Serial Range EE871 - EE918. 48 Stirling Mk.111
Part of a batch of 260 Short S.29 Stirling Mk.111/1V. EE871-EE918; EE937-EE975; EF114-EF163; EF177-EF217; EF231-EF277; EF289-EF316 Mk.111; EF317-EF323 Mk.1V.
EE889; EE900; EE960; EE962; EE966; EF141; EF213; EF214; EF234; EF237; EF241-EF244; EF248; EF256; EF260; EF261; EF263-EF265;
EF267-EF270; EF272-EF277; EF292; EF293; EF295-EF298; EF303; EF305; EF306; EF309; EF311; EF314; EF316 were converted to Mk.1V.
Delivered by Short & Harland between May 1943 and July 1943
Contract No. 774677/38
Delivered to No.199 Squadron, Lakenheath, 6 July 1943
Airborne 00:40 hours, 31 August 1943, from Lakenheath, on a bombing operation to Monchengladbach - Rheydt
Crashed in Nederweert, The Netherlands, at Vlakwater, at 03:56 on 31st August 1943
To locate an exact crashsite after a long period of time is no easy job, not to mention crashsites where little of the wreckage remains.
However, undaunted, we kept on searching to find out where the RAF Short Stirling MKIII Bomber, Serial: EE917, Code: EX-L, crashed at 01:40 on 31st August 1943.
We spoke to many people and we eventually found out that the bomber was shot down over Nederweert, The Netherlands:
at the time a forest, now a cleared field. There is also a police report that confirms the crashsite was at Nederweert.
There was not much to be seen, however we started to search for pieces of wreckage.
Eventually we found several items, amongst which was the bomber’s rear gun turret.
According to the farmer who witnessed the crash (a young boy at the time) the gun turret broke during its descent and landed 500 metres away in the forest.
The farmer told us that the bomber descended as a fireball onto his father’s land and that the crew’s remains were badly burned.
Phosphorous bombs were burning everywhere, which has lead me to believe that the bomber was on its way to raid Mönchengladbach – Rheydt, Germany.
The Short Stirling MKIII bomber was shot down by Ofw. Bruno Eickmeier, a German "Luftwaffe Ace", and crashed at 03:56 at Nederweert (Limburg)
The crew are buried in a section of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission within Eindhoven (Woensel) General Cemetery, The Netherlands.
In 2007 I was contacted by the neice of the late Flt Sgt A A Harlem, Jane Beaulieu, and we have planned to meet and visit the crash site together in Nederweert
Meanwhile, I was delighted to send Jane several items of the wreckage from her uncle’s ill-fated sortie which occurred 65 years ago. . .
Pilot Athol Asher Harlem.
Raidinformation from pilot Athol Asher Harlem,