ISOB John E. McCormick
In front of the church to the left of the entrance; the only grave. Isolated Burial
A low grey stone inscribed grave with the names of the three Dutch Resistance fighters and SSG McCormick.
The Isolated Burial of Staff Sergeant John E. McCormick, United States Army Air Force, who is buried and honored alongside three Dutch Resistance fighters who were was killed by the enemy in April/May 1945.
SSG McCormick was a Waist Gunner on B-24 (42-95241) also known as the “Jolly Duck” of the 578th Bomber Squadron, 392nd Bomber Group, 8th US Air Force. On February 22, 1945, the “Jolly Duck” was on a bombing mission over Germany. After completing mission on the return flight, the plane lost two engines. The pilots were able to make a controlled crash landing in Zoeterwoude, Holland; all of the nine man crew survived. The plane commander directed the crew split up in order to evade capture. Some were captured; others were able to evade and return to duty with the assistance of Dutch Resistance.
McCormick was assisted by the Dutch Resistance to a nearby hunting lodge "Het Jachthuis" on the banks of the River Rotte. There he decided to stay and fight with the Dutch Resistance, which he did for the next two months. On April 29, 1945, the enemy attacked “Het Jachthuis” killing McCormick and Jacob van Rij; Cornelis van Eerden and Jan Hoorn were killed on May 4, 1945 in Zoetermeer.
McCormick was initially buried in nearby Zevenhuizen along with vanRij. After the war they were moved to the Zoetermeer Old Churchyard buried with full military honors on October 29, 1945. McCormick’s father agreed to leave his son buried in Zoetermeer with the enthusiastic support of the local community. An organization of Dutch resistance workers places flowers on the grave every 29 April; the City Council of Zoetermeer arranges flowers on 4 May, the Dutch Memorial Day.
A memorial also remembers McCormick, his fellow B-24 crew mates, and 4 Dutch citizens. See Site Zoeterwoude, B-24 B-24 (42-95241) aka “Jolly Duck” Crash Site Memorial.
A memorial at the hunting lodge - "Het Jachthuis", remembers the Dutch Resistance, McCormick and Jacob van Rij; the memorial is named “Reflection Towards the Future:". See Site Zevenhuizen, Reflection Towards the Future Memorial.
HUN VADERLAND GETROUWE
(Faithful to their Fatherland)
Jacob van Rij
Cornelis van Eerden