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1943-10-24 The loss of Anton van Dam

Crash site: North Sea near Dunino, Fifeshire, GB

Crash cause: low flying, aircraft hit the water


Dam, Anton Gerhard van


2Lt, Telegr.


None known




Malang, Java, NEI


FAA 860 Squadron



Swordfish Mk. II Nr. LS398


RAF Dunino, Fifeshire, GB


Night flying training


MIA, aircraft hit the water during low flying






North Sea near Isle of May, Firth of Forth, Fifeshire, GB

Known to





Other crew

The pilot was rescued from the water



None known

GB arrival



OGS: missing in Irish Sea

Dunino Airfield

Remains of RAF Dunino include the derelict control tower. The site of the former airbase has been reclaimed by agriculture. Dunino Airfield 080205-6

2. Crash site data

Map 40. North Sea off Dunino, Fifeshire, GB, area where A.G. van Dam crashed on 24/10/1943.

Three other Dutchmen were killed in crashes in this area. W. Hijkoop and A.M. ten Herkel crashed West of Dunino; R.A.C. Heijne crashed in the Firth of Tay, West of Buddon Ness lighthouse.

Isle of May 080204-2

Isle of May, as seen from the church at St. Monans, south of Dunino. St. Monans 080204-4

22 October 2022

We received the following information via our Helpdesk:

From memoirs of Ktz. Cor Smits 860 Squadron Swordfish Pilot

Reference Anton Gerhard Van Dam

"The commander, Lieutenant Commander, Second Class Van der Toorren, flew and Sergeant Van Dam was our telegrapher-gunner. We had to locate a towed target on the radar and then bomb it. One moment I was still in the aircraft, the next I was in the water. Apparently, we had hit the waves, there was quite a big sea, and I was catapulted out. Soon I ran into Van Dam, unconscious or dead, I don't know. The pilot was nowhere to be seen at first. The Swordfish had dragged him down, but he managed to break free and eventually I heard him scream. Meanwhile, I tried to keep Van Dam above water, but every time I pushed him up, I went down myself. When I passed him on to Van der Toorren, he drifted off into the night and we never saw him again. Fortunately, a flashlight I had with me turned out to work and with it we finally caught the attention of a British destroyer, one of those ex-American four-pipe ships from the First World War. He picked us up."

(Courtesy Raymond Hartman Kok. His website is

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