October 28, 2021. On October 12, 2021, it was 80 years ago that an eyewitness in the Wons area in The Netherlands saw Halifax L9561 ‘burning, sliding, and zigzagging through the cloud cover’. The bomber with a crew of eight people had left the English airport in Middleton Saint George an hour and a half earlier for a bombing of the port city of Bremen, but it never reached its target.
7 crew members were able to bail out, but the Canadian pilot, Elmer Bagnall MUTTART, of Cape Traverse, Prince Edward Island, lost his life, after safely steering the plane over the village of Wons before crashing in a nearby field. Over the past few years, the story of Elmer Muttart and the project of installing a memorial panel near the crash site have been told.
…A video by the Hunt brothers….
The memorial panel was installed on October 12, 2019, and among the attendees were Barry and Terry Hunt, two sons of the crew’s wireless operator, William Herbert HUNT. Over the past few years, Barry and Terry worked on preparing a documentary, which was finished in time for the 80th anniversary.
The film recounts the events of October 12, 1941, as Halifax L9561 flies over the North Sea into danger in the skies above Friesland in The Netherlands, with the heroism and self-sacrifice displayed by its young pilot. It also discusses the strengths and weaknesses of the Halifax itself. With the additional use of archival footage, the film gives an impression of what life was like for the men and women stationed at Middleton St. George, and the roles they played.
‘The Last Flight Of Halifax L9561’ runs for 1 hr 18 minutes and can be watched here:
….Previous videos about Halifax L9561 made by the Valkenburgs….
As so many Canadians were not aware of the efforts of the Missing Airmen Memorial Foundation in The Netherlands, we had invited them to explain a bit about their organization in a short video clip just before the memorial panel was installed on October 12, 2019. See Honouring The Crew Of Halifax L9561 here:
We also made a short documentary about the events on October 12, 2019, entitled “He Died That We Might Live … the story of Halifax L9561” which commemorates one event during WW2 that changed the lives of so many people.
…Previous postings about Halifax L9561…
Missed the stories about Elmer Muttart and the memorial panel to honour the crew of Halifax L9561? See
Thank you to Barry and Terry Hunt for sharing their video and giving permission to post the video on this blog. The story of Halifax L9561 will never be forgotten by us.
If you have photos and information to share about Canadian soldiers buried in The Netherlands, please contact Pieter at firstname.lastname@example.org, comment on the blog, or send a tweet to @researchmemori1.
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© Daria Valkenburg