This is an answer to Robert De Vries who had left a comment on the blog about Wing Commander L.S. Ford.
Stephen Nickerson just left this comment.
I researched W/C L.S. Ford’s military career and wrote a book titled ‘Traded For Twenty-Two Spitfires’. In trying to give an explanation to your question of why Ford was buried at Vlieland Island and not Texel Island I can only guess that the tide carried his body to that island.
According to F/S Fuller, who was one of the pilots attacking the E-boats that day, reported seeing a Spitfire flying very slowly and trying to make a left turn after the action. Before the damaged Spitfire could complete the turn for England, the left wingtip hit the water and the last thing Fuller saw was the tail section sticking out of the water.
Ford was listed as missing until his parents received news on the 21st of August 1943, that his body was recovered from the sea.
This is what Robert de Vries was looking for.
Does anybody have more background about the crash / KIA of W/Cdr Sydney Ford? He was shot down attacking E Boats at the Nordsea. Did he leave his Spitfire (AA980) and couldn’ t reach land or did he crash with his plane together in the sea? He is buried here Vlieland, Netherlands in a field of honor.
Dean Black had given that answer…
Ford was the Wing Leader for the Digby Wing. He was the youngest RAF officer ever to reach the rank of WComd. The fact he was Canadian makes the achievement all the more meaningful. Ford and his wingman were both hit by flak, from the E-boats. Ford was killed and crashed. His wingman was wounded but returned to base. Some books attribute the loss to 402 Squadron, but there is absolutely no mention of Ford in the 402 history book. This probably suggests Ford was the WComd (flying) of the Digby Wing and was not affiliated with the Squadron whatsoever.
Robert wrote a thank you note…
Thanks a lot Dean.
It was indeed a great achievment that he became Wing Cmdr when he was 22 years. He must have been a great leader and person. Today on holiday on Vlieland I visited his grave and honoured him, together with other Canadian airmen, who participated in the liberation of our country the Netherlands. I still wonder why he is buried in Vlieland Island, because his plane crashed in the surrounding of Texel island….. The following impressive text was on his grave stone: “He being made perfect in a short time, fulfilled a life time.”
Robert had commented more…
I dont know how to upload pictures, but here is a picture of W/ Cmd Sydney Ford:
And his grave stone:
Hope this helps