New Memorial for Crew of  ND357 - Lost on 14/1/44

Memorial erected by Dutch Aircraft Recovery Group

Seven 156 Squadron airmen who died when their bomber was shot down, have been honoured 63 years to the day they crashed on Dutch farmland. They  were aboard Lancaster ND357 from 156 Squadron which was attacked by a Luftwaffe fighter on January 14, 1944, during a raid on Germany.

Mr Korshuize from the Dutch Aircraft Recovery Group has discovered that the Lancaster was shot down, on its return leg, by a German night fighter piloted by Oberleutnant Dietrich Schmidt. It was the 12th plane Schmidt had downed. It crashed at 8.35pm local time on farmland near the village of Kolhorn, about 15 miles south of Den Helder.

ND357 was one of 38 Lancasters lost that night during (7.6 percent of the force) on a raid on the German city of Brunswick. A further two crashed on return to England.  The German running commentary was heard following the bomber force from a position only 40 miles from the English coast and many German fighters entered the bomber stream soon after the German frontier was crossed at Bremen. The German fighters scored steadily until the Dutch coast was crossed on the return flight. Eleven of the aircraft lost were Pathfinders. A total of 234 airmen were killed, 41 became prisoners of war, 1 evaded and 1 was injured.

This was one of the worst days of the war for 156 Squadron, with 5 aircraft lost of 20 despatched, 30 airmen killed and 5 becoming prisoners of war.

Other aircraft lost on this Mission:  LM344 - P/O Bagot,      JB483 - F/O Palmer,     JA975 - F/Lt Stannard,     JA698 - P/O Illingworth


The crew:

Pilot - Wing Commander Nelson Reuben MANSFIELD DFC MID  aged 31, originally from New Zealand;
Nav1 - Squadron Leader Edward Sudbury ALEXANDER DFC DFM aged 24, from Canada;
Wop - Flight Lieutenant Charles Roy SWINNEY DFC aged 26, from East Keswick, Yorkshire
F/E - Warrant Officer Charles Henry LAWRANCE DFM aged 30, from London;
Nav2 - Pilot Officer Bernard Aidan TROTT aged 29, from Sheffield
M/G - Flight Sergeant Victor Norman CAWDREY aged 20, from Hertfordshire;
R/G - Flying Officer George William PENROSE DFC aged 30, from Rhodesia.

The remains of the Lancaster have lain undisturbed for six decades but archaeologists with the Dutch Aircraft Recovery Group had looked into the possibility of recovering the wreckage to make way for a water pumping station. Recovering the wreckage was deemed too costly and so the development plans were altered and now a memorial has been placed at the site instead.

Measurements done by the salvage team of the Royal Netherlands Air Force showed that salvage was a difficult and costly operation and that there was no risk for the environment if the crash remained untouched.  So then the decision was made by the local authorities, and the land owner, to change plans and leave the bomber in the soil but to create a monument on the site to remember the seven crew members that were killed.

Aerial View of Crash Site


Unveiling of the Memorial



  Relatives of F/S Cawdrey