I was attempting to search for a photograph of dad’s plane… Stirling W.7471 MG-J when my searches turned up a website owned by Willem de Jong on the wartime history of the Friesland area of the Netherlands.
The ongoing search for the aircraft was temporarily abandoned when I arrived at this page and after scrolling down found reference to dad’s book, his plane and the fact that they were brought down not too far from Blije in the Leeuwarden area.
Interestingly there was also a photo of dad’s nemesis, Oblt. Ludwig Becker, along with other pilots operating in that area. (I reproduce it here showing Becker on the back row.)
Click on the photograph to go to the website
The young men here show the bravado of youth… just like many photos of RAF, RAAF and RCAF crews and squadron photos show of our own men of that time. It’s sad to think that just like many of our own photos of British and Allied servicemen… many didn’t survive the war! I think dad would have loved to have met up with Ludwig Becker after the war to talk with him about his experiences of flying with the Luftwaffe… but it was not to be.
The website author had used information from dad’s book along with some gleaned from other websites to give details of my dad and the rest of the crew on the night he was shot down…and he referenced the book and gave details of dad’s life after the war.
The whole website has been well researched and I’ll enjoy going through it. Willem de Jong’s research is comprehensive and thorough and most interesting so I’m pleased to be able to flag it up here.