Type: Short Stirling
Part: 570 Squadron RAF
Crash date: 18th September 1944
Crash location: Lakemondsestraat, Opheusden
Commander: P/O C.W. Culling
This aircraft, number LK-121, took off from Harwell’s RAF airport on 18th September 1944. On board were a British-Canadian-Australian crew. P/O pilot Charles Culling, F/S bombardier Henry Browne, F/S gunner Edward Pope and sergeant flight engineer Vincent Williams from the RAF, P/O navigator John Baker and corporal John Coleman from the RCAF and P/O George Bell from the RAAF.
It was on its way to Arnhem with a Horse glider - with soldiers from the 6080 Light Warning Unit on board - on tow, when it was hit by German anti-aircraft fire near the port of Tiel. It burned and crashed in an orchard near Opheusden at around 14:30 hours, near the family Van Druten’s farm. Bystanders saw a crew member fall out of the aircraft just before the moment of impact. The orchard was instantly ablaze.
The crew was buried at the General Cemetery in Heteren.
You can find more details about this crash here.
A Stirling IV with a glider on tow takes to the air.
The wreckage of the Stirling was actually found some 20 years later.
The crash site of the Short Stirling Mk. IV, to the west of the Lakemondsestraat-Achterstraat corner. Coordinates: 5680-7360.
Memorial plaque for pilot Culling and his crew in the National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas, Staffordshire.