This is my translation of an article in a Dutch newspaper, also with the link to the original article that has a photograph of the day after the crash.
We still do what we can to show our gratitude.
MEMORIAL FOR BRITISH BOMBER WHICH CRASHED IN 1943 IN ROTTERDAM (CROOSWIJK AREA)
A British plane was shot down 75 years a go above Rotterdam-Crooswijk. It's still a wonder that the Short Stirling didn't came down on houses.
by Frank van Dijl (NRC newspaper) May 12th, 2018.
Most Crooswijk inhabitants slept during the night from 12 on 13 May 1943, when a British bomber came down on their suburb. Most people should have had their windows closed, it was a cool night and the NaZi government had obliged a total darkness to make it difficult for Allied planes to recognise the city.
After 2 o'clock that night much noise from aeroplane engines and FLAK. Around 03.30 the noise of the Short Stirling EF 357, a British 4-engined bomber. The crew didn't know that they were chased for some time by a German nightfighter from Venlo airfield. Above the Kralingen lake the Messerschmitt from pilot Hans-Dieter Frank was able to open fire on the 22.000 kilo British bomber and to shot it down.
This Saturday, May 12th and 75 years later Lord Mayor Aboutaleb will inaugurate a memorial on the 3-cornered place alongside the New Crooswijk road where the Stirling crashed that night. There will also be a book presented about the last flight of EF 357 and a special exhibition on this subject will be opened a day later.
MOST DANGEROUS ROUTE
The British, who returned fom a mission on Duisburg (Germany) had lost their formation. Pilot Eric Bass flew back over Rotterdam, the shortest way home, but because of the very much FLAK also the most dangerous.
The left wing of the Stirling was hit and the plane started to dive. Above the "Exercitieveld", a place full of debris from the bombing of Rotterdam in May 1940, 2 crewmembers fell out of the plane. The EF 357 made a turn above the city, hit a chimney and then crashed with the other crewmembers still on board on a small square. The heat of the fire was so immense that paint on the houses around the square peeled off.
It was an absolute miracle that the plane didn't came down on houses, for that part of the city is densily populated. Historian and journalist Dik Vuik, one of the initiators of the memorial, doesn't think that the pilot was able to avoid the houses, for the plane must have been immedialtely out of control. "It spiralled a few times and that was it. It could also have fallen 100 meters earlier".
Together with pilot Eric Bass crewmembers Kenneth Roots, Ronald Kingham, John Newall, Ronald Evans, Francis Salter and Dennis Sachs died in the crash. Sachs had become 20 years old that night, the other crewmembers were a little bit older. Their names are on the plate on the memorial stone of black granite and indian aurora made by artist Peter Bruinstroop. Some members of the crewmembers families and a British military attaché will also be there when the monument is inaugurated.
"Why did this has to last 75 years" you might ask. A question of coincidence. Historian Dik Vuik just learned to know about the crash some 2 years ago, when there was a lecture at the cemetry where the crewmembers are buried. Then it took some time to find living eyewitnesses. And then it turned out that it was exactly 75 years ago and then things went on fast.
ARTICLE with photo:https://www.nrc.nl/nieuws/2018/05/12/ge ... e-a1602421