The Church at Offenbach
Offenbach Church from the possible crashsite
The church at Offenbach can be seen from the field & the Catholic Priest Revd Jakob Storck Offenbach Churchwho officiated at the burial of the crew wrote an account of what happened, this I have had translated It is his report that states:-
Priest Revd Jakob Storck
"In the night from 23/24 September at about 23.30 o’clock a horrific bombing raid started over Ludwigshafen and Frankenthal. Flying back from the strike, over 30 allied bombers were shot down. One of them also crashed here. It came down over our church not very high crashing next to the church of Insheim. I will never forget the view of its fire-tail...All of those men in that plane died. Two of them bailed out, but also died. Those who stayed inside were found hacked to death and terribly burned. They were registered by the Wehrmacht, and because there were so many of
them found in that night, also in Herxheim, Flemlingen...etc, the mayor asked me to bury them.-there should be a priest with them the mayor said. So I did it. Five of them on Sunday the 26th of September and the other two aircrew men on Tuesday the 28th of September. The following nights there were some more disturbing. But in October everything was quiet...."
We do now have that there is a possibility that two of the crew tried to bail out, but there is also the possibility that they were thrown from the aircraft when it exploded.
We then went on to the Churchyard at Offenbach, where we also met another witness to the crash, We placed two crosses here, one in remembrance of the crew & the other for all 49’ers lost during the war. No other burial has been placed here since the crew were moved to Rheinberg in 1948 by MRES as this part of the cemetery is for military burials.
Place of first burial of the crew of ED702, two Remembrance crosses were placed one In Memory of the crew of ED702 the other In Memory of all 49 Squadron Airmen (Photo Uwe Benkel).
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