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Crash of Short Stirling R9167, Call code OJ-N of 149 Squadron

Posted: Mon Aug 07, 2017 7:57 pm
by pietsnellen
Short Stirling R9167 (Call code OJ-N)
149 Squadron A.F.C. R.A.F.

Date: October 2nd 1942 at 21.34h
Place of crash: Bedelaarspad at Kronenberg (Municipality Sevenum, The Netherlands)
Aircraft: Short Stirling Mk1 R9167, Code OJ-N
Airfield UK: Lakenheath
Target: Krefeld
Cause of the crash: Shot down by Hauptmann Hans Dieter Frank, 1st Nachtjagdgeschwader Venlo ( 1/NJG1) flying a Messerschmidt Bf110

On October 2, 1942 a four-engine British bomber crashed on a plot of farmland owned by the Pijpers family along a road called Bedelaarspad to Kronenberg (municipality Sevenum) All seven crew members died in the crash. The bomber (Type Short Stirling Mk1) was on its way from Lakenheath (Suffolk England) to Krefeld in Germany when he was shot down by a German night fighter. Local residents rushed immediately after the crash to the wreck, and found the corpses of some crew members. Moments later it was discovered that one was still alive. He layed severely wounded in the field and pointed constantly to the ring on his left ring finger which was already swollen. One of the spectators managed to get the ring off of his finger. Soon afterwards the Germans appeared and they forced the people back. The unknown soldier died before he could be transported to hospital in Venlo. After the war the names of the crew members were found. The only one who was still alive after the crash of the Stirling proved to be sergeant E.L Moore (tail gunner). The ring was sent shortly after the liberation sent to his family. The crew was temporarily buried in Venlo but were all reburied in 1947 at 'Jonkerbos' in Nijmegen.


1 Squadron Leader Pilot: William Roy Greenslade, R.A.F. (DFC-AFC-MiD)
(Youngstown Alberta, Canada) Age 25.
Jonkerbos War Cemetery 20.D.3 Nijmegen – The Netherlands (Contact found with family)

2 Flight Sergeant Air Gunner: William Orange, R.A.F.
(Bedlington Morpeth-UK) Age 27.
Jonkerbos War Cemetery 20.D.8 Nijmegen – The Netherlands (Contact found with family)

3 Sergeant Flight Engineer: Marshal Kenneth Smith R.A.F.
(Cambridge-UK) Age 21.
Jonkerbos War Cemetery 20.D.6 Nijmegen – The Netherlands

4 Sergeant Wireless Op./Air Gunner: Frederick Leonard Hughes R.A.F.
(Shoreditch, London-UK) Age 21.
Jonkerbos War Cemetery 20.D.7 Nijmegen – The Netherlands

5 Sergeant Wireless Op./Air Gunner: Ernest Leslie Moore R.A.F.
(Leicester-UK) Age 20.
Jonkerbos War Cemetery 20.D.4 Nijmegen – The Netherlands (Contact found with family/friends)

6 Sergeant Air Gunner: Benjamin Frederick Goldsmith R.A.F.
(Prestwick Lancashire-UK) Age 22.
Jonkerbos War Cemetery 20.D.5 Nijmegen – The Netherlands

7 Flight Sergeant Air Observer Robert Francis McIntyre R.C.A.F.
(Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada) Age 25.
Jonkersbos War Cemetery 20.D.9 Nijmegen – The Netherlands

Now 75 years later on October 7th of this year a memorial will be unveiled on the spot of the crash to honour these brave men who lost their lives for our liberty.
Twelve Family members op squadron leader William Roy Greenslade, amongst them his youngest brother, two family members of William Orange and two good friends of Ernest Moore's parents will attend the unveiling.
The organising “Dorpsraad” (Village Council) of Kronenberg is expecting a great interest for the unveiling. It will be a ceremony attended by military attachees from Britain, Canada and The Netherlands. local authorities and eye whitnesses, There will National Hymnes being played, there will be a poppydropping and a fly by by two ancient aircrafts (missing man)
an honour guard by veterans and the children from Kronenberg Primary School.

We are still looking for families of the crew, photos of the crew and aircraft and stories about these brave men.
Please contact therefor Piet Snellen at

Re: Crash of Short Stirling R9167, Call code OJ-N of 149 Squadron

Posted: Mon Oct 23, 2017 4:22 pm
by pietsnellen
On October 7th the memorial was unveiled in Kronenberg -The Netherlands as a tribute to the crew of Short Stirling R9167 with code OJ-N, which crashed there on October 2nd 1942 after being shot down by a German nighthunter from 1 Nachtjagdgeschwader Venlo. Some 14 family members of the crew were at present at the unveiling. The ceremony was attended by some 500 to 600 residents of Kronenberg and surrounding communities. These British and Canadian heroes became our heroes too. We enclosed them in our hearts and will never forget them because they sacrificed their lives for our freedom. It was an emotional day for all of us and for everyone who attended the unveiling. The crew’s families became family of us.

About the memorial:
The 10-foot high cylinder has been made of corten steel and represents the shape of a a bomb on which the silhouette of the Short Stirling balances. When you go into the cylinder you look out over the spot where the Stirling crashed in 1942. Looking upwards in the cylinder you see the names of the crew members lasered in de body of the Stirling’s silhouette. Against the wall the sculptor made a rose of aluminum remains of the crashed airplane with petals falling down. These petals express the tears of the loss of so many young lives. The monument was designed by artist/art painter/sculptor Ruud van der Beele.

Re: Crash of Short Stirling R9167, Call code OJ-N of 149 Squadron

Posted: Tue Oct 24, 2017 8:20 am
by jamesinnewcastle

I'm always moved by the sight of memorials such as this. I often wonder if the crews would ever have imagined that people would remember them so affectionately and retell their individual stories.


Re: Crash of Short Stirling R9167, Call code OJ-N of 149 Squadron

Posted: Tue Oct 24, 2017 11:15 am
by pietsnellen
Thank you very much for your kind reply James. They gave their lives for our freedom !!

Re: Crash of Short Stirling R9167, Call code OJ-N of 149 Squadron

Posted: Sat Oct 28, 2017 10:56 am
by Bruno

Very impressive memorial.