From an e-mail by Hans Ooms (dated 3 May, 2004):
Hello Pete,

I think I have some interesting information for you :

I visited the archives of Sint Anthonis town-hall and found a police-report of which I'm definitely sure it concerns the arrest of your dad and Mr. Don Hall !

The report, written by village-constable P.E. Schelfaut, on Sunday 26th July 1942, says :

Supplements: none

police-report concerning the investigation of the crash of an aircraft.

In the morning of Sunday twenty sixth July 1942, about five o'clock, I, Petrus Eduardus Schelfaut, community special constable in Oploo, was told by the Oploo Military Police, that a burning aircraft had crashed on "de Heide (Peel)" in Oploo. The MP immediately blocked the terrain. I immediately went to the Oploo town Mayor who immediately informed the "Rijksinspecteur van de Luchtbescherming" in The Hague, the "Verbindungsoffizier des Befehlhabers der Ordnungspolizei" in `s-Hertogenbosch and the "Wehrmachtskommandantur" in Nijmegen.

Further investigation revealed that is was an English aircraft and that within close range of this plane presumably there was the body of a dead soldier. The Mayor of Oploo municipal informed the above mentioned authorities about these findings.

In a wood, within 1 km of the plane, I found two parachutes hanging in a fir-tree, 70-80 meter from each other. Persons were not found anymore. These parachutes were taken by the "Feldgendarmerie" Nijmegen.

The Mayor informed the "Rijksinspecteur van de Luchtbescherming" in The Hague and the "Verbindungsoffizier der Ordnungspolizei" in `s-Hertogenbosch. The Nijmegen "Feldgendarmerie" informed the "Wehrmachtskommandantur".

We searched the surrounding woods but without any result.

In the evening of that same day, at nine o'clock, the Mayor was told that in a sheepshed on the "Heide (Peel)", called "de Vrij", near Venray municipal, probably there was an English soldier.

We immediately went there and found a person, dressed in a military uniform. This person told us that he jumped out of an aircraft. This person was taken with us to the house of "Wachtmeester" Frericks in Oploo. Frericks told the Mayor that he was phoned by a person named Kramer, living in Bakel en Milheeze municipal, who told him that there was an English military with him. Above-mentioned Kramer lives about 1 km from the place where the parachutes were found. We immediately went over there and found a person dressed in a military uniform. This military had told to Mr. Zweerts who stayed with Kramer, that he jumped out of an airplane. This military was also taken to the house of the above mentioned `Wachtmeester" Frericks.

The *"Verbindungsoffizier des Befehlshabers der Ordnungspolizei" in The Hague was informed by phone. We were told that the above mentioned persons would be picked up immediately.

In the morning of July 27th 1942, at four o'clock, these military were handed over to the "Fieldgendarmerie" from Nijmegen.

This police-report signed oath of office, and closed, Oploo 27th July 1942

Seen: Mayor of Oploo c.a.
* "Polizeiofficier beim Beauflragten des ............" in Noord-Brabant province.

In your father's story he mentioned a person called "Schwertz". I'm sure this must be the above mentioned Zweerts. The dead soldier must have been sergeant B.O. Collins (the only crewmember that was KIA by the attack of the Me-110 nightfighter, flown by oberleutnant Loos of I./NJG I Fliegerhorst Venlo).
(However, this information has now been updated in an e-mail received 15 June, 2004, from Marcel Hogenhuis who is researching information regarding the activities of the (then) German base at Venlo airfield as noted Here.) A possible explanation for this discrepancy is that the original attack was carried out by Oberleutnant Loos near Duisberg and that the aircraft was finally shot down by OBlt. Frank over Holland after the crew had bailed out.)


Hans Ooms
Sint Anthonis
The Netherlands

Click Here to view a translation of the local German Meteorological Report for the night in question.
View a copy of the actual Police Report (in Dutch).