NutsStirling Pilott Nuts

A Crew lost to one of the German "Aces"

The Crew consisted of:

P/O James Lowrie -Pilot, aged 21 from Radford in Nottinghamshire. F/O Donald Harrison Lyne, Nav, aged 23 from Whitby in Cheshire. Sgt John Atkinson -Flt Eng, aged 28 from Foulridge in Lancashire. Sgt Ernest Claude Waite -Mid Upper gunner, aged 21 from Abersychan in Monmouthshire. Sgt Donald Charles Holmes Fudge -Wop/AG, aged 22 from Westbury-on-trym, Bristol. Sgt Ernest Graham Hird -Rear Gunner, aged 29 from Cheshunt in Hertfordshire. Sgt Alexander Coull -Bomb Aimer, aged 19 of Cowdenbeath in Fife.


This is their story........

OJ-O, from 149 Sqn. Stirling III BK 799, taken on-charge, 21st Apr '43. SOC 1st Jul.

The aircraft took off from Lakenheath at 23.51 on a raid to Krefeld, and was shot down by Oblt Ernst-Georg Drunkler of 12 /NJG 1 on the night of 22 June ‘43, timed at 02.39. This was his 3rd victory, and he went on to score 47 confirmed kills. Two of these were B17's in daylight. He was a holder of the Knights' Cross, and survived the war to die in 1970.

35 RAF Aircraft were brought down that night, and "Oboe" was downed near Makkum, in Holland. There are a total of 36 AirForce dead buried in the graveyard, there at Makkum. According to a local Historian, Wim. J Stienstra, the story was like this......

"Local people remember machine-gun fire that woke them up at about 2.30 am. When they looked outside they saw a small light that rapidly became larger; it was a burning aircraft.

Makkum is a small Port, and lies on the Ijsselmeer, the former Zuydersea. The aircraft crashed on the border (sic) between land and water a mile south of the town. The next morning local folk visited the crash site. The bodies of crew members who were still aboard the aircraft were recovered and buried in a collective grave. Sgts Hird and Waite were found away from the aircraft and were buried seperately. Later an escape hatch was found some 2 miles from the crash site.

The Germans salvaged most of the wreck, but it is possible that larger parts remain".

***

Since then, RNLAF-41 (37) recovery party recovered parts of this aircraft from the Ijsselmeer in April 1969. The crew are buried in Row M, Coll Grave 40-41 in Wonseradeel (Makkum) Protestant Churchyard.

As an aside, the same Historian mentions other 149 Sqdn aircraft, one which came down on 29th June 1942 and one (of which he has parts ) on the 5th May 1943. I have yet to identify these aircraft.

DrunklerDrunkler, the night fighter "Ace"

Dutch Crash Map Map of the crash site , with some other losses marked.

Sgt HirdErnie Hird, Air Gunner

Atkinson Sgt John Atkinson, Flt Engineer, joined the RAF on Sept 26th 1940.

 

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