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1944-07-06 The Loss of Jan Bockma & Johan Walter

Crash site: IJsselmeer near Afsluitdijk, 5 km SW of Kornwerderzand, NL

Crash cause: shot down by enemy nightfighter

1. Delivering BBO agents

BBO was the Dutch section of Special Operations Executive (SOE) in London responsible for running Secret Agents in the Netherlands.

Res 2Lt Johannes Albertus Walter, BBO, afkomstig van de Koninklijke Marine, was telegrafist bij het 320e geweest. KIA in de nacht van 5 op 6/7/1944 met Hudson FK790 van RAF Tempsford, Bedfordshire. Neergeschoten door een nachtjager, terecht gekomen in het IJsselmeer, vlak langs de Afsluitdijk, halverwege Breezanddijk en Kornwerderzand. Allen aan boord kwamen om, vier Britse bemanningsleden, en vier Nederlandse BBO-agenten: Jan Bockma, Pieter Jacob Kwint, Pleun Verhoef en Johannes Walter. Zes lichamen spoelden aan, of werden door vissers in het IJsselmeer gevonden. Op 21 november 1945 werd een deel van het wrak geborgen, met daarin het lichaam van Pleun Verhoef. Het lichaam van de piloot, F/Lt. J.W. (Ian) Menzies DFC, en de overige resten van het toestel, werden in 1998 geborgen.

Walter werd geboren op 7/10/1922 in Djombang, Java, NOI. Hij kwam op 3 mei 1942 vanuit Indië in Engeland aan. Hij trouwde in Engeland; zijn vrouw Margareth was zwanger toen hij voor de fatale vlucht vertrok.

Sources: R.B. Body, 'Taking the Wings of the Morning', London, 2003, en E. de Roever, 'Zij sprongen bij maanlicht', Baarn, 1985, pag. 65

De OGS meldt 14/7/1944 als datum van overlijden. Dat was echter de datum waarop zijn lichaam door een visser werd ontdekt, en in Makkum aan wal werd gebracht. Een propellor van het toestel, met schade door een 20mm projektiel, is nu een monument geworden in Exmorra, Friesland. Het was de bedoeling om daar wapens en de geheim agenten te droppen.

The flight of Hudson FK780, aquarel by Dirk van Rijn. Source: Poster of the Kazemattenmuseum


Name

1. Bockma, Jan

J. Bockma Source: R.B. Body Loenen 060413 Bockma J

Rank

Res 2Lt Vl

Decorations

Kruis van Verdienste

Born

31/08/1921

Place

IJlst, Friesland, NL

Squadron

BBO, formerly 320 Sqn

Ops/hr

Aircraft

Hudson Mk. IIIa Nr. FK780 of RAF 161 Sqn

Base

RAF Tempsford, Bedfordshire, GB

Mission

To be dropped as an agent in Holland, operation 'Halma'

Status

KIA, aircraft shot down by enemy nightfighter (believed to be Karl-Heinrich Lahmann 7/NJG1)

age

22

Killed

6/7/1944

Place

IJsselmeer next to Afsluitdijk, 5km SW of Kornwerderzand, NL

Buried

ereveld Loenen, Gelderland, NL, grave B/393

Known to

OGS

yes

CWGC

no

Other crew

2. J.A. Walter, BBO - KIA

3. F/Lt. J.W. Menzies DFC, Pilot, British - MIA until 1998, when his body was recovered from the wreck

4. P/O. K.R. Bunney, British- KIA

5. Sgt. E.M. Eliot, British- KIA

6. Sgt. D.J. Withers, Britsh - KIA

7. P.J. Kwint, Dutch, BBO – KIA, buried Gemeentelijke Begraafplaats Meppel, Drenthe, NL, grave M/66

8. P. Verhoef, Dutch, BBO – KIA, buried Gemeentelijke Begraafplaats Vianen, Utrecht, NL, grave B/119

Remarks

British crew and J.A. Walter buried Makkum N.H. Begraafplaats, Friesland, NL

Memorial

1. Vijfluik, Loenen, Gelderland, NL

2. Exmorra, Friesland, NL

GB arrival

Engelandvaarder. Left Holland 16/5/1942. Travelled to Vichy-France and served with the Foreign Legion. Deserted when a Norwegian ship could take him to England.

Data

Confusion


Name

2. Walter, Johannes Albertus

J.A. Walter Source: R.B. Body Makkum 050611 Walter

Rank

Res 2Lt

Stb.Nr. 17322/D

Decorations

None known

Born

7/10/1922

Place

Djombang, Java, NEI

Squadron

BBO, formerly 320 Sqn

Ops/hr

Aircraft

Hudson FK780 of RAF 161 Sqn

Base

RAF Tempsford, Bedfordshire, GB

Mission

To be dropped as an agent in Holland, operation 'Halma'

Status

KIA, aircraft shot down by enemy nightfighter (believed to be Karl-Heinrich Lahmann 7/NJG1)

age

21

Killed

6/7/1944

Place

IJsselmeer next to Afsluitdijk, 5km SW of Kornwerderzand, NL

Buried

Makkum N.H. Begraafplaats, Friesland, NL, grave O/33

Known to

OGS

yes

CWGC

no

Other crew

1. J. Bockma, BBO - KIA

3. F/Lt. J.W. Menzies DFC, Pilot, British - MIA until 1998, when his body was recovered from the wreck

4. P/O. K.R. Bunney, British - KIA

5. Sgt. E.M. Eliot, British- KIA

6. Sgt. D.J. Withers, British - KIA

7. P.J. Kwint, Dutch, BBO – KIA, buried Gemeentelijke Begraafplaats Meppel, Drenthe, NL, grave M/66

8. P. Verhoef, Dutch, BBO - KIA, buried Gemeentelijke Begraafplaats Vianen, Utrecht, NL, grave B/119

Remarks

British crew also buried Makkum N.H. Begraafplaats, Friesland, NL

Memorial

Exmorra, Friesland, NL

GB arrival

Detached to the Royal Dutch Navy. Arrived from NEI in England 3/5/1942

Data

Confusion

OGS: died 14/7/1944 (= date when his body was retrieved from the sea). This was corrected by OGS in 2005

3. The Hudson FK780 crew

Source for all portrait pictures: R.B. Body

5. The other agents

P.J. Kwint, Dutch, BBO – KIA, buried Gemeentelijke Begraafplaats Meppel, Drenthe, NL, grave M/66

Meppel 061120-1

P.J. Kwint's grave is in front and to the right of the War Monument at Algemene Begraafplaats 'Reestborgh', Zomerdijk 9, Meppel, 06.1041E/52.4201N Meppel 061120-2

Meppel 061120 Kwint PJ

His name is on the memorial in the Wilhelminapark in Meppel. Meppel 080504-11

P. Verhoef, Dutch, BBO – KIA, buried Gemeentelijke Begraafplaats Vianen, Sparrendreef, 05.0517E/51.5913N, Utrecht, NL, grave B/119. Section B is to the right of the entrance.

P. Verhoef's grave is 2nd from right. Vianen 061124-2

Vianen 061124 Verhoef P

6. Mysteries surround this crash

7. Aircraft parts remaining


Propellor blade from Hudson FK780, showing a 20mm shell hole. The round came from behind, enemy aircraft almost at the same height as its target. A second hit is seen 10 cm below. This circle segment also measures 18 mm in diameter. Exmorra 050611-5


Exmorra 080920-2


Tail section of Hudson FK780, still showing its serial number. The part is on display at Kornwerderzand, outside the Kazematten Museum, next to bunker nr. 6 of this Dutch defensive position along the Afsluitdijk. The crash site was approx. 5 km SW of Kornwerderzand. FK780 tail 050611-1


The tail section two years later. The elements are eating the metal. In a few years, there shall be little left. The Kazemattenmuseum has no plans for conservation and/or protected display. Kazemattenmuseum 070728-5


One of the few parts left of Hudson FK780, on display in Bunker 5 of the Kazemattenmuseum. Kazemattenmuseum 070728-2

8. Crash site data

Map 80. IJsselmeer between Breezand and Kornwerderzand, where Hudson FK780 ditched

The crash site, looking NE from Breezanddijk. The horizon is the Frisian IJsselmeercoast. Breezand 050611-1

The IJsselmeer area where the bodies were found Kornwerderzand 080920-8


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