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1945-02-14 The Loss of Henri de Bij Halifax MZ856

Crash site: Neuwirtshaus, Germany

Crash cause: unknown, enemy action presumed. 640 Squadron lost two Halifaxes during this mission: MZ856 and NP953.


1. Bij, Henri Marie de

H.M. de Bij Source: BRIOP Dürnbach 070325 Bij HM de


Res 2Lt Vl, P/O., Pilot

RAF VR 185127


None known




Zwolle, NL


RAF 640 Sqn Bomber Command




Halifax Mk. III Nr. MZ856 C8-S


RAF Leconfield, Yorkshire, GB


Take-off 17.04h. Attack on Chemnitz


KIA, cause unknown, enemy action presumed






Reported as near Neuwirtshaus, G


Dürnbach War Cemetery, Bad Tolz, G, collective grave 5/A/7-13, headstone 7

Known to





Other crew

2. Sgt. Sidney William Ede, Fe/Ag, RAF VR 1880840 - KIA

3. F/Sgt. Bob Longworth, Ba, RAF VR 1622238 - KIA

4. F/Sgt. Frederick Henry Riches, Nav, British, RAF VR 1460401,

Dürnbach 060120-De Bij crew 2b.jpg


Dürnbach War Cemetery is also the burial site of 3 other crews, of 103, 405 & 576 Squadrons, who all died this day.

The other crew, all non-Dutch, were all killed. De Bij served with J.P. Kloos in the Prinses Irene Brigade, prior to his enlistment in the RAF. Source: J.P. Kloos, 23/10/2004


None known

GB arrival

Interrogation report NA 2.09.06-4685. Came from India. Manager of Paper Co. v. Reckum, Bombay. Arrival in GB on 3/5/1941. Source: BRIOP



There are 11 places with the name Neuwirtshaus in Germany, none of these close to Chemnitz, later renamed Karl Marx Stad, close to the Czech border. Or close to the (current) place of burial. Author could not find out at which city with the name of Neuwirtshaus the aircraft crashed. Generally the Neuwirtshaus near Stuttgart is intended.

The collective grave is indicated by the CWGC as 5/A/7-10. We count headstones for the De Bij crew from 7 to 13.

Dürnbach War Cemetery, in the extreme South of Germany, final resting place of H.M. de Bij and his six man crew. H.M. de Bij is buried in the first grave from the left, his crew next to him. Dürnbach 060120 De Bij crew

2. Crash area map

Map 114. This Neuwirtshaus, Northwest of Stuttgart, is usually intended when the name is used It has not been confirmed that this is the crash area of Halifax C8-S.

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