In the night of 15 and 16 February, the German air-defence system proved fateful for the Lancaster as well. The bomber is brought down by the Messerschmidt and the English plane crashes into the IJsselmeer as it burns. Acting mayor Mol of Schellinkhout records this fatal crash as follows (see also www.geschiedenisschellinkhout.nl):
“On February 15, 1944 at 23:30, an aeroplane was shot down above the municipality of Schellinkhout. The plane crashed into the IJsselmeer as it burned (some 1000 metres off the coast). Three parachutes have been sighted. There has been no damage to property. No aircraft parts have been found. The German Kriegsmarine have searched the IJsselmeer for drowned bodies and wreckage. It is likely to have been a four-motor English aeroplane. Two Canadian members of the crew have been saved. Messages were delivered via telephone to:
- De Rijksinspectie Luchtbescherming Den Haag;
- Den Beauftragte des Reichskommissars für die Provinz NordHolland (Polizei-offizier) in Amsterdam. The Ortskommandant in Hoorn could not be reached via telephone.”
This website also notes the following: “The time of the crash is stated as 23:19 hrs. The crashed aeroplane is a Lancaster II type, belonging to the 115th Squadron. The serialnumbers are LL689 / T 3416. First Captain is F/Sgt. J.W. Ralph. According to the announcement of Piet Baas jr. the wreck of this aeroplane has been salvaged by the authorities in 1947.
(Note: the report notes two Canadians to have been in the aircraft. This is not right, only Flt/Sgt Tomlin possessed the Canadian Nationality. The other crew members were British Nationals.)