The Brabant village Oisterwijk and Operation Market Garden
The crash landing of Haviland Mosquito NT207
On 26 November 1944 around 22:30 a RAF Haviland FB Mk-VI Mosquito bomber with no.
NT207 OM-B crash-landed besides road Oirschotsebaan in Oisterwijk, opposite the heather
locally known as ‘Kleine Oisterwijkse heide’. The aircraft was assigned to the 2nd
Tactical Air Force, No.2 Group, 138 Wing, 107 Squadron and flew its mission from
airfield A.75, Cambrai/Epinoy in France. Piloting the mosquito was Warrant Officer
G. Warren, his Navigator was Sergeant W. Roberts. The mosquito was designed by the
British in 1940 and was used by the Royal Air Force as a fighter and a day and night
bomber. The aircraft was powered by two Rolls Royce Merlin engines and had a range
of about 2000 km. It was armed with four 20 mm cannons and four .303 machineguns
and capable of carrying a maximum bomb load of 2.000 lb. The aircraft was of all-wood
construction and piloted by a pilot and navigator sitting side-by-side in the cockpit.
That 26 November night the mosquito took part in a mission consisting of eleven Mosquito’s
from 138 wing that were to attack enemy troop movements on the waterways at, a) Groningen,
Leeuwarden, Sneek; (b) Assen, Meppel; (c) Zwolle, Meppel, Hoogeveen, Meppen; d) Zutphen,
Hengelo. During the mission eight small ships were attacked and two railways were
bombed. A long train with two locomotives was attacked plus further targets of opportunity
of which one was a German Flak position. During their mission the aircraft dropped
thirty-six 500-pound bombs and fired 1840 cannon and 700 machinegun rounds.
During this mission the mosquito of pilot G. Warren was hit by German anti-aircraft
(Flak) over enemy territory while attacking a train. Due to the damage Warren was
forced to land his aircraft, preferably in liberated territory. Over Oisterwijk navigator
Sgt. W Roberts parachuted from the aircraft and landed on the outskirts of Oisterwijk
on a farmers courtyard injuring his neck and chin on the farmers taut wash lines.
Pilot Warren made a belly landing along the Oirschotsebaan opposite the heath ‘Kleine
Oisterwijkse Heide’, just next to a farmhouse. During the landing his aircraft caught
fire and Warren was injured severely. The Oisterwijk fire brigade was alarmed but,
on their arrival, they could do nothing else then watch how the wooden aircraft burned
to the ground. After a short and fierce fire only two engines and some small metal
parts was all that was left of the aircraft. Pilot Warren was carried away by the
military medical service and was cared for.
During that night of a total off forty-one other mosquito’s of 138 Wing were sent
out to attack roads, railways and waterways in the Netherlands and North-Western
Germany. The aircraft were divided into groups and were each assigned a task and
an area. For task I fifteen mosquito's went to the area Rotterdam, Hilversum, Deventer,
Dusseldorf, Heinsberg, Venlo and along the bomb line to zaltbommel, Rotterdam. They
were briefed to pay special attention to ships in the area of the Weser.
For task II fifteen mosquito's were to attack railway targets in the areas; a) Osnabruck,
Munster, Dorsten, Wesel; b) Munster, Coesveld, Borken, Bocholt with special attention
to the railway marshalling yard in Coesveld; (c) Osnabruck, Rheine, Hengelo, Almelo,
Deventer with special attention to the busy railway marshalling yard in Oldezaal
and d) Meppel, Zwolle, Amersfoort.
For task III eleven mosquito's, including the mosquito of W/O G. Warren, went out
to attack enemy movements on the waterways in the areas; a) Groningen, Leeuwarden,
Sneek; b) Assen, Meppel; c) Zwolle, Meppel, Hoogeveen, Meppen and d) Zutphen, Hengelo.
The mosquito's of 138 Wing that carried out the attacks altogether dropped a total
of -500 one-hundred-fifty-one high-explosive bombs and shot 11160 20mm cannon and
15520 machine gun rounds.
Info by Ad van Zantvoort
Above: The Havilland Mosquito. Left: Havilland Mosquito’s of the Royal Air Force. Below: A Havilland Mosquito is being armed with it's load of bombs.