19 – Crashlocation Strijen-Sas September 16, 1944 (QR19 EN)

19 – Crashlocation Strijen-Sas (September 16, 1944)

Late in the evening at about 22.30 p.m. 14 Lancaster bombers of RAF No 90 Squadron take off from air base  Tuddenhem in England, heading for their target the bridge at Moerdijk in Holland. After a flight in darkness they arrive at just before 24.00 p.m. and bomb the bridge and its approaches.  The target is lit by flares dropped from planes accompanying the Lancasters. These were 24 Lancasters from No 115 Squadron and 10 Lancasters from No 75 Squadron.  During the circling around over the target Lancaster LM 169 of No 90 Squadron, piloted by F/O Paul W.Tooley, clashes with a Lancaster of  No 115 Squadron and both planes break up, the remainders falling to the ground.  Paul Tooley’s plane comes down in the Stoope polder, which was completely flooded at the time, near the village of Strijen-Sas. All 7 members of the crew are killed.  After the war Burgomaster Bolman tells an American officer that outside the village there must be another plane wreck from which the bodies were never recovered.  The officer with a number of men went to that wreck, recovered the bodies of another 7 men and transported the coffins to the cemetery “Essenhof” at Dordrecht.  Here the graves can be visited

(by ing Commander John Stuart Hocknell OBE RAF(Ret’d), Nephew of Flying Officer David Selwyn Thomas RAFVR, 23.09.2016)

Photos of the monument, church Strijen. In the museum in Strijen you can see pictures of Selwyn Thomas, along with the quotes about the courageous performance of the Lancaster crews.

Victim(s) at this location:

71 – Paul W. Tooley (click here)

72 – Roy Whittington

73 – H. Johnson

74 – James E. Brown

75 – David S. Thomas (click here)

76 – Eric J. Smalldon

77 – Leslie M. Gill

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