On 30 March 1943 a Short Sterling bomber (BK 716) of No.218 Squadron which was also known as the Gold Coast Squadron after the Governor of the Gold Coast (modern-day Ghana) and the people of the Gold Coast who adopted the squadron, was shot down by German fighter pilot Werner Rapp. The entire crew was killed and there was no trace of the aircraft which crashed somewhere over the Netherlands.
No source but said to be the crew of BK 716 during training
In 2008 the Stirling was accidently discovered after part of its undercarriage fouled the anchor of a boat on Lake Markermeer, Netherlands, and in 2019 a cigarette case bearing the initials of Flying Officer John Michael Campbell was recovered and human remains of the crew were identified through DNA. The crew are now remembered at the Bos der Onverzettelijen Memorial Gardens in the Netherlands.
Research and recovery was coordinated by Johan Grass a volunteer who investigates crash sites in the Netherlands and founded the Aircraft Recovery Group.
The Crew of Short Stirling BK 716
Sgt Charles Armstrong Bell, 23 from Langley Park, County Durham
Pilot Officer John Michael Campbell, 30 from Golders Green, London
Flying Officer Harry Gregory Farrington, 24 from Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada
Flying Officer John Frederick Harris, 28 from Swindon, Wiltshire
Sgt Ronald Kennedy, 22 from Newcastle-upon-Tyne