Type: Handley Page Mk. II       

Part: 408 Squadron RCAF

Crash date: 3rd April 1943 

Crash location: Tielsestraat, Opheusden

Commander: P/O E.A.  

Occupants: 7

 

​This aircraft, number JB866, took off from RAF airport Leeming on 3rd April 1943, in order to execute an attack on Essen together with 21 other Halifax bombers. On board were pilot P/O Ebenezer Sirett, sergeant Kenneth Brice, W/02 Maurice Church, P/O Grant Fletcher, F/O John McBride, sergeant Gilbert Boyer and Fl/Sgt Franklin Burke. All came from Canada, with the exception of Englishman Brice.

But the aircraft was shot down around 22:45 hours by a German night fighter, occupied by Hauptmann Hans-Dieter Frank from 2./NJG1 and it crashed whilst burning, and with enormous force, on the Tielsestraat in Opheusden. 

 

All occupants are buried at the War Cemetery in Uden.

60 years later a Ronson lighter with the initials E.A.S. was returned to Lloyd Sirett, Ebenezer’s brother. A report of this emotional event and more background information about this crash and the crew can be found here.

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Sergeant Kenneth Brice in the middle and P/O Ebenezer Sirett on the right. 

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A Canadian newspaper article which reported on the missing and suspected death of F/O John McBride.

The crash site at the Tielseweg in Opheusden. Coordinates: 5415-7320.

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Sergeant Ebenezer Sirettt

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Sergeant Ebenezer Sirett’s lighter with the initials E.A.S. The lighter was found at the crash site by a farmer and given back to his brother Lloyd Sirett 60 years later.