Rare and exceptional discovery

At the end of August, the discovery of an English soldier's identity plate in the ash pit of the former Natzweiler concentration camp is a rare and moving event.

During maintenance work, a young resident of the European Center for Deported Resistance Workers, Anna, extracted from the ground of the ash pit an identity tag * (dog tag).

 

After investigation, the Center was able to determine that it belonged to an English airman, Frederic Harold HABGOOD, number 16 02 535, a crew member of an RAF Avro Lancaster bomber.

On the night of 28 to 29 July 1944, his plane, engaged in a raid on Stuttgart, was shot down by the German hunt. The bomber crashed in the area of ??Ottrot (Bas-Rhin). The pilot and co-pilot were killed in the crash but the rest of the crew managed to parachute. Three of the airmen were captured and interned in a camp in Poland. A fourthwas saved by resistance.

Sergeant HABGOOD, meanwhile, managed to hide in Ottrot but, perhaps denounced, he was captured by the Gestapo. Interned in Schirmeck camp, he was transferred to KL Natzweiler where he was hanged on July 31, 1944. He was 21 years old.

As all the deceased deportees and those executed at the camp were cremated in the crematorium, the body of Frederic probably suffered the same fate and his remains were thrown into the ash pit with his identity plate.

 

*The plate discovered is not regulatory. This is a personal plaque made by the Canadian company Birks Sterling.

Thanks to an exceptional mobilization on the social networks, the English family of this aviator could be found quickly. They were very moved by this discovery 74 years after the death of their loved one.