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1943-03-03 The loss of Ir. Adolf Meijer

Crash site: North Sea 20km W of Texel, NL

Crash cause: shot down by enemy nightfighter

Name

1. Meijer, Ir. Adolf Philip

Dutch RAF aviator datasheet


Ir A.Ph. Meijer Source: Hans Meijer

Rank

2Lt Vl, P/O., passenger

RAF VR 126127

Decorations

Kruis van Verdienste

Born

11/11/1906

Place

Watergraafsmeer, NL

Squadron

RAF 15 Sqn Bomber Command

Ops/hr

5/?

Aircraft

Stirling Mk. I Nr. EF333 LS-X

Base

RAF Bourn, Cambridgeshire, GB

Mission

Raid on Hamburg-Altona railway station. In fact Hamburg-Wedel was hit.

Status

MIA, shot down by enemy nightfighter

age

36

Missing

3/3/1943

Place

PLQ 4476.03, North Sea 20 km W of Texel, NL

Known to

OGS

yes

CWGC

yes

Other crew

2. F/O. William Ian Moffat, Pilot, RAF VR 117429, age 21 - MIA

3. F/O. Ronald William Turner, Ab, RAF VR 120671, age 20 - MIA

4. Sgt. Thomas James Canveney, Ag, RAF VR 1130074,

age 20 - MIA

5. Sgt. Percy John Elton, Fe, RAF VR 961061, age 21 - MIA

6. Sgt. James McGrane, Wop/Ag, RAF VR 1021081, age 22 - MIA

7. Sgt. Harold Sherrat, Ag, RAF VR 1454837, age 19 - MIA

8. F/Sgt. Orison Edwin Amos, Nav, RNZAF 411717, age 30 - MIA

Memorial

Soesterberg

yes

Memorial

Other

yes

1. Runnymede, panel 132

Runnymede 050618 Meijer

2. Vijfluik Loenen, Gelderland, NL

Vijfluik Meijer APh

GB arrival

Engelandvaarder via France, Lisbon, Gibraltar. Held in a French jail for several weeks. Departed last week of August 1941; arrived London in the late spring of 1942

Remarks

Graduated from Delft University. Served as Technical Officer in No. 3 Group. Flew on several combat missions to study fuel consumption.

Take-off at 18:12h. Shot down 22.31h by Obltn. Rudolf Sigmund of 10./NJG1. All other crew not Dutch.

Data confusion

OGS: date of death 4/3/1943

Hans Meijer about his uncle:

A graduate of Delft Technical University in the Netherlands, Adolf Meijer had joined KLM Royal Dutch Airlines in 1934 as assistant-head of its Engines Department. These were the early days of air travel and he was closely involved in a number of pioneering ventures to open up new air routes.

By the time war came to Holland in May 1940, Adolf Meijer was an internationally acknowledged authority on the fuel consumption of aero-engines.

The Swedish consulate in Toulouse, France, helped him to a fake Dutch (!) passport in the name of Ad Heernga, born 11-11-1906. Later he obtained another alias, Herman van der Does, born 11-11-1899, so as to make him older than 42, which was the end of the service duty period.

His Service Record tells us he was granted a commission “for the emergency” as A/PO on probation Technical Branch, RAFVR. with effect from 22/7/1942. On the same date he was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Dutch Army. After Officer School at Cosford., followed by No. 19 OTU, he attended No. 2 School of Technical Training. On 21/12/1942 he was posted to No. 3 Group at Waterbeach as a “3 Group Technical Officer”.

He had no flying qualifications but was a technical expert with great experience of aircraft engines and their fuel consumption. It is intriguing that the first issue of No. 3 Group Monthly Summary of Events after my uncle’s posting to Waterbeach devotes a whole paragraph to a discussion of engines and fuel economy of the Stirling III and the Stirling I. And, under the heading “Conversion Training”, it goes on to say: “With the greater flow of Stirlings now coming forward from the manufacturers, the two Conversion Units will be stretched to the limit to keep pace... Consequently it is essential that the maximum of useful training should be packed into every minute of flying. This applies especially to engine tests and night flying tests. Only by using these flying hours can we hope to meet our training commitments.” Adolf Meijer needed no prompting.

On 15th February he made his first operational flight to Cologne with the crew of F/O D.J. Hopson in Stirling III BF457 LS-B for Bertie. And again on 19th February, this time to Wilhelmshafen and with another crew and aircraft. The next day he wrote in a letter to my father: “Finally, the sad news that Bertie did not return last night. I was lucky because I would have gone out with the same plane and the same crew again. About 1 or 2 hours before take-off I was, however, transferred to another crew.”

He flew on further missions on 25th and 26th February and again on 1st March, to Berlin, enclosing a cutting from the Evening Standard to tell us where he had been. He had now flown five ops with different crews and three times he had been switched to a different aircraft at the last moment. And three times, the first plane did not come back…

But on 3rd March his luck ran out. He joined the crew of Stirling I EF333 LS-X for a mission to Hamburg. Having taken off from Bourn at 18.12 hrs. “X” was not heard from again and was lost without trace.

Front row L to R: P/O. R.W. Turner, 2nd Pilot, Bomb Aimer, P/O. W.I. Moffat, Pilot, Sgt. J. McGrane, Wop. 2nd row L to R: Sgt. P.J. Elton, Fe, Sgt. T.J. Caveney, Rear Gnr, Sgt(?) A.G. Cole, Nav, Sgt. H. Sherratt, Mid-upper Gnr. F/Sgt. O.E. Amos RNZAF, Nav, is not present in this picture. Source: brother of Harold Sherratt, via Hans Meijer


North Sea area where Ir. A. Meijer was lost. Picture taken from the beach near Fort Kijkduin, Den Helder. At the horizon to the right the isle of Texel. Den Helder 060615-8


Map 31. North Sea, area where Ir. Adolf Meijer was lost



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