Relation with Lake (class): Lake Area Inland Cemetery (LAI)  
Total nr. of casualties buried here (TC). End WW2: 15. Today: 9. 
Lake casualties, initially, end WW2 (LC-I): 1
Unknown today: 0
of which unknown from Lake (LC-U): 0
of which unknown from North Sea (NS-U): 0
Initial burial site in WW2: yes, Lake Cemetery East Side of the Lake
Post war burial site for collection and reburial from other sites: no
Cemetery with Lake casualties today: no.


Bakhuizen and attached hamlet Mirns have 9 Allied war graves in the churchyard of the Roman Catholic Cemetery. An American crew was exhumed from here after the war. Bakhuizen & Mirns have a 7km coastline. Despite this long coast only 1 airman (American) washed ashore here. If other airmen washed ashore here is under investigation.


Dutch name cemetery: R.K. Begraafplaats St. Odulphus kerk.
CWGC name: Gaasterland (Bakhuizen) Roman Catholic Cem.
Address (usable for car navigation):
Sint Odulphusstraat 67, Bakhuizen (Gaasterland-Sleat).

For reaction or comments; send us an email,
see address and info at CONTACT.
Please use as subject title: 'Bakhuizen'.

Today rest here 2 men of Lancaster I, W4308, 460 Sqn, crashed 23/24 January 1943 and the entire crew of Lancaster I, DV401, 61 Sqn, crashed 02/03 January 1944. Both aircraft crashed here on land (see photos).

Photo below: The war graves row on Bakhuizen St. Odulphus cemetery. The exhumed 3 graves of the Americans are in the middle.

The war graves in Bakhuizen (left to right)

Grave 11. P/O Stuart C. Methven, RAAF (Australia), 23 January 1943. Lancaster W4308.
Grave 12. Sgt. John V. Conlon, RAAF (Australia), 23 January 1943.           "

Grave 13. Exhumed. American airman, "Odis Wodo" on brace (*). Later assumed to be T/Sgt. James C. Owens. Crew B-24H  42-7554, 445BG, crashed 22 December 1943.
Grave 14. Exhumed. Collective grave. Remains of four (4) US airmen of 42-7554: Joseph Pavelko, Anthony L. Destro, Everett M. Odom and a crewman not identifiable (*)
Grave 15. Exhumed. American airmen T/Sgt. John R. Elder. Washed ashore here 26 December 1943. B-24H  42-7554 (parachuted out over the lake)

Grave 16. Sgt. Joseph G. Holden, 3 January 1944, Lancaster DV401.
Grave 17. Sgt. Gordon E. Heasman,             "
Grave 18. Sgt. James Stock                            "
Grave 19. Sgt. Charles Ablett                        "
Grave 20. F/O George A. Tull                        "
Grave 21. Sgt. Charles G. Crosby                  "
Grave 22. F/Sgt. John S. Baldwin, RCAF (Canada).

(*) In German doctor coroners report, with these names mentioned. Pavelko was burned. The others 'completely mutilated'. After the autopsy he gave the remains free for burial. A child living near the crashsite later found the ID-dogtag of pilot John H. Allen in the meadow. According to eye witnesses, there was only one body intact, but headless. We believe this was "Odis Wodo" (T/Sgt. James C. Owens), who received an own grave (grave 13). 

Photo below: The morning of 24 January 1943. Lancaster W4308. Pilot Squadron Leader R.B. Osborn managed to bellyland the burning bomber in the middle of the night, but they were all wounded and P/O Methven and Sgt. Conlon were dead. Next morning, German nightfighter pilot Oberleutnant Wolfgang Kuthe is searching the cockpit and radio-room, still wearing his flying overall.

Photo below: January 3, 1944. The smashed remains of Lancaster DV401, crew pilot F/O Tull. Germans soldiers on the crashsite have covered the corps of a crew member with a stretch of canopy from a parachute-pack.

B-24  42-7554, crew Allen, 22 December 1943.


B-24H 42-7554 was hit by flak over Osnabrück/Münster and struggled home to the UK. Just before reaching the coastline of the Old Zuyder Sea, the aircraft was attacked by ME-110 and five (not wounded) men in the aircraft parachuted out. Two men over land, in the woods east of Mirns. They were co-pilot 2Lt. Elwin J. Bevins (evd) and gunner T/Sgt. Harry L. Henry (taken POW, already in civilian clothes). When the 3th, 4th and 5th men jumped, the aircraft was over the very cold water of the lake. Engineer T/Sgt. John R. Elder drowned and washed ashore here 4 days later. Navigator 2Lt. Joseph F. Gill got entangled with his chute on the tail of the aircraft and was dragged along in the crash (survived, severely wounded). We believe Radio Operator T/Sgt. Oscar Robbins Jr. also parachuted out and drowned (MIA). He was from Greensburg, Indiana.

When over the lake, pilot 1Lt. John H. Allen turned back to he coast for a belly landing on the green meadows he just passed. At that time there were five men in the aircraft: pilot John Allen, tailgunner Joseph J. Pavelko, bombardier 2Lt. Anthony L. Destro (shot dead, hanging dead over the front machineguns), gunner S/Sgt. Everett M. Odom and T/Sgt. James C. Owens. However, the meadow was not the normal flat Dutch field, but in fact the uprunning slope of an old sand-dune, a natural hill ('cliff' as it is named here). Pilot John Allen could not pull-up his aircraft enough and align with it and hit the slope hard at a too steep angle.


The B-24 came from direction of the water and cart wheeled into the direction of this group of trees, which formed the outer perimeter of a small, ancient cemetery on the top of this hill.

An old church at this cemetery was demolished in 1800. The church bell was then hung in a wooden belfry. The B-24 bomber slided violently over this graveyard, cutting down the trees and grave stones and splintered the belfry. The debris of the bomber came to a stop on the other side of the road. There was no part of the aircraft bigger than a table top. Decades later when old Dutch graves were cleared here, a propeller blade was found deep in the ground.

In 1953 the belfry was rebuild. A plate on the wooden structure commemorates this. It reads: "In 1943 the old belfry was destroyed by a crashing aircraft. In 1953 this belfry was rebuild, thanks to the counsel of community Gaasterland with cooperation of Riis Foarut". Remarkable is they neglected to mention which aircraft it was and brave crew who lost their lives here. Also in the cemetery at Bakhuizen is nothing that remembers the exhumed crew. This is typical for all exhumed war graves. 

In above picture the slope and lake are in the background. After the war, an American Quarter Master Grave Registration Company exhumed the remains of the crew on Bakhuizen cemetery.  Lt. John H. Allen and T/Sgt. Oscar Robbins Jr. were declared dead on 5 December 1945. Together with 2Lt. Anthony L. Destro and T/Sgt. James C. Owens their names are on a collective grave in Memphis National Cemetery.  S/Sgt. Joseph J. Pavelko rests in American War Cemetery "Netherlands" in Margraten.

Sources/read more on:

- Our aircraft file on B-24H 42-7554:

- All other cemetery files wth war graves around the Lake:

   When on this site in the top section, allow 30 seconds to load (big page). Press   CTRL + F    and tick    Bevins    into the search field.  


Co-pilot 2Lt. Erwin J. Bevins managed to stay out of the hands of the Germans for almost 16 months. In occupied Netherlands he was helped and got shelter in Leeuwarden, Meppel, Amersfoort, Laren near Lochem and was liberated in Nijverdal by Canadian troops. Read more here :

- Site Historie

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