RAF Pilot Robert Roelandt at Bully Cemetery – Bully, France

RAF Pilot Robert Roeland, Beutel and Clarke at Bully Cemtery

Flight Lieutenant Robert Roelandt – Hawker Typhoon

Robert was a Belgium fighter pilot during World War Two. He was an observer in the Belgium air force in 1933 and admitted to the flying school one year later. In 1940 he was a lieutenant pilot in the shooting school in Oostende – Stene when he was taken prisoner by the German invading force during Fal Gelb, the Battle for the Low countries. He managed to escape and after a short period in a Spanish prison camp he ended up in England where he joined the 609 squadron of the RAF in 1942.

After D-Day the 609 squadron had a base in Bayeux-Martragny. On the morning of 26 August, just two months after the Lancaster LL975 ZN-H left England, four Typhoons of the 609th Sqn flew over Eawy forest and spotted a German convoy. During the first overflight all four typhoons fired two 30 kg RP-3 air to ground rockets at the column. Robert Joseph Henri Roelandt “Balbo” and his Typhoon PR-Z with serial number MN142 was shot and crashed in Eawy Forest, not far from the Lancaster crash location.

Belgian RAF Hawker Typhoon Pilot Robert Roeland – Bully Cemtery

Villagers found Robert, a piece of his skull and fingers in a crater, he was buried at the small cemetery in Bully, France. Months later the unknowing father was informed of his fate and showed him the exact crash location. In 1991 the remains of the Typhoon fighter were rediscovered. The six unfired rockets, guns and engine were found.

A remembrance stone is placed in the Bully Cemetery together with the names of crewmembers of the LL975 ZN-H Lancaster bomber which was downed during the night of 24th to 25th June 1944 on a bombrun on the V1 Ski sites near Pommerville as part of Operation Crossbow. More information on the Lancaster through this link.

RAF Pilot Robert Roeland, Beutel and Clarke at Bully Cemtery


The cemetery is open during daylight hours. From the gate walk straight up the path, a memorial of Robert and Lancaster crewmembers Clark and Beutel is on your left hand.

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