Wednesday 1st March 2023
On 21st Feb 1945, Halifax bomber NP711 was shot down, killing all on board. Although the crash site was initially searched by the Germans, after the war it was abandoned and ultimately forgotten.
In an exclusive new documentary, Crash Site Detective: What happened to Halifax NP711? Forces News follows crash site investigator Erik Wieman as he attempts to locate the exact spot where the bomber came down during a mission over Nazi Germany.
Erik is a Dutch Marine Corps veteran with a passion for archeology. He spends much of his time honouring the memories of Second World War men who died in plane crashes by investigating the sites and doggedly searching for their relatives to let them know they have been found.
Using metal detectors, extreme attention to detail, and the military knowledge he acquired during his service, Erik has discovered 11 long-forgotten World War Two crash sites and located another 15 downed aircraft that he hopes to positively identify.
In the documentary, Mr Wieman uses his knowledge, his past as a private detective, and a team of mainly ex-military excavating volunteers to track down the evidence needed to pinpoint the exact location where Flight NP711 came down in flames. Once it has been located, Forces News gains exclusive access to film his team’s excavation work.
Mr Wieman’s painstaking work brings to light the secrets surrounding the death of seven men from 408 “Goose” Squadron, Royal Canadian Air Force who died in the devastating crash, including 20-year-old RAF airman Flight Engineer Sergeant James Wilson.
Watch Crash Site Detective: What happened to Halifax NP711? Now on the Forces News YouTube channel.