Driver Albert E Abbott

21 Sep 1944

Albert Edward Abbott was born in Tottenham North London on 16 March 1914. Son of Albert Edward and Francis Eliza Abbott. He attended the Lancasterian School Tottenham and later become a lorry driver.

On the 31 October 1936 he married Edith Canham. They had two children, a son Leslie Abbott and a daughter Rosita Abbott. He joined the Royal Army Service corps in 1939 and volunteered for the Airborne Forces three years later.

He saw service in North Africa. Albert was posted to 253 Divisional Airborne Composite Company RASC, taking part in Operation Market Garden. On the 21 September 1944 his plane LJ833 a short Stirling mk IV of RAF 190 Squadron took off at 12.16 for a resupply mission in support of Operation Market Garden. After successfully dropping supplies, on return the plane was hit by flak and encountered German fighter planes, it was hit and caught on fire. The plane rapidly lost altitude not allowing the crew to leave by parachute. It was decided to belly land the aircraft, however the village of Batenburg was directly ahead of them and due to a resolute action by the pilot at 16.00 he ditched the burning aircraft into the river Maas, preventing a major disaster for the village of Batenburg.

Due to quick action of a number of local circus performers three of the crew were rescued. LJ833 crew in total 9 6 who lost there lives F/Lt A. Anderson (pilot) - RAF - Groesbeek F/O A D Adamson (navigator) - RAF - Ravenstein F/Sgt W G Toiley (radio operator)- RAF - Bergen op Zoom F/Sgt A G O Bellamy (tail gunner - RAF - Ravenstein F/Sgt G F Conry Candler (2nd Pilot) RAF - Batenburg DVR A E Abbott (dispatcher) RASC - Groesbeek 3 survivors Sgt A J Smith (flight engineer) - RAF F/Sgt G E Orange (Bombardier) - RASC DVR L E Bloomfield (dispatcher) - RAF. Albert was originally buried in Appeltern Cemetery and re interred to Groesbeek in November 1979.

In 2003 the landing gear of the LJ833 was found and in 2004 it was made into a war memorial. This memorial sits beside the river Maas at Batenburg and is in honour of the 6 crew members who lost their lives there on 21 September 1944.


Written with information kindly supplied by Donna Phipps, grand daughter of Albert E Abbott. The profile photograph was given to her by my mother, Albert’s Daughter grandfather. 

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Service History

OS Albert E Abbott

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