Friesland wartime history      by Willem de Jong        <   page 23   > 

Bergen     by Willem de Jong

Texel & Den Helder




Leeuwarden Airfield


Harlingen & Harderwijk

Occupied Harlingen

German Radar




St. Jacobparochie

Rottum Island

     Sink the Scharnhorst!
      12 Squadron Losses
      Runnymede Memorial 


Deanweb - the Forest of Dean Directory


 Willem's Visit To Bergen General Cemetery - November 2012






Bergen General Cemetery contains a war graves plot of 247 Commonwealth burials of the Second World War, 34 of them unidentified, and most of them airmen. Thirteen Polish airmen are also buried in the Commonwealth plot.

Bergen is on the coast 6 kilometres north-west of Alkmaar and 43 kilometres north-north-west of Amsterdam, lying 3 kilometres west of the main Alkmaar-Den Helder road.

The cemetery is on the north-eastern outskirts of Bergen, in the road known as Kerkedijk. The Commonwealth plots are in the south-eastern part of the cemetery








Willem signs the visitors book for both of us



















Lancaster R5755 from 207 Squadron



The Lancaster crew consisted of 25 year old Australian F/O Richard Gerald Rowlands (pilot), 20 year old RAAF Sgt John Campbell Luton (Wireless Operator), 23 year old Sgt Frederick Barnes (Bomb Aimer), P/O Adam Hastings  (Navigator), Sgt Cecil Pattison (Air Gunner), Sgt George Fleck (Flight Engineer), 31 year old Sgt John Atkinson (Air Gunner).

F/O Richard Rowlands is buried at Scharl and P/O Adam Byers Hastings at Lemmer. Sgt Cecil Pattison and Sgt George Fleck have no known graves and are commemorated at the Runnymede Memorial near Windsor.

On the 12th September 1942 the body of  Flying Officer Rowlands was washed ashore on a beach near Staveren in Holland and, shortly after, the body of his Aussie mate Sgt. Luton was also found. Both crew members were laid to rest in Scharl Cemetery on the 24th September.


*  *  * 


Avro Manchester L7426 OL-D from 83 Squadron


Avro Manchester L7426 OL-D of 83 Squadron took off from RAF Scampton at 22.50 on 8th Mar 1942 on a 1000 bomber raid to Essen. It was shot down on its return journey by a night fighter (Oblt. Ludwig Becker 6./NJG2) and crashed at 03:24am in the IJseelmeer 3 km east north east of Enkhuizen Holland. All the crew were killed.

Three bodies, those of the pilots and the tailgunner were washed ashore and are buried in Bergen General Cemetary.



The crew were  P/O Christopher Ronald Frost DFM, aged 25, of Beverley, Yorkshire. P/O Ian Frederick Livingstone, aged 25, of Stirling, Scotland, P/O William Arthur Harris, aged 24 RCAF of Toronto, Ontario, F/Sgt William Durham Biltcliffe, aged 22, of Honicknowle, Devon, Sgt Stanley Grunwell, aged 27, of Crossflats, Yorkshire, and Sgt Harold Reginald Ray.


Pilot Officer Frost's DFM had been gazetted on 11 Feb 1941, for his Service with 144 Squadron


Flying Officer (Pilot) Ian Frederick Livingstone was the son of Alexander and Kate Livingstone, Livilands Lane, Stirling. Vice-captain of Stirling High School FP Rugby Club, secretary of Ochil View Tennis Club and an assistant scoutmaster. Joined RAF 1940. His memorial - Stained glass window (St Andrew) in north aisle of Holy Trinity.



*  *  *


The loss of 427 Squadron's Halifax DK183


23 year old Sgt James Imms was the Flight Engineer on 427 Squadron's Halifax DK183 ZL-S. He was the son of John & Lily Imms of Altham, Lancashire and was the only Englishman in a crew of Canadians.

On June 13th 1943, nightfighter Major Rolf Leuchs from Fliegerhorst Leeuwarden shot down the Canadian 427 (Lion) Squadron Halifax from RAF Leeming in Yorkshire and it crashed at 02.13 hours near Den Hoorn on the Frisian island of Texel.

The captain of this aircraft was Canadian Pilot Officer Al M. Fellner.

The crew were - P/O A. Fellner, Sgt J. Imms, P/O G. Dalton, P/O W. Thurston, P/O B. Tedford, Sgt A. Dixon and P/O G. Huston

Soon after leaving RAF Leeming, the aircraft's inner starboard Roll Royce engine was already showing some problems. It was having difficulty delivering the necessary power for this heavily loaded aeroplane.

The crew discussed abandoning the mission and returning to base but just before making the decision the engine started functioning correctly and it was decided to carry on with the bombing of the target,  Bochum in the Ruhr in Germany.

They were quite a large distance over enemy territory when the inner starboard engine started causing problems again. It became so overheated that the pilot had to feather it. They were losing altitude and were forced to drop their bombs.

Their incendiaries were dropped on a town somewhere in Germany. In the distance they could see Bochum but it was hopeless trying to reach their objective anymore. Pilot Officer Al Fellner turned the aircraft to port to try to find a position at the point of the bomber stream which would probably be on its return journey by that time.

Due to the lack of one engine, the Halifax was difficult to control, they were losing altitude and there was limited visibility caused by smoke from the burning targets.

It was shortly after this that they were attacked.

‘The four engines got so hot during this mission,' related Gerald ‘Jerry’ Huston, the tail-gunner, 'they could be easily be seen. It was pure luck or extremely good shooting by the night-fighter pilot that he shot up the working outer starboard engine and the ailerons. The engine caught fire, I saw the fighter which I presume was an Me-109. When it looked as if he was coming in to finish us off, I fired at him, also accompanied by fire from the upper gunner. The fighter just disappeared.

We tried to extinguish the fire in the engine but it was no use. The ailerons were out of action causing the aircraft to go out of control, this made us go down in flames.'

George Dalton, the navigator, thought we were still above land.

"We spoke of leaving the aircraft. Before we made this decision, Ken Dixon must have panicked as he jumped out of the aircraft through the rear escape hatch. We never heard from him again" related Jerry Huston.






Soon the crew knew they were above the Dutch coast and they took their ditching positions. George Dalton, Bernard ‘Barry’ Tedford, the wireless-operator, Thurston, the bomb-aimer and James ‘Jim’ Imms, the flight engineer, took to their places on the floor behind the front bulk-head and prepared for the landing on water. Jerry Huston, found himself in a awkward position in the turret at the rear of the aircraft as the doors were jammed.

As the aircraft neared the area of Texel at 02.13 hours the crew saw some dark silhouettes which looked as if they were hills. They were in fact trees at the Capnie farm in the Prins Hendrikpolder.

The Halifax flew through the tree tops and crashed about 200 meters further in a wheat field. The aircraft was heavily damaged and the front and lower sections crushed killing the wireless operator 23 year old Barry Tedford. The 25 year old navigator George Dalton from Victoria B.C and flight engineer Jim Imms were badly wounded.







The cockpit separated from the main-frame and was thrown some 10 meters ahead of the wreckage, with pilot Al Fellner still behind the controls. It was a wonder he was still alive although he did sustain a deep cut in his right thigh.

At 300 meters above the ground, Jerry Huston succeeded in opening the jammed rear turret doors en managed to leave the turret as the aircraft hit the ground. He was knocked unconscious into the fuselage. When he regained his senses he noticed that the fuselage was partially filled with earth and on fire. His only chance to get out of the aircraft with his injured back, was to crawl to the rear escape hatch and let himself fall out of the aircraft. He yelled for help and his comrades Thurston and Jim Imms came to assist; he then fell unconscious again. When he regained his senses, his crew-mate George Dalton had passed away.

The aircraft crashed over a ditch marking the boundaries of the properties of Mr. W. Roeper and Mr. M.J. Kikkert near Den Hoorn.

The navigator; 25 year old Pilot Officer George Dalton from Vicoria, BC, and the wireless-operator, 23 year old Pilot Officer Bernard L. (Barry) Tedford from Sopertopn, Ontario, were buried at Den Burg on Texel island. 23 year old Sgt. James Imms, who later died of his injuries, was buried in Bergen.

The survivors, Pilot Officer Fellner, Pilot Officer Thurston and Pilot Officer Huston, were all made prisoners of war.



*  *  *



Hampden P1206 EA-Z of 49 Squadron from RAF Scampton

On the 8th of November 1941 five of 49 Squadron's aircraft were detailed for operations against Essen; three on bombing sorties and two for searchlight-suppression and intruder attacks. Bomber Command had dispatched a total of 54 aircraft on the bombing raid assisted by 8 Hampden intruders. Large fires were started in the target area but the cost was high with three Wellingtons, two Whitleys and one 49 Squadron Hampden reported missing.

Hampdens P1206 EA-Z and AD896 had taken off from RAF Scampton between 5.14 and 5.16pm to bomb and disable the searchlights at Bocholt. Hampden AD896 returned to base safely at 11.12pm.On the return journey it was intercepted over the Dutch coast by an ME110 piloted by Ofw Seigfried Ney of II/NJG 2. The burning aircraft was seen to circle before crashing, just after 9pm, into a field near the village of Berkhout, south west of Hoorn in Holland, where it burned for many hours. 

The bodies of the pilot, W/O Christopher Saunders DFM and the navigator Sgt. James D’Arcy were thrown clear and recovered by the Germans. They were buried in the cemetery at Bergen. The bodies of the two gunners could not be recovered and sank into the soft ground with the remains of their aircraft.






Sergeants Stanley Mullenger and John Kehoe lay with the aircraft until September 2007 when a Dutch salvage team, led by Capt. Paul Peterson of the RNAF, excavated the site and recovered human remains as well as substantial pieces of the Hampden.



Left to right W/O Christopher Arthur Saunders (28)  Sgt John Edward (Paddy) Kehoe (20) and Sgt Stanley Gordon Mullenger (21)



On May 7th 2008, a Commemorative Service for the crew was held in Petrus and Paulus Church, Bergen and during which the funeral service, with full Military Honours, for the two gunners was held. The single coffin, containing the mortal remains of the gunners and draped in the Union Flag, was borne by six SAC’s of the Queen’s Colour Squadron, 63 Squadron, RAF Regiment.

Sgts Mullinger and Kehoe were laid to rest behind their comrade’s graves and their headstones are now planted back to back with them. Thus, the mortal remains of the crew of Hampden P1206 are at last truly reunited.

The remains of P1206 were returned to RAF Scampton and are now displayed in the Station Museum.

Recovered from the crash-site in September 2007. Gun, ammunition and dinghy.










Oberfeldwebel Siegfried Ney the pilot of the Messerschmitt

On November 8, 1941 Ney flew with NCO Päutz from the Luftwaffe base at Leeuwarden. They were given patrol of a sector assigned the code name Hering. The radar sentinel at Medemblik made contact with and tracked Hampden P1206 and then guided the Messerschmitt to its target.

The German aircraft approached slowly from behind the Hampden and positioned itself in the vulnerable blind-spot below and fired a burst of gun-fire that found its target between the wings and into the fuselage. The bomber crew had no chance.

Siegfried Ney was to lose his own life in on his twelfth 'victory'.

On the night of 27/28 March 1942 at eight minutes after midnight he and his crewmate Josef Bühler intercepted a 408 Squadron Hampden on a mine-laying mission above the coast at St. Maartensbrug. The attack procedure followed was similar to that with the Hampden at Berkhout. This time there was a tremendous explosion. The Hampden was hit in the bomb bay with a full load of mines and plunged on fire into the North Sea. This time not only the Hampden had made ​​its last flight. The exploding debris from the bomber damaged and brought down the Messerschmitt and both crews were lost.

There were three 408 Squadron Hampdens lost with all there four-man crews on this mine-laying mission, L4140, AE219, and AT176. Two were claimed by Helmut Lent at 2210 and 2242.



Willem's Introduction


Ameland in war-time


Texel  & Den Helder 


Friesland War-time Crashes


Ameland,166 & 75 Squadron




Friesland Cemeteries


Ameland Graves


Destroy the Scharnhorst!


Leeuwarden area




Destroy the Scharnhorst!


Wirdum Remembers


Terschelling 2


Destroy the Scharnhorst!




Sage War Cemetery


12 Squadron


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 and Venturas


Zwolle's ' De Groene ' group


Shipdham & USAF 44th


Hudsons and 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