Halifax LW323 (21/01/1944)

Halifax LW323 was one of twenty one No 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack Magdeburg on the night of 21st / 22nd January 1944 .

Its seven-man crew comprised:

  • Kenneth Alexander Petch (Pilot)
  • Charles Louis Potter (Navigator)
  • Thomas Mercer Telford (Air Bomber)
  • William Henry Curness (Wireless Operator)
  • John Napier (Air Gunner)
  • Richard HA Shirley (Air Gunner)
  • Ryszard Cederbaum (Flight Engineer)

The route was 5430N 0500E, 5430N 0640E, 5320N 0931E, 5247N 1200E, Target, 5155N 1118E, 5320N 0931E, 5430N 0640E, 5430N 0500E

The Squadron’s Operations Record Book shows that LW323 was attacked by an enemy fighter south of the target and P/O J Napier, the tail gunner, was hit in the right leg by a cannon shell and sustained a compound fractured of the tibia and fibula. The aircraft landed at RAF Woodbridge and P/O Napier was admitted to the East Suffolk and Ipswich Hospital.


Halifax LW323

The AM Form 78 (Movement Card) shows that the aircraft was classified as Cat FB/B. It was returned to Handley Page and subsequently reclassified as FB/E; it was struck off charge on 31st March 1944

J Napier

J Napier was not operational with No. 35 Squadron after this incident

Memories of TM Telford

Flying with No. 35 Squadron Path Finder Force from Graveley, our crew took part in an attack on Magdeburg on 21st January 1944 – read more –