Dakota Mk III KG566

With thanks to www.warcemeteries.nl

Douglas Dakota KG566 of 233 Sqn RAF took off from RAF Station Blakehill Farm at 13:20 hours on 21 September 1944, to carry out a mission dropping panniers during Operation Market Garden to resupply troops in the Arnhem area.

 

Crews of other aircraft on the mission reported intense enemy opposition in the form of flak and fighter aircraft were encountered around the target area.

The author of "Green On!" (Arie-Jan van Hees) wrote about the crash on page 237 and 238: "...many Dutch were taking care of their business 'as usual'. Mr. Brands had left for the milk factory at Son earlier that day to sell his produce and Mrs. Brands-Vaassen was having a cup of coffee in her garden outside their farm. The local time was approximately 1730 hours, 1630 hours UK time. Suddenly she saw an aircraft coming down vertically in a nose-down attitude and crash in a soggy field near their farm. The same event was witnessed by Mr. Razenberg, who saw one of the wings being shot of and noticed it whirling down after the aircraft had nosed in.

KG566 crashed near the 'Sans Souci' farm of the Brands family, south of the 'Oirschotse Dijk', north west of Eindhoven. None of the crew had been able to bale out and seven bodies were recovered from the wreckage and buried at the General cemetery at Woensel. Regrettably the body of the pilot, Flying Officer Hamilton, has never been recovered and it is believed that his remains are still in the cockpit of KG566 deep under the surface.

 

Nowadays the crash site is built up by industrial buildings of the Philips glass laboratory."

The crew of KG-566:

Flight Sergeant - Louis James Firth

Pilot Officer - Frederick Benbow Knight

Flight Sergeant - William B. Wheeler (co pilot)

Flight Officer - Charles Douglas Hamilton (Pilot missing in action)

Driver - Robert Winter Crooks (800 Air Dispatch)

Corparal - Joseph Dellanzo (800 Air Dispatch)

Lance Corporal -  Robert Sharpe (800 Air Dispatch)

Driver - George Van Ingen (800 Air Dispatch)

 

Recovered part of the load manifest for Dakota KG 566