September 7, 2020

Dutch efforts are retrieving the downed RAF BK716 bomber

Filed under: Aviation,History by Orangemaster @ 2:14 pm

After about 12 years of wondering what happened to the missing British Short Stirling Bomber BK716, it was finally found at the bottom of the Markermeer lake, near Amsterdam. In 2020 we’ve also learned that the remains of the seven airmen who went missing aboard this aircraft during World War II are still on board.

A spokesman for Durham Constabulary in the United Kingdom said the Bomber Command Museum of Canada had asked it for help tracking down living relatives of Sergeant Charles Armstrong Bell of Langley Park, County Durham, one of the seven airmen. The relatives of the six other crew members have also been found, although their names have not been revealed.

The BK716 was lost when returning from a bombing raid in Germany in 1943, and first discovered in 2008 when a piece of its landing gear latched onto the anchor of a stranded boat. Experts had long believed that the aircraft was another Short Stirling, the BK710, after examining an aluminium panel. Later, however, a cigarette case and a wooden mascot brought on a new investigation that made the BK716 a more likely candidate.

The defence ministry and a private contractor started retrieving the wreckage of the BK716 on 31 August, with an engine part confirming that it is the BK716. After six weeks, the dredging will have been completed and hopefully we’ll hear all the historical details. For context, the Markermeer is a 700 km² lake that is in fact shallow at 3 to 5 m in depth, while the area the plane parts are being found cover 75 m².

(Links:,, Photo of a different plane, the Short S 31 Half Scale Stirling by, most probably, the Imperial War Museum)

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December 29, 2018

British postage stamp depicts the wrong war

Filed under: History by Orangemaster @ 12:15 pm

The Royal Mail of Britain has presented a collection of stamps online that are due to be issued next year, marking the 75th anniversary of D-Day, depicting the Normandy landings of the Allied troops. Problem is, the stamps actually show Americans troops in what is now modern-day Indonesia (Dutch New Guinea), 13,679 kilometres away from Normandy.

People on social media were quick to point out that the image appears on the American National WWII Museum website and is attributed to the US Coast Guard, showing troops carrying stretchers from a landing craft at Sarmi, Dutch New Guinea on 17 May 1944. As well, the D-Day landings took place on 6 June that year, when British, US and Canadian forces landed on the beaches of northern France.

Not only was the wrong image called ’embarrassing’ online, but it’s probably one of the last times that anyone old enough to have been involved in the war will see these stamps, making it extra embarrassing, according to Paul Woodadge, 49, a D-Day historian. As well, a Twitter account for World War Two tours of Jersey tweeted the Royal Mail to point out that the featured ship, LCI-30, did not participate in the Normandy landings.

In the meantime, Royal Mail has apologised and will correct their error. Here’s a case where if social media or the Internet wasn’t around, the mistake would have been even greater, as people would only have noticed the mistake after the stamps were printed.

(Link and photo:

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May 30, 2016

Dutch dictionary wins top British design prize

Filed under: Design,Literature by Orangemaster @ 9:18 am

British advertising agency D&AD have recently announced this year’s winners of their D&AD Pencil Awards for creative excellence in design and advertising, and the Netherlands nabbed seven awards this year, three less than last year. Studio Joost Grootens picked up a coveted Pencil award for the design of the new Dikke Van Dale, the “oldest and most extensive dictionary of the Dutch language”.

The pearly white cover presents a major break with the familiar dark hues [dark blue, maroon, etc.] traditionally used by the publisher. This signals the current association between the pursuit of knowledge and our use of white and silver digital devices as the portals to information.

With Almost 5000 pages of knowledge and in its fifteenth edition, this year the Van Dale was also fitted with navigational elements such as colours, symbols and illustrations.


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