This Memorial was unveiled on 3 May 2019 for the 75-year commemoration of the Lancaster LM158 crash on 13 June 1944 at 1:30 am. This happened on the initiative of
Mr J.P.Veen from Eerbeek.
GELSENKIRCHEN - SOERENSE ZAND 13 JUNE 1944
On Monday evening, 12 June 1944, from 10 airports on the English East Coast between 22.15 and 23.35, 286 Lancaster MK.I and 17 Mosquito bombers take off.
The planes meet above the North Sea, after which they set course together in a closed formation to the Dutch coast, starting with the dangerous route to the target. The aim of this night is to bomb the Nordstern Synthetic Oil Refineries in Gelsenkirchen where synthetic gasoline is extracted from coal. The goal was just across the Dutch border at Venlo between the cities of Dortmund and Duisburg. It was a heavy bombing
A German industrial report states that all production in the refinery has been stopped and there is a loss of 1,000 tons of aircraft gas per day for several weeks. Moreover, there was the loss of other products.
The Royal Air Force also suffered major losses during this night. Seventeen Lancaster bombers were lost this night.
One of the 17 Lancasters who did not return to their home base was the LM158, which crashed on Tuesday night June 13, 1944 on the way back from Gelsenkirchen at 01.30 am in the vicinity of the Den Texweg - Soerense Zand intersection in Eerbeek.
The plane took off on Monday evening at 11.31 pm from the Tuddenham airbase in Suffolk.
So about two hours after the departure of the base in England, the plane was hit by enemy fire. According to a "shot down by ennemy fire" report.
(In 2017 it becomes clear that the LM158 was shot down by Oberleutnant Gerhard Friedrich, a German night pilot who did crashing a large number of aircraft.)
This aircraft belonged to the 90º Squadron Bomber Command and was delivered to the airbase by the Armstrong Whitworth Aircraft Factory on 10 June 1944 and was therefore crashed down after a flight time of only 3 hours (including the flight time from the factory).
A doctor came to the place of the accident, but could not do anything for the crew.
Of the seven crew members, six were killed, while one - Hoffos, Philip Clinton - was taken prisoner of war. The six crew members were buried on June 15 in the cemetery of Hall.
The six graves in Hall with flowers on May 4th.
was born on December 29, 1916 as son of Mary Mackie Allan-Wilkie and stepson of William Coleman in Toronto, Ontario Canada.
Function: Navigator with the rank of flying officer of the Royal Canadian Airforce. He was 27 years old on 13 June 1944. service number: J / 24713. He is buried in grave 133A at the Hall cemetery. It is commemorated on page 235 of the "Book of Remembrance". On the following pages the front of the book and page 235 with the name of Alexander Allan.
He was a student at "Western Technical School" in Toronto. In the school there is, among other things, a photo of Allan, with "in memory" for all students who served in World War II and who did not return.
Allan was born in Scotland and came to Canada when he was 5 years old.
In a newspaper article from June 1944 - with a photo of Allan - it says that the parents have been informed by German sources of the crash of the plane and that their son was buried in a small cemetery in Hall, Holland, but they hope for a mistake.
He had completed twelve operations in 1942/1943. But he escaped death twice, because in March 1943 he was forced to go down with his plane by ice on the wings and saved the occupants by landing in deep snow. And in April 1943, while crossing the Atlantic, the ship was torpedoed and sunk. He was one of the 16 survivors while 37 others lost their lives. In June 1944, after the 6 June invasion, his brother William was in France and served with the Royal Canadian Ordnance Corps. His brother Harry was still at home.
Cocker, Eric Royston
was born on November 4, 1908 in New Malden, Surrey, England as the son of James Mcleish Cocker (1855-1935) and Rosa Ellen Lawson (1884-1976). He got married in December 1935 to Millicent Helen Wallace (1914-1993) in Wandsworth, Surrey. He had three children, a daughter Marguerite (1936) and 2 sons Peter (1938) and Geoffrey (1942). He played rugby and cricket and participated in the National Sprint Championships (Amateur Atletics Associaton - AAA) 100 yards and 220 yards. The sons live in Australia.
Function: Rear gunner with the rank of sergeant of the Royal Airforce volunteer reserve. On June 13, 1944, he was 35 years old and the oldest crew member. service number 1880173. buried in grave 133 at the cemetery.
Elliott, Albert Clarck
was born on October 16, 1914 in Pickering, Ontario, Canada to Elsie Maria Clark (1886-1978) and George Elliott (1867-1944). He had two sisters and attended the Pickering Continuation School. His hobbies are fishing and hunting.
Function: Pilot with the rank of flying officer of the Royal Canadian Airforce. It is commemorated on page 299 of the "Book of Remembrance". There is also a memorial stone in the Saint George’s Anglican Church in Pickering.
On June 13, 1944, he was 29 years old. service number J / 24955. buried in grave 152 in the Hall cemetery.
Hoffos, Philip Clinton
was born on March 26, 1914 in Saskatchewan, Canada as son of Otto Hoffos (1879-1956) and Anna Sivertson (1886-1988).
Function: Air bomber with the rank of flying officer of the Royal Canadian Air Force. Service number J / 24647. At the age of 30, he is the only one of the crew to survive the crash. He was possibly in the nose dome and the fire did not reach him.
According to inhabitants Busser and Postma from Hall / Laag Soeren the following:
The seventh man knocked on the door of a Huiskes family, who did not understand him and went with him to a houseboat in the Apeldoorn-Dierens canal, not knowing that the residents were wrong. These people also reported him to the Germans at the Badhuis in Laag Soeren, which was then a convalescent home for wounded Eastern front soldiers. Postma has seen for himself that he was taken away the next day and did not think he was badly injured.
Hoffos ended up as a prisoner of war in Stalag Luft III (near the city of Sagan in Poland, 160 kilometers south east of Berlin), with the POW - Prisoner Of War - number 6282. This was an officer camp for aircraft crews and was in use by 21 March 1942 to January 27, 1945. The camp eventually grew to 60 hectares and accommodated 10,000 prisoners. Luft III was the best organized of all POW camps in Germany and many sports could be practiced, such as athletics, volleyball, basketball.
There was also a large library with educational facilities. They could even study there, while the exams were conducted by the Red Cross and conducted by academics, such as the headmaster of "Kings College", who was also a prisoner of war in Luft III.
But on January 27, 1945, when the Soviet troops were approaching only 20 kilometers, the remaining prisoners of war marched out of the camp for destination Spremberg (south of Berlin) just before midnight at low temperatures and 15 centimeters of snow. After various camps, the prisoners were taken by the U.S. on April 29. 14th. Amored Division freed and Hoffos ended his detention.
On 7 August 1945 he married Sylvia Thierman (29 May 1918) in Swift Current, Saskatchewan, Canada. He died on December 16, 1990 at the age of 76, while his wife died on July 16, 2001, aged 83 years.
In 1945 he visited the family of the crew member Cocker in England.
Kibble, Denzil Charles
was born in the 4th quarter of 1921 in Pontypridd, Glamorganshire, Wales. The mother's name is Jones.
Function: Flight engineer with the rank of sergeant of the Royal Air Force volunteer reserve: service number 1894490.
He is buried in grave 131A at the Hall cemetery.
He was 23 years old on 13 June 1944.
Willmott, David Millar
was born on July 12, 1923 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada as son of Annie Miller and Richard Willmott.
Function: Mid upper gunner with the rank of sergeant of the Royal Canadian Air Force. service number: R / 209089.
He was 20 years old on 13 June. buried in grave 152A in the Hall cemetery.
it is commemorated on page 479 of the "Book of Remembrance".
Below the photo of the complete crew, of which 4 are from Canada, 2 from England and 1 from Australia.
Information about a Lancaster:
This airplane has a length of 21 meters, wingspan of 31 meters and a height of 6 meters. The top speed is 450 km. per hour. The action radius 4300 km. On board are 8 x 7.7 mm browning machine guns in 3 gun turrets. Normal weight: 6,400 kg. The maximum weight, including bombs, is 10,000 kg. This type of aircraft has four Rolls-Royce engines. The first test flight was on January 9, 1941 and from 1942 there were 7,377 produced in various variants. 3,249 Lancasters were lost during the war.
The position of the crew in the aircraft is as follows:
Pilot: Sit in the cockpit on the left. There is no Co-Pilot
Flight engineer: Sit next to the pilot on a folding seat and is concerned with the operation and monitoring of all aircraft systems, necessary to diagnose and where possible correcting any errors that may occur.
Navigator: Sit at a table behind the pilot and flight engineer. An instrument panel shows the air speed, altitude and other information required for navigation.
Air bomber: Has a dual function and acts as a front shooter en route to cover the 180º sector for the aircraft. And when approaching the target, he comes into action as a bomber and drops the bombs.
Wireless operator: Maintains the radio connections with other devices in the formation and possibly to the home base.
Mid upper gunner: Sit in the upper turret in the unheated part of the trunk.
Rear gunner: This is the most important defensive position with the heaviest armament. He is in an unheated, isolated position and sees none of the other crew members until they return to the base, sometimes ten hours after departure.
The information displayed is a concise representation of a document about the LM158 by Joop Zengerink from 2015.
Supplementing the aerial photo with the location indication.
In May 2019 he visited the RAF Museum in London and took the following photographs of the Lancaster type that crashed in Eerbeek:
The realization and unveiling of this LM158 commemorative sign
Changes in the landscape and on the topographical maps 1930-2018
Related web documents from the archive of J.Zengerink:
RAF-90 ’Squadron Bomber Command:
Stories about 13 june 1944:
The 16 other Lancasters that crashed:
RAF-Bomber Command Memorial 2012:
Info about Gerhard Friedrich (NachtFlieger):
Version: November 12th 2019: F.Toevank (webmaster)