you tube link to the news report
28/29 JUNE 1943
Shot down by Night Fighter Lt. Gunther Franz 5.NJG1. on the return from a bombing mission to Cologne at about 02.23 h.
The plane crashed close to Olen (Belgium) in the hamlet of “Gerheiden”
Local resident André Brankaerts (+) recalled: “We wore awakened by a tremendous noise.
We stormed out of the house and just saw an enormous plane going down, the left wing was on fire, all the trees were on fire from the fuel that run out of the wing”
Six of the crewmembers did not survive, namely
P/O J.P. Tay Pilot RAFVR
Sgt. A.C. Redshaw Bomb Aimer RAFVR
Sgt. A. Smith Flight Engineer RAF
Sgt. W.C. Butler Air Gunner RAFVR
W/O A.E. Vidal Air Gunner RCAF
P/O J.L.R. Houlston Wireless Op. RAF
Two crewmembers left the burning plane on time
P/O T.H. Popley Navigator RAFVR
Sgt. D.R.G. Eldridge 2nd Pilot RAFVR
Sgt. Eldridge was successful in his escape ,he fell in to the hands of the secret army. With the help of the “Comet Line” he made it back to England.
P/O Popley was captured by the Germans.
We have the full report of what happened that night above Olen, please contact me if you wont more information
Stopwatch,with the name “Houlston” engraved in it, 100% id
On August 8 2009 we put up a memorial for the crew (see “Monuments”)
Reburial,attended by two familymembers of W/O Vidal
Special thanks to Neil Smith an Peter Gulliver from 51 History team
Researchers :Chris Van Kerkchoven ,Peter Celis ,Cynrik De Decker ,Luc Cox, Wim Govaerts
Planehunters : Jan Jacobs(+), Thijs Hellings ,Kris Vanturnhout , Mark “Max” Verwimp
Eyewitness reports: Louis Baetens , Maria Van Houdt , André Brankaerts (+)
And my very special friend Boni Wouters (+)
For photo’s see this link