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Ernest Walter Bancroft

Servicenumber : R/152458
Rank : Warrant Officer Class I (Air Bomber)
Regiment : Royal Canadian Air Force
Unit : 196 (R.A.F.) Squadron
Date of Death : 20-09-1944
Age :
Grave : Plot 4. Row A. Grave 10. 
Ernest Walter Bancroft was a member of No. 196 Squadron of Keevil. He flew bomber missions to Germany. On 20 september 1944 he was flying as air bomber in a Stirling IV on a resupply mission to Arnhem during operation Market Garden (flight LJ988). According to the book 'Blik Omhoog' (Cor Janse 1996) it was loaded with 24 containers and 4 baskets. The stirling got into trouble during the approach. It came in flying low over the Lower Rhine, west of the Doorwerth Castle. Maybe the crew attempted to make an emergency landing on some farmland at Boersberg, but it crashed around 14.30 hrs or 15.15 hrs near swimmingpool 'De Branding' between Doorwerth and Heelsum. Today this pool is part of a Golden Tulip hotel.
According to the Roll of Honour published by the Society of Friends of the Airborne Museum (Jan Hey 1999) Ernest Walter Bancroft was buried at the 'Onder de Bomen' cemetery at Renkum. He was later reburied at the Airborne Cemetery at Oosterbeek.
The crew of LJ-988:
Donovan Geoffrey Benning
Ernest Walter Bancroft
Terence Bowers Cragg
Cyril Mabbott
Andrew J. Murphy
Gordon Neale
L.C. Nye
Nye was wounded and captured. He survived the war.
Picture: 23-09-2012
Sources: Website CWGC, '"Green On!"', 'The Royal Air Force at Arnhem' and Roll of Honour


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