Halifax BB368 (21/06/1943)

Halifax BB368 was one of nineteen No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack Krefeld on the night of the 21st / 22nd June 1943.

Its seven-man crew comprised:

  • Donald Harold Milne (Pilot)
  • Anthony Graham Cox (Navigator)
  • Peter Richard Lissner (Air Bomber)
  • John Jolly (Wireless Operator)
  • Kenneth Wolstencroft (Air Gunner)
  • Robert Abner Hugh Bowring (Air Gunner)
  • Thomas Reginald Maxwell Smith (Flight Engineer)

The route was 5210N 0137E, Krefeld, Nordwijk, Happisburgh.

The squadron’s Operations Record Book shows “This aircraft eventually ditched in the sea and all the navigator’s logs were lost. All crew safe. Starboard outer engine hit by flak 40 miles inside the Dutch Coast. Aircraft went on to the target, dropped bombs and port inner failed just after crossing the Dutch Coast”


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

“Another kind of courage; Stories of the UK-based Walrus air-sea rescue squadrons” by Norman Franks

Main Walrus Rescues by No. 278 Squadron 22 June (1943)

Walrus L2238 (W/O F C Perry and Sgt D R Swindell) (Coltishall) and Walrus K8549 (F/O W A L and P/O P J Roy)

Crew of 35 Sqn Halfax (BB368) that ditched off Cromer coming back from Krefeld. Four of the seven men later transferred to second Walrus  07:30 – 09:15.

Bill Land helped with the rescue of the seven-man crew of a Halifax of 35 Squadron on 22 June, but it took two Walrus crews to do the job.

We proceeded to position H.1525, near the Cross Sands lightship, where we saw an Anson, flown by Flight Sergeant Peskett, orbiting a dinghy. Nearby on the water was a Walrus, pilot Warrant Officer ‘Fred’ Perry, who had taken seven men from a dinghy. I landed in a three-foot swell at 09.10 hrs.

We transferred four men from Fred’s Walrus and I was taxying for a take-off when my engine stalled. Paul Roy climbed on the wing and using a starting handle managed to restart it. This was no easy task in view of the swell and the fact that the Pegasus engine required plenty of brawn to turn it over.

Both our aircraft managed to take off at around 09:30, and headed for base. Our customers were all in good shape and spirits, and I was photographed with my four back at Coltishall.(Flying Officer W A Land, No.278 Squadron).

Their bomber (BB368/H) had been hit in the starboard outer engine by flak 40 minutes inside the Dutch border, but they had flown on to the target. On the way home the port engine had failed just after recrossing the Dutch coast and they had just failed to reach the English coast.