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Lancaster ED 357

It is the night of 11 to 12 June 1943. The Lancaster ED 357, which had already completed 37 sorties, departed from the British base Wickenby in the night. The aircraft belonged to the 12th Squadron of the RAF (Royal Air Force). Of all the planes that took off, 38 did not return. This was about 5%. The British and American planes were attacked by enemy German night fighters. So is this Lancaster bomber. The inner starboard engine caught fire. Fortunately, the fire was extinguished. Above Oldebroek, 10 kilometers from Dronten, pilot Thomson decided that he could not fly on 3 engines. While descending, the Lancaster was shot down by a German Messerschmitt BF110, one of the most important German aircraft, at around 2 am.

 

On board the Lancaster ED357 were 7 young crew members: the Australian pilot Daniel Thompson (26 years old), the British bombardier William Ward (20 years old), the British radio operator/airgunner Donald Campbell (21 years old), the British flight engineer John Osborne (20 years), British navigator Kenneth Bowes (23 years old). They died. Canadian rear gunner Wesley Albert Sparling and Canadian dorsal turret gunner Bill Pingle managed to parachute to safety. They each ended up on a parachute in the IJsselmeer and were picked up by a boat. They took this boat to Amsterdam and there they were handed over to the Germans. They were prisoners of war until the end of the war.


A street in Dronten-Zuid has been named after each crew member. In 1980, Bill Pingle, the only crew member still alive at the time, unveiled his 'own street sign' and the monument at the entrance to Lancaster Drive. 

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