Flight Lieutenant George Kenneth Whiffen, missing since 5 July 1944


Both during and after the war, the correct identification of aircraft crew members who had been shot down was sometimes a complicated task for both the German and the allied troops.


On the 5th of July 18 Mosquitos of `105 Squadron took off from Bourn for sorties to several object.

The ML913 flown by Pilot Flying Officer Douglas Knight and his Navigator George Kenneth Whiffen took off for a sortie at Scholven, north of Gelsenkirchen, Germany. They failed to return from this mission and are missing since.


In a letter of January 1951, from the War Grave Commission to the Burgomaster of Bloemendaal, information is asked about the whereabouts of the grave of  Flight Lieutenant Whiffen, as it seems that a according to the German Totenliste (casualty list No.254, item 117 the body of Whiffen washed up on the 29th of August 1944 and was buried at or near beachpole 61.3.


However in the Bloemendaal records there is no mention of a Flight Lieutenant with such name. 


So most likely the Germans never reported the finding of the body to the Dutch authorities.


The Burgmaster responded that the Germans indeed did not report anything.

The beach at that place is 50 meters wide A beach pole 61.3 did not exist only 61 and 62 so 61.3 must be an estimation, however due to the drifiting sand and ebb and flood, digging therefore would have been a little change of succes of finding the body (unless he was buried in the Dunes at that location), so it seems that no action was taken.


So the question is what happened to the body of Flight Lieutenant Whiffen, was he indeed buried at the beach or dunes, or was he reburied somewhere else.


Looking at the unknowns buried at Amsterdam General Cemetery there is none with a date of 29th August 1944.

Was it a mistake by the Germans that his body was found on anther location or place?.


A check with other unknowns along the Dutch coast and with a known date, none seems to fit the correct date.


So this add another questionmark of what happened with the body of an Allied airman washed up on the Dutch coast.

Dutch Archive Bloemendaal