Cecil Hightower

My great uncle Cecil was the only Canadian with. British crew in Halifax-II JD207 when it was shot down by German night fighter on 26 Jul 1943. His aircraft was 26th in formation returning from a raid on Essen. It crashed on the Kampina Heath just south of the moor Belverstven. The Halifax was named “V” for Victor and was part of RAF 10 Squadron based out of RAF Melbourne in Yorkshire. The Halifax was shot down by Group Commander Werner Steib who played a major role in the development of the Luftwaffe’s night fighter section. That night he was flying the prototype Henkel He.219. Two crew managed to bail out. One managed to get back to England while the other was captured and survived the war in Stalag Luft III. The other 5 crew lost their lives. They were removed from the wreckage with military honour and buried in Woensel, Eindhoven. After the war, Cecil was relocated in the RCAF cemetery in Groesbeek, Holland. He and the pilot were awarded the DFC. Cecil was the co-pilot/Flight Engineer. He was 32.

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