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1944-05-18 The loss of Frans Brogtrop and Henk de Jager Hellcat JV182 Hellcat FN376

Crash site: Lough Foyle, Londonderry, N-Ire.

Crash cause: their aircraft collided during forming up; altitude about 300 meters.

Name

Brogtrop, Franciscus Cornelis Marie

F.C.M. Brogtrop. Source: H. Bánki-Brogtrop Mill Hill 050620 Brogtrop FCM

Rank

Sgt Vl Wnr ML-KNIL, Sgt., Pilot

Decorations

None known

Born

13/2/1919

Place

Breda, NL

Squadron

FAA 1847 Sqn

Ops/hr

Aircraft

Hellcat Mk. I Nr. JV182

Base

RAF Eglinton, Londonderry, N-Ire

Mission

Night formation flying training

Status

KIFA, collided with Hellcat FN376 (De Jager) during forming up, shortly after 22.00h

age

25

Killed

18/5/1944

Place

Lough Foyle, Londonderry, Ire, 2m N of base

Buried

Initially on 23/5/1944 at Creggan Church Cemetery, East of Eglinton, N-Ire. Reburied Nederlands ereveld Mill Hill, London, grave A/15/1

Known to

OGS

yes

CWGC

no

Remarks

Trained at JAAB, USA

GB arrival

Hanne Brogtrop: from NEI via RAAF in Australia to RNMFS in Jackson USA, May 42 to Jan 43. To GB after April 43.

Memorial

Mill Hill Memorial Table, London, GB



Name

Jager, Hendrik Christiaan de


H.C. de Jager Source: SLH Eglinton St Canice 0604 Jager HC de Photo by Marbeth Wilson

Rank

2Lt Vl ML, Pilot

Decorations

None known

Born

27/2/1918

Place

Tilburg, NL

Squadron

FAA 1847 Sqn

Ops/hr

Aircraft

Hellcat Mk. I Nr. FN376 'G'

Base

RAF Eglinton, Londonderry, Ire

Mission

Night formation flying training

Status

KIFA, collided with Hellcat JV182 (Brogtrop) during forming up, shortly after 22.00h

age

26

Killed

18/5/1944

Place

Lough Foyle, Londonderry, N-Ire, 2m N of base

Buried

Faughanvale St. Canice Churchyard, Eglinton, N-Ire, grave 16

Known to

OGS

yes

CWGC

no

Remarks

GB arrival

Came from ML-KNIL. Trained at JAAB, USA, and send to GB

Memorial

Mill Hill Memorial Table, London, GB

Brogtrop's daughter Hanne was born in 1940 in the Dutch East Indies; father and daughter never had a chance to meet. He travelled from NEI to the Royal Netherlands Military Flying School in Jackson, USA. After getting his pilot's licence he was send to England in February 1943 with the first group of 20 Dutch novice Naval fighter pilots. From 19/04/1943 to 16/08/1943 he was posted to No. 38 AFU. On 01/02/1944 he could be transferred to an operational Squadron, No. 1847 on RNAS Eglinton.

Burial of F.C.M. Brogtrop at Creggan Church Cemetery, Ireland, 27/5/1944. Source: H. Bánki-Brogtrop


Brogtrop's grave on 22/11/1945 Source: H. Bánki-Brogtrop

Map 66. Creggan RC Church, Greysteel, Northern Ireland, initial burial site of Frans Brogtrop

Ernie Cromie, 21/3/2006:

'Brogtrop & de Jager tragedy - I'm afraid I have almost nothing to add to your knowledge of this incident, except to say that there is a reference

to it in the records of the Royal Air Force's Air Sea Rescue & Marine Craft Unit that was based at Culmore on Lough Foyle in WW2. The entry for 18th May 1944 reads "At 22.20 hours, a crash call was received. Two aircraft had collided and crashed in Lough Foyle, Proceeded with refueller and found wreckage. One body was recovered. The wreckage was in shallow water". The entry for the following day reads "Searched wreckage again for the body of the second pilot but without success".

The reference to "shallow water" would suggest that the site you have ringed on your map of Lough Foyle is possibly a reasonable approximation.

In the record book for one of the RAF's Maintenance Units based in Northern Ireland which specialised in recovering crashed or damaged aircraft there is a vague reference to two Hellcats being "salvaged by the Area Moorings Officer" during May 1944. It is possible but not certain this could be a reference to JV182 and FN376.'

It seems that the other body washed ashore later. Sgt. Brogtrop was buried in Creggan Roman Catholic Church Cemetery, whilst 2nd Lt De Jager was buried in Faughanvale St. Canice Presbytarian Churchyard, Eglinton. It is unknown why Sgt. Brogtrop was reburied in Mill Hill, London, whilst the body of 2nd Lt De Jager remained in Eglinton.

About spelling of place names in Ireland (Gresteel/Greysteel, Cregan/Creggan):

'Place-names throughout the island of Ireland can be very confusing. In a huge number of cases, they are Anglicised versions of the original Gaelic language and, not infrequently, scholars differ as to spelling, applicability and indeed the meanings of a lot of words in common use. It helps to appreciate that Ireland is not the homogeneous place that some politicians claim it is or ought to be.'

Source: Ernie Cromie, 5/6/2006

2. Crash site data


Map 67. Lough Foyle, 2 miles North of RAF Eglinton The location where F.C.M. Brogtrop and H.C. de Jager ditched after their Hellcats collided during forming up, 18/5/1944.



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