Vlissegem Monument

History Information

This memorial commemorates the 6 crewmembers of the RAF Wellington III-X3697-GT bomber, which was shot down at Vlissegem by German anti-aircraft guns on 16 April 1942.


Shot down by flak just after midnight. Vlissegem was startled by a huge blow on the land between the farms of the farmers Bodez and Demeulenaere. The next morning, five heavily mutilated bodies were recovered from the still smouldering wreckage by the Germans, and transferred to the morgue of Vlissegem. The entire neighbourhood was examined for a sixth crew member, but without result. Four days later, the five crew members with military honours were in the presence of a German chaplain and the pastor buried in the municipal cemetery. After a short speech by the chaplain, German soldiers who formed an honorary fire fired a salvo, after which the dead were ordered to the earth. After about ten days the wreckage was taken away by the Germans, and they found the sixth victim under the rubble. It was given a final honour in the same way as his comrades.



Pilot:J/15231 Plt Off Allan George Griffith RCAF -

Pilot:1180424 Sgt Oliver Raymond East

Observer: 281125 Sgt Roy Charles Edgar Willingham

Wireless Operator/Air Gunner: 1170645 Sgt Graham Donald Randall

Air Gunner: 1181845 Sgt Alexander Charles Frederick Digby

Air Gunner: 1377475 Sgt Eric George Andrew Stevens