Preface: The Crash of Lancaster LM595



Preface: The Crash of Lancaster LM595


An account of the crash of Alec's Lancaster in Overflakkee, Holland by his step sister and husband. Included in the account is a portrait of Alec and a list of the crew who died that night.

Temporal Coverage



Three printed sheets


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SPyleJEA175907v10001, SPyleJEA175907v10002, SPyleJEA175907v10008


The Crash of Lancaster LM595

At 23.10 hours on the night of 20th July 1944, Lancaster LM595 code G1-Q, and its crew of 7, took off from their base at RAF Mildenhall Suffolk, home of 622 Squadron. They formed part of a fleet of 147 Lancasters which carried out a raid on the Homberg Oil Refineries in Germany on that night. Of these, 20 never returned.

Sadly Lancaster LM595 became one of these losses when it was intercepted by a German Night Fighter and shot down over the village of Oude Tonge on the island of Overflakkee in Holland. Which is about 40km south of Rotterdam. Villagers later related that at approximately 01.45 on the morning of 21st July 1944 they were awakened by the sound of a plane flying very low over the village followed by a very loud explosion.

The next morning they found the crashed plane on the edge of the village in the molenpolder (which I believe is a flooded area of land), with the mortified bodies of crew, no one had survived. The bodies were placed in graves behind the Dutch Reform Church in the village, and crosses placed over their graves. In July 1946 the bodies were reburied and placed in the Berge-Op-Zoom war cemetery.

My wife, Ann Deaton, is the step sister of the pilot of the stricken Lancaster, Flying Officer J.E.A. (Alec) Pyle, RAF 175907, he was 22 years old when he died. This was Alec’s 29th operational mission, 26 of which had been with the same crew. The rest of the crew were;
Flight Sergeant P.A. McGibbon RAF. 1451336
Flight Sergeant E. Crowther RAF 1510703 Age 36
Sergeant A.H. Hall RAF 1544769 Age 23
Flight Sergeant L. Tomlinson RAF 659150 Age 24
Pilot Officer W.H. Pool (Royal Canadian Air Force R194858) Age 20
Sergeant J.L. Spaven RAF 1592133 Age 35

During the course of the war, 4 Lancaster’s [sic] had crashed on the island of Overflakkee, and a Dutch War Historian Group, The Dutch Heritage Foundation WO2G0, have erected Memorial Plaque Boards at each of the crash sites, as a tribute to the brave young men who gave their lives, helping to free their country from German occupation. The Memorial at Oude Tonge is situated beside the windmill in the village. The Group have been a great help in my own research on the crash of LM595, especially Kees Stoutjesdijk who together with the Group have produced a book of the four crashes on the island of Overflakkee “Drama in the night”.

Early in 2017, my wife Ann and I, received an unexpected parcel from Oude Tonge, in which was an Aircraft Emergency Hammer/Axe. The letter inside was from a villager, Mr Wim Kamp, who had recently been given the item by another villager, 93 year old Mr Bas van Noord, who had retrieved the hammer/axe from the crash site of Lancaster LM 595 back in 1944. He had kept it in his garage since that time. Mr Wim Kamp had found out that my wife was related to the Pilot, Alec Pyle, and felt that the artefact should be passed on to her. He also sent a USB computer memory stick containing pictures of the village and Memorial site at Oude Tonge. He went on to finalise his letter, and I quote, “We are glad that we can make the effort to remember those young men who gave their lives for our freedom”

Peter and Ann Deaton

[page break]

In Memory of Flying Officer J.E.A. Pyle (Alec) and the rest of the crew of Lancaster LM595

By Peter Deaton

This tribute to Alec, has been compiled and presented by myself and my Wife Ann, Step Sister of Alec

[black and white head and shoulders photograph of Flying Officer Pyle in his RAF uniform]

[page break]

[table with details of aircraft Lancaster LM595 and the crew who died]



Peter and Anne Deaton, “Preface: The Crash of Lancaster LM595,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed May 26, 2024,

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