Studiegroep Luchtoorlog 1939-1945


Monument chart: M0067
Monument Name T/R Number
Monument Lancaster ED355 T1951
Date unveiling Street City Zipcode Province
December 30, 1952 N928 Hetometerpaal 5.3 Waterlo 8554 RD Friesland
The war memorial in Waterlo is a 2 m. high concrete memorial column, surrounded by a fence. Engraved are the names of seven Allied airmen who died in the vicinity of the village, and of fellow citizen Jacob Nagelhout who lost his life  on 15 April 1945 near the Wellebrug where he took part in liberation acts, fighting the Germans.
On 17 December 1942 the Lancaster ED355 'KM-D', no. 44 'Rhodesia' squadron, had taken off from Waddington base on a bomb mission to Nienburg, Germany. Just after the bomber had crossed the IJsselmeer it was attacked and hit by German night-fighter ace Helmut Lent. The ship caught fire and with a full load of bombs and fuel aboard, the pilot tried to make an emergency landing north of Woudsend. With the fuselage on fire and narrowly missing some farms just before the actual crashlanding, another explosion separated the tail from the fuselage which then struck the  soft, boggy earth ten feet deep on impact. Nobody survived. The remains of Sgt. E. Croal (tail gunner) and Sgt. G.B. Wilkinson (bomb aimer) were found near the wreckage which at that time proved to be impossible to recover and was  left in situ. Both airmen were buried at the General Cemetery in nearby Ypecolsga. Due to new road construction, in 1952, the wreckage was removed, and all till then still missing crew members were recovered, identified and buried at in the Commonwealth military cemetery 'Jonkerbosch' near Nijmegen.