Today’s post comes from a loyal PortraitsofWar follower from the Netherlands. He recently stumbled across a single snapshot at a Dutch flea market and did some savvy investigative work to tease out the historical significance. Thanks Werner!
Begraafplaats Engelse Vliegeniers
By: Werner Peters
Here we have a photo taken by a German soldier depicting the graves of three Allied airmen who lost their lives in the skies over Germany. These soldiers were likely recovered from their crashed plane and buried with full military honors by their German adversaries. A Nazi laurel wreath can be seen in the left corner of the photo.
At the time, two of the airmen could be positively identified by the Germans; one body was unidentifiable. One the left side of the burial plot lies Mr.Hammond whose RAF identification number was 562535RAF. On the right side of the grave lies J. MCI. Cameron, Offr res 24225RAF. The middle marker merely says , Engl. Flieger(English Airman). On all three grave posts is written “Hier ruht ein Engl. Flieger – im luftkampf gefallen 28.9.1939 Vorden” – which translates as “here rests an English airman who died in aerial combat on 28.9.1939 Vorden(?)”.
With a little research it turns out that this crew belonged to the 110th RAF squadron. They were flying a Bristol Blenheim type IV, number N6212 which crashed on September 28th, 1939 during a recon mission over Munster in the neighborhood of Kiel, Germany. They were shot down by a German pilot named Klaus Faber, a feldwebel of the Ersten Abiteilung. Jagdgeschwader Eins (1st Section of the 1st Fighter Group).
It turns out that the man buried on the right is wing commander Ivan McLoed Cameron, an Australian who, in fact, is the first Australian to die in action during WWII. The man to the left is Thomas Cecil Hammond, an Irishman. The last grave belongs to Thomas Fullerton.
For more information regarding the crash, please check out the following website: http://ww2chat.com/biographies/5839-raf-australians-wing-commander-ivan-mcleod-cameron.html
After researching the photograph, Werner visited the current grave site in Kleve, Germany where the three men were reburied after the war. He snapped some great photos and generously allowed for them to be posted here at PortraitsofWar.