Lancaster NN775 And F/Sgt Allen Olsen Of Toowoomba

We have been contacted by Benjamin Cleynens in the hope that you may know of the whereabouts of Allan Olsen’s surviving relatives, and that this story may be of interest to you.

piotr-forkasiewicz-aviation-illustration-intothedarknessOn March 5, 1945, an RAF Lancaster bomber crashed into a meadow of  the Flemish village of Bunsbeek in Belgium (now part of Glabbeek municipality). The whole crew perished and rests now at Heverlee Military Cemetery.

This incident was etched into the mind of countless villagers of Bunsbeek. Finally, two local enthousiasts, André Bruyninckx and Ben Cleynen contacted Mayor Peter Reekmans. Together with two aviation archaeology societies (Planehunters and BAHAAT) it was decided to form a project group to investigate the site with modern technologies.

A preliminary analogue detection revealed that many parts of the Lancaster were still buried on the spot.  This was confirmed during a magnetometric scan by Bom-Be, which revealed that the whole silhouette of the wartime bomber is still visible.

Two well-known Flemish battlefield archaeologists, Simon Verdegem and Maarten Bracke, joined the team in order to guarantee that this project, with permission of the Flemish official archaeological board, is conducted in a scientific way. Since it is expected from witnesses that most of the famous bomber is still buried, though in a battered and damaged state, a preliminary dig and geophysical survey is to be made.  This archaeological project might reveal a unique insight into this particular aspect of aerial warfare, more than 70 years ago.

The excavation is planned during the weekend of November 11, 2016. Depending on the results, an exposition is planned in 2017.

One of the crewmembers was F/Sgt Allan Olsen from Toowoomba. You can look at Allan Olsen’s military file which is available on-line from the National Archives of Australia. The link is:

We have found Sally Olsen in New Zealand, but we are still searching for the two cousins who we think are living in Toowoomba. Maybe you can help me with this? You can find the story on:

Coincidence: We are going to start the excavation on the anniversary of the birthday of Allan – 11/11/1923.

Very Best regards

Benjamin Cleynen


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