Heroes of the Sky

Vickers Wellington Mk. III

In the evening of 12 March 1943 a Vickers Wellington Mk. III, number BK-348, took off at RAF Topcliffe Airport. Aboard the aircraft were pilot P/O Robert Caldwell, navigator Gordon Cory, observer William Topping, wireless operator Alfred Larson and gunner Leslie Parker. All of them hailed from Canada. Along with 23 Halifaxes and 87 Wellingtons they were to bomb industrial complexes in Essen. The plane would never reach its target, though. Photo: A Vickers Wellington Mk. III in full flight

Halifax DK142 ZL-C

In the middle of the night of 13-14 July 1943, the residents of Dreumel were suddenly woken up by the sound of a bomber that had crashed. It was clear to see how the plane had crashed: there was quite a deep trench of at least 800 metres in length. The plane had left an entire trail, as it were. Read the whole story in Dutch

Wellington AL-HE803

In the night of 25-26 July 1943 at 2:30 am, an English twin-engine Wellington bomber ran into difficulties on its way back from Essen. Because it was damaged it had to make an emergency landing near Asch, where four of the five crew members left the aircraft.

Short Stirling Mk. III BK 783

In the night of 23-24 May 1943, a Stirling bomber took to the skies with the city of Dortmund as its target. It was its first operational flight over enemy territory. Unfortunately it turned out to be its last flight as well, after it was hit by a Bf 110-G night fighter with pilot Heinz Strüning at the helm. Read the whole sotry in Dutch