Coningsby - Memorial to murdered Bomber Command Airmen

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Reference WMO/264946


St. Michael's Church

High Street (A153)





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Type: Non freestanding
Location: Internal
Setting: Attached to a building/structure
Description: Board/Plaque/ Tablet
  • Second World War (1939-1945)
About the memorial: On 21/06/44, 83 Sqn Lancaster ND551 OL-V departed Coningsby at 2318 for Ops Wesseling. The aircraft was intercepted and shot down by a Luftwaffe Night Fighter captained by Nacht-Jagd “Experten” Hptm Heinz-Wolfgang Schnaufer at 5000 metres, 9km South of Eindhoeven, Holland for his 81st Abschusse (victory) At 0125 on 22/06/44, the aircraft exploded in mid-air. The sole survivor, Pilot F/L R.A. Walker DFC MiD was swiftly aided by members of the Dutch Resistance movement and in particular, a 60 year old woman called Jacoba Pulskens (Aunt Cobra) Shortly afterwards, he was joined by two further evading airmen, one an Australian, the other a Canadian Tragically, on the morning of 09/07/44, the house that the three airmen were hiding in was raided by the Gestapo. All three were immediately captured and F/L Walker DFC, F/O Nott RAAF and F/O Carter RCAF were taken outside, put up against a wall and shot on the spot The Gestapo ordered Jacoba Pulskens to cover the three bodies with a sheet. Defiantly she covered the murdered airmen in the Dutch National Flag. She was then arrested and taken to the infamous Ravensbruck Concentration Camp, where she was subsequently gassed. She has no known grave Post war, four Germans were convicted of this war crime and received the death penalty in turn The actual Dutch flag that Jacoba Pulskens had used to cover the three airmen is now on display in St Michaels Church and a memorial to this brave Dutchwomen has since been placed on the wall of her former house in Tilburg, the Netherlands F/L Walker DFC MiD - Pilot 83 Sqn, F/O Nott RAAF - Bomb Aimer 77 Sqn and F/O Carter MiD RCAF - Navigator 431 (RCAF) Sqn all have no known grave and are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial, Surrey
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