Taken on strenght: 419 Squadron 61 Base on March 16, 1944.
On the night of 12th/13th May 1944, Lancaster KB.713, took off to attack Louvain (Leuven), Belgium. Nothing further was heard from this aircraft and its failure to return to base is presumed to be due to enemy action. This aircraft was airborne at 2200 hrs and its estimated time of return is 0240 hrs. The names of the missing crew are as follows: J/24243 Pilot Officer B.F. Edwards, Captain. J/22573 Flight Officer R.R. Campbell, Navigator. R/178160 Flight Sergeant P. Dewar, Air Bomber. R/118580 Flight Sergeant R.S. Smith, Wireless Operator. 1590317 Sergeant Carruthers, Flight Engineer. J/30164 Pilot Officer J.A. Webber, Air Gunner. J/38163 Pilot Officer H.E. Oddan, Rear Air Gunner.
On the 28th February, 1946 a visit was made to Reninghe, Belgium and the following witnesses interrogated: Antoine Mahieu, Eric Vaneecke, Gaston Debeir, Georges Hoorelbeke.
All declared that a four engined bomber had crashed at Reninghe (Hameau de Knocke) on the night of 12/13 May, 1944 at 01.00 hrs. This aircraft was apparently coming from the direction of the coast and believed to have been shot down by coastal Anti Aircraft Batteries. On impact with the ground the bombs exploded and the aircraft was blown to pieces.
Unrecognisable unidentified human remains were buried by the villagers in three small coffins in grave nr. 16 British plot Reninghe Belgian Military Cemetery. It was marked with a brown wooden cross on which was painted a Union Jack and the following lettering almost illegible. "Unbekant Fliegers 13 Mai 1944" (Unknown Aircrew 13 May 1944).
Personal details have been collected from official Service Records and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website. Some of the additional information has been provided by War Diaries, Libera Me (G.E. Spittael), Polder Fighting (R.W. Catsburg), Veterans Affairs Canada, WW2 Talk, Aircrew Remembered and other sources. The commonwealth-adegem.com website is not responsible for incorrect information.
Everything has been collected and processed voluntarily by Michael van de Velde, Netherlands. Along the way I had great support from expert researchers and other volunteers. Thank you!