Friesland wartime history     by Willem de Jong            <   page 20   >

Willem's War-time photographs



Texel & Den Helder




Leeuwarden Airfield


Harlingen & Harderwijk

Occupied Harlingen

German Radar




St. Jacobparochie

Rottum Island







(1)  A Stirling bomber on the mud flats  (2)   Unknown ditched Wellington (3)  Dropped Allied fuel tank -(possibly Vlieland)






(1) Wreckage of unknown Wellington  (2) Unknown Wellington  (3) Wreckage of unknown Halifax.







12 December 1942 Mission to Rouen, France: First/Lt Paul F. Flickenger's B-17 (Flying Fortress) crew.  

A wheels-up landing was made in a hayfield near Melun, France (60 miles S.E. of Paris) with

ball turret guns pointing downward. Germans were able to transport the B-17 to the nearby Leeuwarden airfield in the Netherlands where repairs were made and serviced to flyable condition. The damaged Ball Turret was never replaced. It was painted with German Insignia and side code DL+XC with yellow paint on the undersurfaces.

It was carefully examined and tested at the Luftwaffe Test and Evaluation Center at Rechlin. Wulfe Hound was first flown by the Germans on 17 March 1943, followed by more testing and development of fighter tactics against B-17s. It was transferred to the Luftwaffe "Kampfgeschwader" KG200 Squadron at Rangesdforf, Germany on 11 September 1943. It then took part in training and highly secretive clandestine missions between May and June 1944.


Focke Wulf Fw-190 over the North Sea - Which unit?

Fw-190 crash-landing





Fw-200 Kondor sinking


 Believed to be crew of a VP boat




RAF Hudson "floating" in front of the Dutch coast..... this should be in 1942, near Noord-Holland ?



Photo of an RAF Mustang attack on a passing train, over Haskerdijken / Heerenveen (railway from Leeuwarden to Zwolle). Which unit or plane, and when?   

  see youtube film




Terschelling again: which "lookout" in his post (near Formerum village), before a (heavy) ack-ack MG ? 


Vlieland's lighthouse: the glassware/optic was hit in an RAF attack, when ? And who is this man ? (lighthouse keeper ?)




Wieringermeerpolder (Noord-Holland): this should be a German dummy airplane (wood etc.) on a dummy airfield. Who can tell us more?

Huijbergen, Netherlands, 28 October 1944



Dear Mr. De Jong, In connection with your question on page 20 of  the website: On the photo is pictured a man in front of a dummy airplane. This picture is taken on the farce-airfield Middenmeer. Next you find a scan from a page in the book ........?(no title given) of  Bas Blijdorp. As far as is known by me, this is an original photo in the collection of  the "Historisch Genootschap van de Wieringermeer" (= Historical Society of  the Wieringermeer) housed in the Brugstraat(Bridge Street) in Middenmeer village.  With kind regards  Mark Hakvoort.

And the text above the photo is saying (scanned page 224)

A dummy-aircraft, look-a-like of a Messerschmitt (fighter). Built by local carpenter Mr. Toon van Oeveren, who was nicknamed after that time "Anton Fokker". As in the real Antony Fokker Company, this was build in serial production. At least 8 of these dummies were in use on the decoy-base of  Middenmeer. Maybe he was also building samples for other dummy-fields. The original photo was taken by Mr. Henk v.d. Beek. Taking pictures was a tricky business in those days, because photographing military objects could bring you in front of the execution squad.


Middenmeer War-time Airfield

Middenmeer Airfield was a small military airfield just east of the town of Middenmeer and south-east of the city of Den Helder.

Before the invasion, the Netherlands Air Force deployed Fokker C.V and Fokker C.X aircraft from the airfield for bombing and reconnaissance missions against the German military. It is not to be confused with the current airfield, which lies a short distance away.

The dummy airfields were called Scheinflugplatz by the Germans and Middenmeer was designated SF 11.

The area today

 In war-time -   With thanks to Mark Hakvoort


German decoy-airfield Middenmeer, in Noord-Holland.

1.) Bunker (a distance from the field, on the other side of the road and near the
village): in which some switches and the main switch, to activate (or stop) the electric
motors of one of the dummy airplanes, and also to detonate small bombs / light explo-
sives, positioned on the field in cases and reed sheafs.

2.) Power -line / electric wire, from the bunker to the field, and to extra switches on the field.

3.) Case (small wooden) with extra switches. From this position the dummy
plane etc. could also be activated.

4.) Dummy runway, on which that plane was operating (rolling).

5.) Hangars (simple buildings I think) for the storage / parking of the dummies.

6.) Taxi- or rollway; the other decoy-planes, without E-motors, could be moved.

7.) Wooden bridge across the local canal “Westermiddenmeertocht”, to move the
dummies further.

8.) Cases (small wooden) in which sometimes light explosives/small bombs
were detonating, activated via that wire-system.

9.) Reed sheafs - same function as number 8.

10.) Petrol station (not a dummy I think).

11.) Trenches (for safety of personnel during their own detonations I think, and in case there
a real enemy attack).

12.) MG-position, in a sort of cellar (bunker).

13.) Stage (wood) with (spot)lights, to light-up the surface of the canal “Wester-
middenmeertocht”, so that it would look like a runway in the night.

14.) Static as well as moveable dummies: on parcel No. H2 – 3 samples, and on parcel
No. H3 – also 3 samples (6 in total, while there should be 8 ? see text near photo).

With many thanks to Mr. Douwe Oostra, author of the original Dutch writing, and to Mr. Mark Hakvoort, who sent a copy to us.


Centre view


Did these decoys work?

On the night of 23/24th August 1943 Halifax JD417 from 78 Squadron at RAF Breighton had to fly to map reference 52.45N, 04.53E. They bombed a lit up aerodrome at 22.40 hrs from 13,000 ft. According to the Bomber Command Night Raid Sheets it was thought that they had bombed the aerodrome of Bergen/Alkmaar. The bombs, however, came down on the dummy airfield of Middenmeer. A local report states that some damage was caused to farms and that several incendiaries did not ignite.

JD417 was later responsible for the shooting down of Ju.88C-6 Werknr 750478 R4+MP over Hanover on the night of 8th October 1943 with all it's crew.

After being retired from active service in 1944, the Halifax itself was lost when serving as a training aircraft with 1656 HCU. On the 3rd September 1944, Halifax JD417 took off from RAF Lindholme at 1130 hours, for a day navigation exercise. The aircraft, skippered by Australian Pilot Officer L.G Walker, entered cloud and crashed into high ground at approximately 1500 hours on Yr Eifl near Trevor on the north side of the Lleyn Peninsula, 12 miles south west of Caernarfon, North Wales. All six crew, five of whom were Australians,  were killed.     


More decoy aircraft




Personnel of the 4th Canadian Armoured Division examining a captured German dummy aircraft, Huijbergen, Netherlands, 28 October 1944.
























Wadden  (1944) - Beaufighter anti-shipping-strike





Terschelling: which Marine FLAK soldier ?   


Terschelling : which Dutch policeman ? 





The crash-landing of Flying Fortress B-17G. Serial 42-97083 'Flatbush Floogie' near Schillig  November 4th 1944 by Jim Varner






B-17G. Serial 42-97083. 'Flatbush Floogie' Lost 4 November 1944, on mission to Rostock.  

1st/Lt Thomas Gardner (Pilot), 2nd/Lt Carl West (Co/Pilot),   2nd/Lt  Jacob Brown (Navigator),  2nd/Lt Jack Bohman (Bombardier), T/Sgt Lee Varner (Engineer) (My dad, the guy with cowboy boots and his elbows covering his face)  T/Sgt Lucius Birbeck (Radio), Sgt Raymond Stewart (BT Gunner),  Sgt Henderson Head (LW Gunner),  Sgt Alex Shewchuck (RW Gunner),   and Sgt Raymond Cutchall (Tail Gunner). 









These 2 pictures have a long story and I want to share it with the world. That picture is of my dad's crew shot down 4-11-44 on Rostock mission. They set the plane down basically on a mud flat or beach. My dad is the guy near the back of the line, wearing cowboy boots and has his elbows up to cover the blood on his face. He was in the top turret when a second or third Flak shell exploded and blasted the left side of his face. He never saw out of his left eye after that. You can see a little blood on his forehead. My dad paid the German photographer $5.00 and a pack of smokes to mail a copy of those pictures to his mother to show he was OK. The guy did it. My grandmother knew my dad was alive before the government notified her he was MIA.   

Yes the entire crew lived. My Dad went to Stalag 17B and did the 250 kilometer forced march.   

Getting back to the pictures. 

Before my dad died he was quite active in the POW scene and went all over America for reunions. He had the pictures with him everywhere as well as his mission log showing he flew 56 missions. He was a member of the 452ng BG Club or brotherhood. 

After he died in 1992 we could no longer find those pictures. I have been thinking alot about my dad lately and a couple of weeks ago I started looking for what group he flew for and so on. So I just typed his name and POW on google and up pops Missing planes of the 452nd BG by Ed Hinrich and tells about my dads flight, mission, crew and crash. One of the paragraphs mention this Phil Irwin who claims to have a picture of the crew and plane. 

So I looked up Ed Hinrich and called him and ask him about this guy Phil Irwin and if he has any contact information on Phil. He tells me the street he lives on at Torquay, Shiphay, Devon UK.


I find this guy via a photo-posting site and ask them to please give him my email address so I can ask about the photos. He contacts me Monday and sends me the JPG images via email Tuesday and is sending me the originals next week. It turns out he collected plane crash photos of German plane crashes and has written a book about them. 

Anyway during one of his collecting trips to Germany he found my dad's photo in a Lot of original German government photos and buys the entire lot. It is unbelievable that 63 years later some guy in England gives me a photo of my dad and plane crew all the way from England and he does not want a dime. He is a great man. 

That's the story - they all lived. Most went to Stalag 17B and others Luft 4 (I think) or whatever the spelling. Plane went down just west of Schillig, Germany. I have been checking almost every photo collection on the web to find pictures of my dad or his planes and I have never seen any prisoner photos yet. This could be the only one left in the world.  Jim Varner






 7 Squadron's N3706 MG-S - 30 Jun 1942 - Mission: Bremen






Pilot Officer Richards and his crew from 7 Squadron were lost on a mission to Bremen on 30 June 1942. They took of from their base RAF Oakington at 23.50, in Stirling N3706 MG-S. The crew were  F/Sgt. M. G. Bailey (Pilot) - RCAF,  P/O B. A. C. Richards (Pilot),  Sgt. R. H. Kelly,  F/Sgt.  H. A. T. Watson - RNZAF,  Sgt.  A. J. Hamlyn W.Operator / Air Gunner, Sgt. S. A. Morison  W.Operator / Air Gunner, Sgt. L. J. Keatley, and Sgt. D. A. W. Peachey.

The Operational Records Book of 7 Squadron for this night says about the N3706: "Missing on Operations. Apparently ditched 50 miles off Cromer. Search by our aircraft on June 30 failed to find survivors. Although 7 squadron thought the plane ditched 50 miles off the English coast, the crew might have been the last bomber brought down by Lt Löwa of 11./NJG2, northwest of the island of Vlieland (another source states Borkum Island). 

A diary of one of his staffel members mentions that he and his wireless operator, Fw Möller, were missing this night and suspected a collision. The next day a tyre of a British bomber was found in close proximity of the tank of a Me110, the type of plane flown by Lt Löwa, again indicating a collision. Both Lt Löwa (21) and Fw Möller (24) were killed.

F/S Bailey, Sgt Keatley and Sgt Peachey survived and were taken prisoner. Sgt Hamlyn was first buried at Rottumeroog Island. After the war he was reburied at Oldebroek General Cemetery, The Netherlands. Sgt Morison is buried at Sage War Cemetery, Germany. Sgt Watson and Sgt Kelly are still missing and are commemorated at the Runnymede Memorial.

Pilot Officer Richards is buried in UithuizermeedenPilot Officer Brian Alfred Carter Richards was born in 1922 and was from Sittingbourne, Kent.


Do you recognise an event or person in any of Willem's photos?   We would be extremely grateful for any added information.


Willem's Introduction


Ameland in war-time


Texel  & Den Helder 


Friesland War-time Crashes


Ameland,166 & 75 Sqdn.




Friesland Cemeteries


Ameland Graves


Destroy the Scharnhorst!


Leeuwarden area




Destroy the Scharnhorst! 2


Wirdum Remembers


Terschelling 2


Destroy the Scharnhorst! 3




Sage War Cemetery


12 Squadron in World War 2


Schiermonnikoog  part 2


RAF Topcliffe & 424 Sqdn.


The Runnymede Memorial




Vlieland Cemetery


Vuren at war


Kallenkote Cemetery




Makkum Cemetery


Wartime Harlingen


Hampden AE 428


A fatal collision?


RCAF 428 Ghost Squadron


Willem's War-time photos


Hudsons & Venturas


Zwolle's ' De Groene ' group


Shipdham Airfield & 44th


Hudsons & Venturas 2


408 Squadron's Leipzig raid


68th Squadron's Casualties


101 Squadron


Friesland radar


Rottum Island


Lancasters DS776  & JA921


Bergen General Cemetery




back to 626 Squadron










UK :