Missing in action

On 11 January 1944 a B-24 bomber of the United States Army 8th Air Force 448th Bomb Group, stationed at RAF Seething in Norfolk, took off on a mission to bomb a German aircraft factory in Brunswick. The bomber was part of an attack group of 372 aircraft. The B-24 was attacked by a number of German Messerschmitt fighters, resulting in a mid-air explosion. Around 12.15 the aircraft crashed in the woods near Exloo and the American crew of ten was killed.

American visit in 2016

In 2016 David Everett from New York visited the site of the crash as his uncle had been one of the crew. In an interview with the local daily newspaper, Dagblad van het Noorden, he told of the fond memories his mother still had of her brother, Fred Brenner, who had been the navigator on board the aircraft. “She said he was a good, kind man” he remembered. Two weeks after the crash the American army sent a telegram which read: “Missing in action since 11th January”. It was not until two years later that the family received the news that Fred had died when the aircraft crashed.

Forest warden Meelker lays out a memorial

In 1946 – 1947 local forestry warden Meelker laid out a memorial to the ten crew at the site of the crash. The memorial consists of ten boulders, one for each of the dead crew members. Next to each boulder he planted a beech tree. Today the site is also marked by a larger boulder on which are inscribed the names of the ten crew – the ‘Monument to Allied Airmen.

Location:

52.886156, 6.847765

Sources:

https://dvhn.nl/drenthe/Amerikaan-bezoekt-rampplek-WO-II-in-Exloo-%E2%80%98Mijn-moeder-was-zijn-zusje.-Ze-bewonderde-hem%E2%80%99-21512642.html

http://www.slo-drenthe.nl/index.html

Tekst               Hans Meijering

Translation     Alun Harvey

Vorig artikelDe gids – Hoofdstuk 6
Volgend artikelMonument to children

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