Crash of a Lancaster-bomber in a swamp called 'Het Papebos', Hamont (B) ...
German report 10.03.43
"... German report mentioned that to salvage the wreck would be technically impossible. ..."
Commemoration Scroll in honour of Sgt Stanley BEADON
A special part of the Lancaster
The Germans removed a part of the wreckage of this Lancaster. They took that part to the officers mess of the German nightfighter airfield near my (Dutch) hometown Venlo to use it as a war trophy. As you can see, they even painted the name of the German nightfighter pilot and the date on it. As further data to the identity of this plate was not available, we had already all data concerning the nightfighter activities from Venlo airfield. Thus we were able to find the history of the bomber where this plate was taken from.
Well, when the Germans had to give up Venlo airfield by the end of 1944, they partly destroyed the officers mess. After the war, the original users of the cloistery found several totally or partially destroyed German building on their compound and they decided to reconstruct the officers mess to make a laundry of it. By the end of 1988 they decided to demolish most of the old and no longer used German buildings. During that process a colleague air war researcher and I visited the site, when the demolishing company had their lunch break. In a dark corner of the almost demolished main wing, we found this piece of the Lancaster tail section and saved it for the third time (it did survive the crash, it did survive the retreat of the Germans and it narrowly survived the demolishing).
I keep this Lancaster part with the German text written on it as a very special memorial plate, which once was part of a mighty Lancaster and now is one of the very distinctive items commemorating the bravery and fates of the crew of your relatives.
Thanks to Mr Marcel Hogenhuis, Venlo - The Netherlands.