I am investigating an air crash during World War Two.
On the night of the 22/23th April 1944 a Halifax KN-O (Serial no: LW633) from the Bomber Command no.425 Squadron RCAF crashed into the backyard of my Grandma’s house (in the town of St-Oedenrode in The Netherlands). The LW 633 was struck down by German fighters and flak during the Düsseldorf bombing. Unfortunately five members of the crew died in the crash.
Two members of the crew survived and managed to escape. During their escape they were captured in Antwerp:
– Warrant Officer – Joseph Emile Leon DAVIDSON (RCAF) – R161701 (J88391) – Captured 17th June 1944 Antwerp – PoW No. 256 (interned in Stalag Luft 7)
– Flying Officer – Joseph Yvan DESROSIERS – J26858 – (also spelled Desrosiers) – Captured 9th May 1944 in Antwerp – PoW no. 5380 (interned in Stalag Luft 3)
The two surviving crewmembers managed to make their way to Antwerp before being captured by German authorities. Davidson, captured in June, was sent to Stalag Luft 7 in Germany where he was held until the end of the war. Davidson returned to the UK on 26 May 1945 and there were no injuries recorded on his RCAF POW card. Desrosiers was captured in May and was sent to the Stalag Luft III. He too remained imprisoned in Germany until the end of the war. He returned to the UK safely on 13 May 1945, he did not report any injuries for his RCAF POW card.
The other members where killed in action:
The other members were killed:
– Warrant Offices (pilot) – J.P.G. Brisson (RCAF) – Personal ID: J/86180
– Sergeant – I.Welch (RCAF) – Personal ID: 2201513
– Flying Officer – E.C.E Fortin (RCAF)
– Sergeant – J.H.C. Legault – Personal ID: J/89453
– Sergeant – J.F.R Hurteau (RCAF) – Personal ID: R/194194
I really would like to receive some more information about this crash, but especially about the crew. Could anybody help me?
My grandma is still alive. I hope we can solve this story.
With best regards, from the Netherlands,
Comment from John
All I found was: “Royal Air Force Bomber Command Losses of the Second World War 1944” by W.R. Chorley….
Bombing Düsseldorf. Take off 2230 at Tholthorpe. Shot down through the dual efforts of flak and a night fighter and crashed at St Oudenrode. Those who perished were buried on April 26 at Eindhoven General Cemetery but since 1945 WO2 Brisson and fellow Canadian Sergeant Legault have been exhumed and taken totheir country’s war cemetery at Groesbeek.
“The Bomber Command War Diaries and Operational Reference Book 1939 to 1945” by Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt.
April 22-23, 1944 Düsseldorf 596 aircraft….323 Lancasters, 254 Halifaxes, 19 Mosquitoes of all groups except 5 Group. 29 aircraft… 16 Halifaxes and 13 Lancasters were lost, 4.9% of the force. 2150 tons of bombs were dropped in this old-style heavy attack on a German city which caused much destruction but also allowed the German night fighter force to penetrate the bomber stream. The attack fell mostly in the northern districts of Düsseldorf. Widespread damage was caused. Among the statistics in the local report are: 56 large industrial premises hit, of which seven were completely destroyed, more than 2000 houses destroyed or badly damaged. Casualties recorded by 2 PM on April 25th were 883 people killed, 593 injured and 403 still to be dug out of wrecked buildings ; at least three quarters of this last figure would have been dead.
Otherwise, I would simply google the name of the person perhaps with RCAF attached or the date. Good luck!!