Hans Ooms has emailed with some history of Flight PD221:

In 2005 it was 60 years ago the crash of Lancaster PD-221 BQ-R took place in Westerbeek. This aircraft and its crew took part in an operation to Bottrop Benzol Plant, on Saturday 3rd February 1945.

According to the documents of W/C Harris, the bombing took place between 1930-1945 hrs. Heading for home, this Lanc was intercepted and shot down by a nightfighter whose pilot I do not know. Three Bombers were claimed by Hauptmann Heinz Rökker that evening, but it’s not certain at all he was responsible for this one as well.

All crew was KIA and buried at the local graveyard in Westerbeek.

I researched this crash (and other RAF BC crashes in our municipality as well). I decided to set up a commemoration in 2005 for it was 60 yrs ago then. I sent you some photograph regarding the ceremonies. [See below, RP]
On 4 and 5 May (remembrance and liberation Day in Holland) we hosted the guests; as there were relatives of Sgt. J. Holding (navigator), W/O W.J. Howson (wireless operator) and F/Sgt. L.C. Taerum (reargunner).

Wingcommander J. Harris OBE DFC and his wife Bobbie participated as well as representatives of 550 Squadron Association. The Mayor of Saint Anthonis municipality and his wife were there as well.

Wreaths were laid at the monument, graves and main crash location.

He has written a book about RAF Bomber Command crashes in the municipality, available only in Dutch (if you would like a copy I can put you in contact) and also sent photographs of the events on 4th and 5th May 2005, some of which you can see below.

Relatives at the graves

Laying a wreath at the location of the crash

3 responses to “Westerbeek

  1. I was wondering if you could please put me in contact with Hans Ooms. I am seeking information on Sargent Edmund Walsh from 550 squadron killed on 15 Aug 1944 in Wansford Ai,field.

  2. You’ll find his email addr is already on the Information Requests page.

  3. Richard Dowson

    KIA 19450203
    Flight Sergeant Air Gunner William Henry Cook of 1037 Clifton Avenue, Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada was Killed in Action, 1945-02-03 (February 3, 1945) while serving with in the R.C.A.F. in R.A.F. Squadron 550. He was aboard Lancaster Bomber, Serial Number IPD221; Squadron Code BQ-R which left Killingholme air Station, south of Hull, England at 1631 hours (4:31 PM) for a raid on Bottrop, Germany near Essen Germany.

    Flight Sergeant W. H Cook was the first man of his Moose Jaw Air Cadet Squadron to be killed on active service.

    Shot down by a German night fighter while returning from the raid and crashed at Westerbeek, the Netherlands, south of Nijmegen. He was killed in the subsequent crash and is buried at Oploo, Netherlands (Westerbeek) Roman Catholic Cemetery – very close to the crash site.

    You will notice a photo of his aircraft in your collection.

    Also see:

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