What happened to Short Stirling BK716?

A new website created by an international team pays tribute to the seven-man crew of a downed RAF bomber

A team of students made up of several nationalities have collaborated on the creation of a website to commemorate the crew of Short Stirling III BK716 of 218 Squadron. The bomber was shot down early on March 30, 1943 with the loss of all aboard. The wreckage – and the remains of the seven-man crew – were removed from the Dutch Markermeer in 2020.

At dawn on March 30, 1943, a German night-fighter intercepted the Stirling which was on its way home after raiding Berlin. The four-engined ‘heavy’ crashed in the Dutch Ijsselmeer. The whole crew, comprising Canadian and British airmen, perished.

In October 2020, the wreck and the mortal remains of the crew were salvaged from today's Markermeer west of Almere (Flevoland province). Due to the Covid-19 pandemic the funeral service at Nijmegen with full military honours was delayed until end of 2022.

To mark the 80th anniversary of the aircraft’s loss, 12 students from the UK, Canada, the Netherlands and Germany were commissioned by Lilian van Mourik from Almere’s City Council to launch a website to commemorate the crew.

The unique project can now be seen online. It sheds light on the development of the RAF and the Luftwaffe, the war in the West and the occupation of the Netherlands, the air war, the crew of BK716, the search and recovery of the bomber and the difficult handling of the culture of remembrance across continents and generations. The interactive, modern design combines personal stories from World War Two with the here and now, creating a timeless, meaningful monument to a bomber crew. With thanks to Christian Koenig

The crew of Short Stirling III BK716 are commemorated on a new website
The crew of Short Stirling III BK716 are commemorated on a new website Via C Koenig