NO-H

Ditched

18/3/1944

Place

Channel

Crew lost

None

Crew Rescued

1. Sgt Vl H.J. Ot, Pilot

2. Sgt Wnr W.F. Gans, Nav

3. Korp Telegr z/m I. Posthumus, Wop/Ag

4. Sgt Schutter J.J.C. Lub, Ag

Squadron

RAF 320 (Dutch) Sqn Bomber Command

Base

RAF Dunsfold, Surrey, GB

Mission

Construction works at Gorenflos, Somme, France (between Abbeville & Amiens)

Status

aircraft was emergency-landed at sea 3 miles West of Cayeux, at 13:10h, after Flak damage received 2m South of Abbeville, Somme, France, at 13:02h

Remarks

All crew were rescued by a Sea Otter floatplane at 15:15h. However, the aircraft failed to take off. The crew was transferred to a SAR launch at 19:30h. The crew was back in Dover, Kent, at 21:00h


Aircraft

9. Mitchell Mk. II Nr. B-25D FR184 NO-U

Ditched

4/5/1944

Place

Channel

Crew lost

None

Crew Rescued

1. Off Vl 2kl KMR G.O.J.A. Nuessink, Pilot

2. Off Zwnr 3kl MLD L.Th. Limbosch, Obs

3. Sgt Telegr A.J. de Haan, Wop/Ag

4. Sgt Schutter Ch. van Offeren, Ag

Squadron

RAF 320 (Dutch) Sqn Bomber Command

Base

RAF Dunsfold, Surrey, GB

Mission

Attack on Bois de Coquerelle (?), France

Status

aircraft was emergency-landed at sea at 11:24h, position 50.33N/00.58E, after Flak damage received South of Abbeville, Somme, France

Remarks

All crew were rescued by a SAR-Walrus floatplane, and delivered to the shore at Folkestone, Kent, GB


Aircraft

10. Mitchell Mk. II B-25D Nr. FR191 NO-A

Ditched

12/6/1944

Place

Channel

Crew lost

None

Crew Rescued

1. Off Vl 1kl G. van der Wolf, Pilot

2. Off Zwnr 3kl J.W. Arriens, Nav

3. Sgt Telegr T. van Dijk, Wop/Ag

4. Off Schutter 3kl A.J. de Haan, Wop/Ag

Squadron

RAF 320 (Dutch) Sqn Bomber Command

Base

RAF Dunsfold, Surrey, GB

Mission

Raid agaist Forêt de Grimbosq, Calvados, France

Status

aircraft was emergency-landed at sea at 21:02h after Flak damage received in the target area.

Remarks

All crew were rescued by destroyer HMS 'Blankney'

During this raid, Mitchell FR149 was shot down. The crew managed to leave the aircraft by parachute. Crew:

1. Res 1Lt Vl ML D. Brand, Pilot

2. Off Zwnr 3kl W.C. van Haeften, Nav

3. Sgt Telegr R.P.M. van der Heijden, Wop/Ag

4. Sgt Schutter C. Smit, Ag

All were taken POW


Aircraft

11. Mitchell Mk. II B-25C Nr. FR143 NO-S

Ditched

9/8/1944

Place

Channel

Crew lost

None

Crew Rescued

1. Off Vl 2kl L. van der Burg, Pilot

2. Off Zwnr 3kl G.A.G. Pieters, Nav

3. Sgt Telegr A.J. Wams, Wop/Ag

4. Sgt Schutter G. Hofman, Ag

Squadron

RAF 320 (Dutch) Sqn Bomber Command

Base

RAF Dunsfold, Surrey, GB

Mission

Raid against ammostorage in Forêt de Lyon, France

Status

aircraft was emergency-landed at sea at 11:44h after Flak damage received in the target area

Remarks

All crew were rescued by a SAR-Walrus floatplane.

Off Zwnr 3kl G.A.G. Pieters had shrapnell wounds in a foot. The foot had to be amputated in hospital.


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