Halifax HR863 (09/07/1943)

Halifax HR863 was one of nine No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack Gelsenkirchen on the night of 9th / 10th July 1943.

Its seven-man crew comprised:

  • E Solomon (Pilot)
  • HDS White (Navigator)
  • DWM Archer (Air Bomber)
  • SC McKiernan (Wireless Operator)
  • RC Davies (Air Gunner)
  • A Stephen (Air Gunner)
  • ANL Moss (Flight Engineer)

The route was Happisburgh, Texel, 5215N 0705E, Gelsenkirchen, 5040N 0725E, 5005N 0635E, 5000N 0115E, Beachy Head, Reading

The squadron’s Operations Record Book shows “Both the bomb aimer and the navigator were hit by flak at position of green steady but bombed successfully.


Citation for HDS White

One night in July 1943 this airman was navigator of an aircraft detailed for an operation against Gelsenkirchen. On the outward flight, whilst many miles from the target, the bomber was his by anti-aircraft fire. Sergeant White sustained 3 wounds in the leg but, in spite of considerable pain, he continued to navigate the bomber to the target which was successfully attacked. On the return flight he made light of his injuries and remained at his station to navigate the aircraft safely back to base when he collapsed through loss of blood. Sergeant White displayed outstanding fortitude and courage, setting an example worthy of high praise.’


  1. HDS White (Navigator) was posted to RAF Wyton as N/E (Sick) on 29th August 1943, returning to the squadron on 12th September 1943.
  2. DWM Archer (Air Bomber) had returned to operational duties by 24th July 1943