Failed to Return

F/O P G Milburn and Crew

550 Squadron Lancaster ME581 was lost during the night of 22/23 April 1944 when it was shot down by a night-fighter while returning from a bombing mission over Duesseldorf. The aircraft crashed 5 km SE of Spa (Liege), 10 km S of Verviers.

The crew were all killed and are buried in Heverlee War Cemetery:

The picture below shows the F/O Milburn crew:

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F/O Milburn and Crew
Photo kindly made available by the Musee de la Ville de Spa (via Wilfred Burie)
Coll. Musées de la Ville d’eaux – Spa

The entry on the 550 Squadron Roll of Honour is available here.

Other information about the flight and the target available here.

F/O P Milburn RCAF (Pilot)

nburdett F/O Phil Milburn RCAF
Photo courtesy of the Milburn family
nburdett News paper clipping reporting the loss of F/O Phil Milburn RCAF and crew
Photo courtesy of the Milburn family
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Log book cover
Photo courtesy of the Milburn family
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Log book
Photo courtesy of the Milburn family
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Log book
Photo courtesy of the Milburn family
F/O Milburn
Photo courtesy of Wilfred Burie (Rebecq Association)

F/O Milburn Service Book
Photo courtesy of Wilfred Burie (Rebecq Association)


Photo courtesy of Wilfred Burie (Rebecq Association)

F/O Milburn Service Book
Photo courtesy of Wilfred Burie (Rebecq Association)


Photo courtesy of Wilfred Burie (Rebecq Association)


Photo courtesy of Wilfred Burie (Rebecq Association)


Photo courtesy of Wilfred Burie (Rebecq Association)


Photo courtesy of Wilfred Burie (Rebecq Association)

P/O N W E Burdett RCAF (Nav)

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Norman Burdett RCAF
Photo courtesy of Alistair Taylor
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R Burdett RCAF
(brother, A/G but not with 550 Sqdn)
Photo courtesy of Alistair Taylor
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R Burdett RCAF
(photo is labelled "R Burdett", but appears to be more like N Burdett especially when compared with the photo below)
Photo courtesy of Alistair Taylor
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Log book cover
Photo courtesy of Alistair Taylor
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Certificate of Qualification (Navigator)
Photo courtesy of Alistair Taylor
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Navigator Log Book
Photo courtesy of Alistair Taylor
Norman William Ellison Burdett
Photo courtesy of Wilfred Burie (Rebecq Association)

Norman William Ellison Burdett papers
Photo courtesy of Wilfred Burie (Rebecq Association)

Norman William Ellison Burdett (Attestation Papers, pg 1 of 2)
Photo courtesy of Wilfred Burie (Rebecq Association)

Norman William Ellison Burdett (Attestation Papers, pg 2 of 2)
Photo courtesy of Wilfred Burie (Rebecq Association)

Norman William Ellison Burdett (postings)
Photo courtesy of Wilfred Burie (Rebecq Association)

F/O B B Ashley RCAF (B/A) new08/12/2013

P1020991 F/O Borden Bramshott Ashley RCAF
Photo courtesy of Wilfred Burie

Berinzenne Crash Reports



Photo courtesy of Wilfred Burie (Rebecq Association)


Photo courtesy of Wilfred Burie (Rebecq Association)


Photo courtesy of Wilfred Burie (Rebecq Association)


Photo courtesy of Wilfred Burie (Rebecq Association)

Berinzenne Memorial

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The local inhabitants erected a memorial to the crew in the Fagnes of Berinzenne. The force of impact left a four metres deep crater, near which now stands the memorial dedicated to the crew.

Many thanks to Michel Jaupart of the Institut des vétérans, Bruxelles for sending the photos in and permission to put them on the web-site. To learn more about the work of the Institut click here.

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Plaque commemorating the crew members
Photo courtesy of Michel Jaupart
Memorial550SqBerinzenne
Memorial stone
Photo courtesy of Michel Jaupart
Memorial550SqInsigne
550 Squadron insignia
Photo courtesy of Michel Jaupart

Historical Records

There are a number of photos from the crash site taken on 27th August 1944, after the Germans had taken away the major parts of wreckage. The pictures shows the Count Henri d'Outrelmont with friends trying to dig up an engine.

Berinzenne Pictures taken at the crash site on 27th August 1944
"Archives Musées de la Ville d'eaux de Spa"
Many thanks to the museum authorities for allowing the information to be published (made available via Wilfred Burie and Eric Moureau)

There is also a wealth of information available from the time of the planning and inauguration of the memorial in 1947. Much of this was collected and is available in the archive of the museum in Spa, Belgium (Archives Musées de la Ville d'eaux de Spa), and was on loan for a period at the "Never Forget" Expo.

Berinzenne Memorial planning and inauguration, letters and photos, 1946,1947
"Archives Musées de la Ville d'eaux de Spa"
Many thanks to the museum authorities for allowing the information to be published (made available via Wilfred Burie and Eric Moureau)

Memorial Visits

Over the years the memorial has been visited both by the families and by the memorial associations. A selection of links below (click the photos) show the records of the visits.

Memorial550SqdnBerinzenne F/O P Milburn's twin brother at the Memorial in 2011, 60 years after first visiting the monument
Photo courtesy of the Milburn family
Berinzenne Rebecq Association visited the memorial in July 2013 to lay a wreath on behalf of 550 Association
Photo courtesy of Wilfred Burie
Berinzenne 550 Squadron Association visited the memorial in June 2014 to lay a wreath on behalf of 550 Association
BerinzenneExpo "Never Forget", an Exhibition (running from April 14th to August 31st 2014) in memory of F/O Milburn
Photo courtesy of Eric Moureau