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  La Bussiere-sur-Ouche Communal Cemetery

Cote-d'Or

France

 

Pictures courtesy of Barry Cuttell

 

 

La Bussière-sur-Ouche is a village 26 kilometres south-west of Dijon in the Department of the Côte d'Or. The communal cemetery is in the village on the hillside opposite the church and contains seven Commonwealth airmen who died on the 13th Aug. 1943

Flight Details:

R.A.F Base: Chedburgh, Suffolk
Unit: 214 Sqdn. Bomber Command
Aircraft: Short Stirling, Mk l, serial EF390
Target: Torino, Northern Italy
Incident: The Stirling was damaged by flak and finally shot down by Capt. Hans Wolfgang Niebelschütz. The aircraft crashed at La Bussière and all the crew perished.

TRANSLATION FROM FRENCH OF EXTRACT OF THE OFFICIAL REPORT OF THE INCIDENT
 
In the year one thousand nine hundred and forty three, the thirteenth August at two forty five in the morning, a damaged aircraft was shot down in flames by a German fighter over the territory of La Bussière at an isolated spot called Le Bois de Courtépée. The Fire and Rescue Service, under instruction from the Town Hall went to the site to recover the bodies of the aircrew. They were aided by a few volunteers.
The plane was literally broken to pieces but the search revealed an identification plate marked as follows :
Stirling Serial No. SB 38807 .S  DRG 60/No. 4294000  1SS23 Sir MS Inspect. CO1182
Proper identification of bodies was almost impossible.
At the centre of the wreck was a badly burned body at the side of which a metal ring and fragments of a letter were found.  A few words were readable, Jacques St James London. The body was put in coffin number 1
At the controls was a partial body bearing rank emblems. From the torn shreds of clothing a cigarette case was found with the inscription CoDoung-From-Nan-Ein and on a scrap of paper the name Harris was visible.  The body was placed in coffin number 2
On the right was a disfigured body on which the name Rose as well as the service number 165-42 could be seen. The body was placed in a coffin marked l’X in which were placed partial bodies of other airmen.
In coffin Number 4 were placed all body and flesh parts found around the site and in particular, two heads of which one appeared to have two bullet wounds.
This operation commenced at 14 H and finished around 20 H after having scrupulously searched the area on a radius of 200 meters. The search was particularly difficult due to the thick brushwood.
La Bussière, the same day, at 22 H, the bodies were taken to the Town Hall.
These operations were effected in the presence of us, M. E. Maire de la Bussière-sur-Ouche and under the direction of us, P.L., Lieutenant Commandant la Subdivision of the Fire and Rescue Service.

Translated from French by Barry Cuttell and courtesy of Dan Gilberti

 

Burial Details:

 

Sgt. Kenneth James CORK, Royal Air Force Voluntary Reserve, aged 21. Son of James F. and Florence Cork of Norwich, Norfolk; husband of Elsie Maud Cork of Norwich


Flight Sgt.
Albert Douglas HARRIS, Royal New Zealand Air Force, aged 23. Son of Frederick John Linton and Amelia Rose Harris of Huntly, Auckland, New Zealand


Flying Officer
Frank Wilfred HOLLAND, Royal Australian Fleet Reserve, aged 32. Son of Frank and Emma Holland of Brighton, Sussex


Sgt.
John Geoffrey KNIGHT, Royal Air Force Voluntary Reserve, aged 27. Son of Joseph and Violet Knight of Birmingham


Pilot Officer
Frederick George MATTHEWS, Royal Australian Air Force, aged 25. Son of Jewell and Lydia Jane Matthews of Yanco, New South Wales, Australia


Sgt.
Henry George OTT, Royal Air Force Voluntary Reserve aged 19. Son of Henry George and Florence Ada Ott of Woolwich, London


Flight Sgt.
Alistair Frederick ROSE, Royal New Zealand Air Force, aged 20. Son of Alexander Frederick and Mary Rose; nephew of Charlotte Aitken of Gisborne, Auckland, New Zealand