207 SQUADRON ROYAL AIR FORCE HISTORY
Solly Crew Crash Site, EM-M LL973
22 June 1944, near Dorne
Province of Limburg, Belgium
Three members of the Solly crew were found dead at or very near the crash site:
Pilot Officer Charles John "Mike" Solly
RAFVR, Pilot, age 22
On Saturday May 7th 2005, during a visit to Belgium for a dedication of a memorial at nearby Meeuwen to the Corless crew lost on the same raid, the 207 Sqn Association group visited the Solly crew's crash site, where Eddie Chapman (Bomb Aimer) and Frank Haslam snr (Wireless Operator) laid this wreath:
Danny Vanstraelen, 207 Sqn Association Friend member, who lives not far from the crash site, arranged with the Avermate family, owners of the land, for us to have permission to mount this wreath on a stake at the corner of the crash site field.
Members of the family greeted us at the site. Eddie Chapman, Bomb Aimer, thanks Mr Avermate while Frank Haslam snr, Wireless Operator inspects a small piece of wreckage recently found in the field by the Avermate family.
Frank R Haslam (W/Op, evaded) and Eddie Chapman (B/A, PoW) in the Solly crew
at the site where their aircraft EM-M LL973 crashed on 22 June 1944: taken on Sat 7 May 2005.
Click the image for a view including Friend members Danny Vanstraelen and Leon Reumers.
The late Arthur Barton (F/E) and Eddie Chapman visited Belgium in 1947. They are shown here standing in the crater left when the bombs finally cooked off about 90 minutes after the aircraft crashed.
For many years one of the main wheels lay in what became a boundary hedge - at the time of the crash the land was not cultivated a wood of young saplings.
In the Summer of 1996 Frank Haslam's son Frank (the editor) and his wife Jane and three sons James, Philip and Robert stayed at Ellikom, not far from Meeuwen, as guests of Leon Reumers, the father in law of Danny Vanstraelen. Danny is the grandson of Gerard and Helena Delsaer, who hid Sgt Frank R Haslam for 13 weeks in 1944. Helena was by then widowed.
We spent a happy two weeks with her and Danny travelling around and were glad that we had done so for in the October Helena died.
The boys are shown collecting wreckage fragments from the field.
207 Squadron RAF History
The Wesseling Raid
Some items of wreckage found over the years at the crash site
page last updated 12 Sep 2006