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1943-10-25 The loss of Mitchell FR166 NO-R (Bank)

Crash site: Center Channel between Brest, F, and Plymouth, GB

Crash cause: aircraft damaged by a direct Flak hit over target

Name

1. Bank, Cornelis Jacobus

C.J. Bank in England. Source: Jack Didden

Rank

Res Sgt Vl, Sgt., Pilot

RAF VR 21069

Decorations

None known

Born

28/8/1918

Place

Breda, NL

Squadron

RAF 320 (Dutch) Sqn Bomber Command

Ops/hr

20/81

Aircraft

Mitchell Mk. II Nr. FR166 NO-R

Base

RAF Lasham, Hampshire, GB

Mission

Raid on Lanvéoc-Poulmic airfield; take-off 12.36h; time over target 14.30h

Status

MIA, aircraft was emergency-landed at sea after Flak damage sustained over Lanvéoc-Poulmic airfield

age

25

Missing

25/10/1943

Place

Escorting fighters saw the aircraft go down at 49º40' N 04º30' W, Center Channel between Brest, F, and Plymouth, GB. On 14.47h a dinghy was seen at that location.

Sources: Mindef CAD Archief BDZ Inv. Nr. 101, with thanks to Claude Helias, and J.P.Kloos

Known to

OGS

yes

CWGC

no

Other crew

2. Sgt. J. van Dijken, Copilot/Obs - rescued, POW, camp unknown

3. Ac1 H.A. Kaufman, Wop/Ag - rescued, POW in Stalag Luft III Sagan

4. Cpl. C. Schot, Ag - rescued, POW in Stalag Luft I Barth-Vogelsang

Remarks

The three crew taken POW survived the War

Memorial

1. Memorial plate, Orry-la-Ville, Senlis, F

2. Memorial plate, former RAF Lasham, Hampshire, GB

3. Memorial plate, Dr. Mollercollege, Waalwijk, NL

4. Memorial stone, Begraafplaats, Waalwijk, NL, erected by the family (not yet checked)

GB arrival

In May 1940 he is stationed at the Elementaire Vliegschool, Vlissingen, training to become an aviator. He escapes with the Haamstede Group from Holland on 16/5/1940, sailing to England on

31/5/1940 with Dutch vessel 'Batavier II' from Cherbourg, France. Detached KL to KM. Send from England to NEI 1/9/1940 for military flying training.

Data

Confusion

Geldhof (1): crashed near Brest

Geldhof (3): Buried Orry-la-Ville

OGS: died Brest

The aircraft was hit by Flak over target. Pilot Bank was seriously injured, even fatally, as would soon become evident. The starboard engine failed, and the port one started running poorly. The aircraft quickly lost altitude. Sgt. Bank managed to make a perfect emergency landing on the Channel. The four crew got out, only to find the dinghy unservicable. They had to make do with their life vests. The vests of Sgt. Bank and Cpl. Schot are damaged, Sgt. Van Dijken and Ac1 Kaufman struggled hard to keep their comrades afloat. After two hours a single person dinghy is found floating, and the body of Bank, who by now has passed away, is hoisted into it. Cpl. Schot develops a cramp, and starts to sink to the bottom. In the effort to save him, the dinghy flips over and the body of Sgt. Bank is lost to the deep. One hour later the three crew are rescued by a fishing vessel from France. They are delivered to the Germans. All three survive the War in POW camps.

Source: J. Didden & M. Swarts, 'Provinciestad in Oorlogstijd - Waalwijk en omgeving 1939-1945', Drunen, 1991. Jack Didden teaches geography onC.J. Bank's high school, the Dr. Mollercollege, Waalwijk, NL

Left to right: Cor Bank, Pieter Leentjes, Anton Clijnk, Marius Bolk Source: @St.M.Vl.P. 1939-50,JPK collection 5-7-22

A 320 Squadron Mitchell about to make an emergency landing at sea. This may be the NO-R but we are not sure. Source: @St.M.Vl.P. 1939-50,JPK collection 18-5-5

2. Crash area map

Map 43. Site of the emergency landing of Mitchell FR166 (Bank)


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