Halifax R9364 (30/12/1941)

Halifax R9364 was one of six No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to Brest on 30th December 1941.

Its seven-man crew comprised:

  • Harry Aston Williams (Pilot)
  • Reginald John Lane (2nd Pilot)
  • Arthur Sykes (Observer)
  • Leonard Stewart Thorpe (WOP/AG)
  • Francis Edwin Flint (WOP/AG)
  • Luther Martin (Air Gunner)
  • [-] Crowther (Flight Engineer)

The squadron’s Operations Record Book shows ” Results of bombing unobserved owing to violent evasive action from extremely accurate flak. Starboard outer engine rendered unserviceable by flak. Top and tail turrets holed and various other holes in fuselage. Aircraft landed safely at base”

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

AM Form 78

The AM Form 78 (Movement Card) does not show any movement / repairs to the aircraft as a result of this incident

AM Form 1180 (Accident Card)

There is no AM Form 1180 (Accident Card) for this incident





Halifax DT489 (05/10/1942)

Halifax DT489 was one of twelve No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack Aachen on the night of the 5th / 6th October 1942.

Its seven-man crew comprised:

  • Harry Burns MacDonald (Pilot)
  • Ronald Edward Wilkes (2nd Pilot)
  • John Baker (Navigator)
  • Edward Whitter (Wireless Operator)
  • Jack Reginald Ely (Air Gunner)
  • George Carpenter (Air Gunner)
  • James Ellis Jones (Flight Engineer)

The squadron’s Operations Record Book shows “Aircraft returned early from 20 miles south of Cambridge after being struck by lightning at 20.00hrs, the trailing aerial breaking off and the Flight Engineer, Sergeant Jones being temporarily blinded by lightning flash. A landing was made with flares still on at Wyton.


Halifax DT488 (20/12/1942)

Halifax DT488 was one of nine No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack Duisburg on the night of the 20th / 21st December 1942.

Its seven-man crew comprised:

  • Ronald Edward Wilkes (Pilot)
  • Terence Gordon O’Shaughnessy (Navigator)
  • Ronald Wheatley (Air Bomber)
  • Frederick Hay (Wireless Operator)
  • Frank Walter Vincent (Air Gunner)
  • Michael Albert Edward Bradford (Air Gunner)
  • Thomas Laurie Brown (Flight Engineer)

The squadron’s Operations Record Book shows “Before the aircraft could carry out an attack, it was hit by heavy ‘flak’ in the port inner and starboard outer engines; the D.R. Compass and various electrical leads were severed and the aircraft, flying on only two engines, began to lose height. This occurred when the aircraft was flying at 18,000 feet. The bombload of 8 x 1,000lb and 2 x 500lb G.P. bombs were immediately jettisoned and despite the adverse circumstances, a photograph was at the same time successfully attempted. After further jettisoning of flares and ammunition etc, it was found possible to maintain height at 6,300 feet. At 20.31 hours, the aircraft was sighted and chased by a Ju88, which made three attacks but fired only one burst. Our aircraft was then flying at a reduced speed of only 90 knots, but during the engagement, which lasted four minutes, the Rear Gunner managed to get three bursts and saw strikes in the nose of the enemy aircraft, which finally dived steeply away and was not seen again During both incidents, the entire crew remained very calm and were extremely efficient in jettisoning equipment and combating adversity, the Flight Engineer being outstanding. The Captain finally landed his damaged aircraft skilfully at Martlesham Heath”

AM Form 78

The AM Form 78 (Movement Card) does not show any information regarding the incident, although the aircraft was not used operationally again until February 1943

AM Form 1180

There is no AM Form 1180 (Accident Card) for this incident; as such, there are no further details available

Halifax W1231 (08/04/1943)

Halifax W1231 was one of eight No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack Duisburg on the night of 8th / 9th April 1943.

Its seven-man crew comprised:

  • Harold Cass Pexton (Pilot)
  • Francis Fenton (Navigator)
  • Cyril Duggan Hughes (Air Bomber)
  • Colin John Weldon (Wireless Operator)
  • James Walter Warren (Air Gunner)
  • William David Ronald Walters (Air Gunner)
  • Ernest Frederick John Willis (Flight Engineer)

The Squadron’s Record Book shows “Returned early from Rotterdam (approximately) 23.38 hours, 13,000 feet owing to icing which prevented aircraft climbing even after jettisoning 4 x 1000lb GP; also DR Compass showed error of 120 degrees and Gee went U/S. Cloud up to 12,000 feet all the way to Dutch Coast with icing. 2 x 1000lb GP safe in sea 23.05hrs 9000ft, 5 x 1000lb GP live in sea off Dutch Coast 23.50hrs 12000ft. I x 2000lb HC hung up and fell off on runway on landing”


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Graveley Flight Log

In the early hours of the 9th April 1943, a Halifax, U-Uncle was the last to land from operations. This was fortunate because as soon as it touched down, sparks were observed streaming out below the tail. After the aircraft had run a few hundred yards they ceased. An investigation disclosed a 2,000 lb. bomb on the centre of the main runway, near Flying Control. It had been hung up by its tail and when the aircraft touched down its nose was dragged along the runway until the bumps caused it to fall off. At dawn an airman was seen to be sitting on it smoking a cigarette, his job being to keep the inquisitive away.

AM Form 78

Halifax W7885 (03/01/1943)

The AM Form 78 (Movement Card) shows that the aircraft was classified as FB/AC on 3rd January 1943.

There were no operational sorties recorded in the squadron’s Operations Record Book for that day, so it is assumed that any damage was sustained during exercises. The aircraft was operational again by 4th February 1943


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

AM Form 78

The AM Form 78 (Movement Card) is confusing, as it suggests that it was on charge of No 105 Squadron, but they were flying Mosquito at the time

AM Form 1180

There is no AM Form 1180 (Accident Card) for the incident, so no further information is available

Halifax W7878 (29/03/1943)

Halifax W7878 was one of seventeen No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack Berlin on the night of 29th / 30th March 1943.

Its seven-man crew comprised:

  • Oscar William Rees (Pilot)
  • Ronald George Hands (Navigator)
  • Vernon Reginald Matthews (Air Bomber)
  • Arthur Denby Barker (Wireless Operator)
  • Ivor Corfield (Air Gunner)
  • Thomas Henry Navin Emerson (Air Gunner)
  • George Henry Cross (Flight Engineer)

The Squadron’s Record Book shows “Berlin at 19500ft, hit repeatedly by HFF; starboard outer and port hit. On run up, aircraft subjected to considerable amount of heavy flak. After dropping TIs, coned in a heavy flak which put starboard inner engine out of action and riddled aircraft from nose to tail, hitting petrol tanks. Also starboard and port outer hit, fortunately not putting these out of action. Landed Coltishall”


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

AM Form 78

The AM Form 78 (Movement Card) shows that the aircraft was classified as FB/AC on 30th March 1943 and it was sent for repair; it was returned to the squadron on 27th May 1943

AM Form 1180

There is no AM Form 1180 (Accident Card) for this incident, so no further details are available

Halifax W7878 (30/01/1943)

Halifax W7878 was one of three No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack Hamburg on the night of the 30th / 31st January 1943.

Its seven-man crew comprised:

  • Oscar William Rees (Pilot)
  • Herbert Brian Felix  Lymna (Observer / Navigator)
  • Vernon Reginald Matthews (Air Bomber)
  • Arthur Denby Barker (Wireless Operator / [WOP/AG])
  • Ivor Corfield (Air Gunner)
  • Leonard Jesse North (Air Gunner)
  • John Maurice Mitchell (Flight Engineer)

There are no details of any damage recorded in the squadron’s Operations Record Book but the AM Form 1180 (Accident Card) shows: “Aircraft landing, strong cross wind xxxxx swung off runway; unable to check aircraft to avoid hitting unmarked defence post”


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

AM Form 78

AM Form 78 (Movement Card) shows that the aircraft was classified as FB/AC on 31st January 1943; it was sent for repair and returned to the squadron on 11th February 1943

Halifax W7872 (31/01/1943)

The AM Form 1180 (Accident Card) shows “Sgt. Fitter (H Wasley) taxying aircraft to dispersal in the dark without assistance collided with tail of W7875 standing on perimeter track”


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

AM Form 78

The Movement Card (AM Form 78) shows that the aircraft was classified as FB/AC on 31st January 1943. It was sent for repair and returned to the squadron on 13th February 1943

Halifax W7866 (20/12/1942)

Halifax W7866 was one of nine No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack Duisburg on the night of the 20th / 21st December 1942.

Its seven-man crew comprised:

  • Geoffrey Norman Reeve (Pilot)
  • Elmer Harold Anthony (Navigator)
  • Stanley Alfred Miller (Air Bomber)
  • Harry James Leonard Peto (Wireless Operator)
  • Lloyd George Lawson (Air Gunner)
  • William Scott Minto Edmondston (Air Gunner)
  • George Richard Bradley (Flight Engineer)

There are no details of any damage recorded in the squadron’s Operations Record Book, but the AM Form 1180 (Accident Card) shows “After landing, undercarriage collapsed; no defect (It cannot be assumed that the pilot did not lock undercarriage but in view of doubt and pilots clean record, no further action”


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

The AM Form 78 (Movement Card) shows that the aircraft was classified as FB/AC on 21st December 1942; it adds that the aircraft was sent for repair and was not returned to the squadron

Halifax W7779 (20/04/1943)

Halifax W7779 was one of thirteen No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack Stettin on the night of the 20th / 21st April 1943.

Its seven-man crew comprised:

  • John Rushbrooke Petrie-Andrews (Pilot)
  • John Wright Armitage (Navigator)
  • Horace John Backhouse (Air Bomber)
  • Rhubean Burns Berwick (Wireless Operator)
  • George Dale (Air Gunner)
  • Norman Wilken Barnett (Air Gunner)
  • John Henry Morgan (Flight Engineer)

The squadron’s Operations Record Book shows: Shell exploded in nose of aircraft at 5459N 1053E at 23.57 hours whilst at 1000ft. Bomb Sight, air speed indicator, DR Compass and inter-com all made unserviceable. Wireless Operator and Navigator were wounded


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

AM Form 78

The AM Form 78 (Movement Card shows that the aircraft was classified as FB/AC on 21st April 1943; it was sent for repair and returned to the squadron on 24th May 1943

AM Form 1180

There is no AM Form 1180 (Accident Card) available; as such, there are no further details

Armitage and Berwick

Both airmen returned to operational service with the squadron shortly after the incident

Halifax W7778 (08/03/1943)

Halifax W7778 was one of eleven No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack Nurnburg on 8th / 9th March 1943

Its six man crew consisted of:

  • George Frank Lambert (Pilot)
  • Gordon Davidson Hogg (Navigator)
  • James Errol Philip Doll (Air Bomber)
  • Ronald Arnold Kempsell (Wireless Operator)
  • Samuel James Knight (Air Gunner)
  • Anthony Claude Beddoe (Flight Engineer)

The squadron’s Operations Record Book shows: At Longuyon, 21.38 hours, 13500ft, attacked by JU88, port inner oil tank holed. Port flap approx. 2ft shot away, rear turret U/S due to oil leak. Port inner bomb door shot off and port inner propeller damaged. Sortie abandoned as still over 200 miles from target


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

AM Form 78

The AM Form 78 (Movement Card) shows that the aircraft was classified as FB/AC on 8th March 1943; the aircraft was sent for repair and was returned to the squadron on 22nd March 1943

(Note: The AM Form 78 suggests that it was not returned to the squadron until 22nd April 1943; however the squadron’s Operations Record Book shows that it was operational again from 22nd March)

AM Form 1180

There is no AM Form 1180 (Accident Card) for this incident; as such, there are no further details available

Halifax W7778 (29/05/1943)

Halifax W7778 was one of twenty-one No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack Wuppertal on 29th / 30th May 1943

Its seven man crew consisted of:

  • Nelson Alexander Cobb (Pilot)
  • David Archibald Codd (Navigator)
  • Walter Palfrey Trask (Air Bomber)
  • Charles Henry Bulloch (Wireless Operator)
  • Norman Francis Williams (Air Gunner)
  • Thomas Richard Desmond Smith (Air Gunner)
  • Roland Hurlston Baldwin (Flight Engineer)

The squadron’s Operations Record Book shows: Aircraft hit by flak. Port tyre burst and aircraft crashed, belly landing at base


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

AM Form 78

The AM Form 78 (Movement Card shows that the aircraft was classified as FB/AC on 29th May 1943. The aircraft was struck off charge of the squadron and sent to Handley Page for repair. It was not returned to the squadron on completion of repairs

AM Form 1180

There is no AM Form 1180 (Accident Card) for this incident; as such, there are no further details available

Extract from “Blue Job – Brown Job” by David Codd DFC

“Over the target area we had felt a considerable bump when our aircraft was hit. The elevator had suffered some damage but not enough to make the aircraft unflyable. We got back to base without too much trouble but when we made our final approach to touch down we had a nasty shock. Unbeknown to us, the port undercarriage and tyre had been damaged. As we hit the runway, the aircraft slewed off to the left and both legs of the undercarriage sheared off as it went into a ground loop, finishing with a belly landing on the grass. Fortunately, none of the crew were injured and the aircraft was sufficiently clear of the runway to allow other returning aircraft to land safely”.

Halifax W7711 (12/05/1943)

Halifax W7711 was one of twenty No. 35 Squadron aircraft that were detailed to attack Duisburg on 12th / 13th May 1943

Its seven man crew comprised:

  • Peter Johnston (Pilot)
  • Reginald Gordon Houston (Navigator)
  • Roy Wood (Air Bomber)
  • Benjamin Thomas Royall (Wireless Operator)
  • Harold John Rogers (Air Gunner)
  • Charles Fullerton Stewart (Air Gunner)
  • Frederick James Jarvis (Flight Engineer)

The squadron’s Operations Record Book shows: Gee and Navigational Aid U/S. Duisburg 02.03 hours, 15500ft heavy flak shell near miss. Utrecht 10 miles WNW 02.45, 8000ft – tracer from enemy aircraft


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

AM Form 78

The Movement Card (AM Form 78) shows that the aircraft was classified as FB/AC on 13th May 1943; the aircraft was struck off charge of the squadron and sent to Handley Page for repair. It was not returned to the squadron on completion of repairs

AM Form 1180

There is no AM Form 1180 (Accident Card) for this incident; as such, there is no further information available

Halifax HR987 (01/09/1943)

The AM Form 78 (Movement Card) shows that the aircraft was classified as FB/AC on 1st September 1943.

The squadron’s Operations Record Book has no information regarding any damage sustained


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

AM Form 78

The AM Form 78 (Movement Card) shows that the aircraft was classified as FB/AC on 1st September 1943 (possibly whilst being utilised by 158 Squadron?) ; it is unclear when it was returned to the squadron, but it was operational on 8th September 1943

AM Form 1180

There is no AM Form 1180 (Accident Card) for this incident; as such, there is no further information available

Halifax HR987 (27/09/1943)

Halifax HR987 was one of twenty-one aircraft No. 35 Squadron detailed to attack Hanover on the night of 27th / 28th September 1943.

Its seven-man crew comprised:

  • Brian Guinness Glover (Pilot)
  • Edmund Howard Williams (Navigator)
  • John Brett (Air Bomber)
  • Arthur William Griffiths (Wireless Operator)
  • Philip Charles Potter (Air Gunner)
  • William Carroll Connelly (Air Gunner)
  • Thomas Smith Redpath (Flight Engineer)

The squadron Operations Record Book does not contain any information about damage but the AM Form 1180 (Accident Card) shows “Damaged by incendiaries over the target”


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

AM Form 78

The AM Form 78 (Movement Card) shows that the aircraft was classified as FB/AC. It was allocated to Handley Page (for repair) and was not returned to the squadron.

Halifax L9569 (09/12/1941 [Non Op])

Halifax L9569 was being flown by RA Norman and crew (Night Exercise) on 9th December 1941.

The AM Form 1180 (Accident Card) shows “Tail wheel collapsed on landing causing swing; suspected severe tail wheel …………. . Isolated case in this squadron although experienced in 765 Squadron and Conversion Flight; failure to be watched in future.


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

AM Form 78

The AM Form 78 (Movement Card) shows that the aircraft was sent for repair; it was returned to the squadron on 31 January 1942

AM Form 1180

Lancaster ND929 (08/05/1944)

Lancaster ND929 was one of fourteen No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack Haine-St-Pierre on the night of the 8th / 9th May 1944.

Its seven-man crew comprised:

  • John Forde (Pilot)
  • John Henry Rollins (Navigator)
  • Herbert William Warner (Air Bomber)
  • Donald Carruthers (Wireless Operator)
  • Victor Arthur Roe (Air Gunner)
  • William Thomas Quirke (Air Gunner)
  • Douglas Aubrey Cole (Flight Engineer)

The squadron’s Operations Record Book shows: “Aircraft attacked by JU88 and had to corkscrew; this made aircraft late and had to do a dummy run”


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

AM Form 78

The AM Form 78 shows that the aircraft was classified as Cat AC ROS on 9th May 1944. It was repaired and returned to the squadron on 27th May 1944

AM Form 1180

There isn’t an AM Form 1180 (Accident Card) held at the RAF Museum and, as such, it has not been possible to establish any more details

Lancaster ND929 (24/07/1944)

Lancaster ND929 was one of sixteen No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack Stuttgart on 24th / 25th July 1944.

The crew comprised:

  • Douglas Lawrence Knobloch (Pilot)
  • John Maule (Navigator)
  • Francis Herbert Thomas McNally (Air Bomber)
  • Ronald George Pain (Wireless Operator)
  • James Arthur Bowen (Air Gunner)
  • Reginald Noah Collins (Air Gunner)
  • James William Street (Flight Engineer)

The squadron’s Operations Record Book shows “On return, H2S failed completely – bomb door could not be closed, despite use of emergency air lock. Cruised at 147 knots. At approximately … found fuel getting short, estimated three hours fuel left. Consumption on starboard side appeared abnormal. After further fuel shortage, two starboard engines feathered over beach-head. Landed at Thorney Island with 20 gallons left”.


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

AM Form 78

The AM Form 78 shows that the aircraft was classified at Cat. AC ROS and was repaired and returned to the squadron on 5th August 1944

AM Form 1180

Unreadable text – further work required to decipher


Lancaster ND936 (22/07/1944)

The squadron’s Operations Record Book shows “Eight aircraft were detailed to attack constructional works at L’Hey but one, captained by E Hislop, swung on take off and crashed”


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

AM Form 1180

The AM Form 1180 (Accident Card) shows “swung on take-off and undercarriage collapsed”

AM Form 78

The AM Form 78 shows that the aircraft was classified as Cat AC; it was repaired on site and returned to the squadron on 25th August 1944

Lancaster PB762 (17/08/1945)

Lancaster PB762 was being utilised for Operation Dodge on 17th August 1945

Its crew comprised:

  • Peter George Ray Weeks (Pilot)
  • Others?

The AM Form 1180 shows: Pilot successfully landed aircraft on emergency landing ground at Istres (France) after engine failure in flight due to a coolant leak .


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

AM Form 1180

Engine ran rough and was feathered due to loss of coolant caused by loose header tank camp (presumed not firmly replaced on last inspection at Bari)

AM Form 78


Lancaster SW263 (20/08/1945)

Lancaster SW263 was being utilised on a flight to repatriate Prisoners of War on 20th August 1945.

The crew comprised:

  • V Bowen-Morris (Pilot)
  • Others?

The AM Form 1180 shows that at 400 feet after take off, starboard inner engine started emitting white, then black smoke and flames; engine feathered and flames ceased; aircraft landed on airfield (Tibbenham); no further damage


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

AM Form 78

There are no details recorded on the AM Form 78


Lancaster ME484 (15/09/1945)

The AM Form 1180 shows that whilst at Bari Airport (Italy), “aircraft (whilst parked at dispersal) was hit by MN802”


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

AM Form 78

The AM Form 78 shows that the aircraft was classified as Cat AC on 15th September 1945 and (possibly) struck off charge of the squadron at that time


Halifax HR736 (13/05/1943)

Halifax HR736 was one of twenty No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack Pilsen / Bochum on the night of 13th / 14th May 1943

Its crew comprised:

  • Not known

No. 35 Squadron’s Operations Record Book shows that “Aircraft HR736 was withdrawn after its was burnt out when its incendiaries were accidentally jettisoned”


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

AM Form 78

The AM Form 78 (Movement Card) shows that the aircraft was classified as Cat E (Burnt) on 13th May 1943. It was struck off charge on 21st May 1943

AM Form 1180

The Am Form 1180 (Accident Card) shows “Aircraft stationary, electricians testing circuits; incendiaries released and aircraft caught fire. There were 2 possibilities (1) jettison bars were at “jettisoned” when Ground / Flight switch was turned to Flight (2) jettison bars at “safe” before bomb load xxx off, but pushed into “jettisoned” position by blow or pressure on Switch Box indicating electrical fault in aircraft. Impossible to be checked as all evidence destroyed”


Lancaster PB762 (17/10/1945)

Lancaster PB762 was being utilised for Operation Dodge on 17th October 1945

Its crew comprised:

  • JF Carsons (Pilot)
  • Others?

The AM Form 1180 shows that whilst at Tibbenham “running up, aircraft started to swing to port; starboard inner closed and brake applied; aircraft swung starboard and port wing tip hit the rudder of a parked aircraft. (Pilot failed to ensure that chocks were in place before starting up)


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

AM Form 78

The AM Form 78 shows that the aircraft was classified as Cat FA/AC on 17th October 1945; it was returned to the squadron on 7th March 1946


 

Lancaster ND646 (30/03/1944)

Lancaster ND646 was one of fourteen No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack Nuremberg on 30th / 31st March 1944.

Its seven man crew comprised:

  • Eric Charles Gregory (Pilot)
  • Cyril Thomas John Trott (Navigator)
  • Douglas William Kermode (Air Bomber)
  • Robert Henry Sadler (Wireless Operator)
  • Squire Nuttall (Air Gunner)
  • Wallace John Stewart (Air Gunner)
  • Jack Weaver (Flight Engineer)

The AM Form 1180 (Accident Card) shows “aircraft hit by incendiary bomb whilst on its way to target”


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

AM Form 78

The AM Form 78 (Movement Card) shows that the aircraft was classified as Cat FB/A on 31st March 1944; it was repaired and returned to the squadron on 29th April 1944

Halifax LV866 (24/02/1944)

Halifax LV866 was one of twenty one No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack Schweinfurt on the night of the 24th / 25th February 1944.

Its seven-man crew comprised:

  • Garnett Cyril John (Pilot)
  • Lumley Charles Lawless-Pyne (Navigator)
  • Derrick Ernest Coleman (Air Bomber)
  • Stephen Joseph Shippen (Wireless Operator)
  • Douglas Ferguson Fyfe (Air Gunner)
  • George Edward Lille (Air Gunner)
  • Malcolm Scholes (Flight Engineer)

The squadron’s Operations Record Book shows “Halifax LV860 landed without brake pressure and collided with stationery Halifax LV866, both aircraft being damaged.


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

AM Form 1180 

Undercarriage bogged down at end of runway after overshooting. Struck by LV860 which also overshot runway. [Forgot to check brake pressure; overshot by 20 yards and got bogged but no damage prior to collision]

AM Form 78 

The movement card shows that the aircraft was classified as Cat FB/AC; it was repaired on site and reallocated to No. 10 Squadron on 1st April 1944


Halifax L9524 (18/09/1941 [Non Op])

The AM Form 1180 shows “Pilot (P/O Creswell) overshot runway (Linton-on-Ouse), brakes applied too late. Swung at end of run and tail wheel struck built up earth”


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

AM Form 78

The AM Form 78 (Movement Card) shows that the aircraft remained on charge of the squadron; it was operational again by 29th September 1941

Halifax L9501 (24/07/1941)

Halifax L9501 was one of nine No. 35 Squadron aircraft which took off from Stanton Harcourt to attack the Battleship Scharnhorst (anchored at La Pallice) on 24th July 1941 (daylight raid).

Its seven-man crew comprised:

  • Robert Fenwick Owen (Pilot)
  • Leslie Alec Hayward (2nd Pilot)
  • Eric Arthur Fawns Gibb (Observer)
  • Douglas Peter Hogg (WOP / AG)
  • Herbert Reginald Higgins (Air Gunner)
  • Rodney Gordon Mullally (Air Gunner)
  • James William Hays (Flight Engineer)

The squadron’s Operations Record Book shows “During the attack, enemy fighters delivered, in all, ten attacks on Halifax L9501, one being claimed as shot down. Great coolness and deliberation was shown by Sgt Higgins, the tail gunner in fighting back and successfully defending his aircraft. On seeing an apparently disabled Halifax being attacked by two ME 109’s he directed his Captain to the scene of the combat and succeeded in drawing off one of the attackers”.


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Journey to the target

The squadron’s Operations Record Book describes the journey to the target as follows:

“The aircraft took off and proceeded via Lizard Point to a point 50 miles west of Ushant and then direct to the target. The journey from base to the turning point was made at a height of 1,000 feet and below, with the climb to the bombing height taking place between this point and the target. 19,000 feet was the intended bombing height but only 15,000 feet was reached before arrival at the target area. The weather was excellent, brilliant sunshine and no cloud, with perfect visibility.

An enemy destroyer was passed in the proximity of the Île d’Yeu, which, apparently believing itself to be under attack, commenced evasive action and opened fire, but did no damage”.

It was assumed that the destroyer warned the authorities of the impending attack and the German defences were fully prepared for the arrival of the aircraft”.

The squadron’s Operations Record Book goes on to describe the arrival and subsequent attack as follows:

“As the squadron approached the target area, a very heavy barrage of A.A. fire was immediately put up, and some 30 enemy fighters were observed, some in the air and others taking off from aerodromes in and about La Rochelle”.

AM Form 1180

The AM Form 1180 (Accident Card) shows that the aircraft forced landed at Weston Zoyland (Somerset) due to fuel shortage

There appears to have been minimal damage to the aircraft as the aircraft remained on charge of the squadron and was operational again (with much the same crew) on 30th July 1941


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:

  • Edmund Solomon (Pilot)
  • Horatius Douglas Stewart White (Navigator)
  • Donald William McGlashan Archer (Air Bomber)
  • Stanislaus Cyril McKiernan (Wireless Operator)
  • Alexander Stephen (Air Gunner)
  • Ronald Cecil Davies (Air Gunner)
  • Alfred Norman Leslie 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.


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

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.’


Notes:

  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

Avro Lancaster B.I and B.III

The Avro Lancaster was a four-engine heavy bomber utilised by the squadron for training and operational purposes from March 1944 to March 1946

No. 35 Squadron started to re-equip with the Avro Lancaster on 6th March 1944

Lancaster variants used by No 35 Squadron

The squadron utilised the following variants of the Lancaster:

  • B.I
    • NG434 NG436 NG440
    • NN805
    • PB726 PB762 PB951 PB981 PB982 PB985 PB987 PB988 PB989
    • RF139 RF140 RF180 RF183
    • SW255 SW263 SW266
  • B.III
    • JA857
    • JB239
    • LM346 LM646
    • ME331 ME333 ME334 ME335 ME337 ME361 ME362 ME367 ME368 ME369 ME484 ME620 ME621
    • ND359 ND453 ND597 ND643 ND645 ND646 ND648 ND649 ND653 ND690 ND691 ND692 ND693 ND694 ND696 ND697 ND701 ND702 ND703 ND704 ND708 ND709 ND711 ND731 ND734 ND735 ND755 ND759 ND762 ND818 ND846 ND907 ND916 ND928 ND928 ND929 ND933 ND936 ND936
    • NE175
    • PA966 PA971 PA988
    • PB123 PB124 PB183 PB197 PB199 PB200 PB257 PB268 PB288 PB305 PB307 PB308 PB343 PB364 PB366 PB367 PB372 PB377 PB383 PB523 PB529 PB555 PB566 PB583 PB589 PB612 PB613 PB614 PB676 PB678 PB683 PB684 PB685 PB754 PB951 PB971 PB973 PB980 PB991
    • RF183

Avro Lancaster Profile © Malcolm Barrass

The B.III was identical to the B.I version in terms of design, but it was powered by Packard-Merlin engines (28, 38 or 224), which had been built by Packard in the United States. The B.I was powered by Rolls-Royce Merlin engines (XX, 22 or 24) built in the UK

(It is worth noting that the squadron also used the BI(FE) variant post war – see separate page)

Aircraft on charge of No 35 Squadron

The following provides more detail on each aircraft that was on charge of the squadron

Aircraft Losses and Incidents

1944

1945


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Crew / Crew Positions

The Avro Lancaster was typically crewed by a Pilot, Navigator, Air Bomber, Wireless Operator, two Air Gunners and a Flight Engineer.

However, with the development of radar, the concept of a “navigation team” was introduced and an additional navigator / air bomber, known as a Set Operator, was incorporated into the crew to monitor the radar set. The Navigator became known as the Nav. (Plotter) and the Set Operator as the Nav. (Radar)

We Guide to Strike by Gil Cohen

The crew compartment in an Avro Lancaster consisted of a deck to accommodate the Pilot, Navigator (and the Set Operator when introduced), Air Bomber, Wireless Operator and Flight Engineer. Gunners were accommodated in a mid and rear turret – read more –

Handley Page Halifax

The Handley Page Halifax was a heavy bomber powered by four Rolls-Royce Merlin engines (later Bristol Hercules engines) which was utilised by the squadron for training and operational purposes from November 1940 to April 1944

[Photograph by Ron Gayner / Courtesy of Dick Gayner]

Halifax variants utilised by No. 35 Squadron

The Halifax evolved throughout its life and the following variants were utilised by No 35 Squadron.


  • Halifax Prototype [on loan]
    • L7244

  • HP57 B.MKI (Series 1) [on charge between December 1940 and June 1942]
    • L9486 L9487 L9488 L9489 L9490 L9491 L9492 L9493 L9494 L9495 L9496 L9497 L9498 L9499 L9500 L9501 L9502 L9503 L9504 L9506 L9507 L9508 L9509 L9510 L9511 L9512 L9513 L9514 L9516 L9517 L9518 L9519 L9521 L9522 L9523 L9524 L9525 L9526 L9527 L9528 L9529 L9530

HP57 B.MKI (Series 1) Profile © Malcolm Barrass


  • HP57 B.MKI (Series 2) [on charge between June 1941 and February 1942]
    • L9560 L9566 L9568 L9569 L9571 L9572 L9575 L9579 L9580 L9582 L9584
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is hp57-halifax-b-mki.jpg

HP57 B.MKI (Series 2) Profile © Malcolm Barrass
(fitted with Beam Guns)


  • HP57 B.MKI (Series 3) [on charge between September 1941 and July 1942]
    • L9600 L9603 L9605 L9606 L9607

HP57 B.MKI (Series 3) Profile © Malcolm Barrass


  • HP59 B.MKII (Series 1 and Series 1 Special) [on charge between October 1941 and March 1944]
    • BB203 BB320 BB359 BB361 BB366 BB368 BB370 BB372
    • DG227
    • DT488 DT489 DT500 DT519 DT801 DT803 DT804 DT805 DT806
    • HR673 HR676 HR678 HR685 HR723 HR736 HR793 HR795 HR798 HR799 HR801 HR802 HR803 HR804 HR811 HR812 HR819 HR833 HR841 HR846 HR847 HR848 HR850 HR851 HR855 HR857 HR861 HR862 HR863 HR865 HR866 HR873 HR876 HR877 HR878 HR879 HR880 HR906 HR907 HR908 HR912 HR913 HR914 HR916 HR926 HR928 HR929
    • HX168
    • JB785 JB786 JB787
    • L9610
    • R9364 R9367 R9370 R9372 R9377 R9381 R9381 R9386 R9392 R9422 R9425 R9428 R9438 R9439 R9440 R9441 R9442 R9444 R9445 R9446 R9448 R9449 R9450 R9483 R9488 R9489 R9494 R9496
    • V9978 V9979 V9982 V9983 V9993 V9994
    • W1015 W1019 W1020 W1021 W1046 W1047 W1048 W1049 W1050 W1051 W1053 W1100 W1101 W1102 W1105 W1117 W1141 W1146 W1147 W1154 W1159 W1160 W1165 W1173 W1226 W1231 W1242 W7656 W7657 W7658 W7675 W7676 W7699 W7700 W7701 W7711 W7749 W7760 W7761 W7765 W7778 W7779 W7782 W7804 W7808 W7821 W7823 W7825 W7851 W7866 W7872 W7873 W7874 W7875 W7876 W7877 W7878 W7881 W7885 W7886 W7887 W7906 W7907 W7923

HP59 B.MKII (Series 1) Profile © Malcolm Barrass

HP59 B.MKII (Series 1 Special) Profile © Malcolm Barrass

Note: No attempt has been made to separate the B.MKII serial numbers into the different variants, as production changes and on-site modifications meant that each aircraft evolved throughout the war. These changes included modifications to the nose cone, the mid-upper turret and the tail fin


  • HP59 B.MKII (Series 1a) [on charge between May 1943 and March 1944]
    • HR777 HR925 HR984 HR985 HR986 HR987 HR988
    • HX147 HX148 HX157 HX160 HX167 HX168 HX169
    • JN954 JN955
    • JP121 JP122 JP123 JP124
    • LW323 LW326 LW343

HP59 B.MKII (Series 1a [including modified tail fin] Profile © Malcolm Barrass


  • HP61 B.MKIII [on charge between October 1943 and April 1944]
    • HX232 HX270 HX286 HX295 HX317 HX321 HX323 HX324 HX325 HX326 HX327 HX328 HX332 HX347 HX357
    • LV782 LV785 LV787 LV793 LV818 LV822 LV825 LV832 LV834 LV857 LV858 LV859 LV860 LV861 LV862 LV863 LV864 LV865 LV866 LV867 LV870 LV878 LV880 LV881 LV882 LV906 LV908 LV909 LV912
    • LW371

HP61 B.MKIII Profile © Malcolm Barrass


Aircraft that were on charge of 35 Squadron

The following provides more detail on each aircraft that was on charge of the squadron


Aircraft Losses and Incidents

Aircraft losses and incidents were as follows:

1941

1942

1943

1944


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Crew

When the Halifax was originally introduced, the plan was to have a five man crew, a Pilot, 2nd Pilot, Observer and 2 x Wireless Operator / Air Gunners. However, it was quickly recognised that the Halifax needed a specific airman to deal with the complex fuel, oil, electric, hydraulic and pneumatic systems and the composition of the crew was changed to include a Fitter II (Flight Engineer) – read more – 

Crew Positions

The crew compartment in a Handley Page Halifax consisted of an upper deck to accommodate the Pilot, 2nd Pilot and Fitter II [Flight Engineer] and a lower deck for the Wireless Operator, Observer / Navigator and Air Bomber  – read more –

Picture Gallery

Halifax HX169 (22/10/1943)

Halifax HX169 was one of twenty-two No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack Kassel on the night of the 22nd / 23rd October 1943.

Its seven-man crew comprised:

  • Randall Vincent Jones (Pilot)
  • Horatius Douglas Stewart White (Navigator)
  • Ronald Booth (Air Bomber)
  • Thomas Donald Henderson (Wireless Operator)
  • Gerald Carrell (Air Gunner)
  • Peter Ross Jung (Air Gunner)
  • Wilfred Arthur Jeffries (Flight Engineer)

The AM Form 1180 shows: “Aircraft hit by incendiaries from friendly aircraft whilst over the target area”


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Halifax HX169

The AM Form 78 (Movement Card) shows that the aircraft was classified as FB/AC; it was repaired and returned to the squadron on 5th November 1943

Bristol Blenheim MKI and MKIV

The Bristol Blenheim was a twin-engined light bomber,used by the squadron for training purposes from November 1939 to April 1940

Profile

Bristol Blenheim MKIV Profile © Malcolm Barrass

Aircraft on charge of No. 35 Squadron

No. 35 Squadron started to re-equip with the Bristol Blenheim on 8th November 1939.

It utilised both the MKI and MKIV for training purposes until April 1940 (when the squadron was disbanded).

Blenheim MKI Profile 1

Blenheim MKI Profile (Blenheim MKIV Profile shown at top of page)

The following shows the serial numbers of the aircraft that are known to have been on charge of the squadron, along with the period it was on charge (where known):

MKI SerialsOn ChargeOff Charge
K711523/02/194022/04/1940
K711622/03/194022/04/1940
L110022/03/194015/04/1940
L1203 19/11/193930/11/1939
L120519/11/193922/04/1940
L126427/11/193922/04/1940
L131010/02/194022/04/1940
MKIV Serials
L488807/03/194022/04/1940
L488916/03/194022/04/1940
L489109/04/194022/04/1940
L489216/03/194022/04/1940
L489402/04/194022/04/1940
L489529/03/194022/04/1940
L489809/03/194022/04/1940
L490018/04/194022/04/1940
L883929/12/193922/04/1940
L884529/12/193912/03/1940
L884629/12/193922/04/1940
N616611/02/194007/03/1940
N617411/02/194009/04/1940
N617611/02/194009/03/1940
N618111/02/194029/03/1940
N618211/02/194015/03/1940
P490007/11/193906/04/1940
P490730/11/193922/04/1940
P4912[1]09/11/193903/12/1939
P4912[2]10/02/194002/03/1940
P690507/11/193902/04/1940
P690607/11/193902/03/1940
P690713/11/193914/11/1939
P690809/11/193918/04/1940
P691811/02/194006/04/1940
P691914/02/194022/04/1940
R362009/04/194022/04/1940
R362109/04/194022/04/1940

Aircraft Losses and Incidents 

Aircraft losses and incidents were as follows:


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Crew

The Bristol Blenheim was typically crewed by a pilot, navigator and WOP / Air Gunner.

Equipment

The MKI was equipped with:

  • 1 x 0.303 in (7.7 mm) machine gun in the port wing
  • 1 x  0.303 in (7.7 mm) Vickers K gun in the dorsal turret

It had a maximum bomb load of 1,000 lb (450 kg)

The MKIV was equipped with:

  • 1 x 0.303 in (7.7 mm) machine gun in the port wing
  • 2 x 0.303 in (7.7 mm) machine-guns in a powered operated dorsal turret
  • 2 remotely controlled rearward-firing 0.303 in (7.7 mm) machine guns mounted beneath the nose.

It had a  maximum bomb load of 1,000 lb (450 kg) internally and 320 lb (150 kg) externally.

Fairey Battle MKI

The Fairey Battle MKI was a single-engine light bomber, powered by Merlin I, II or III engines, which was used by the squadron for training purposes from April 1938 to April 1940

Fairey Battle Profile A

Fairey Battle Profile © Malcolm Barrass

Aircraft on charge of No. 35 Squadron 

No. 35 Squadron received its first Fairey Battle (K7695), a dual control aircraft on 1st  April 1938.

Having moved to RAF Cottesmore (20th April 1938), it re-equipped with the Fairey Battle and by 20th May 1938 it had its establishment number of 16 on strength.

In October 1938, the squadron exchanged its Merlin II aircraft for Merlin I aircraft from No. 226 Squadron and establishment numbers were increased from 16 to 21.

Merlin I aircraft were replaced by Merlin II aircraft in January / February 1939

In August 1939, establishment numbers were further increased and the squadron took delivery of a number of Merlin III aircraft.

The following shows the serial numbers of the aircraft that are known to have been on charge of the squadron, along with the period they were on charge (where known)

MKI Merlin I SerialsOn ChargeOff Charge
K758814/10/193817/02/1939
K759024/10/193815/02/1939
K759315/10/193803/04/1939
K759514/10/193816/02/1939
K759614/10/193815/02/1939
K759714/10/193817/03/1939
K759815/10/193816/02/1939
K760015/10/193809/03/1939
K761924/10/193815/02/1939
K762015/10/193816/02/1939
K762415/10/193816/02/1939
K917620/05/193814/10/1938
K917705/05/193824/10/1938
K917811/05/193824/01/1939
K917906/05/193820/06/1938
K918006/05/193824/10/1938
K918211/05/193814/10/1938
K918311/05/193814/10/1938
K924628/09/193921/10/1939
K946924/01/193905/05/1939
K947024/01/193925/10/1939
K947130/01/193927/02/1940
K947230/01/193929/10/1939
K947330/01/193905/11/1939
K947430/01/193909/04/1940
K947530/01/193922/11/1939
K947630/01/193909/04/1940
K947830/01/193909/04/1940
K947906/02/193927/08/1939
K948006/02/193922/04/1940
K948106/02/193904/04/1940
MKI Merlin II Serials
K769315/10/193815/02/1939
K769415/10/193816/03/1939
K769501/04/193822/04/1940
K770522/04/193814/10/1938
K770625/04/193814/10/1938
K770724/04/193814/10/1938
K770827/04/193814/10/1938
K770929/04/193814/10/1938
K771030/04/193814/10/1938
K771130/04/193814/10/1938
K771202/05/193814/10/1938
L497404/02/193909/04/1940
L497504/02/193922/04/1940
L497604/02/193922/04/1940
L497704/02/193902/03/1940
L497807/02/193904/03/1940
L498007/02/193927/08/1939
L498107/02/193902/03/1940
MKI Merlin III Serials
L518324/10/193925/01/1940
L526301/08/193912/12/1939
L526408/08/193905/03/1940
L526508/08/193922/04/1940
L526610/08/193922/04/1940
L526730/09/193922/04/1940
L526811/08/193915/03/1940
L526910/08/193911/01/1940
L527011/08/193913/12/1939
L527101/09/193909/04/1940
L527211/08/193905/03/1940
L527311/08/193909/04/1940

Aircraft Losses and Incidents

1938

The squadron aircraft were grounded following the force landing of K9179 on 20th June 1938 to enable Rolls Royce engineers to check the boost control valve needles.

Aircraft losses and incidents were as follows:

1939

1940

Photo Gallery


Notes:

  1. The squadron’s records show that twelve of its aircraft were swapped with aircraft of No.  226 Squadron in October 1938
  2. Establishment numbers were increased in 1939
  3. The squadron Operations Record Book shows that the squadron relinquished all its Fairey Battle and became a Bristol Blenheim only squadron when it moved to RAF Upwood on 1st February 1940. However, the AM 78 (Movement Cards) suggest that the squadron did not relinquish all its Fairey Battle in February 1940. Aircraft that were still on charge of the squadron when it disbanded in April 1940 were transferred to 17 Operational Training Unit

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Crew / Crew Positions

The Fairey Battle was typically crewed by a pilot and wireless operator / air gunner (with capability to carry an observer [bomb aimer] in a prone position)

Battle Interior
Battle Cutaway2

The interior of the Battle, the second diagram showing the observer in the prone position

Equipment

It was armed with:

  • 1 × .303 in (7.7 mm) Browning machine gun in the starboard wing
  • 1× .303 in (7.7 mm) Vickers K machine gun in the rear cabin

It could carry 4 × 250 lb (110 kg) bombs internally and 500 lb (230 kg) of bombs in under-wing racks

Lancaster ME337 (05/01/1945)

Lancaster ME337 was one of fifteen No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack Hanover (first raid) on the night of 5th / 6th January 1945.

It was carrying 4 x 2000lb HC (NI). Its designated Path Finder role was Visual Centerer.

Its eight-man crew comprised:

  • Jack Alfred Murrell (Pilot)
  • John Roderick O’Donnell (Navigator)
  • Albert Sidney Cubberley (Air Bomber)
  • Joseph Omer Dumas (Set Operator)
  • Thomas Ogden (Wireless Operator)
  • Jack Norman Oliver (Air Gunner)
  • James Johnston Black (Air Gunner)
  • William Reginald Eady (Flight Engineer)

The route was 5400N 0500E, 5305N 0700E, 5250N 0910E, Hanover, 5150N 0912E, 5220N 0705E, 5210N 0420E, Southwold

There is no information in the squadron’s Record Book regarding any incident / damage, but the AM Form 78 shows that the aircraft was classified as FB/AC; it was repaired on site and returned to the squadron on 20th January 1945


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

AM Form 1180

There isn’t an AM Form 1180 (Accident Card) held at the RAF Museum and, as such, it has not been possible to establish any more details

Halifax LV782 (03/02/1944)

AM Form 1180

The AM Form 1180 shows: Swung on landing (Lossiemouth), ran off runway and collided with Wellington HE306. Pilot (Fitzpatrick) appears to have done everything possible to avoid accident

AM Form 78

The AM Form 78 (Movement Card) shows that the aircraft was classified as FA/AC; it was repaired and returned to the squadron on 29th February 1944

Aircraft Crash Log (Compiled by Nicholas Roberts)

Swung on landing and collided with Wellington HE306 (at Lossiemouth)

Halifax HX157 (13/10/1943)

Halifax HX157 was being utilised for a cross country exercise on 13th October 1943.

Its crew comprised:

  • TW Hill (Pilot)
  • Others?

The AM Form 1180 shows that the aircraft swung on take off and undercarriage collapsed, due to pilot being taught to use brakes instead of the use of glide to correct swing


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

AM Form 78

The AM Form 78 (Movement Card) shows that the aircraft was classified as FA/E (Salvage) and struck off charge of the squadron

Aircraft Crash Log (Compiled by Nicholas Roberts)

Swung on take-off for Cross Country; undercarriage collapsed

Halifax HR984 (15/02/1944)

The squadron’s Operations Record Book shows “Of twenty-four aircraft detailed for operations, twenty-three took off”

The AM Form 1180 suggests that Halifax HR984, captained by WG Barnes, was the aircraft that failed to take off.


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

AM Form 1180

Taking off, aircraft swung to starboard to avoid parked aircraft and …………… undercarriage collapsed. Pilot’s harness caught tail trimmer, pilot looked down causing ………..; a clear case of faulty airmanship and bad judgement.

AM Form 78

The AM Form 78 (Movement Card) shows that the aircraft was classified as FB/A and struck off charge

Aircraft Crash Log (Compiled by Nicholas Roberts)

Swung on take off for operations; undercarriage collapsed


Halifax HR925 (11/11/1943)

Halifax HR925 was one of twenty-four No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack Cannes on the night of 11th / 12th November 1943

Its eight-man crew comprised:

  • Desmond Ewart Abel Lander (Pilot)
  • Norman Sidney Francis Palmer (Navigator)
  • George Frederick Collier (Air Bomber)
  • Charles Hogg (Set Operator)
  • Albert James Wickersham (Wireless Operator)
  • Donald Arthur Alfred Swain (Air Gunner)
  • Roy Horace Wells (Air Gunner)
  • David Peter McDonald Thomson (Flight Engineer)

The route was as follows: Base, Selsey Bill, 49°20N 00°00E, 47°25N 01°00E, 43°18N 06°35E, Cannes, 43°40N 07°12E, 47°35N 01°20E, 49°20N  00°00E, Selsey Bill, Base

The squadron’s Operations Record Book has no details but the AM Form 78 shows that the aircraft was classified as FB/A and was off charge until 14th January 1944


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Aircraft Crash Log (Compiled by Nicholas Roberts)

Aircraft belly landed after operations

AM Form 1180

  • AM Form 1180 to be obtained

Halifax W7923 (03/02/1943)

Halifax W7923 was one of fourteen No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack Hamburg on the night of 3rd / 4th February 1943

Its seven-man crew comprised:

  • James Copeland Thomas (Pilot)
  • Gordon Henry Francis Carter (Navigator)
  • Richard Martin (Air Bomber)
  • Edward Roland Turenne (Wireless Operator)
  • John Napoleon Barry (Air Gunner)
  • William Joseph Freeman (Air Gunner)
  • Daniel Christie Young (Flight Engineer)

The squadron’s Operations Record Book shows “When approaching to land at base, the undercarriage could not be lowered and a belly landing was made without casualties”


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

AM Form 1180

The Am Form 1180 (Accident Card) shows: Aircraft belly landed; pilot unable to lower undercarriage by normal or emergency systems.

AM Form 78

The AM Form 78 (Movement Card) shows that the aircraft was classified as FB/A (but was subsequently struck off charge)

Aircraft Crash Log (Compiled by Nicholas Roberts)

Aircraft belly landed due to undercarriage failure


Halifax W7906 (28/02/1943)

Halifax W7906 was one of eight No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack St Nazaire on the night of the 28th February 1943.

Its six-man crew comprised:

  • Donald Frederick Edgar Charles Dean (Pilot)
  • Dudley Peter David Archer (Navigator)
  • Alfred Edward Ralph Bexton (Air Bomber)
  • Allan Roland Ball (Wireless Operator)
  • James Russell Griffin (Air Gunner)
  • Donald Harrington Craig (Flight Engineer)

The squadron’s Operations Record Book shows “During the outward journey, when the aircraft was flying at 13,000 feet, the port outer engine coolant temperature rose dangerously and the propeller was feathered, the aircraft gradually losing height down to 9,000 feet. However, St Nazaire was attacked in good visibility. Just after setting  out for base, the starboard inner engine failed, flames shooting out of the air intakes, and the aircraft slowly lost height to 3,000  feet. All preparations were made for ditching and the return journey was made through cloud. The aircraft was “homed” by searchlights and after further difficulties reached the aerodrome at Harrowbeer, the flare  path of which was extremely feeble. The Captain landed the aircraft halfway along a runway, 1100 feet in length; the aircraft overshot, the undercarriage collapsed in rough ground where the aircraft came to rest, no casualties occurring.

Note: The Record Book shows the aircraft serial as W7877, but this is incorrect


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

DFEC Dean Citation

DFEC Dean was awarded the Bar to Distinguished Flying Cross for his actions during this incident. The citation reads:

“One night in February 1943, this officer captained an aircraft, detailed to attack St. Nazaire. Whilst crossing the Channel, on the outward flight, one of the port engines failed. Nevertheless, Sqn. Ldr. Dean continued his mission. Whilst over the target area his aircraft was held in searchlights and subjected to heavy fire from the ground defences. Despite this, he pressed home a vigorous attack. Shortly after, the aircraft was headed for home, one of the starboard engines failed. Sqn. Ldr. Dean succeeded in maintaining height and eventually reached an airfield in this country where he effected a masterly landing in difficult circumstances”


Halifax DT519 (01/03/1943)

Halifax DT519 was one of thirteen No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack Berlin on the night of the 1st / 2nd March 1943.

Its seven-man crew comprised:

  • Harry Malkin (Pilot)
  • Carl Edward Sorsdahl (Navigator)
  • AT Williams (Air Bomber)
  • Herbert Alfred William Jolly (Wireless Operator)
  • John Meredith Fryer (Air Gunner)
  • John Thomas Stanton (Air Gunner)
  • Edmund Ernest Stocker (Flight Engineer)

The squadron’s Operations Record Book shows “Over Munster, caught in cones of searchlights, was hit by heavy accurate flak, 2 members of the crew (W/OP [HAW Jolly] and M/UG [JM Fryer]) wounded. Landed at Stanton Morley.


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

H Malkin (Citation)

H Malkin was awarded the Bar to Distinguished Flying Cross for his efforts during this raid. His citation reads:

“One night in March, 1943, this officer captained an aircraft detailed to attack Berlin. Whilst over the city the bomber was held in searchlights and subjected to heavy anti-aircraft fire. The rudder controls were severed and one of the port engines was damaged causing it to fail. Despite this, Flt. Lt. Malkin skilfully controlled the damaged aircraft and executed a successful attack. Soon after leaving the target area, efforts to re-start the damaged engine proved successful, but further trouble was encountered. The bomber was again engaged by anti-aircraft fire, which rendered the port outer engine unserviceable. The mid-upper gunner was wounded, while all lights in the cockpit failed. With extreme difficulty, height was maintained and displaying superb airmanship, Flt. Lt. Malkin flew the damaged bomber to an airfield in this country.”

AM Form 78

The AM Form 78 (Movement Card) shows that the aircraft was classified as FB/AC; it was repaired and returned to the squadron on 29th April 1943

HAW Jolly

HAW Jolly did not fly operationally with the squadron after this date.

JM Fryer

JM Fryer returned to operational service with the squadron by 5th March 1943

Lancaster PB754 (17/08/1945)

Lancaster PB754 was being utilised on an Operation Dodge sortie to Bari commencing  on 15th August 1945.

Its crew comprised:

  • GHW Slaughter
  • Others

The squadron’s Operations Record Book shows “Shortly after it was due to take off from Bari on 17th August 1945, aircraft PB754, which had flown there on 15th August 1945, was badly damaged whilst picketed, by another aircraft  which swung badly on take off. The aircraft, which fortunately was unoccupied at the time, was severed midway along the fuselage”


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Lancaster PB754

The AM Form 1180 (Accident Card) shows “Aircraft parked near runway with engine stopped and no crew aboard was collided with and severely damaged by Lancaster ME834 (No. 115 Squadron) which swung off runway on take off”

The AM Form 78 (Movement Card) shows that the aircraft was struck off charge of the squadron


Halifax W7760 (08/07/1942)

Halifax W7760 was one of eight No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack Wilhelmshaven on the night of the 8th / 9th July 1942.

Its seven-man crew comprised:

  • Samuel Davis Jones (Pilot)
  • JW Smith (2nd Pilot)
  • Alfred Ernest Webster (Observer)
  • Eric Charles Creaney (WOP / AG)
  • Haakon Rivedal (Air Gunner)
  • [-] Ogg (Air Gunner)
  • John Maurice Mitchell (Flight Engineer)

The squadron’s Operations Record Book shows “Whilst over the target, the aircraft ran into the trailing aerial of a Wellington aircraft and sustained comparatively severe damage to the front turret and navigator’s compartment”


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

AM Form 78

There is no record of the incident on the AM Form 78 (Movement Card) suggesting that it remained on charge of the squadron whilst it was being repaired; the squadron’s Operations Record Book shows that the aircraft was operational again by 21st July 1942

AM Form 1180

It has not been possible to find an AM Form 1180 (Accident Card) in the RAF Museum files

Lancaster PB726 (25/11/1945)

Lancaster PB726 was being utilised for a Dodge Operation on 25th November 1945

Its crew comprised:

  • N Stockwell
  • Others

The squadron’s Operations Record Book shows “When taxying to take off from Tibenham the aircraft struck an MT vehicle parked without lights near the perimeter track. One of the propellers was slightly damaged but the aircraft was flown back to base for repairs afters its Dodge Operation was cancelled


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

AM Form 78

The AM Form 78 does not record the aircraft being off charge of the squadron for repair after this incident

AM Form 1180

There isn’t an AM Form 1180 (Accident Card) held at the RAF Museum and, as such, it has not been possible to establish any more details

Lancaster ME487 (30/11/1945)

Lancaster ME487 was on a short Ferrying Flight on 30th November 1945

Its crew comprised:

  • Leadon (Pilot)
  • Others?

The squadron’s Operations Record Book shows “Aircraft overshot slightly when landing. The pilot attempted to turn to starboard at the perimeter track but the port undercarriage collapsed after striking a submerged drain. There were no casualties


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

AM Form 78

The movement card shows that the aircraft was classified as FA(AC) on 30th November 1945; it was subsequently struck off charge on 3rd December 1945

AM Form 1180

Landing; overshot; pilot attempted to swing off runway, port undercarriage collapsed on running over a submerged drain (Runway in use was the shortest one; as there was no wind the longest runway should have been used)


 

Halifax L9524 (22/10/1941)

Halifax L9524 was one of three No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack Mannheim on 22nd October 1941

The seven-man crew comprised:

  • David Scott Shearman Wilkerson (Pilot)
  • John Stanley Gearing (2nd Pilot)
  • Ian Hewitt (Observer)
  • David Lionel Perry (WOP / AG)
  • Francis Montague Davis (WOP / AG)
  • George Barry Pennell (Air Gunner)
  • Donald Harrington Craig (Flight Engineer)

The squadron’s Operations Record Book shows “On returning to base, the aircraft crashed on landing, the starboard undercarriage collapsing; no-one was hurt”


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

AM Form 1180 / AM Form 78

The AM Form 1880 (Accident Card) shows that the undercarriage collapsed on normal landing; aircraft may have suffered an internal fracture when a heavy landing was made previously

The AM Form 78 (Movement Card) shows that the aircraft was sent for repair; it was returned to the squadron on 21st January 1942

DSS Wilkerson

The Casualty File shows that Wilkerson was slightly injured; slight laceration of forehead, left eyebrow; he was operational again by 26th October

P.4 (Cas), Casualty Branch File

AIR 81/9794 Pilot Officer D S S Wilkerson: injured; aircraft accident at RAF Linton-on-Ouse, Halifax L9524, 35 Squadron, 22 October 1941.

  • Extracts from the file:
    • Pilot’s Report: The sortie was carried out and a return to base made at 01.15hrs, three circuits of aerodrome were made whilst in TR9 communication with Regional Control. A “green” was then received from the flare path and undercarriage lowered and checked by both pilots, the green light also showing. A normal approach was made at 115mph and full flaps from 600ft at outer circle the green section of the glide path indicator being observed all the way in. A normal hold off was made with no apparent drift; after touching down lightly on the port wheel the aircraft commenced to settle down normally. After a short run the starboard undercarriage collapsed and the aircraft swung round on the outboard engine and wing tip

Halifax L9522 (16/06/1941 [Non Op])

Halifax L9522 was being utilised for XXX on 16th June 1941

Its crew comprised\:

  • P Langmead
  • Others

The AM Form 1180 shows “Skidded on landing, swung violently, undercarriage collapsed.” The Station Commander added “Centre of gravity of modern aircraft is well to the rear and any tendency to swing, unless checked immediately, becomes very violent and, it would seem, uncontrollable”

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

AM Form 78

The movement card shows that the aircraft was classified as FA (AC) on 16th June 1941. It was returned to the squadron on 3rd November 1941

Aircraft Crash Log (Compiled by Nicholas Roberts)

Skidded on landing and undercarriage collapsed


 

Halifax L9502 (12/06/1941 [Non Op])

Halifax L9502 was being utilised for an air test on 12th June 1941

The crew comprised:

  • P Langmead
  • Others

The AM Form 1180 shows “Normal but slightly tail wheel first landing with slight drift which, coupled with structural weakness of tail wheel assembly, caused assembly to snap, aircraft swung and undercarriage collapsed. Tail wheel assembly being strengthened (OC)

AM Form 78

The movement card shows that the aircraft was classified as FA (AC) on 12th June 1941

Aircraft Crash Log (Compiled by Nicholas Roberts)

Swung

Halifax HR866 (03/11/1943)

Halifax HR866 was one of eight (No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack Dusseldorf on the night of the 3rd / 4th November 1943.

Its seven-man crew comprised:

  • Ernest Holmes (Pilot)
  • Joseph Victor Kent (Navigator)
  • Robert William Pape (Air Bomber)
  • Thomas Henry Warren (Wireless Operator)
  • James Mursell Colledge (Air Gunner)
  • John Arthur Van-Marle (Air Gunner)
  • Frederick Ronald Harmsworth-Smith (Flight Engineer)

The AM Form 1180 shows “Landing undercarriage collapsed. Investigation: Undercarriage must have been selected up after landing. More text which needs to be deciphered 


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

AM Form 78

The movement card shows that the aircraft was classified as Cat FB/B on 4th November 1943. It was allocated to Handley Page and subsequently classified as Cat E on 6th December 1943.

Aircraft Crash Log (Compiled by Nicholas Roberts)

Undercarriage collapsed on landing


Lancaster NN805 (19/07/1945)

Lancaster NN805 was being utilised for a training flight (formation flying) on 19th July 1945.

Its crew comprised:

  • F Cheshire
  • Others

The squadron’s Operations Record Book shows “NN805 struck a FIDO pipe line on landing, damaging the oleo of the tail wheel, which was thus prevented from castoring. When the aircraft was taxied to its dispersal point, the oleo collapsed causing damage to the tail plane attachments and the bottom of the rear fuselage”


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

 AM Form 1180

Taxiing having overshot on landing, striking tail wheel on FIDO cross hair, causing oleo leg to jam and prevent castoring of tail wheel. Tail oleo leg collapsed when pilot attempted to turn aircraft at dispersal

Lancaster NG485 (19/07/1945)

Lancaster NG485 was being utilised for a training flight (formation flying) on 19th July 1945.

Its crew comprised:

  • RH Davis (Pilot)
  • BT Humphreys (Navigator)
  • A Skidmore (Air Bomber)
  • CFW Norman (Wireless Operator)
  • Sgt. W Hughes (Air Gunner)
  • A Springham (A Gunner)
  • .. Patrick (Flight Engineer),

The squadron’s Operations Record Book shows “During a training flight when several aircraft were flying in formation, two of them collided, presumably due to bumpy weather conditions. The aircraft RF139 and NG485 landed quite safely without injuries”


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

 AM Form 1180

In flight as No. 2 of a formation “vic”, pilot came too close to No. 1 Lancaster RF139 in rather bumpy conditions and struck starboard fin of No. 1 with port outer propeller damaging both aircraft; landed OK

Bernard Humphreys, who was navigator of NG485, recalls:

“Two Lancasters (NG485 and RF139) were involved in the formation flying exercise which was to be followed by a fighter affiliation exercise with a Spitfire.  The navigator of  RF139 had a camera and he had decided he would swap places with the rear gunner for a while so that he could take some photographs when flying in formation with our aircraft.

He told us that our port wing tip had twice tapped the rear turret and then we made the more damaging contact with our propeller.

Diagram showing the position of the two aircraft

Diagram showing the position of the two aircraft

On landing, the aircraft taxied to the same dispersal so that we could all see the damage.  The propeller blades of our port outer engine were crinkled and the starboard tail fin of their tail assembly had a vee shaped notch cut out of it, from memory it was about two feet deep.

…… in summary ……  it was too close for comfort!”


 

Lancaster RF139 (19/07/1945)

Lancaster RF139 was being utilised for a training flight (formation flying) on 19th July 1945.

Its crew comprised:

  • GA Henderson
  • Others

The squadron’s Operations Record Book shows “During a training flight when several aircraft were flying in formation, two of them collided, presumably due to bumpy weather conditions. The aircraft RF139 and NG485 landed quite safely without injuries”.


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

AM Form 78

There is no record of the aircraft being off charge of the squadron for repair following this incident

AM 1180

The AM Form 1180 shows “In flight, aircraft No. 1 of formation VIC was struck by prop of Lancaster NG485 flying as No. 2”

Bernard Humphreys, who was navigator of NG485, recalls:

“Two Lancasters (NG485 and RF139) were involved in the formation flying exercise which was to be followed by a fighter affiliation exercise with a Spitfire.  The navigator of  RF139 had a camera and he had decided he would swap places with the rear gunner for a while so that he could take some photographs when flying in formation with our aircraft.

He told us that our port wing tip had twice tapped the rear turret and then we made the more damaging contact with our propeller.

Diagram showing the position of the two aircraft

On landing, the aircraft taxied to the same dispersal so that we could all see the damage.  The propeller blades of our port outer engine were crinkled and the starboard tail fin of their tail assembly had a vee shaped notch cut out of it, from memory it was about two feet deep.

…… in summary ……  it was too close for comfort!

Lancaster PB555 (27/09/1944)

Lancaster PB555 was one of four No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack Bottrop on 27th September 1944 (Daylight Raid)

Its seven-man crew comprised:

  • Walter Hargrave Harris (Pilot)
  • Ronald Bowen Perkins (Navigator)
  • John Francis Myers (Air Bomber)
  • Stanley Turner (Wireless Operator)
  • Alfred George Wright (Air Gunner)
  • Stephen Thurston Ashton (Air Gunner)
  • Alec Marks (Flight Engineer)

The squadron’s Operations Record book shows: “Aircraft hit by heavy flak over target. Oxygen supply pipe to Rear Gunner and Mid-Upper Gunner was severed which prevented effective look out being kept”


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

AM Form 78

The AM Form 78 (Movement Card) shows that the aircraft was classified as AC on 27th September 1944; it was repaired on site and returned to the squadron on 14th October 1944

AM Form 1180

There isn’t an AM Form 1180 (Accident Card) held at the RAF Museum and, as such, it has not been possible to establish any more details

Lancaster PB372 (23/12/1944)

Lancaster PB372 was one of ten No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack the Gremberg Marshalling Yards at Cologne on 23rd December 1944 (Daylight Raid).

It was equipped with Oboe and carrying 11 x 1000lb GP.

Its seven-man crew comprised:

  • Edgell Jason Rigby (Pilot)
  • Colin John Alfred Ramsey (Navigator)
  • Harry Breeze (Air Bomber)
  • Ernest Clifford Leslie Coombs (Wireless Operator)
  • F / RF Dickinson (Air Gunner)
  • Roy Frank Cooper (Air Gunner)
  • Douglas John Varney (Flight Engineer)

The route was Base, 5030N 0500E, 5036N 0620E, Target, 5110N 0400E, Southwold, Base

The squadron’s Operations Record Book shows “10 x 1000lb jettisoned Cologne area at 13.05hrs from 17000ft. Fused. Aircraft hit by flak. 1 x 1000lb mc jettisoned at position 5104N 0133E at 14.12hrs from 6000ft, safe, (bomb hung up) Oboe run was spoilt by aircraft “A” formatting closely on us until the last moment and thereby not giving room to manoeuvre. Approaching the target, we were engaged very accurately by predicted heavy flak right from the beginning of the oboe run. We were hit seven times. The aircraft landed at Manston”


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

AM Form 78

The AM Form 78 (Movement Card) shows that the aircraft was classified as Cat FB/AC; it was repaired on site and returned to the squadron on 26th February 1945

AM Form 1180

There isn’t an AM Form 1180 (Accident Card) held at the RAF Museum and, as such, it has not been possible to establish any more details

Citations

It is worth noting that EJ Rigby was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and ECL Coombs and RF Cooper were awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal for their actions during this sortie.

The citation reads:

This officer and these airmen were pilot, wireless operator and mid-upper gunner respectively in an aircraft detailed to attack the Gremburg railway yards near Cologne. Whilst over the target the aircraft was hit repeatedly by anti-aircraft fire. Several oil pipes were broken, became ignited and started a fire in the fuselage. Although their clothes had become saturated with oil, thus in-creasing their danger, Flight Sergeant Coombs and Sergeant Cooper immediately devoted their endeavours towards quelling the flames. Both received slight burns but they succeeded in getting the fire under control. The aircraft had sustained much other damage. Both the starboard engines were out of action. The aileron trim controls had been shot away and the rear and mid-upper gun turrets had been rendered unserviceable. Nevertheless, Flying Officer Rigby who, during a very harassing period had set an example which greatly encouraged his crew, flew the aircraft back to the nearest available airfield. These members of aircraft crew displayed courage and coolness worthy of great praise.

“Heroic Endeavour -The Remarkable Story of One Pathfinder Force Attack, a Victoria Cross and 206 Brave Men” by Sean Feast.

The complete story of the attack on Gremberg Marshalling Yards on 23rd December 1944 (190 pages)


Lancaster PB367 (23/12/1944)

Lancaster PB367 was one of ten No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack the Gremberg Marshalling Yards at Cologne on 23rd December 1944 (Daylight Raid)

It was equipped with Oboe and carrying 11 x 1000lb GP.

Its seven-man crew comprised:

  • Ronald William Clifford Poley (Pilot)
  • REL Johnson (Navigator)
  • Herbert William Mercy Ebdon (Air Bomber)
  • M Cohen (Wireless Operator)
  • D Therault (Air Gunner)
  • R Speight (Air Gunner)
  • Richard Hibbert Spratt (Flight Engineer)

The route was Base, 5030N 0500E, 5036N 0620E, Target, 5110N 0400E, Southwold, Base

The squadron’s Operations Record Book shows “No formation bombing because aircraft was engaged by very heavy flak; 1 x 1000GP jettisoned at position 51.15N 02.00E at 13.54 from 11,000 – safe- hung up. Aircraft landed at Manston”


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

AM Form 78

The movement card shows that the aircraft was classified as Cat FB/AC; it was repaired on site and returned to the squadron on 24th February 1945

AM Form 1180

There isn’t an AM Form 1180 (Accident Card) held at the RAF Museum and, as such, it has not been possible to establish any more details

“Heroic Endeavour -The Remarkable Story of One Pathfinder Force Attack, a Victoria Cross and 206 Brave Men” by Sean Feast.

The complete story of the attack on Gremberg Marshalling Yards on 23rd December 1944 (190 pages)

Lancaster PB307 (24/09/1944)

Lancaster PB307 was one of three No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack targets in the Calais area on 24th September 1944 (Daylight Raid)

Its crew comprised:

  • Roy Patrick Roberts (Pilot)
  • John Francis Marshall (Navigator)
  • Allan John Vial (Air Bomber)
  • Albert Harrison (Wireless Operator)
  • Leslie Arthur Booth (Air Gunner)
  • Lloyd Dennis Nickel (Air Gunner)
  • Louis Donald Pope (Flight Engineer)

The squadron’s Operations Record Book shows “Run up to aiming point made under intense flak, during which the aircraft was seriously damaged”


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

AM Form 78

The AM For 78 (Movement Card) shows that the aircraft was classified as FB/B; it was subsequently struck off charge, although the card shows it was returned to AV Roe and was then reallocated to 1667 CU in February 1945

AM Form 1180

There isn’t an AM Form 1180 (Accident Card) held at the RAF Museum and, as such, it has not been possible to establish any more details

Lancaster PB197 (15/08/1944)

Lancaster PB197 was one of nine No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack Le Culot on the morning of the 15th August 1944.

Its eight-man crew comprised:

  • Douglas Gray Murray (Pilot)
  • John Verney (Navigator)
  • Ronald Walter Cumbers (Air Bomber)
  • Frederick Cameron Shortts (Set Operator)
  • Francis George Boothby (Wireless Operator)
  • Philip Gough (Air Gunner)
  • Wilfred George Young (Air Gunner)
  • Edward Donald Hughes (Flight Engineer)

The squadron’s Operations Record Book shows “This aircraft was hit by flak before reaching the target and had to turn back as the port outer engine and port aileron were rendered unserviceable”


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

AM Form 78

The movement card shows that the aircraft was classified as Cat FB/AC on 15th August 1944; it was repaired on site and returned to the squadron on 16th September 1944

AM Form 1180

There is no AM Form 1180 (Accident Card) for this incident, so no further details are available

Halifax W1101 (19/05/1942)

Halifax W1101 was one of nine No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack Mannheim on the night of the 19th / 20th May 1942.

Its six-man crew comprised:

  • Dudley Herman Reed (Pilot)
  • Frederick D’Orsa Hunter (Observer)
  • Francis Edwin Flint (WOP / AG)
  • Leslie Plimmer Russell (Air Gunner)
  • Richard Lionel Prosser (Air Gunner)
  • Edward James Morris (Flight Engineer)

W1101 failed to return and the squadron’s Operations Record Book shows “Took off from Linton to Mannheim but nothing further was heard; Classified as Missing”

Wartime activities relating to the loss

On 20th May 1942 the squadron informed Bomber Command, the Air Ministry and the RAF Records Office that the aircraft and crew were missing.

A telegram, along with a follow up letter from the Commanding Officer, was sent to the next of kin of each crew member advising them that he was “missing as the result of air operations on 19th / 20th May 1942”.

The crew’s kit and personal belongings were removed from their lockers and catalogued; kit was returned to stores and personal belongings sent to the RAF Central Depository at RAF Colnbrook.

The Air Ministry Casualty Branch, which was responsible for investigating, monitoring and reporting on the status of missing aircraft and airmen, subsequently published the following information regarding the crew:

  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No. 167 (Flight 29/10/1942) reported DH Reed, FD Hunter, FE Flint, RL Prosser, LP Russell and EJ Morris as “missing”

Post War search for the missing crew members

After the war, an investigation officer from the Royal Air Force Missing Research and Enquiry Service (MRES) was tasked with locating the remains of the missing crew member(s).

Original German documents, burial records and eye witness accounts were utilised to establish the location of the crash site, the cause of the loss and the initial fate of the crew; information was recorded in a MRES Investigation Report.

As part of the process, any remains that were located were exhumed, identified (wherever possible) and concentrated (reinterred) at one of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s (CWGC) Cemeteries in the country that they fell, in accordance with Government policy at the time.

Graves were marked with a simple wooden cross, which was replaced by the familiar CWGC headstone during the 1950’s.

Missing airmen who could not be found, or formally identified, had their names commemorated on the Air Forces Memorial at Runnymede, which was unveiled in 1953.

CWGC records show that the remains of DH Reed, FD Hunter, FE Flint, RL Prosser, LP Russell and EJ Morris were located at Mannheim Cemetery

Their remains were exhumed, identified and concentrated (reinterred) at DURNBACH WAR CEMETERY on 14th October 1947 as follows:

  • FLINT, FRANCIS EDWIN Sergeant ‘1169620’  Grave 2. D. 16.
  • HUNTER, FREDERICK D’ORSA Sergeant ‘400504’ Grave 2. D. 14.
  • MORRIS, EDWARD JAMES Sergeant ‘297975’ Grave 2. D. 15.
  • PROSSER, RICHARD LIONEL Sergeant ‘950585’ Grave 2. D. 18.
  • REED, DUDLEY HERMAN Flight Sergeant ‘403987’ Grave 2. D. 13.
  • RUSSELL, LESLIE PLIMMER Flight Sergeant ‘40209’ Grave 2. D. 17.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

P4 Casualty Branch File

The following Casualty File is available at the National Archives:

AIR 81/14416 Flight Sergeant D H Reed (RNZAF), Sergeant F D Hunter (RAAF), Sergeant E J Morris, Sergeant F E Flint, Flight Sergeant L P Russell (RNZAF), Sergeant R L Prosser: killed; Halifax W1101, 35 Squadron, aircraft failed to return from an operational flight over Mannheim, Germany, 20 May 1942. With photographs and artefact.

Theo Boiten (Nachtjagd Combat Archive)

Coned by 2./Res. Flakscheinw. Abt. 300, hit by 1./Res. Flak Abt. 702, 1./Res. Flak Abt. 701, 1./Res. Flak Abt. 903, 1.&3./Res. Flak Abt. 385, 1.&2./Res. Flak Abt. 499,  2./Res. Flak Abt. 385, impacted 200m north of Heuchelheim at 01.30hrs

WR Chorley (Bomber Command Losses of the Second World War)

Crashed near Mannheim

Erik Wieman (German Researcher)

Flak Damage; aircraft came down at Heuchelheim bei Frankenthal, 12km N of Mannheim


Notes:

  1. FD Hunter’s service file is digitised in the Australian Archives; no information regarding the loss

Lancaster ND916 (13/12/1944)

The movement card shows that Lancaster ND916 was allocated to AV Roe on 13th December 1944; it was returned to the squadron on 24th December 1944


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

AM Form 1180

There isn’t an AM Form 1180 (Accident Card) held at the RAF Museum and, as such, it has not been possible to establish any more details

Lancaster ND928 (19/10/1944)

Lancaster ND928 was one of sixteen No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack Stuttgart on the night of 19th / 20th October 1944

Its eight-man crew comprised:

  • Daniel Bulmer Everett (Pilot)
  • Herbert Alan Millar (Navigator)
  • Charles George Mitchell (2nd Navigator)
  • James Bartholomew Edwards (Set Operator)
  • Clarence John Taylor (Wireless Operator)
  • George Bell Halbert (Air Gunner)
  • John Lawson MacDonald (Air Gunner)
  • Kelvin Gordon Munro (Flight Engineer)

The squadron’s Operations Record Book has no details but the AM Form 1180 (Movement Card) shows “tailplane and wing damaged by friendly incendiaries over target 15000ft”


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

AM Form 78

The AM Form 78 (Movement Card) shows that the aircraft was classified as Cat FB/AC; it was repaired and returned to the squadron on 11th November 1944


Lancaster ND702 (24/06/1944)

The AM Form 78 (Movement Card) shows that the aircraft was allocated to AV Roe on 24th June 1944; it was returned to the squadron on 1st July 1944


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Squadron Record Book

There are no details of any incident in the squadron’s Operations Record Book

AM Form 1180

There isn’t an AM Form 1180 (Accident Card) held at the RAF Museum and, as such, it has not been possible to establish any more details

Lancaster ND702 (28/04/1944)

The AM Form 78 (Movement Card) shows that the aircraft was classified as FB/AC on 28th April 1944 and sent for repair; it was returned to the squadron on 13th May 1944


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Squadron Operations Record Book

There are no details of any incidents in the squadron’s Operations Record Book

AM Form 1180

There is no AM Form 1180 (Accident Card) for the incident, so no further details are available

Lancaster ND694 (02/07/1944)

Lancaster ND694 was one of sixteen No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack Oisemont/Neuville Au Bois on the afternoon of the 2nd July 1944.

Its seven-man crew comprised:

  • Edward Dawson Kornegay (Pilot)
  • Charles Alexander Prosser (Navigator)
  • George Alfred Thomas Williams (Air Bomber)
  • Kenneth Percy Bellew  Grantham (Wireless Operator)
  • Herbert William Wilcox (Air Gunner)
  • Robert Chapman (Air Gunner)
  • Alan Robertson Young Wooler (Flight Engineer)

The squadron’s Operations Record Book shows “made one dummy run and on second run we were hit by flak; bombed and hit again on leaving target”.

Note: The aircraft returned to base with no injuries reported


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

AM Form 78

The AM Form 78 (Movement Card) shows that the aircraft was sent for repair on 2nd July 1944; it was returned to the squadron on 27th July 1944

AM Form 1180

There is no AM Form 1180 (Accident Card) for this incident, so no further details are available

Lancaster ND694 (27/04/1944)

Lancaster ND694 was one of fourteen No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack Friedrichshafen on 27th / 28th April 1944.

Its seven-man crew comprised:

  • Joseph Charles Kemp (Pilot)
  • Leslie Roberts (Navigator)
  • Alfred George Boam (Air Bomber)
  • Leslie Albert Lewis (Wireless Operator)
  • David Charles Rhodes (Air Gunner)
  • Henry Dale (Air Gunner)
  • William G Lawrie (Flight Engineer)

The squadron’s Operations Record book shows “Bombs hung up over target; bomb release mechanism unserviceable possibly due to flak damage” H2S was also unserviceable


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

AM Form 78

The AM Form 78 (Movement Card) shows that the aircraft was sent from repair on 28th April 1944; it was returned to the squadron on 1st June 1944

Lancaster ND691 (13/06/1944)

The AM Form 78 (Movement Card) shows that the aircraft was classified as FB/AC on 13th June 1944; it was returned to the squadron on 17th June 1944

Squadron Record Book

There are no further details in the Squadron Record Book

AM Form 1180

There isn’t an AM Form 1180 (Accident Card) held at the RAF Museum and, as such, it has not been possible to establish any more details

Lancaster ND690 (19/10/1944)

The AM Form 78 (Movement Card) shows that the aircraft was classified as FB/AC on 19th October 1944; it was returned to the squadron on 21st October 1944


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Squadron’s Operations Record Book

There is no mention of an incident in the squadron’s Operations Record Book

AM Form 1180

There is no AM Form 1180 (Accident Card), so no further details are available

Lancaster ND690 (31/07/1944)

Lancaster ND690 was one of ten No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack Foret de Nieppe on the night of the 31st July / 1st August 1944.

Its seven-man crew (plus 2nd dickie pilot) comprised:

  • John James Osmond (Pilot)
  • William George Douglas (2nd Dickie)
  • Reginald William Elton Bennett (Navigator)
  • Robert Mackay Hilliard (Air Bomber)
  • Matthew Cochrane (Wireless Operator)
  • Geoffrey Arnold Perry (Air Gunner)
  • Jack Cecil Black (Air Gunner)
  • James Keith Spedding (Flight Engineer)

The squadron’s Operations Record Book shows “Numerous heavy flak holes”


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

AM Form 78

The AM Form 78 shows that the aircraft was classified as FB/AC on 1st August 1944; it was returned to the squadron on 19th August 1944

AM Form 1180

There is no AM Form 1180 (Accident Card) for this incident, so no further details are available

Lancaster ND690 (11/07/1944)

The AM Form 78 (Movement Card) shows that the aircraft was classified as FB/AC on 11th July 1944; it was returned to the squadron on 22nd July 1944


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Squadron’s Operations Record Book

There are no details in the squadron’s Operations Record Book; in fact the aircraft is recorded as operational again on 12th July 1944

AM Form 1180

There isn’t an AM Form 1180 (Accident Card) held at the RAF Museum and, as such, it has not been possible to establish any more details

Lancaster ME369 (12/04/1945)

The AM Form 78 (Movement Card) shows that the aircraft was classified as FB/AC on 12th April 1945; it was returned to the squadron on 14th June 1945

Squadron’s Operations Record Book

There are no details in the squadron’s Operations Record Book

AM Form 1180

There isn’t an AM Form 1180 (Accident Card) held at the RAF Museum and, as such, it has not been possible to establish any more details

Lancaster ME362 (15/01/1945)

The AM Form 78 (Movement Card) shows that the aircraft was classified as FB/AC on 15th January 1945; it was returned to the squadron on 10th February 1945

Squadron’s Operations Record Book

There are no details in the squadron’s Operations Record Book

AM Form 1180

There isn’t an AM Form 1180 (Accident Card) held at the RAF Museum and, as such, it has not been possible to establish any more details

Lancaster ME331 (26/03/1945)

The AM Form 78 (Movement Card) shows that the aircraft was passed to AV Roe on 26th March 1945; it was repaired on site and returned to the squadron on 28th April 1945


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Squadron’s Operations Record Book

There are no details in the squadron’s Operations Record Book

AM Form 1180

There isn’t an AM Form 1180 (Accident Card) held at the RAF Museum and, as such, it has not been possible to establish any more details

Johnston (JD) (26/08/1941)

 

JD Johnston died on active service on 26th August 1941.

There are no details recorded in the squadron’s Operations Record Book and it is unclear whether he died as a result of illness or an accident.

The CWGC’s records show the following burial details:

  • JOHNSTON, JOHN DOUGLAS Sergeant ‘571193’ BROMLEY (ST. LUKE’S) CEMETERY Sec. J. Grave 3.

[Courtesy of Angela, St Luke’s Church]

Lancaster PB377 (14/04/1945)

Lancaster PB377 was one of fifteen No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack Potsdam on the night of the 14th / 15th April 1945.Its seven-man crew comprised:

  • VB Bowen-Morris (Pilot)
  • RHH Dyer (Navigator)
  • EG Silcock (Air Bomber)
  • CS Gibbon (Wireless Operator)
  • E Meredith (Air Gunner)
  • JW Tovey (Air Gunner)
  • WG Reynolds (Flight Engineer)

PB377 was initially reported missing but later information stated that the aircraft had caught fire over the target area. The squadron’s Operations Record Book shows “the crew, excluding the pilot, baled out near the target area. The pilot continued to fly the aircraft for some time and eventually baled out over Holland.

Wartime activities relating to the loss

On 15th April 1945 the squadron informed Bomber Command, the Air Ministry and the RAF Records Office that the aircraft and crew were missing.

A telegram, along with a follow up letter from the Commanding Officer, was sent to the next of kin of each crew member advising them that he was “missing as the result of air operations on 14th / 15th April 1945”.

telegram 2
An example of the telegram that was sent

The crew’s kit and personal belongings were removed from their lockers and catalogued; kit was returned to stores and personal belongings sent to the RAF Central Depository at RAF Colnbrook.

The Air Ministry Casualty Branch, which was responsible for investigating, monitoring and reporting on the status of missing aircraft and airmen, subsequently published the following information regarding the crew:

  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No. 552 (Flight 29/11/1945) reported WG Reynolds as “missing”

Crew who survived the crash and evaded capture

  • JW Tovey
    • Evasion Route: Hid for a few days with prisoners of war at Schiamiertz before being liberated by US troops
    • Repatriated: April / May 1945
  • VB Bowen-Morris
    • Having regained control of the aircraft, he eventually baled out over Holland and landed in allied controlled territory
    • Repatriated: – (The squadron’s Record Book shows that he was operational again by 7th May 1945)

Crew who survived the crash and were captured / imprisoned

RHH Dyer, EG Silcock, CS Gibbon and E Meredith baled out of the aircraft and were captured, interrogated and imprisoned.

Their POW Liberation Questionnaires, which were completed as part of the repatriation process at 106 Personnel Reception Centre, RAF Cosford, in 1945, show the following details:

  • CS Gibbon
    • Captured: Near Riesa 15/04/45
    • Imprisoned: Stalag IV-B, Mulhberg Apr-45 to May-45
    • Repatriated: May-45
  • RHH Dyer (POW Liberation Questionnaire yet to be obtained, so information is unconfirmed)
    • Captured:
    • Imprisoned: No information available 
    • Repatriated:
  • EG Silcock (POW Liberation Questionnaire yet to be obtained, so information is unconfirmed)
    • Captured:
    • Imprisoned: No information available
    • Repatriated:
  • E Meredith (POW Liberation Questionnaire yet to be obtained, so information is unconfirmed)
    • Captured:
    • Imprisoned: No information available
    • Repatriated:

Post War search for missing crew members

After the war, an investigation officer from the Royal Air Force Missing Research and Enquiry Service (MRES) was tasked with locating the remains of the missing crew member(s).

Original German documents, burial records and eye witness accounts were utilised to establish the location of the crash site, the cause of the loss and the initial fate of the crew; information was recorded in a MRES Investigation Report.

As part of the process, any remains that were located were exhumed, identified (wherever possible) and concentrated (reinterred) at one of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s (CWGC) Cemeteries in the country that they fell, in accordance with Government policy at the time.

Graves were marked with a simple wooden cross, which was replaced by the familiar CWGC headstone during the 1950’s.

Missing airmen who could not be found, or formally identified, had their names commemorated on the Air Forces Memorial at Runnymede, which was unveiled in 1953.

CWGC records show that the remains of WG Reynolds were not located (or could not be formally identified) and, as such, his name is commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial as follows:

  • REYNOLDS, William Graham Sergeant ‘1649222’ Panel 276.

[Source: Clive Lewis]

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

WR Chorley (Bomber Command Losses of the Second World War)

In the vicinity of the target an engine caught fire and, as ordered, the crew commenced baling out. With six departed and preparing to make his own escape, F/O Bowen-Morris regained control and was able to reach Dutch air space before being obliged to take to his parachute

AM Form 1180

Port outer ………….., unable to feather, caught fire. Crew baled out. Fire went out and then after two hours starboard inner overheated and pilot baled out

Lancaster PB343 (05/01/1945)

Lancaster PB343 was one of fifteen No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack Hanover (first raid) on the night of the 5th / 6th January 1945.

It was equipped with Loran, Carpet, H2S and Fishpond and was carrying 4 x 1000lb MC and various Target Indicators. Its designated Path Finder role was Blind Illuminator

Its seven-man crew comprised:

  • Kenneth Potts (Pilot)
  • Murray Allison Mills (Navigator)
  • Arthur Joseph Reeder (Air Bomber)
  • George Alfred Pope (Wireless Operator)
  • Ronald William Bentley (Air Gunner)
  • Vivian Montague Bailey Halls (Air Gunner)
  • Medley Benjamin Sharp (Flight Engineer)

The route was 5400N 0500E, 5305N 0700E, 5250N 0910E, Hanover, 5150N 0912E, 5220N 0705E, 5210N 0420E, Southwold

PB343 failed to return and the squadron’s Operations Record Book shows “This aircraft is missing, nothing being heard from it after take-off”

Note: The squadron’s Operations Record Book shows the serial number as PB364

Wartime activities relating to the loss

On 6th January 1945 the squadron informed Bomber Command, the Air Ministry and the RAF Records Office that the aircraft and crew were missing.

A telegram, along with a follow up letter from the Commanding Officer, was sent to the next of kin of each crew member advising them that he was “missing as the result of air operations on 5th / 6th January 1945”.

An example of the telegram that was sent

The crew’s kit and personal belongings were removed from their lockers and catalogued; kit was returned to stores and personal belongings sent to the RAF Central Depository at RAF Colnbrook.

The Air Ministry Casualty Branch, which was responsible for investigating, monitoring and reporting on the status of missing aircraft and airmen, subsequently published the following information regarding the crew:

  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No. 509 (Flight 31/05/1945) reported K Potts, MAC Mills, AJ Reeder, GA Pope, RW Bentley, VB Halls and MB Sharp as “missing”
  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No. 575 (Flight 02/05/1946) reported GA Pope “previously reported missing” as “now presumed killed in action”
  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No. 579 (Flight 16/05/1946) reported MAC Mills “previously reported missing” as “now presumed killed in action”
  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No. 580 (Flight 16/05/1946) reported AJ Reeder “previously reported missing” as “now presumed killed in action”
  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No. 586 (Flight 06/06/1946) reported K Potts, RW Bentley, VB Halls and MB Sharp “previously reported missing” as “now presumed killed in action”

Note: Presumption of death enabled a death certificate to be issued; personal belongings could then be sent to next of kin, along with any monies due.

Post War search for the missing crew members

After the war, an investigation officer from the Royal Air Force Missing Research and Enquiry Service (MRES) was tasked with locating the remains of the missing crew member(s).

Original German documents, burial records and eye witness accounts were utilised to establish the location of the crash site, the cause of the loss and the initial fate of the crew; information was recorded in a MRES Investigation Report.

As part of the process, any remains that were located were exhumed, identified (wherever possible) and concentrated (reinterred) at one of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s (CWGC) Cemeteries in the country that they fell, in accordance with Government policy at the time.

Graves were marked with a simple wooden cross, which was replaced by the familiar CWGC headstone during the 1950’s.

Missing airmen who could not be found, or formally identified, had their names commemorated on the Air Forces Memorial at Runnymede, which was unveiled in 1953.

CWGC records show that the remains of RW Bentley, VMB Halls, GA Pope and MB Sharp were located at Ahlhorn Temporary Burial Ground, Germany.

PB343 Concentration

Their remains were exhumed, identified and concentrated (reinterred) at Sage War Cemetery on 31st July 1947 as follows:

  • BENTLEY, Ronald William ‘1873484’  Grave 8. D. 6.
  • HALLS, Vivian Montague Bailey ‘2222007’ Grave 8. D. 8.
  • POPE, George Alfred ‘1049025’ Grave 8. D. 7.
  • SHARP, Medley Benjamin ‘1803380’ Grave 8. D. 4.

[Sources: Find-a-Grave]

The remains of MA Mills, K Potts and AJ Reeder were not located (or could not be formally identified); as such, their names are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial as follows:

  • MILLS, Murray Allison ‘J/43411’ Panel 279.
  • POTTS, Kenneth ‘183583’ Panel 267.
  • REEDER, Arthur Joseph ‘J/43405’ Panel 279.

[Courtesy of Clive Lewis]


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Bomber Command Loss Card

Place of Loss: Reide by Thedinghausen (Germany)
Cause of Loss: Believed Flak

WR Chorley (Bomber Command Losses of the Second World War)

Hit by flak and believed to have crashed between Reide and Thedinghausen


Lancaster NG436 (16/01/1945)

Lancaster NG436 was one of seven No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack Magdeburg on the night of 16th / 17th January 1945

Its eight-man crew comprised:

  • Jack Alfred Murrell (Pilot)
  • John Roderick O’Donnell (Navigator)
  • Albert Sidney Cubberley (Air Bomber)
  • Joseph Omer Dumas (Set Operator)
  • Thomas Ogden (Wireless Operator)
  • Jack Norman Oliver (Air Gunner)
  • James Johnston Black (Air Gunner)
  • William Reginald Eady (Flight Engineer)

The squadron’s Operations Record Book has no details of the incident but the AM Form 1180 (Accident Card) shows “aircraft struck by incendiaries from friendly aircraft; successful landing subsequently made”


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

AM Form 78

The movement card shows that the aircraft was classified as Cat FB/AC; it was repaired and returned to the squadron on 10th February 1945


Lancaster ND703 (24/03/1944)

The AM Form 78 (Movement Card) shows that the aircraft was classified as FB/AC on 24th March 1944; it was repaired and returned to the squadron on 7th April 1944


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Squadron’s Operations Record Book

There are no details in the squadron’s Operations Record Book regarding any damage

AM Form 1180

There isn’t an AM Form 1180 (Accident Card) held at the RAF Museum and, as such, it has not been possible to establish any more details

Lancaster ND703 (21/05/1944)

Lancaster ND703 was one of eleven No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack Duisburg on the night of 21st / 22nd May 1944

Its seven-man crew comprised:

  • R Blakey (Pilot)
  • GD Woodrow (Navigator)
  • FGR Edwards (Air Bomber)
  • LA Markham (Wireless Operator)
  • W Andrew (Air Gunner)
  • TJ Crane (Air Gunner)
  • HR Bowerman (Flight Engineer)

The route was: 5300N 0300E, 5310N 0525E, 5215N 0655E, Target, 5110N 0640E, 5115N 0550E, 5210N 0425E, 5220N 0300E

The squadron’s Operations Record Book shows “port outer engine caught fire at 5218N 0418E at 02.20hrs (19000ft) and completely burnt out; cause unknown” (Timing suggests that aircraft was on homeward route)


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

AM Form 78

The movement card shows that the aircraft was classified as FB/AC; it was returned to the squadron on 3rd June 1944

AM Form 1180

The accident card (which is difficult to read) confirms engine fire and appears to suggest it was due to the fracture of an oil pipe

Lancaster ND697 (24/03/1994)

Lancaster ND697 was one of fourteen No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack Berlin on the night of 24th / 25th March 1944

Its seven-man crew comprised:

  • Edward John Chidgey (Pilot)
  • Brian Arnold Stoker (Navigator)
  • Kaare Stenwig (Air Bomber)
  • Thomas Henry Warren (Wireless Operator)
  • FW Hall (Air Gunner)
  • James Mursell Colledge (Air Gunner)
  • Frederick Ronald Harmsworth-Smith (Flight Engineer)

There is no information about the incident in the squadron’s Operations Record Book, but the AM Form 1180 (Accident Card) shows “incendiary from aircraft above damaged starboard mainplane” (Incident happened over target)


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

AM Form 78

The AM Form 78 (Movement Card) shows that the aircraft was sent for repair on 25th March 1944; it was returned to the squadron on 7th April 1944

Lancaster NG440 (08/04/1945)

Lancaster NG440 was one of ten No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack the Blohm and Voss Works in Hamburg on the night of 8th / 9th April 1945.

Its designated Path Finder role was Visual Centrer.

Its eight-man crew consisted of:

  • Melville Max Victor Lewis Muller (Pilot)
  • Harry Cobb (Navigator)
  • Patrick Baring Oates Ranalow (Air Bomber)
  • John Leslie Vickery (Set Operator)
  • Thomas Broadley Robinson (Wireless Operator)
  • Charles Wilce (Air Gunner)
  • Robert Christie Webster (Air Gunner)
  • Andrew Coulter Barr (Flight Engineer)

The route was Whitby and Wash, 5430N 0300E, 5435N 0835E, 5410N 1005E, Hamburg, 5330N 0957E, 5325N 0930E, 5235N 0910E, 5132N 0545E, 5140N 0410E, 5245N 0410E, 5430N 0030E

NG440 failed to return from the operation and the squadron’s Operations Record Book shows: “This aircraft is missing, nothing being heard from it after take-off”

Wartime activities relating to the loss

On 9th April 1945 the squadron informed Bomber Command, the Air Ministry and the RAF Records Office that the aircraft and crew were missing.

A telegram, along with a follow up letter from the Commanding Officer, was sent to the next of kin of each crew member advising them that he was “missing as the result of air operations on 8th / 9th April 1945”.

The crew’s kit and personal belongings were removed from their lockers and catalogued; kit was returned to stores and personal belongings sent to the RAF Central Depository at RAF Colnbrook.

The Air Ministry Casualty Branch, which was responsible for investigating, monitoring and reporting on the status of missing aircraft and airmen, subsequently published the following information regarding the crew:

  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No. 547 (Flight 08/11/1945) reported MMVL Muller, H Cobb, PBO Ranalow, JL Vickery, TB Robinson, RC Webster and AC Barr as “missing”

No. 35 Squadron’s Operations Record Book shows the following information was received relating to the crew:

  • 23/06/1945: Information received from No. 151 Repair Unit that an aircraft, believed to be NG440, had been located near Rotenburg. One member of the crew F/S Wilce, the tail gunner, was uninjured, but the remainder were believed to have been killed.

Crew member(s) who survived the crash and were captured / imprisoned

PBO Ranalow survived the crash and was captured and hospitalised; he died of his injuries on 10th April 1945

C Wilce survived the crash and was captured, interrogated and imprisoned for the remainder of the war.

His POW Liberation Questionnaire, which was completed as part of the repatriation process at 106 Personnel Reception Centre (RAF Cosford) in 1945, shows the following details:

  • C Wilce
    • Captured: Wohlsdorf 09/04/1945
    • Imprisoned: Rottenburg Airfield Apr-45
    • Imprisoned: Pinneburg Apr-45
    • Imprisoned: Ludwigslust Apr-45
    • Imprisoned: Labenz Apr-45 to May-45
    • Repatriated: May-45

Post War search for the missing crew members

After the war, an investigation officer from the Royal Air Force Missing Research and Enquiry Service (MRES) was tasked with locating the remains of the missing crew member(s).

Original German documents, burial records and eye witness accounts were utilised to establish the location of the crash site, the cause of the loss and the initial fate of the crew; information was recorded in a MRES Investigation Report.

As part of the process, any remains that were located were exhumed, identified (wherever possible) and concentrated (reinterred) at one of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s (CWGC) Cemeteries in the country that they fell, in accordance with Government policy at the time.

Graves were marked with a simple wooden cross, which was replaced by the familiar CWGC headstone during the 1950’s.

Missing airmen who could not be found, or formally identified, had their names commemorated on the Air Forces Memorial at Runnymede, which was unveiled in 1953.

CWGC records show that the remains of MMVL Muller, H Cobb,  JL Vickery, TB Robinson, RC Webster and AC Barr were located at Rotenburg Cemetery, Germany.

The remains of PBO Ranalow (who died of his injuries) were also buried there.

ng440-concentration1

Their remains were exhumed, identified and concentrated (reinterred) at BECKLINGEN WAR CEMETERY on 8th July 1946 as follows:

  • BARR, ANDREW COULTER Flight Sergeant ‘1113965’  Joint grave 11. B. 10-10A.
  • COBB, HARRY Flight Lieutenant ‘121906’ Joint grave 11. B. 10-10A.
  • ROBINSON, THOMAS BROADLEY Flying Officer ‘158124’ Grave 11. B. 11.
  • MULLER, MELVILLE MAX VICTOR LEWIS Squadron Leader ‘128129’ Grave 11. B. 12.
  • WEBSTER, ROBERT CHRISTIE Flying Officer ‘173076’ Grave 11. B. 13.
  • VICKERY, JOHN LESLIE Flying Officer ‘163864’ Grave 11. B. 14.
  • RANALOW, PATRICK BARING OATES Flight Lieutenant ‘130989’ Grave 14. B. 14.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Theo Boiten (Nachtjagd Combat Archive)

Possible Nightfighter Claim: Lt. Bruno Rupp, 4./NJG3, Rotenburg-Hannover Area

Note: Theo Boiten has advised that this is still the latest information that he has (December 2015)

Bomber Command Loss Card

Crashed near Rotenburg

“Wilce: Aircraft hit in nose, probably by flak. Aircraft on fire and his turret broke away and he baled out. He saw no more of the aircraft or the crew. Ranalow was seriously injured and died in a German hospital within a few hours”

Map of Locations

NG440 Locations

Lancaster NG440 (18/03/1945)

Lancaster NG440 was one of fifteen No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack Witten on the night of the 18th / 19th March 1945.

Its eight-man crew comprised:

  • John Campbell Blair (Pilot)
  • Derek Ian Jeffery (Navigator)
  • Thomas Henderson Hunter (Air Bomber)
  • “Yale Knox Carter” (Set Operator)
  • John Arthur Moore (Wireless Operator)
  • Harry Foxton (Air Gunner)
  • JS Johnson (Air Gunner)
  • (Possibly) Herbert Bailey (Flight Engineer)

The squadron’s Operations Record Book shows: When the aircraft was half way across the Channel, aircraft doing dog leg at 4,000 feet to waste time and an aircraft, believed to be a Lancaster, came in from starboard bow and hit starboard fin, ripped a piece off it, took part of an elevator and fin away. Aircraft went into steep dive and lost 2,000 feet. Aircraft set course for jettison area and returned to base. All personnel were uninjured.


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

AM Form 78

The movement card does not show any details regarding classification as a result of the incident; it is known that the aircraft was back in operational use on 24th March 1945

AM Form 1180

There isn’t an AM Form 1180 (Accident Card) held at the RAF Museum and, as such, it has not been possible to establish any more details


Notes:

  1. Information suggests that the other aircraft involved was No. 640 Squadron Halifax NR289 which damaged its nose and landed at Manston

Lancaster ME367 (21/02/1945)

Lancaster ME367 was one of eleven No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack Duisburg on the night of the 21st / 22nd February 1945.

The aircraft was equipped with HS2, Fishpond, Loran and Carpet and was carrying 1 x 4000lb HC, 5 x 1000lb MC and various target indicators. Its designated Path Finder role was Blind Secondary Marker.

Its seven-man crew comprised:

  • Francis William Gordon Tropman (Pilot)
  • Robert Thomas Johns (Navigator)
  • Harry Denis Michell (Air Bomber)
  • Neil William Curtis (Wireless Operator)
  • Geoffrey John North (Air Gunner)
  • Malcolm Harry McVey (Air Gunner)
  • Raymond Marcel Hallett (Flight Engineer)

The route was 5000N 0200E, 5010N 0500E, 5050N 0540E, Target, 5128N 0649E, 5130N 055OE, 5055N 0520E, 5035N 0410E

ME367 failed to return and the squadron’s Operations Record Book shows “This aircraft is missing, nothing being heard from it after take-off”

Wartime activities relating to the loss

On 22nd February 1945 the squadron informed Bomber Command, the Air Ministry and the RAF Records Office that the aircraft and crew were missing.

A telegram, along with a follow up letter from the Commanding Officer, was sent to the next of kin of each crew member advising them that he was “missing as the result of air operations on 21st / 22nd February 1945”.

An extract from the letter sent to the family of NW Curtis

The crew’s kit and personal belongings were removed from their lockers and catalogued; kit was returned to stores and personal belongings sent to the RAF Central Depository at RAF Colnbrook.

The Air Ministry Casualty Branch, which was responsible for investigating, monitoring and reporting on the status of missing aircraft and airmen, subsequently published the following information regarding the crew:

  • No information found

It is known that a telegram was sent to the family of FWG Tropman on 9th April 1945 advising them that he had been killed in action. A follow-up letter was sent on 5th May 1945.

tropman-letter

No. 35 Squadron’s Operations Record Book shows the following information regarding the crew:

  • 26/09/1945: Information received from Air Ministry  that RM Hallet and RT Johns have returned safely to the UK.
  • 06/10/1945: Information received from the Air Ministry that MH McVey was reported safe in the UK on 23rd May 1945.

Crew members who survived the crash and were captured / imprisoned

RT Johns, HD Michell, NW Curtis, MH McVey, GJ North and RM Hallet survived the crash and were captured, interrogated and imprisoned for the remainder of the war.

Their POW Liberation Questionnaires, which were completed as part of the repatriation process show the following:

  • RT Johns
    • Captured: Krefeld 22/02/45
    • Imprisoned: Stalag VIII-D, Nuremberg Mar-45 to Apr-45
    • Imprisoned: Stalag VII-A, Moosburg Apr-45
    • Repatriated: May-45
  • HD Michell
    • Captured Krefeld 22/02/1945
    • Interrogated: Dulag Luft Obereusel, Frankfurt
    • Imprisoned: Stalag VIII-D, Nuremberg Mar-45 to Apr-45
    • Imprisoned: Stalag VII-A, Moosburg Apr-45
    • Repatriated: May-45
  • NW Curtis
    • Captured: Near Krefeld 21/02/45  (Fractured Ankle)
    • Hospitalised: Krefeld Feb-45
    • Hospitalised: Kaiservert Mar-45
    • Hospitalised: 3 km from Steenwijk Mar-45 to Apr-45
    • Repatriated: Apr-45 (Admitted to RAF Hospital Cosford)
  • MH McVey
    • Captured: Duisburg 21/02/45
    • Imprisoned: Stalag VIII-D, Nuremberg Mar-45 to Apr-45
    • Imprisoned: Stalag VII-A, Moosburg Apr-45
    • Repatriated: May-45
  • GJ North
    • Captured: Rheurdt  22/02/45
    • Imprisoned: Stalag VIII-D, Nuremberg Mar-45 to Apr-45
    • Imprisoned: Stalag VII-A, Moosburg Apr-45
    • Repatriated: May-45
  • RM Hallet
    • Captured: Duisburg  21/02/45
    • Imprisoned: Stalag VIII-D, Nuremberg Mar-45 to Apr-45
    • Imprisoned: Stalag VII-A, Moosburg Apr-45
    • Repatriated: May-45

Post War search for the missing crew members

After the war, an investigation officer from the Royal Air Force Missing Research and Enquiry Service (MRES) was tasked with locating the remains of the missing crew member(s).

Original German documents, burial records and eye witness accounts were utilised to establish the location of the crash site, the cause of the loss and the initial fate of the crew; information was recorded in a MRES Investigation Report.

As part of the process, any remains that were located were exhumed, identified (wherever possible) and concentrated (reinterred) at one of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s (CWGC) Cemeteries in the country that they fell, in accordance with Government policy at the time.

Graves were marked with a simple wooden cross, which was replaced by the familiar CWGC headstone during the 1950’s.

Missing airmen who could not be found, or formally identified, had their names commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial, which was unveiled in 1953.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s (CWGC) records show that the remains of FWG Tropman were located at Vorst Forest Cemetery.

tropman-concentration

His remains were exhumed, and whilst not positively identified, the MRES officer concluded that there were no doubts that it was Tropman and his remains were concentrated (reinterred) at Reichswald Forest War Cemetery on 28th July 1947 as follows:

  • TROPMAN, Francis William Gordon ‘413453’  Grave 29. B. 18.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Theo Boiten (Nachtjagd War Diaries)

Possible Nightfighter Claim: Hptm. Hermann Greiner, StabIV./NJG1, Neuss, 23.21

MRES Report

The MRES Report shows “A report from the Burgomeister of Vorst gives the information that the aircraft crashed at Schmitzheide/Vorst on 21st February 1945. I visited the scene of the crash and found that all major portions of the aircraft had been removed. I did however find six merlin exhaust flame covers and a Lancaster flap operating boom”

NW Curtis (RAAF Repatriation Questionnaire)

Attacked by unidentified fighter; aircraft on fire under fuselage. Baled out. Captured by German soldiers near Krefeld

Pilot Tropman buried by Americans after identification (this information learnt from adjutant of 35 Squadron).

GJ North (POW Documents)

An extract from GJ North’s POW documents

Lancaster ME361 (07/03/1945)

Lancaster ME361 was one of eight No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack the Deutsche Erdoel refinery at Hemmingstedt, near Heide on the night of 7th / 8th March 1945.

It was equipped with H2S, Fishpond, Loran and Carpet and was carrying 3 x 1000lb B2 Yellow, 3 x 1000lb B4 Yellow, 3 x 1000 ANM.59 and 4 x Cluster Projectiles. Its designated Path Finder role was Master Bomber

Its eight-man crew comprised:

  • Daniel Bulmer Everett (Pilot)
  • James Martin Aylieff (Navigator)
  • Charles George Mitchell (Air Bomber)
  • Clifford Owen Russell (Set Operator)
  • Reginald Clifford Chapman (Wireless Operator)
  • Albert Henry John Pidgeon (Air Gunner)
  • Reginald Martin Weller (Air Gunner)
  • Kelvin Gordon Munro (Flight Engineer)

The route to and from the target was as follows: 5330N 0045E, 5520N 0420E, 5545N 0900E, 5500N 1015E, Target, 5405N 0850E, 5440N 0700E, 5435N 0340E, 5300N 0100E, Base

ME361 failed to return and the squadron’s Operations Record Book shows “This aircraft is missing, nothing being heard from it after take-off”

Wartime activities relating to the loss

On 8th March 1945 the squadron informed Bomber Command, the Air Ministry and the RAF Records Office that the aircraft and crew were missing.

A telegram, along with a follow up letter from the Commanding Officer, was sent to the next of kin of each crew member advising them that he was “missing as the result of air operations on 7th / 8th March 1945”.

The crew’s kit and personal belongings were removed from their lockers and catalogued; kit was returned to stores and personal belongings sent to the RAF Central Depository at RAF Colnbrook.

The Air Ministry Casualty Branch, which was responsible for investigating, monitoring and reporting on the status of missing aircraft and airmen, subsequently published the following information regarding the crew:

  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No. 338 (Flight 20/09/1945) reported DB Everett, JM Aylieff, CG Mitchell, CO Russell, RC Chapman, AHJ Pidgeon, RM Weller and KG Munro as “missing”
  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No. 592 (Flight 11/07/1946) reported CG Mitchell “previously reported missing” as “now presumed killed in action”
  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No. 593 (Flight 18/07/1946) reported KG Munro “previously reported missing” as “now presumed killed in action”
  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No. 594 (Flight 25/07/1946) reported DB Everett, JM Aylieff, CO Russell, RC Chapman, AHJ Pidgeon and RM Weller “previously reported missing” as “now presumed killed in action”

Note: Presumption of death enabled a death certificate to be issued; personal belongings could then be sent to next of kin, along with any monies due.

Post-War search for the missing crew members

After the war, an investigation officer from the Royal Air Force Missing Research and Enquiry Service (MRES) was tasked with locating the remains of the missing crew member(s).

Original German documents, burial records and eye witness accounts were utilised to establish the location of the crash site, the cause of the loss and the initial fate of the crew; information was recorded in a MRES Investigation Report.

As part of the process, any remains that were located were exhumed, identified (wherever possible) and concentrated (reinterred) at one of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s (CWGC) Cemeteries in the country that they fell, in accordance with Government policy at the time.

Graves were marked with a simple wooden cross, which was replaced by the familiar CWGC headstone during the 1950’s.

Missing airmen who could not be found, or formally identified, had their names commemorated on the Air Forces Memorial at Runnymede, which was unveiled in 1953.

CWGC records show that the remains of all the missing crew members were located at Hemmingstedt.

ME361 Concentration

Their remains were exhumed, identified and concentrated (reinterred) at HAMBURG CEMETERY on 2nd August 1946 as follows:

  • AYLIEFF, James Martin Flying Officer ‘177980’ Grave 5A. J. 3
  • CHAPMAN, Reginald Clifford Flight Lieutenant ‘122930’ Grave 5A. J. 2.
  • EVERETT, Daniel Bulmer Squadron Leader ‘155223’ Grave 5A. J. 8.
  • MITCHELL, Charles G. Flight Lieutenant ‘J/20407’ Grave 5A. J. 7.
  • MUNRO, Kelvin Gordon Pilot Officer ‘7122’ Grave 5A. J. 1.
  • PIDGEON, Albert Henry John Flying Officer ‘171882’ Grave 5A. J. 6.
  • RUSSELL, Clifford Owen Flight Lieutenant ‘138894’ Grave 5A. J. 5.
  • WELLER, Reginald Martin Flying Officer ‘155190’ Grave 5A. J. 4.


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

WR Chorley (Bomber Command Losses of the Second World War)

[Master Bomber] Shot down at 22.00 in the target area

German Archives (Courtesy of Rod MacKenzie)

German documents (now held in archives around the world) record that ME361 caught fire in the air and crashed near Hemmingstedt at around 22.00hrs . It is understood that these files also contain unconfirmed claims for the loss by both a nightfighter and various flak batteries.

Map of Crash Location and Original Burials

ME361 Map

Lancaster ME335 (21/02/1945)

Lancaster ME335 was one of eleven No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack Duisburg on the night of the 21st / 22nd February 1945.

It was equipped with H2S, Fishpond and Carpet and was carrying 1 x 4000lb HC, 5 x 1000lb MC and 14 Cluster Projectiles. Its designated Path Finder role was Blind Secondary Marker

Its seven-man crew comprised:

  • John James Osmond (Pilot)
  • Albert Western Wolk (Navigator)
  • Bernard John Bedford Carr (Air Bomber)
  • Archibald Clarence Aston (Wireless Operator)
  • Bert William Golden (Air Gunner)
  • Geoffrey Arnold Perry (Air Gunner)
  • James Keith Spedding (Flight Engineer)

ME335 failed to return and the squadron’s Operations Record Book shows “This aircraft is missing, nothing being heard from it after take-off”

Wartime activities relating to the loss

On 22nd February 1945 the squadron informed Bomber Command, the Air Ministry and the RAF Records Office that the aircraft and crew were missing.

A telegram, along with a follow up letter from the Commanding Officer, was sent to the next of kin of each crew member advising them that he was “missing as the result of air operations on 21st / 22nd February 1945”.

The crew’s kit and personal belongings were removed from their lockers and catalogued; kit was returned to stores and personal belongings sent to the RAF Central Depository at RAF Colnbrook.

The Air Ministry Casualty Branch, which was responsible for investigating, monitoring and reporting on the status of missing aircraft and airmen, subsequently published the following information regarding the crew:

  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No. 521 (Flight 05/07/1945) reported BW Golden as “missing”
  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No. 591 (Flight 04/06/1946) reported BW Golden  “previously reported missing” as “now presumed killed in action”

Note: Presumption of death enabled a death certificate to be issued; personal belongings could then be sent to next of kin, along with any monies due.

Crew members who survived the crash and were captured / imprisoned

JJ Osmond, AW Wolk, BJB Carr, AC Aston, GA Perry and JK Spedding survived the crash and were captured, interrogated and imprisoned for the remainder of the war.

Their POW Liberation Questionnaires, which were completed as part of the repatriation process at 106 Personnel Reception Centre (RAF Cosford) in 1945, show the following details:

  • JJ Osmond
    • Captured: Feb-45
    • Imprisoned: Stalag VIII-D, Nuremburg Mar-45 to Apr-45
    • Imprisoned: Stalag VII-A, Moosburg Apr-45
    • Repatriated: May-45
  • AW Wolk (POW Liberation Questionnaire yet to be obtained, so information is unconfirmed)
    • Captured:
    • Imprisoned: Stalag VII-A, Moosburg
    • Repatriated:
  • BJB Carr (POW Liberation Questionnaire yet to be obtained, so information is unconfirmed)
    • Captured:
    • Imprisoned: Stalag VII-A, Moosburg
    • Repatriated:
  • AC Aston (POW Liberation Questionnaire yet to be obtained, so information is unconfirmed)
    • Captured:
    • Imprisoned:
    • Repatriated:
  • GA Perry (POW Liberation Questionnaire yet to be obtained, so information is unconfirmed)
    • Captured:
    • Imprisoned: Stalag VII-A, Moosburg
    • Repatriated:
  • JK Spedding (POW Liberation Questionnaire yet to be obtained, so information is unconfirmed)
    • Captured:
    • Imprisoned: Stalag VII-A, Moosburg
    • Repatriated:

Post War search for the missing crew members

After the war, an investigation officer from the Royal Air Force Missing Research and Enquiry Service (MRES) was tasked with locating the remains of the missing crew member(s).

Original German documents, burial records and eye witness accounts were utilised to establish the location of the crash site, the cause of the loss and the initial fate of the crew; information was recorded in a MRES Investigation Report.

As part of the process, any remains that were located were exhumed, identified (wherever possible) and concentrated (reinterred) at one of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s (CWGC) Cemeteries in the country that they fell, in accordance with Government policy at the time.

Graves were marked with a simple wooden cross, which was replaced by the familiar CWGC headstone during the 1950’s.

Missing airmen who could not be found, or formally identified, had their names commemorated on the Air Forces Memorial at Runnymede, which was unveiled in 1953.

CWGC records show that the remains of BW Golden were located at Neukirchen Community Cemetery.

ME335 Concentration

His remains were exhumed, identified and concentrated (reinterred) at REICHSWALD FOREST WAR CEMETERY on 2nd June 1947 as follows:

  • GOLDEN, BERT WILLIAM Flying Officer ‘179878’  Grave 15. D. 14.

[Courtesy of Klaus Steffensen]

JJ Osmond’s POW Liberation Questionnaire (Australian Archive)

Aircraft attacked from below which sustained strikes on fuselage and starboard wing. The starboard inner engine and trailing edge were on fire. I then took necessary action but the fire did not go out. I then gave the command to prepare to abandon aircraft, followed shortly by order to jump. All members replied, excluding mid-upper gunner; attempts to contact him by call-light not successful. All crew left aircraft successfully, I then left at 10,000 with the aircraft under control but juddering badly with fires still burning. Aircraft crashed approx 30-40 miles west of Duisburg.

All those that baled out landed safely and were captured. The mid-upper gunner crashed in aircraft. WO Aston was told by his captors that he was found dead in his turret.

Theo Boiten (Nachtjagd War Diaries)

No information recorded

WR Chorley (Bomber Command Losses of the Second World War)

No additional details on the loss

Lancaster ME334 (04/02/1945)

Lancaster ME334 was one of fourteen No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack Bonn on the night of the 4th / 5th February 1945.

It was equipped with H2S, GPI, Fishpond, Loran and Carpet and was carrying 1 x 4000lb HC, 5 x 1000lb ANM65, 5 x 500lb MC and 1 target indicator (No. 1 R/G). Its designated Path Finder role was Blind Secondary Marker

Its seven-man crew comprised:

  • Allan Edward Johnson (Pilot)
  • Gerald Basil Thomas (Navigator)
  • Harry Coulton (Air Bomber)
  • Roy Maurice Jenkins (Wireless Operator)
  • Douglas Farrant Hadland (Air Gunner)
  • Raymond Neale (Air Gunner)
  • Cecil Arthur Butler (Flight Engineer)
Crew Only (Med)

The route was Base, Reading, 5000N 0200E, 5000N 0400E, 5014N 0540E, Target, 5047N 0715E, 5035N 0725E, 5010N 0640E, 5020E, 0530E, 5000N 0400E, 5100N 0240E, Southwold

ME334 failed to return and the squadron’s Operations Record Book shows “This aircraft is missing, nothing being heard from it after take-off”

Wartime activities relating to the loss

On 5th February 1945 the squadron informed Bomber Command, the Air Ministry and the RAF Records Office that the aircraft and crew were missing.

A telegram, along with a follow up letter from the Commanding Officer, was sent to the next of kin of each crew member advising them that he was “missing as the result of air operations on 4th / 5th February 1945”.

The crew’s kit and personal belongings were removed from their lockers and catalogued; kit was returned to stores and personal belongings sent to the RAF Central Depository at RAF Colnbrook.

The Air Ministry Casualty Branch, which was responsible for investigating, monitoring and reporting on the status of missing aircraft and airmen, subsequently published the following information regarding the crew:

  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No. 514 (Flight 14/06/1945) reported AE Johnson, GB Thomas, H Coulton, RM Jenkins, R Neale, DF Hadland and CA Butler as “missing”
  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No. 586 (Flight 06/06/1946) reported AE Johnson, GB Thomas, H Coulton, RM Jenkins, R Neale, DF Hadland and CA Butler “previously reported missing” as “now presumed killed in action”

Note: Presumption of death enabled a death certificate to be issued; personal belongings could then be sent to next of kin, along with any monies due.

No. 35 Squadron’s Operations Record Book shows the following information was received relating to the crew:

  • 26/09/1945: Information received from Air Ministry that AE Johnson, RM Jenkins and R Neale, missing on 4th February 1945, were killed. Four unknown, presumably the remaining members of the crew, were buried with them in Beuel Cemetery

Post War search for the missing crew members

After the war, an investigation officer from the Royal Air Force Missing Research and Enquiry Service (MRES) was tasked with locating the remains of the missing crew member(s).

Original German documents, burial records and eye witness accounts were utilised to establish the location of the crash site, the cause of the loss and the initial fate of the crew; information was recorded in a MRES Investigation Report.

As part of the process, any remains that were located were exhumed, identified (wherever possible) and concentrated (reinterred) at one of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s (CWGC) Cemeteries in the country that they fell, in accordance with Government policy at the time.

Graves were marked with a simple wooden cross, which was replaced by the familiar CWGC headstone during the 1950’s.

Missing airmen who could not be found, or formally identified, had their names commemorated on the Air Forces Memorial at Runnymede, which was unveiled in 1953.

CWGC records show that the remains of all the crew members were located at Beuel Cemetery

Original Crosses at Beuel.jpg

The original grave markers at Beuel Cemetery (Note the 3 named crosses and the 4 unmarked “unknowns”) [Courtesy of Brenda Taylor]

ME334 Concentration

Their remains were exhumed, identified and concentrated (reinterred) at RHEINBERG WAR CEMETERY on 1st May 1947 as follows:

  • NEALE, RAYMOND Flight Sergeant ‘1100968’ Grave 11. B. 1.
  • BUTLER, CECIL ARTHUR Sergeant ‘1868746’  Grave 11. B. 2.
  • HADLAND, DOUGLAS FARRANT Flight Sergeant ‘1616720’ Grave 11. B. 3.
  • COULTON, HARRY Flying Officer ‘152725’ Grave 11. B. 4.
  • JOHNSON, ALLAN EDWARD Flight Lieutenant ‘61984’ Grave 11. B. 5.
  • JENKINS, ROY MAURICE Flight Sergeant ‘1394968’ Grave 11. B. 6.
  • THOMAS, GERALD BASIL Flight Sergeant ‘1549455’ Grave 11. B. 7.

The original graves and grave markers at Rheinberg 1947


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

MRES Report

The MRES report concerning the crew of Lancaster ME334 says that Lancaster ME334, which was reported missing on 4 February 1945, crashed at Beuel, map reference K51/F5738.

In August 1946, a MRES investigating officer from 19 Section, No 4 Missing Research and Enquiry Unit, Germany visited Beuel. He spoke to police there and the Burgomeister who told him that an aircraft had crashed on the outskirts of the town after the attack on Bonn on 4 February 1945. The main part of the aircraft crashed on a plot of waste land in Elsa Brandstroem Strasse. Another witness who lived opposite the crash site said the aircraft came down at 20.20 hours. The wreckage of the aircraft covered an area of about 200 yards square. The witness said that the aircraft was hit to the south of the city and caught fire. The Wehrmacht recovered the bodies of the crew and the aircraft wreckage and the crew were taken by the Leichenbergungskommando of the German Air Force at Hangelar to the New Cemetery, Beuel for burial.”

A letter of hope [Courtesy of Peter Lawson]

Letter (W Butler)1 [Peter Lawson]

Lancaster ME334 (05/01/1945)

Lancaster ME334 was one of fifteen No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack Hanover (first raid) on the night of the 5th / 6th January 1945.

It was carrying 5 x 2000lb HC (NI) and various Target Indicators. Its designated Path Finder role was Blind Secondary Marker.

Its seven-man crew comprised:

  • Philip John Bryant (Pilot)
  • William John Bentley (Navigator)
  • Kenneth Allerston (Air Bomber)
  • William John Phillips (Wireless Operator)
  • Henry Edward Douglas Figgis (Air Gunner)
  • Squire Nuttall (Air Gunner)
  • Michael William Hanham (Flight Engineer)

The route was 5400N 0500E, 5305N 0700E, 5250N 0910E, Hanover, 5150N 0912E, 5220N 0705E, 5210N 0420E, Southwold

The squadron’s Operations Record Book shows “The mid-upper gunner (HED Figgis) baled out over the target area; it is believed that he was probably wounded and dazed”

Wartime activities relating to the loss

On 6th January 1945 the squadron informed Bomber Command, the Air Ministry and the RAF Records Office that HED Figgis was missing.

A telegram, along with a follow up letter from the Commanding Officer, was sent to his next of kin advising them that he was “missing as the result of air operations on 5th / 6th January 1945”.

His kit and personal belongings were removed from his locker and catalogued; kit was returned to stores and personal belongings sent to the RAF Central Depository at RAF Colnbrook.

The Air Ministry Casualty Branch, which was responsible for investigating, monitoring and reporting on the status of missing aircraft and airmen, subsequently published the following information regarding the crew:

  • Nothing found

Crew members who were captured / imprisoned

HE Figgis survived the bale out and was captured, interrogated and imprisoned for the remainder of the war.

His POW Liberation Questionnaire, which was completed as part of the repatriation process at 106 Personnel Reception Centre (RAF Cosford) in 1945, shows the following details:

  • Captured: Hanover 05/01/1945 (Broken Ankle)
  • Interrogated: Dulag Luft Obereusel, Frankfurt Jan-45
  • Hospitalised: Hohemark Hospital, Frankfurt Jan-45
  • Hospitalised: Meiningen Jan-45
  • Hospitalised: Obermassfeld Jan-45
  • Hospitalised: Meiningen Feb-45 to Apr-45
  • Repatriated: Apr-45

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Figgis Statement

[Source: Australian Archive]

Lancaster PB684 (07/02/1945)

Lancaster PB684 was one of sixteen No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack Goch on the night of 7th / 8th February 1945.

Its eight-man crew comprised:

  • Daniel Bulmer Everett (Pilot)
  • John Anthony Gardner (Navigator)
  • Charles George Mitchell (2nd Navigator)
  • Clifford Owen Russell (Set Operator)
  • Leonard Stewart Thorpe (WOP / AG)
  • Cedric Alexander Fraser-Petherbridge (Air Gunner)
  • Reginald Martin Weller (Air Gunner)
  • Kelvin Gordon Munro (Flight Engineer)

There are no details in the squadron’s Operations Record Book but the AM Form 1180 (Accident Card) shows: No 156 Squadron aircraft (ND875) collided with friendly Lancaster (PB684) during turn off target; many aircraft over target in darkness; each aircraft shares responsibility


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

AM Form 78

The AM Form 78 shows that the aircraft was classified as FB/AC on 8th February 1945. It was repaired on site and returned to the squadron on 17th February 1945

AM Form 1180

The AM Form 1180 (Accident Card) shows: No 156 Squadron aircraft (ND875) collided with friendly Lancaster (PB684) during turn off target; many aircraft over target in darkness; each aircraft shares responsibility

Note; Whilst the card records the damage to the 156 Squadron, there are no details regarding the damage to this aircraft

AIR 14/3460

AIR 14/3460 (Summaries of aircraft damaged by enemy action at night) records the cause of damage as “Collision with No. 156 Squadron Lancaster ND875”

No. 156 Squadron ORB

No. 156 Squadron ORB shows the following for ND875: “Target Area 2214 hrs 3/4,000 ft. Orbiting to South, Port wing tip gone, due to collision”.

Citation for Second Bar to Distinguished Flying Cross (DB Everett)

One night in February 1945, Squadron Leader Everett was pilot and captain of aircraft detailed to attack Goch. Whilst making his first run over the target his aircraft was badly hit. The star-board mainplane was extensively damaged and the starboard inner engine caught fire. Momentarily the aircraft went out of control. Squadron Leader Everett quickly levelled out though and feathered the propeller of the burning engine. The flames were then extinguished. Although unable to assess the full extent of the damage sustained, Squadron Leader Everett went on to several further runs over the target, which he left only after he was satisfied as to the success of the operation. He afterwards flew the badly damaged aircraft safely to base. This officer displayed a high degree of skill, courage and resolution throughout.

The damaged engine

Lancaster PB685 (10/02/1945)

Lancaster PB685 was returning to Graveley on 10th February 1945.

Its crew comprised:

  • FHV Beazley (Pilot)
  • Others?

There are no details in the squadron’s Operations Record Books but the AM Form 1180 for the aircraft shows “Forced landed wheels up in a field (Lord’s Farm, Sheldwitch, Kent) due to bad weather conditions; ice formed on wings at 200ft”

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

AM Form 78

The movement card shows that the aircraft was classified as FB/AC (although there were no operations on this date). It was not returned to the squadron and was reallocated.

Notes:

  1. E-Mail sent to Sheldwich Parish Council on 25th July 2017 to see if there are any further details, but there was no response.

Lancaster ME333 (05/03/1945)

Lancaster ME333 was one of sixteen No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack Chemnitz on the night of the 5th / 6th March 1945.

It was equipped with H2S 3a, GPI, Fishpond and Loran

Its seven-man crew comprised:

  • Fred Watson (Pilot)
  • Kenneth Samuel Smith (Navigator)
  • Stanley Owen Scott (Air Bomber)
  • Leslie George Holland (Wireless Operator)
  • Phillip James Pentelow (Air Gunner)
  • Victor Arthur Roe (Air Gunner)
  • George Cross (Flight Engineer)

The route was: Reading, 5000N 0200E, 5000N 0500E, 5030N 0720E, 5045N 0930E, 5138N 1132E, 5130N 1240E, Target, 5040N 1300E, 5105N 1200E, 5050N 1020E, 5000N 0200E Reading

ME333 failed to return and the squadron’s Operations Record Book shows “This aircraft is missing, nothing being heard from it after take-off”

Wartime activities relating to the loss

On 6th March 1945 the squadron informed Bomber Command, the Air Ministry and the RAF Records Office that the aircraft and crew were missing.

A telegram, along with a follow up letter from the Commanding Officer, was sent to the next of kin of each crew member advising them that he was “missing as the result of air operations on 5th / 6th March 1945”.

The crew’s kit and personal belongings were removed from their lockers and catalogued; kit was returned to stores and personal belongings sent to the RAF Central Depository at RAF Colnbrook.

The Air Ministry Casualty Branch, which was responsible for investigating, monitoring and reporting on the status of missing aircraft and airmen, subsequently published the following information regarding the crew:

  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No. 534 (Flight 30/08/1945) reported F Watson, KS Smith, SO Scott, LG Holland, PJ Pentelow and VA Roe as “missing”
  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No. 588 (Flight 20/06/1946) reported PJ Pentelow “previously reported missing” as “now presumed killed in action”
  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No. 593 (Flight 18/07/1946) reported G Cross, F Watson, KS Smith, SO Scott, LG Holland and VA Roe “previously reported missing” as “now presumed killed in action”

Note: Presumption of death enabled a death certificate to be issued; personal belongings could then be sent to next of kin, along with any monies due.

Post War search for the missing crew members

After the war, an investigation officer from the Royal Air Force Missing Research and Enquiry Service (MRES) was tasked with locating the remains of the missing crew member(s).

Original German documents, burial records and eye witness accounts were utilised to establish the location of the crash site, the cause of the loss and the initial fate of the crew; information was recorded in a MRES Investigation Report.

As part of the process, any remains that were located were exhumed, identified (wherever possible) and concentrated (reinterred) at one of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s (CWGC) Cemeteries in the country that they fell, in accordance with Government policy at the time.

Graves were marked with a simple wooden cross, which was replaced by the familiar CWGC headstone during the 1950’s.

Missing airmen who could not be found, or formally identified, had their names commemorated on the Air Forces Memorial at Runnymede, which was unveiled in 1953.

CWGC records show that the remains of the crew were not located and, as such, their names are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial as follows:

  • CROSS, George Flight Sergeant ‘1534727’ Panel 270.
  • HOLLAND, Leslie George Pilot Officer ‘195246’ Panel 268.
  • PENTELOW, Phillip James Flying Officer ‘403024’ Panel 285.
  • ROE, Victor Arthur Warrant Officer ‘1813968’ Panel 269.
  • SCOTT, Stanley Owen Flying Officer ‘162469’ Panel 267.
  • SMITH, Kenneth Samuel Flight Lieutenant ‘165669’ Panel 266.
  • WATSON, Fred Squadron Leader ‘110889’ Panel 265.

[Courtesy of Clive Lewis]


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Theo Boiten (Nachtjagd War Diaries)

Possible nightfighter claim: Fw. Schuster, 1./NJG5, Chemnitz, 21.51

Lancaster PB685 (23/12/1944)

Lancaster PB685 was one of ten No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack the Gremburg Marshalling Yards (Cologne) on the morning of 23rd December 1944.

It was carrying 11 x 1000lb MC.

Its eight-man crew comprised:

  • Louis Basil Lawson (Pilot)
  • James Patrick Leydon (Navigator)
  • Alan John Card (Air Bomber)
  • Peter James Leeves (Set Operator)
  • George Edward Herod (Wireless Operator)
  • Lawrence Nicholson (Air Gunner)
  • Stanley Rudolph Gale (Air Gunner)
  • Frederick Worsley Edmondson (Flight Engineer)

The route was Base, 5030N 0500E, 5036N 0620E, Target, 5110N 0400E, Southwold, Base

The squadron’s Operations Record Book shows “Three aircraft, including PB685, after being seriously damaged over the target, landed at Manston. AJ Card and GE Herod received slight injuries”


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

RAF Graveley ORB

Lancaster PB685 hit by flak over target area. F/O Card sustained abrasion over right eyebrow. Injuries considered to be slight and returned to flying duties with effect from the same date. F/O Herod sustained flak wound over right eyebrow. Injuries considered to be slight but was admitted to SSQ, Manston

AM Form 78

The movement card shows that the aircraft was classified as FB/AC; it was repaired on site and returned to the squadron on 9th February 1945

AJ Card DFC Award (London Gazette 27/02/1945)

This officer was the air bomber in an aircraft detailed to attack the Gremburg railway sidings near Cologne. When over the target, much anti-aircraft fire was directed at the bomber, which was hit. A piece of shrapnel from a close burst struck Flying Officer Card over the eye. The wound bled profusely but this resolute member of aircraft crew made no complaint. He continued to direct the bombing run. The aircraft was again hit. The microphone leads, part of Flying Officer Card’s equipment and his oxygen tube were torn away. Despite this he displayed excellent cooperation with his pilot, to whom his directions were passed by the flight engineer, and thus the target was successfully attacked. This air bomber set a fine example of determination and devotion to duty

“Heroic Endeavour -The Remarkable Story of One Pathfinder Force Attack, a Victoria Cross and 206 Brave Men” by Sean Feast.

The complete story of the attack on Gremberg Marshalling Yards on 23rd December 1944 (190 pages)


Notes: 

  1. AJ Card returned to operational flying immediately; GE Herod returned on 22nd January 1945

Lancaster PB683 (23/12/1944)

Lancaster PB683 was one of ten No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack the Gremburg Marshalling Yards (Cologne) on the morning of 23rd December 1944.

It was carrying 11 x 1000lb MC.

Its seven-man crew comprised:

  • George Simpson Lawson (Pilot)
  • John Geoffrey Faulkner (Navigator)
  • Norman Brown (Air Bomber)
  • John Seymore Winter (Wireless Operator)
  • Alexander Stewart Fleming (Air Gunner)
  • Lawrence White (Air Gunner)
  • Albert Sutcliffe (Flight Engineer)

The route was Base, 5030N 0500E, 5036N 0620E, Target, 5110N 0400E, Southwold, Base

PB683 failed to return and the squadron’s Operations Record Book shows “This aircraft is missing; it is reported to have collided with No. 35 Squadron aircraft PB678 at 51.07N 01.34E at 11.33 hours at 10,000ft”.

Air Sea Rescue Operations

No. 27 Air Sea Rescue /Marine Craft Unit’s Operations Record Book shows that launches 180, 189 and 2549 were sent out to search the area of North and South Foreland at 12.00 hrs on the 23rd December 1944.

Launch 2549 returned with 4 bodies. Launch 180 intercepted the Shepperton Ferry and received 2 bodies from that vessel. Wreckage was seen at ‘130 degrees, S.Fld, 11 mls’.

2 Spitfires and 1 Walrus were also involved in the search.

It is understood that three of the recovered bodies were formally identified at Ramsgate Mortuary as those of GS Lawson, N Brown and AS Fleming. The others were from the crew of PB678.

Wartime activities relating to the loss

On 23rd December 1944 the squadron informed Bomber Command, the Air Ministry and the RAF Records Office that the aircraft and crew were missing.

A telegram, along with a follow up letter from the Commanding Officer, was sent to the next of kin of each crew member advising them that he was “missing as the result of air operations on 23rd December 1944”.

The crew’s kit and personal belongings were removed from their lockers and catalogued; kit was returned to stores and personal belongings sent to the RAF Central Depository at RAF Colnbrook.

The Air Ministry Casualty Branch, which was responsible for investigating, monitoring and reporting on the status of missing aircraft and airmen, subsequently published the following information regarding the crew:

  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No. 497 (Flight 26/04/1945) reported GS Lawson, N Brown and AS Fleming as “killed in action”; also JG Faulkner, JS Winter, L White and A Sutcliffe as “missing”
  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No. 585 (Flight 06/06/1946) reported JS Winter, L White and A Sutcliffe “previously reported missing” as “now presumed killed in action”

Note: Presumption of death enabled a death certificate to be issued; personal belongings could then be sent to next of kin, along with any monies due.

No. 35 Squadron’s Operations Record Book shows the following information was received relating to the crew:

  • 27/01/1945: Information received from Air Ministry that the body of G Faulkner, missing on 23rd December 1944, was picked up by French Gendarmes

Post War search for the missing crew members

After the war, an investigation officer from the Royal Air Force Missing Research and Enquiry Service (MRES) was tasked with locating the remains of the missing crew member(s).

Original German documents, burial records and eye witness accounts were utilised to establish the location of the crash site, the cause of the loss and the initial fate of the crew; information was recorded in a MRES Investigation Report.

As part of the process, any remains that were located were exhumed, identified (wherever possible) and concentrated (reinterred) at one of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s (CWGC) Cemeteries in the country that they fell, in accordance with Government policy at the time.

Graves were marked with a simple wooden cross, which was replaced by the familiar CWGC headstone during the 1950’s.

Missing airmen who could not be found, or formally identified, had their names commemorated on the Air Forces Memorial at Runnymede, which was unveiled in 1953.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s (CWGC) records show the following burial information for GS Lawson, N Brown and AS Fleming:

  • LAWSON, GEORGE SIMPSON Flying Officer ‘149628’ MARGATE CEMETERY, KENT Sec. 50. Grave 16252.
  • BROWN, NORMAN Flight Lieutenant ‘115788’ EASTBOURNE (OCKLYNGE) CEMETERY Plot V. Grave 287.
  • FLEMING, ALEXANDER STEWART Sergeant ‘1595708’ BATHGATE (BOGHEAD) CEMETERY Compt. B. Grave 14.

JG Faulkner’s body was washed up on the French Coast (date unknown) and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s (CWGC) records show the following burial information:

  • FAULKNER JOHN GEOFFREY Flight Lieutenant ‘84712’ DIEPPE CANADIAN WAR CEMETERY, HAUTOT-SUR-MER M. 61.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s (CWGC) records show that the remains of JS Winter, L White and A Sutcliffe were not located, or could not be formally identified and, as such, their names are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial as follows:

  • WINTER, JOHN SEYMORE Flight Sergeant ‘1231043’ Panel 223.
  • SUTCLIFFE, ALBERT Flight Sergeant ‘1092752’ Panel 222
  • WHITE, LAWRENCE Sergeant ‘1595759’ Panel 240.

[Courtesy of Clive Lewis]


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Lancaster PB683

The AM Form 1180 (Accident Card) shows “In flight, collided with Lancaster PB678 and both aircraft crashed. 10 parachutes seen to open. Aircraft had communication trouble which may have prevented the crew warning pilot of approach of other aircraft”

“Heroic Endeavour -The Remarkable Story of One Pathfinder Force Attack, a Victoria Cross and 206 Brave Men” by Sean Feast.

The complete story of the attack on Gremberg Marshalling Yards on 23rd December 1944 (190 pages)

Lancaster PB678 (23/12/1944)

Lancaster PB678 was one of ten No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack the Gremburg Marshalling Yards (Cologne) on the morning of 23rd December 1944.

It was carrying 11 x 1000lb MC.

Its seven-man crew comprised:

  • Richard Joseph Clarke (Pilot)
  • Donald Russell Currie (Navigator)
  • Joseph William Webb (Air Bomber)
  • Robert Keith Norsworthy (Wireless Operator)
  • James McGee (Air Gunner)
  • Thomas Eugene Craddock (Air Gunner)
  • John Charles Mays (Flight Engineer)

The route was Base, 5030N 0500E, 5036N 0620E, Target, 5110N 0400E, Southwold, Base

PB678 failed to return and the squadron’s Operations Record Book shows “This aircraft is missing; it is reported to have collided with No. 35 Squadron aircraft PB683 at 51.07N 01.34E at 11.33 hours at 10,000ft”.

Air Sea Rescue Operation

No. 27 Air Sea Rescue /Marine Craft Unit’s Operations Record Book shows that launches 180, 189 and 2549 were sent out to search the area of North and South Foreland at 12.00 hrs on the 23rd December 1944.

Launch 2549 returned with 4 bodies. Launch 180 intercepted the Shepperton Ferry and received 2 bodies from that vessel. Wreckage was seen at ‘130 degrees, S.Fld, 11 mls’.

2 Spitfires and 1 Walrus were also involved in the search.

It is understood that three of the recovered bodies were formally identified at Ramsgate Mortuary as those of DR Currie, JC Mays and JW Webb. The others were from the crew of PB683.

Wartime activities relating to the loss

On 23rd December 1944 the squadron informed Bomber Command, the Air Ministry and the RAF Records Office that the aircraft and crew were missing.

A telegram, along with a follow up letter from the Commanding Officer, was sent to the next of kin of each crew member advising them that he was “missing as the result of air operations on 23rd December 1944”.

Extract from letter sent to the family of J McGee

The crew’s kit and personal belongings were removed from their lockers and catalogued; kit was returned to stores and personal belongings sent to the RAF Central Depository at RAF Colnbrook.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s (CWGC) records show the following burial information for DR Currie, JW Webb and JC Mays:

  • CURRIE, DONALD RUSSELL Pilot Officer ‘J/93665’ BROOKWOOD MILITARY CEMETERY 56. B. 7.
  • WEBB, JOSEPH WILLIAM Pilot Officer ‘422774’ BROOKWOOD MILITARY CEMETERY 4. O. 17.
  • MAYS, JOHN CHARLES Sergeant ‘1867597’ HARROW WEALD CEMETERY Sec. C. Grave 43.

The Air Ministry Casualty Branch, which was responsible for investigating, monitoring and reporting on the status of missing aircraft and airmen, subsequently published the following information regarding the crew:

  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No. 499 (Flight 03/05/1945) reported JC Mays, J Webb and DR Currie as “killed in action”; also RJ Clarke, TE Craddock, RK Norsworthy and J McGee as “missing”
  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No. 592 (Flight 11/07/1946) reported TE Craddock “previously reported missing” as “now presumed killed in action”

Note: Presumption of death enabled a death certificate to be issued; personal belongings could then be sent to next of kin, along with any monies due.

Post War Search for the missing crew members

After the war, an investigation officer from the Royal Air Force Missing Research and Enquiry Service (MRES) was tasked with locating the remains of the missing crew member(s).

Original German documents, burial records and eye witness accounts were utilised to establish the location of the crash site, the cause of the loss and the initial fate of the crew; information was recorded in a MRES Investigation Report.

As part of the process, any remains that were located were exhumed, identified (wherever possible) and concentrated (reinterred) at one of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s (CWGC) Cemeteries in the country that they fell, in accordance with Government policy at the time.

Graves were marked with a simple wooden cross, which was replaced by the familiar CWGC headstone during the 1950’s.

Missing airmen who could not be found, or formally identified, had their names commemorated on the Air Forces Memorial at Runnymede, which was unveiled in 1953.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s (CWGC) records show that the remains of RJ Clarke, RK Norsworthy, TE Craddock and J McGee were not located, or could not be formally identified and, as such, their names are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial as follows:

  • CLARKE, RICHARD JOSEPH Pilot Officer ‘56445’  Panel 210.
  • NORSWORTHY, ROBERT KEITH Pilot Officer ‘417875’  Panel 258.
  • CRADDOCK, THOMAS EUGENE Pilot Officer ‘411869’  Panel 258.
  • McGEE, JAMES Pilot Officer ‘J/95373’  Panel 251.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

AM Form 1180

In flight, collided with Lancaster PB683 and both aircraft crashed. 10 parachutes seen to open. Aircraft had developed aileron and elevator trouble on previous flights

“Heroic Endeavour -The Remarkable Story of One Pathfinder Force Attack, a Victoria Cross and 206 Brave Men” by Sean Feast.

The complete story of the attack on Gremberg Marshalling Yards on 23rd December 1944 (190 pages)

Notes in J McGee’s Service Record

  • Aircraft was engaged in an operational flight involving formation flying. Whilst over the Channel, in a position when close formation should not have been attempted, the higher of the two aircraft was observed to dive and collide with the lower. Aircraft fell apparently fairly under control as 10(?) parachutes were seen.
  • It is not clear why the higher aircraft made the dive, it is suggested that the slipstream of a leading aircraft affected it.
  • Lancaster PB683 was known to have intercomm. trouble before take off. If this got worse, it is possible that, if it was the lower aircraft, other members of the crew were unable to warn the pilot.
  • Neither pilot was particularly experienced in formation flying
  • Lancaster PB678 had developed aileron and elevator troubles on several previous flights.
  • Although formation practice is carried out as often as is possible in an operational Squadron, greater emphasis will be laid on this aspect of training.

Lancaster PB612 (28/10/1944)

Lancaster PB612 was one of ten No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack Cologne on the afternoon of 28th October 1944.

It was equipped with H2S, GPI and Fishpond and was carrying 1 x 4000lbs HC (NI), 2 x 1000lbs ANM59 and various target indicators. Its designated Path Finder role was Deputy Master Bomber

Its eight-man crew comprised:

  • Svein Johannes Hausvik (Pilot)
  • Leslie Roberts (Navigator)
  • Ernest Daley (Air Bomber)
  • Finn Haagensen (Set Operator)
  • Othmar Lorentz Flaaten (Wireless Operator)
  • Arthur Bevin (Air Gunner)
  • Leslie Jackson (Air Gunner)
  • Jeffrey Francis Pryce Harper (Flight Engineer)

The route was Base, Orfordness, 5110N 0240E, 5020N 0615E, Target, 5058N 0715E, 5035N 0720E, 5020N 0615E, 5110N 0240E, Orfordness, Base

PB612 failed to return and the squadron’s Operations Record Book shows “This aircraft is missing; was last heard of at 16.28 hours giving “Attack unsuccessful”

Wartime activities relating to the loss

On 28th October 1944 the squadron informed Bomber Command, the Air Ministry and the RAF Records Office that the aircraft and crew were missing.

A telegram, along with a follow up letter from the Commanding Officer, was sent to the next of kin of each crew member advising them that he was “missing as the result of air operations on 28th October 1944”.

The crew’s kit and personal belongings were removed from their lockers and catalogued; kit was returned to stores and personal belongings sent to the RAF Central Depository at RAF Colnbrook.

The Air Ministry Casualty Branch, which was responsible for investigating, monitoring and reporting on the status of missing aircraft and airmen, subsequently published the following information regarding the crew:

  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No.576 (Flight 02/05/1946) reported L Jackson and JFP Harper  “previously reported missing” as “now presumed killed in action”

Note: Presumption of death enabled a death certificate to be issued; personal belongings could then be sent to next of kin, along with any monies due.

Post War search for the missing crew members

After the war, an investigation officer from the Royal Air Force Missing Research and Enquiry Service (MRES) was tasked with locating the remains of the missing crew member(s).

Original German documents, burial records and eye witness accounts were utilised to establish the location of the crash site, the cause of the loss and the initial fate of the crew; information was recorded in a MRES Investigation Report.

As part of the process, any remains that were located were exhumed, identified (wherever possible) and concentrated (reinterred) at one of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s (CWGC) Cemeteries in the country that they fell, in accordance with Government policy at the time.

Graves were marked with a simple wooden cross, which was replaced by the familiar CWGC headstone during the 1950’s.

Missing airmen who could not be found, or formally identified, had their names commemorated on the Air Forces Memorial at Runnymede, which was unveiled in 1953.

CWGC records show that the remains of the crew were not located, or could not be formally identified and, as such, their names are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial as follows:

  • DALEY ERNEST Sergeant ‘1622390’ RUNNYMEDE MEMORIAL Panel 228.
  • HARPER JEFFREY FRANCIS PRYCE Flight Sergeant ‘1817318’ RUNNYMEDE MEMORIAL Panel 218.
  • ROBERTS LESLIE Flight Lieutenant ‘157625’ RUNNYMEDE MEMORIAL Panel 203.
  • JACKSON LESLIE Flight Sergeant ‘1589176’ RUNNYMEDE MEMORIAL Panel 219.
  • BEVIN ARTHUR Flight Sergeant ‘1685716’ RUNNYMEDE MEMORIAL Panel 215.

[Courtesy of Clive Lewis]

The names of the three non-commonwealth members of the crew Svein Johannes Hausvik, Finn Haagensen and Othmar Lorentz Flaaten are  recorded on the memorial at Akerhus Festning, Oslo

All at Akershus festning 2 [disnorge.no]

[Source: disnorge.no]

Lancaster PB366 (24/12/1944)

Lancaster PB366 was one of ten No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack the Nippes Marshalling Yard (Cologne) on the afternoon of 24th December 1944.

It was carrying 8 x 1000lb MC, 4 x 500lb GP and 4 x 500lb ANM.64. Its designated Path Finder role was Supporter

Its seven-man crew comprised:

  • Arthur Thomas Kenyon (Pilot)
  • Albert Thomas (Navigator)
  • Alec Henry Cousins (Air Bomber)
  • Cecil Leonard Blundell (Wireless Operator)
  • Cyril Arthur Winter (Air Gunner)
  • Roy Frederick Arthur Yallop (Air Gunner)
  • Leonard Williams (Flight Engineer)

The squadron’s Operations Record Book shows “This aircraft crashed after taking off. All members of the crew were killed”

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s records show the following burial details:

  • BLUNDELL, Cecil Leonard, Flight Sergeant ‘1602657’ Southampton (Hollybrook) Cemetery Sec. M. 12. Grave 41.
  • COUSINS, Alec Henry, Flight Sergeant ‘1321669’ Maidenhead Cemetery Sec. C.C. Row W. Grave 30.
  • KENYON, Arthur Thomas, Flying Officer ‘185554’ Prestwich (St. Mary) Churchyard Clough Sec. 3. Row 6. Grave 83.
  • THOMAS, Albert, Sergeant ‘1652801’ Ystalyfera (St. David) Church Burial Ground, Llangiwg
  • WILLIAMS, Leonard, Sergeant ‘1095530’ Staveley Cemetery Sec. K.K. Grave 30.
  • WINTER, Cyril Arthur, Sergeant ‘1614511’ Harlington (Cherry Lane) Cemetery Sec. C.3. Grave C.17.
  • YALLOP, Roy Frederick Arthur, Sergeant ‘1356347’ Ipswich Old Cemetery Sec. C. Div. 31. Grave 63.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

RAF Graveley ORB

Lancaster PB366 crashed on take off at Low Farm, Paxton about 1/2 mile south of the aerodrome. All members of the crew were killed as a result of multiple injuries and burns.

AM Form 1180

Pilot lost control on take off while in fog conditions due to faulty instrument flying; aircraft caught fire on impact with trees

Extract from some notes made by DR Garner [Courtesy of Paul Herod]

It was Christmas Eve of 1944 as I recall and on this particular day I was NCO in charge of the Crash Guard (a group of airmen & NCO sent to guard any type of crash, friend or foe, in the immediate area).

I had been doing my usual spell of bomb loading on Lancasters until 16.00 hours. However just after 16.00 hours, we were called out to stand guard on one of our planes that had crashed just after take off. With six airmen I went to the scene of the crash which was in the village of Paxton on the Offord- St.Neots road (I have since learned that this was LOW FARM, Gt.Paxton.)

The plane, with seven crew and full bomb load, struck a house top beyond the end of the runway, which caused the Lancaster to crash into a row of tall trees (only one remains now). This smashed the wings off, the bombs were catapulted from the bomb bay and most rolled into a ditch running parallel to the roadway with one exception which rolled towards the farmhouse, hitting the wall of the bathroom, which was on the corner, at ground level.

The farmer’s wife (Mrs Edwards) was in the bathroom at the time but when I arrived, maybe seven or eight minutes after the crash, she was in her dressing gown, by the phone. It was impossible to do anything as the plane was on fire.

We were billeted at the farmhouse until such time as the crashed plane, crew and bombs were removed.

Eyewitness Accounts [Courtesy of Paul Herod]

An eyewitness (Mr John Hard) recalled that the aircraft clipped the trees at “three corner field” and lost its rear turret, before hitting the roof of Mr and Mrs King’s house. It then cartwheeled across the field, before hitting the elm trees, forcing the bombs to jettison towards the road and Low Farm.

Despite the efforts of the local community, the inferno meant that the crew members could not be saved

Crew Information

The following link provides information on AT Kenyon’s operational sorties as Captain of a No. 35 Squadron aircraft and the composition of his crew on these sorties


Notes:

  1. The Air Historical Branch has confirmed that FIDO was in operation when the aircraft took off.

Lancaster PB308 (12/09/1944)

Lancaster PB308 was one of seven No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack Wanne-Eickel on the afternoon of the 12th September 1944 (Daylight Raid).

It was equipped with Nav Aid Y (H2S), Fishpond and Carpet and carried 1 x 4000lb HC, 16 x 500lb AMN.64 and 6 x 500lb MC. Its designated Path Finder role was Supporter.

Its seven-man crew comprised:

  • Donald Campbell (Pilot)
  • John Radford Rosser (Navigator)
  • Ronald Toomer (Air Bomber)
  • William Jack Mintjens (Wireless Operator)
  • Francis Henry Davidson (Air Gunner)
  • Joseph William Robinson (Air Gunner)
  • Frederick Ronald Harmsworth-Smith (Flight Engineer)

PB308 failed to return and the squadron’s Operations Record Book shows “This aircraft is missing, nothing being heard from it after take-off”

Wartime activities relating to the loss

On 12th September 1944 the squadron informed Bomber Command, the Air Ministry and the RAF Records Office that the aircraft and crew were missing.

A telegram, along with a follow up letter from the Commanding Officer, was sent to the next of kin of each crew member advising them that he was “missing as the result of air operations on 12th September 1944”.

The crew’s kit and personal belongings were removed from their lockers and catalogued; kit was returned to stores and personal belongings sent to the RAF Central Depository at RAF Colnbrook.

The Air Ministry Casualty Branch, which was responsible for investigating, monitoring and reporting on the status of missing aircraft and airmen, subsequently published the following information regarding the crew:

  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No. 308 (Flight 18/01/1945) reported D Campbell, JR Rosser, R Toomer, WJ Mintjens, FH Davidson, JW Robinson and FR Harmsworth-Smith as “missing”
  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No. 549 (Flight 15/11/1945) reported D Campbell, R Toomer, WJ Mintjens, FH Davidson, JW Robinson and FR Harmsworth-Smith “previously reported missing” as “now presumed killed in action”

Note: Presumption of death enabled a death certificate to be issued; personal belongings could then be sent to next of kin, along with any monies due.

No. 35 Squadron’s Operations Record Book shows the following information was received relating to the crew:

  • 31/03/1945: Information received from Air Ministry that D Campbell, R Toomer, WJ Mintjens, JW Robinson, FH Davidson, FR Harmsworth-Smith and one unknown, missing on 12th September 1944, were all killed

Post War search for the missing crew members

After the war, an investigation officer from the Royal Air Force Missing Research and Enquiry Service (MRES) was tasked with locating the remains of the missing crew member(s).

Original German documents, burial records and eye witness accounts were utilised to establish the location of the crash site, the cause of the loss and the initial fate of the crew; information was recorded in a MRES Investigation Report.

As part of the process, any remains that were located were exhumed, identified (wherever possible) and concentrated (reinterred) at one of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s (CWGC) Cemeteries in the country that they fell, in accordance with Government policy at the time.

Graves were marked with a simple wooden cross, which was replaced by the familiar CWGC headstone during the 1950’s.

Missing airmen who could not be found, or formally identified, had their names commemorated on the Air Forces Memorial at Runnymede, which was unveiled in 1953.

Original Burials

CWGC records show that the remains of all the crew members were located at Gelsenkirchen-Huellen Cemetery

Post War Concentration 

Their remains were exhumed, identified and concentrated (reinterred) at REICHSWALD FOREST WAR CEMETERY on 9th May 1947 as follows:

  • HARMSWORTH-SMITH, FREDERICK RONALD Flight Sergeant ‘620288’  Grave 20. A. 12.
  • MINTJENS, WILLIAM JACK Flight Sergeant ‘1385854’ Grave 20. A. 13.
  • ROBINSON, JOSEPH WILLIAM Flight Sergeant ‘649403’ Coll. grave 19. E. 15-17.
  • ROSSER, JOHN RADFORD Flying Officer ‘151612’ Grave 20. B. 1.
  • TOOMER, RONALD Flying Officer ‘152236’ Coll. grave 19. E. 15-17.
  • CAMPBELL, DONALD Flying Officer ‘179543’ Grave 20. A. 14.
  • DAVIDSON, FRANCIS HENRY Sergeant ‘1895851’ Coll. grave 19. E. 15-17.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

WR Chorley (Bomber Command Losses of the Second World War)

Crashed 14.15 at Gelsenkirchen-Bismarck

Note: Same information included on the Bomber Command Loss Card


Lancaster PB200 (28/07/1944)

Lancaster PB200 was one of six No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack Hamburg on the night of 28th / 29th July 1944.

Its seven-man crew comprised:

  • Roy Patrick Roberts (Pilot)
  • John Francis Marshall (Navigator)
  • Allan John Vial (Air Bomber)
  • Albert Harrison (Wireless Operator)
  • Leslie Arthur Booth (Air Gunner)
  • “Lloyd Dennis Nickel” (Air Gunner)
  • George William Hatton (Flight Engineer)
Roberts Crew [Lucy Harrison].jpg

AJ Vial, LA Booth, LD Nickel, JF Marshall, A Harrison, RP Roberts, GW Hatton

The squadron’s Operations Record Book shows “The Flight Engineer on aircraft PB200 was hit in the thigh by anti-aircraft fire and later removed to hospital.

ADDITIONAL NOTES

RAF Graveley ORB

Lancaster PB200 hit by flak on bombing run. Flight Engineer (Sgt Hatton) hit in right thigh. One fragment remained in thigh but a second and larger fragment penetrated into the pelvis. Transferred to RAF General Hospital, Ely.

GW Hatton’s Log Book Entry

Log Book 1 (Injury)

Notes:

  1. No. 35 Squadron’s Operations Record Book shows that GW Hatton was operational again on 30th July 1944, but it is thought that this is an error. His log book shows that his next flight(s) were in February 1945
  2. More information on the crew can be found in the manuscript “Through the eyes of a trained observer” written by AJ Vial 

Lancaster PB199 (29/11/1944)

Lancaster PB199 was one of sixteen No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack Dortmund on the afternoon of the 29th November 1944.

It was equipped with H2S, GPI and Fishpond and was carrying 1 x 4000lbs HC Minol, 5 x  1000lbs MC and 6 x 500lbs MC. Its designated Path Finder role was Blind Secondary Marker

Its seven-man crew comprised:

  • John Herbert Thorpe (Pilot)
  • Geoffrey Simpson (Navigator)
  • Gilbert Victor Williams (Air Bomber)
  • James Alexander Mathison (Wireless Operator)
  • James Arthur Wynn (Air Gunner)
  • William Turnbull (Air Gunner)
  • John Mitchell Cruickshank (Flight Engineer)

The route was as follows: Base, Orfordness, 5100N 0400E, 5053N 0550E, 5110N 0705E, Target, 5150N 0725E, 5150N 0650E, 5100N 0400E, Orfordness, Base

PB199 failed to return and the squadron’s Operations Record Book shows “This aircraft is missing, nothing being heard from it after take-off”

Wartime activities relating to the loss

On 29th November 1944 the squadron informed Bomber Command, the Air Ministry and the RAF Records Office that the aircraft and crew were missing.

A telegram, along with a follow up letter from the Commanding Officer, was sent to the next of kin of each crew member advising them that he was “missing as the result of air operations on 29th November 1944”.

The crew’s kit and personal belongings were removed from their lockers and catalogued; kit was returned to stores and personal belongings sent to the RAF Central Depository at RAF Colnbrook.

The Air Ministry Casualty Branch, which was responsible for investigating, monitoring and reporting on the status of missing aircraft and airmen, subsequently published the following information regarding the crew:

  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No. 581 (Flight 23/05/1946) reported JH Thorpe, G Simpson, JA Mathison, JA Wynn and JM Cruickshank “previously reported missing” as “now presumed killed in action”
  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No. 584 (Flight 30/05/1946) reported W Turnbull “previously reported missing” as “now presumed killed in action”

Note: Presumption of death enabled a death certificate to be issued; personal belongings could then be sent to next of kin, along with any monies due.

Post War search for the missing crew members

After the war, an investigation officer from the Royal Air Force Missing Research and Enquiry Service (MRES) was tasked with locating the remains of the missing crew member(s).

Original German documents, burial records and eye witness accounts were utilised to establish the location of the crash site, the cause of the loss and the initial fate of the crew; information was recorded in a MRES Investigation Report.

As part of the process, any remains that were located were exhumed, identified (wherever possible) and concentrated (reinterred) at one of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s (CWGC) Cemeteries in the country that they fell, in accordance with Government policy at the time.

Graves were marked with a simple wooden cross, which was replaced by the familiar CWGC headstone during the 1950’s.

Missing airmen who could not be found, or formally identified, had their names commemorated on the Air Forces Memorial at Runnymede, which was unveiled in 1953.

CWGC records show that the remains of the crew were not located, or could not be identified and, as such, their names are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial as follows:

  • CRUICKSHANK, JOHN MITCHELL Flight Sergeant ‘1568887’  Panel 216.
  • MATHISON, JAMES ALEXANDER Flight Sergeant ‘1344764’  Panel 220.
  • SIMPSON, GEOFFREY Pilot Officer ‘185530’  Panel 212.
  • THORPE, JOHN HERBERT Flying Officer ‘172216’  Panel 209.
  • TURNBULL, WILLIAM Flight Sergeant ‘1820580’ Panel 222.
  • WYNN, JAMES ARTHUR Pilot Officer ‘185570’ Panel 213.
  • WILLIAMS, GILBERT VICTOR Flying Officer ‘416053’ Panel 258.

[Courtesy of Clive Lewis]


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Crew Information

The following link provides information on JH Thorpe’s operational sorties as Captain of a No. 35 Squadron aircraft and the composition of his crew on these sorties

– JH Thorpe –

Lancaster PB197 (18/11/1944)

Lancaster PB197 was one of eleven No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack Wanne Eickel on the night of the 18th / 19th November 1944.

Its seven-man crew comprised:

  • Norman Charles Blackband (Pilot)
  • William George Heatley (Navigator)
  • Malcolm Dick Singleton (Air Bomber)
  • Stanley George Watts (Wireless Operator)
  • Alexander Stewart Fleming (Air Gunner)
  • Ronald Henry Rudyard Grayson (Air Gunner)
  • George Hossack Redford (Flight Engineer)

No. 35 Squadron’s Operations Record Book shows “Lancaster PB197, captained by NC Blackband, when carrying out an overshoot procedure on a second attempt to land, crashed in a nearby wood; only the two gunners, Grayson and Fleming survived”

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s (CWGC) records show the following burial information:

  • BLACKBAND, NORMAN CHARLES Flying Officer ‘170204’ OSCOTT COLLEGE CEMETERY, BIRMINGHAM Sec. A. Grave 1030.
  • HEATLEY, WILLIAM GEORGE Flying Officer ‘169319’ NEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE (WEST ROAD) CEMETERY Sec. Q. Grave 56.
  • REDFORD, GEORGE HOSSACK Flight Sergeant ‘1639906’ ASHINGTON (ST. AIDAN’S) ROMAN CATHOLIC CEMETERY South side. Row G. Grave 1.
  • SINGLETON, MALCOLM DICK Flying Officer ‘153307’ SHEFFIELD (ABBEY LANE) CEMETERY Sec. G. Grave 6227.
  • WATTS, STANLEY GEORGE Flight Sergeant ‘1800090’ CITY OF LONDON CEMETERY AND CREMATORIUM, MANOR PARK Screen Wall. Square 241. Coll. grave 108026.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

RAF Graveley ORB

Lancaster Mk.III PB197 carried out overshoot procedure on landing but crashed 1 1/2 miles south of the aerodrome. The following members of the crew were killed as a result of multiple injuries F/O Blackband, F/O Heatley, F/O Singleton, F/S Watts and F/S Redford. The mid-upper gunner Sgt Fleming who was in the rest position sustained no physical injuries but was suffering from acute emotional stress. Sgt Grayson escaped with mild concussion and fracture of the left humerus when the tail unit broke off.

WR Chorley (Bomber Command Losses of the Second World War)

Crashed at 21.07 into a wood near Croxton

AM Form 78

The movement card shows that the aircraft was classified as FB/E and it was struck off charge on 30th November 1944

AM Form 1180

The accident card shows “Aircraft overshot, after previous overshoot due to flap trouble, climbed to 5400 feet, lost height and crashed”

AS Fleming / RHR Grayson

AS Fleming and RHR Grayson returned to the squadron for operational duties by 4th December 1944 and 5th January 1945 respectively

Lancaster PA971 (26/08/1944)

Lancaster PA971 was one of eleven No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack Kiel on the night of the 26th / 27th August 1944.

Its eight-man crew comprised:

  • Douglas Lawrence Knobloch (Pilot)
  • John Maule (Navigator)
  • Francis Herbert Thomas McNally (Air Bomber)
  • Albert Edward John Thorne (Set Operator)
  • Ronald George Pain (Wireless Operator)
  • James Arthur Bowen (Air Gunner)
  • Reginald Noah Collins (Air Gunner)
  • James William Street (Flight Engineer)

PA971 failed to return and the squadron’s Operations Record Book shows “This aircraft is missing, nothing being heard from it after take off”

Wartime activities relating to the loss

On 27th August 1944 the squadron informed Bomber Command, the Air Ministry and the RAF Records Office that the aircraft and crew were missing.

A telegram, along with a follow up letter from the Commanding Officer, was sent to the next of kin of each crew member advising them that he was “missing as the result of air operations on 26th / 27th August 1944”.

The crew’s kit and personal belongings were removed from their lockers and catalogued; kit was returned to stores and personal belongings sent to the RAF Central Depository at RAF Colnbrook.

The Air Ministry Casualty Branch, which was responsible for investigating, monitoring and reporting on the status of missing aircraft and airmen, subsequently published the following information regarding the crew:

  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No. 458 (Flight 11/01/1945) reported DL Knobloch, J Maule, FHT McNally, AEJ Thorne, RG Pain, JA Bowen, RN Collins and JW Street as “missing”
  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No. 538 (Flight 20/09/1945) reported FHT McNally “previously reported missing” as “now presumed killed in action”
  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No. 565 (Flight 21/03/1946) reported J Maule “previously reported missing” as “now presumed killed in action”
  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No. 567 (Flight 04/04/1946) reported AEJ Thorne, JA Bowen, RN Collins and JW Street “previously reported missing” as “now presumed killed in action”
  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No. 585  (Flight 06/06/1946) reported RG Pain “previously reported missing” as “now presumed killed in action”
  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No. 591  (Flight 04/07/1946) reported DL Knobloch “previously reported missing” as “now presumed killed in action”

Note: Presumption of death enabled a death certificate to be issued; personal belongings could then be sent to next of kin, along with any monies due.

No. 35 Squadron’s Operations Record Book shows the following information was received relating to the crew:

  • 07/02/1945: Information received from Air Ministry that FHT McNally, missing on 26th / 27th August 1944, was killed

Post War search for the missing crew members

After the war, an investigation officer from the Royal Air Force Missing Research and Enquiry Service (MRES) was tasked with locating the remains of the missing crew member(s).

Original German documents, burial records and eye witness accounts were utilised to establish the location of the crash site, the cause of the loss and the initial fate of the crew; information was recorded in a MRES Investigation Report.

As part of the process, any remains that were located were exhumed, identified (wherever possible) and concentrated (reinterred) at one of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s (CWGC) Cemeteries in the country that they fell, in accordance with Government policy at the time.

Graves were marked with a simple wooden cross, which was replaced by the familiar CWGC headstone during the 1950’s.

Missing airmen who could not be found, or formally identified, had their names commemorated on the Air Forces Memorial at Runnymede, which was unveiled in 1953.

CWGC records show that the remains of all the crew members were never found, or could not be identified and, as such their names are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial as follows:

  • BOWEN, JAMES ARTHUR Sergeant ‘2220386’ Panel 225.
  • COLLINS, REGINALD NOAH Sergeant ‘2220310’ Panel 227.
  • KNOBLOCH, DOUGLAS LAWRENCE Flight Lieutenant ‘405287’ Panel 262.
  • MAULE, JOHN Flying Officer ‘153013’ Panel 208.
  • McNALLY, FRANCIS HERBERT THOMAS Flying Officer ‘152971’ Panel 207.
  • PAIN, RONALD GEORGE Sergeant ‘1466662’ Panel 235.
  • STREET, JAMES WILLIAM Sergeant ‘1891633’ Panel 238.
  • THORNE, ALBERT EDWARD JOHN Sergeant ‘1586927’ Panel 239.

[Courtesy of Clive Lewis]

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Bomber Command Loss Card

The Loss Card suggests that the body of FHT McNally was washed ashore on 4th September 1945 (believe that this should read 1944); no further details provided.

In an e-mail dated 30/01/2018, the AHB provided the following information:

“I can confirm, that the International Red Cross Committee notified the Air Ministry, that they had been informed by the German Authorities that the body of Fg Off McNally had been washed ashore on the North Frisian Island of Fano and had been buried on the beach by the water’s edge.

In the post war period, the area was searched by a team from No.4 MREU but no trace of the burial place or the body could be found and it was assumed to have been washed out to sea again. As such, he is remembered on the Runnymede Memorial”.

Lancaster NE175 (24/07/1944)

Lancaster NE175 was one of sixteen No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack Stuttgart on the night of the 24th / 25th July 1944.

It was equipped with IFF, Gee, Nav Aid Y (H2S), Fishpond and Carpet and was carrying 5 x 2000lbs MC bombs. Its designated Path Finder role was Supporter

Its seven-man crew comprised:

  • Arthur Samuel Morton (Pilot)
  • James Percy Graham (Navigator)
  • Ivor Edward Hurley (Air Bomber)
  • Dennis Stanley Jones (Wireless Operator)
  • John Webster (Air Gunner)
  • Joseph Mactavish Miller (Air Gunner)
  • Stanley Brook (Flight Engineer)

The route was 4840N 0922E, 4825N 0415E, 4250N 0700E, 4805N 0505E, 4730N 0335E, 4250N 0130E, 4900N, 1000E, Reading, Base (needs confirmation as some coordinates unreadable)

NE175 failed to return and the squadron’s Operations Record Book shows “This aircraft is missing, nothing being heard from it after take off”

Wartime activities relating to the loss

On 25th July 1944 the squadron informed Bomber Command, the Air Ministry and the RAF Records Office that the aircraft and crew were missing.

A telegram, along with a follow up letter from the Commanding Officer, was sent to the next of kin of each crew member advising them that he was “missing as the result of air operations on 24th / 25th July 1944”.

The crew’s kit and personal belongings were removed from their lockers and catalogued; kit was returned to stores and personal belongings sent to the RAF Central Depository at RAF Colnbrook.

The Air Ministry Casualty Branch, which was responsible for investigating, monitoring and reporting on the status of missing aircraft and airmen, subsequently published the following information regarding the crew:

  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No. 449 (Flight 07/12/1944) reported AS Morton, JP Graham, IE Hurley, DS Jones, JM Miller, J Webster and S Brook as “missing”
  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No. 563 (Flight 21/02/1946) reported JP Graham, IE Hurley, DS Jones, J Webster and S Brook “previously reported missing” as “now presumed killed in action”
  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No. 567 (Flight 04/04/1946) reported AS Morton “previously reported missing” as “now presumed killed in action”

Note: Presumption of death enabled a death certificate to be issued; personal belongings could then be sent to next of kin, along with any monies due.

No. 35 Squadron’s Operations Record Book shows the following information was received relating to the crew:

  • 08/09/1944: Information received from Air Ministry that JM Miller, missing on 24th / 25th July 1944, was killed
  • 10/11/1944: Information received from Air Ministry that JM Miller and two unknown, missing on 24th / 25th July 1944, were killed

Post War search for the missing crew members

After the war, an investigation officer from the Royal Air Force Missing Research and Enquiry Service (MRES) was tasked with locating the remains of the missing crew member(s).

Original German documents, burial records and eye witness accounts were utilised to establish the location of the crash site, the cause of the loss and the initial fate of the crew; information was recorded in a MRES Investigation Report.

As part of the process, any remains that were located were exhumed, identified (wherever possible) and concentrated (reinterred) at one of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s (CWGC) Cemeteries in the country that they fell, in accordance with Government policy at the time.

Graves were marked with a simple wooden cross, which was replaced by the familiar CWGC headstone during the 1950’s.

Missing airmen who could not be found, or formally identified, had their names commemorated on the Air Forces Memorial at Runnymede, which was unveiled in 1953.

CWGC records show that the remains of all the crew members were located at Steinhalle Civ. Cemetery.

NE175 Concentration

Their remains were exhumed, identified and concentrated (reinterred) at DURNBACH WAR CEMETERY on 24th June 1948 as follows:

  • BROOK, STANLEY Sergeant ‘1674979’ Grave 8. A. 16.
  • HURLEY, IVOR EDWARD Flight Sergeant ‘1323550’ Grave 8. A. 17.
  • GRAHAM, JAMES PERCY Flying Officer ‘136874’  Grave 8. A. 18.
  • MILLER, JOSEPH MACTAVISH Flight Sergeant ‘R/193144’ Grave 8. A. 19.
  • MORTON, ARTHUR SAMUEL Flight Lieutenant ‘52754’ Grave 8. A. 20.
  • JONES, DENNIS STANLEY Flying Officer ‘155338’ Joint grave 8. A. 21-22.
  • WEBSTER, JOHN Sergeant ‘1559239’ Joint grave 8. A. 21-22.

[Courtesy of Dom Howard]


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Theo Boiten (Nachtjagd Combat Archive)

Flak Claim: 2/schw Flak Abt 436 & 3/schw Flak Abt 241; the acft crashed into Fuchseckstrasse 23, Stuttgart Ost at 0206

WR Chorley (Bomber Command Losses of the Second World War)

Crashed at 01.48 onto Fuchseckstrasse 23, Stuttgart

Lancaster ND916 (23/06/1944)

Lancaster ND916 was one of sixteen No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack rocket bases at Coubronne on the night of the 23rd / 24th June 1944.

Its seven-man crew comprised:

  • Geoffrey Ansdell Marsden (Pilot)
  • Reginald Lawrence Thompson (Navigator)
  • Edward George Meredith (Air Bomber)
  • Harry Rolls (Wireless Operator)
  • Harry John William Furner (Air Gunner)
  • Neville Arthur Farley (Air Gunner)
  • Charles Bernard McBrearty (Flight Engineer)

The route was Bradwell, North Foreland, Lattice B 10.65 (Eastern Chain), Target, 5045N 0228E, 5105N 0230E, Orfordness

No. 35 Squadron’s Operations Record Book shows: “Aircraft captained by GA Marsden was attacked by enemy fighter, the two gunners being dangerously wounded by cannon and machine gun fire.


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

RAF Graveley ORB

Lancaster ND916 attacked by enemy fighter over target area. Sgt Furner and Sgt Farley, both seriously wounded. The former received wound in left eye, right thigh, right shoulder, hand and arm and left forearm. The latter received wounds of left thigh and a compound fracture of right humerus. They were both transferred to RAF Hospital, Ely

AM Form 78

The movement card shows that the aircraft was classified as FB/AC; it was repaired on site and returned to the squadron on 22nd July 1944.

AM Form 1180

There isn’t an AM Form 1180 (Accident Card) held at the RAF Museum and, as such, it has not been possible to establish any more details

HJW Furner

Notes:

  1. Harry Furner lost his left eye as a result of the incident and was grounded for the remainder of the war
  2. NA Farley did not fly operationally with the squadron after this incident

Lancaster ND846 (04/07/1944)

Lancaster ND846 was one of fourteen No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack the marshalling yards at Villeneuve St. Georges on the night of the 4th / 5th July 1944.

It was equipped with IFF, Gee, Nav Aid Y (H2S), Fishpond and Carpet. Its designated Path Finder role was Backer Up

Its eight-man crew comprised:

  • Alec Panton Cranswick (Pilot)
  • Reginald Herbert Kille (Navigator)
  • Philip Richmond Burt (Air Bomber)
  • Albert Clement Michael Taylor (Set Operator)
  • Wilfred Roland Horner (Wireless Operator)
  • Alfred Harold Wood (Air Gunner)
  • Eric McHugh Davies (Air Gunner)
  • Charles Erickson (Flight Engineer)

The route was Reading, 5030N 0020W, 4950N 0035E, 4830N 0107E, Target, 4846N 0230E, 4830N 0230E, 4832N 0108E, 4850N 0059E, 4900N 0130W, 4940N 0230W

Lancaster ND846 failed to return and the squadron’s Operations Record Book shows “This aircraft is missing, nothing being heard from it after take off”

Wartime activities relating to the loss

On 5th July 1944 the squadron informed Bomber Command, the Air Ministry and the RAF Records Office that the aircraft and crew were missing.

A telegram, along with a follow up letter from the Commanding Officer, was sent to the next of kin of each crew member advising them that he was “missing as the result of air operations on 4th / 5th July 1944”.

The crew’s kit and personal belongings were removed from their lockers and catalogued; kit was returned to stores and personal belongings sent to the RAF Central Depository at RAF Colnbrook.

The Air Ministry Casualty Branch, which was responsible for investigating, monitoring and reporting on the status of missing aircraft and airmen, subsequently published the following information regarding the crew:

  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No. 439 (Flight 02/11/1944) reported AP Cranswick, RH Kille, PR Burt, ACM Taylor, WR Horner, EM Davies, AH Wood and
    C Erickson as “missing”
  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No. 558 (Flight 10/01/1946) reported ACM Taylor, EM Davies and AH Wood “previously reported missing” as “now presumed killed in action”
  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No. 560 (Flight 17/01/1946) reported C Erickson “previously reported missing” as “now presumed killed in action”

Note: Presumption of death enabled a death certificate to be issued; personal belongings could then be sent to next of kin, along with any monies due.

No. 35 Squadron’s Operations Record Book shows the following information was received relating to the crew:

  • 24/09/1944: Information received from Air Ministry that WR Horner, missing on 4th / 5th July 1944, is a prisoner of war; also that AP Cranswick, RH Kille and PR Burt were killed

Crew members who survived the crash and were captured / imprisoned

WR Horner survived the crash and was captured, hospitalised and imprisoned for the remainder of the war.

His POW Liberation Questionnaire, which was completed as part of the repatriation process at 106 Personnel Reception Centre (RAF Cosford) in 1945, shows the following details:

  • WR Horner
    • Captured:  05/07/1944  (Wounded [Burns])
    • Hospitalised: St Denis, Paris Jul-44 to Aug-44
    • Hospitalised:  Hohemark Hospital, Frankfurt Aug-44
    • Hospitalised:  Reserve-Lazaret IX-C(a), Obermassfeld Aug-44 to Sep-44
    • Hospitalised:  Reserve-Lazaret IX-C(b), Meiningen Sep-44 to Oct-44
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft VII, Bankau Oct-44 to Jan-45
    • Imprisoned:  Stalag IIIA, Luckenwalde Jan-45 to May-45
    • Repatriated:  May-45
008

Post War search for the missing crew members

After the war, an investigation officer from the Royal Air Force Missing Research and Enquiry Service (MRES) was tasked with locating the remains of the missing crew member(s).

Original German documents, burial records and eye witness accounts were utilised to establish the location of the crash site, the cause of the loss and the initial fate of the crew; information was recorded in a MRES Investigation Report.

As part of the process, any remains that were located were exhumed, identified (wherever possible) and concentrated (reinterred) at one of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s (CWGC) Cemeteries in the country that they fell, in accordance with Government policy at the time.

Graves were marked with a simple wooden cross, which was replaced by the familiar CWGC headstone during the 1950’s.

Missing airmen who could not be found, or formally identified, had their names commemorated on the Air Forces Memorial at Runnymede, which was unveiled in 1953.

CWGC has a note which states that AP Cranswick was “Originally buried in what is described as the Parish Cemetery at Reau” (Reau is south-east of the crash site).

Its records also show that RH Kille, EM Davies, ACM Taylor and C Erickson were originally buried at Clichy Northern Cemetery.

There are no details relating to the original burials of PR Burt or HA Wood.

ND846 Concentration3

The remains of all the crew members (including Cranswick, Burt and Wood) were exhumed, identified and concentrated (reinterred) on 14th April 1947 at CLICHY NORTHERN CEMETERY as follows:

  • BURT, PHILIP RICHMOND Flight Lieutenant ‘120036’  Plot 16. Row 13. Grave 11.
  • CRANSWICK, ALEC PANTON Squadron Leader ‘42696’  Plot 16. Row 13. Grave 16.
  • DAVIES, ERIC McHUGH Flight Sergeant ‘935690’ Plot 16. Row 13. Coll. grave 5-7.
  • ERICKSON, CHARLES Sergeant ‘992684’  Plot 16. Row 13. Coll. grave 5-7.
  • KILLE, REGINALD HERBERT Flying Officer ‘147636’  Plot 16. Row 13. Grave 12.
  • TAYLOR, ALBERT CLEMENT MICHAEL Flight Lieutenant ‘159424’  Plot 16. Row 13. Coll. grave 5-7.
  • WOOD, ALFRED HAROLD Flight Sergeant ‘1603433’  Plot 16. Row 13. Grave 10.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Bomber Command Loss Card

ND846 (Loss Card).JPG

Theo Boiten (Nachtjagd Combat Archive)

Nightfighter Claim: Uffz. Kurt Stockbauer, 4./NJG4, (S) Paris (AE-BE), 3600m, 01.26

Various Sources

Aircraft crashed at Villecresnes, Créteil, Val-de-Marne Deparment, Île-de-France Region, France about 12.5 miles from the centre of Paris.

ND846

Crew Memorial

Villecresnes Memorial

[Source: aerosteles.net]

Article by Roger Ward © BBC Peoples War Stories (WR Horner’s Story)

We took off at 23.20 hours and crossed the English Coast at Beachy Head and flew around Paris. We had to descend to 7000 feet to clear clouds. (At briefing it was estimated to be 12000 feet). As soon as the aiming point was sighted the pilot was directed on to it by F/L Taylor and markers and bombs were dropped; almost immediately there were explosions below us and the aircraft began burning and the pilot gave the order to bale out. I attached my parachute to clips on my chest and as the rear of the plane was on fire I waited my turn to use the front escape hatch.

My next memory was being dragged along the ground by my parachute (unbeknown to me, the plane had broken its back exactly where i was standing and i was the sole survivor). There was lots of shouting in German! They released me from my harness and took me into a building. I was questioned by an officer, giving him my rank, name and service number. I next remember being taken to a medical centre and being treated by a doctor and two nurses. My legs and hands were burnt and I had inhaled a lot of smoke.

The next morning I was picked up by a lorry (the driver stopped to show me the wreckage of our plane) and taken to the American hospital at St. Denis, where I received good treatment.

The first week in August I was moved to a hospital at Hohenmark, which was attached to the interrogation centre at Oberusal, near Frankfurt. On August 15th I was transferred to Obermassfeld, where I had a skin graft to my right hand. This hospital was staffed by British personnel with a German doctor in overall control.

My next move was to a convalescent centre at Meiningen, which was in an old theatre. I left there on October 20th for the prison camp, Luft 7, at Bankau, near Kreuzberg in Lower Silesia.

In the new year (1945) we could hear the approach of the Russian Army. On the 19th January we left camp and began the long walk westwards. It was snowing and very cold and frosty. We slept at state farms and once in a disused brick factory. There was very little food and it was difficult to keep going in the severe weather. We eventually arrived in Luckenwalde (Stalag 3A) south of Potsdam.

On 22nd April Russian troops arrived and took control of the camp. American lorries came to collect us but were refused access. We were eventually allowed to leave about the 22/23rd May and go to Halle from where the Americans flew us to Brussels. After baths and fresh uniforms, we felt more civilised and were flown home to England in Lancasters. We were taken to RAF Cosford for medical examinations. I arrived home on 29th May- MY BIRTHDAY!

Crew Information

The following link provides information on AP Cranswick’s operational sorties as Captain of a No. 35 Squadron aircraft and the composition of his crew on these sorties

Lancaster ND762 (22/05/1944)

Lancaster ND762 was one of sixteen No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack Dortmund on the night of the 22nd / 23rd May 1944.

It was equipped with Gee, Nav Aid Y (H2S), IFF, GPI, Fishpond and Carpet and was carrying 2 x LB TI Green, 2 x TI Green, 6 x 1000lbs, 2 x 500lbs and 1 x 4000lbs. Its designated Path Finder role was Visual Centrer

Its eight-man crew comprised:

  • Ernest Holmes (Pilot)
  • John Kennedy Stewart (Navigator)
  • Derrick Ernest Coleman (Air Bomber)
  • Harold Thomas Maskell (Set Operator)
  • Frank Joseph Tudor (Wireless Operator)
  • Albert William Cox (Air Gunner)
  • Alistair Stuart McLaren (Air Gunner)
  • John Robert Cursiter (Flight Engineer)

The route was Flamborough, 5315N 0330E, 5307N 0445E, 5212N 0715E, Target, 5110N 0734E, 5100N 0625E, 5143N 0450E, Orfordness

Lancaster ND762 failed to return and the squadron’s Operations Record Book shows “This aircraft is missing, nothing being heard from it after take off”

Wartime activities relating to the loss

On 23rd May 1944 the squadron informed Bomber Command, the Air Ministry and the RAF Records Office that the aircraft and crew were missing.

A telegram, along with a follow up letter from the Commanding Officer, was sent to the next of kin of each crew member advising them that he was “missing as the result of air operations on 22nd / 23rd May 1944”.

The crew’s kit and personal belongings were removed from their lockers and catalogued; kit was returned to stores and personal belongings sent to the RAF Central Depository at RAF Colnbrook.

The Air Ministry Casualty Branch, which was responsible for investigating, monitoring and reporting on the status of missing aircraft and airmen, subsequently published the following information regarding the crew:

  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No. 418 (Flight 31/08/1944) reported JK Stewart, AW Cox and AS McLaren as “missing believed killed in action” also HT Maskell and JR Cursiter as “missing”
  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No. 535 (Flight 06/09/1945) reported JK Stewart, AW Cox and AS McLaren “previously reported missing believed killed in action” as “now presumed killed in action; also JR Cursiter “previously reported missing” as “now presumed killed in action”
  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No. 541 (Flight 04/10/1945) reported HT Maskell “previously reported missing” as “now presumed killed in action”

Note: Presumption of death enabled a death certificate to be issued; personal belongings could then be sent to next of kin, along with any monies due.

No. 35 Squadron’s Operations Record Book shows the following information was received relating to the crew:

  • 13/09/1944: Information received from Air Ministry that E Holmes and DE Coleman, missing on 22nd / 23rd May 1944, are prisoners of war
  • 12/10/1944: Information received from Air Ministry that JR Cursiter, missing on 22nd / 23rd May 1944, was killed

Crew members who survived the crash and were captured / imprisoned

FJ Tudor survived the crash and was captured, interrogated and imprisoned for the remainder of the war.

His POW Liberation Questionnaires, which were completed as part of the repatriation process at 106 Personnel Reception Centre (RAF Cosford) in 1945, show the following details:

  • FJ Tudor
    • Captured: Holland 22/05/1944 (Concussion and Broken Leg)
    • Hospitalised: Luftwaffe Hospital, Amsterdam May-44
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft VII, Bankau Jun-44 to Jan-45
    • Imprisoned: Stalag III-A, Luckenwalde Feb-45 to May-45
    • Repatriated: May-45

E Holmes and DE Coleman survived the crash and evaded capture before being betrayed, captured, interrogated and imprisoned for the remainder of the war.

Their POW Liberation Questionnaires, which were completed as part of the repatriation process at 106 Personnel Reception Centre (RAF Cosford) in 1945, show the following details:

  • E Holmes
    • Evaded: 22/05/1944 to 17/06/1944 (Betrayed)
    • Captured: Antwerp (17/06/1944)
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft III, Sagan Jul-44 to Jan-45
    • Imprisoned: Marlag und Milag Nord, Westertimke (Tarmstedt) Feb-45 to Apr-45
    • Repatriated: May-45
  • DE Coleman
    • Evaded: 22/05/1944 to 17/06/1944 (Betrayed)
    • Captured: Antwerp (17/06/1944)
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft III, Sagan Jul-44 to Jan-45
    • Imprisoned: Marlag und Milag Nord, Westertimke (Tarmstedt) Feb-45 to Apr-45
    • Repatriated: May-45

Post War search for the missing crew member

After the war, an investigation officer from the Royal Air Force Missing Research and Enquiry Service (MRES) was tasked with locating the remains of the missing crew member(s).

Original German documents, burial records and eye witness accounts were utilised to establish the location of the crash site, the cause of the loss and the initial fate of the crew; information was recorded in a MRES Investigation Report.

As part of the process, any remains that were located were exhumed, identified (wherever possible) and concentrated (reinterred) at one of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s (CWGC) Cemeteries in the country that they fell, in accordance with Government policy at the time.

Graves were marked with a simple wooden cross, which was replaced by the familiar CWGC headstone during the 1950’s.

Missing airmen who could not be found, or formally identified, had their names commemorated on the Air Forces Memorial at Runnymede, which was unveiled in 1953.

CWGC records do not show where the remains of JK Stewart, HT Maskell, AW Cox, AS McLaren and JR Cursiter were located but show that they were concentrated (reinterred) at EINDHOVEN (WOENSEL) GENERAL CEMETERY as follows:

  • McLAREN, ALISTAIR STUART Sergeant ‘1891777’ Plot KK. Grave 55.
  • COX, ALBERT WILLIAM Flight Sergeant ‘1314241’  Plot KK. Grave 56.
  • STEWART, JOHN KENNEDY Flight Lieutenant ‘129742’ Plot KK. Grave 57.
  • MASKELL, HAROLD THOMAS Flying Officer ‘139295’ Plot KK. Grave 58.
  • CURSITER, JOHN ROBERT Sergeant ‘1570690’ Plot KK. Grave 70.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Theo Boiten (Nachtjagd Combat Archive)

Nightfighter Claim: Oblt. Hans-Heinz Augenstein, 12./NJG1, nr. Eindhoven, 5400m, 01.21

WR Chorley (Bomber Command Losses of the Second World War)

Homebound and flying at 18,000ft, when picked up by a nightfighter. The brief engagement that followed was ended at 01.29 when the aircraft exploded, throwing out the three survivors, the debris from the bomber falling between Middlebeers and Vessem.

Bomber Command Loss Card

Lancaster shot down by nightfighter below unseen at 16000ft over Middlebeers. Aircraft on fire in the air. Aircraft abandoned in air. Ultimate cause of loss due fire. Target bombed, aircraft destroyed.

Crew Memorial

P1240346.jpg

A memorial to the crew in Vessem, Holland was unveiled by E Holmes on 29th September 2018
– more details –

Photograph by kind permission of Heemkundevereniging De Hooge
(Copyright resides with the original photographer)

Lancaster ND759 (27/04/1944)

Lancaster ND759 was one of fourteen No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack engine and gearbox factories in Friedrichshafen on 27th / 28th April 1944.

Its seven man crew comprised:

  • Robert Graham Peter (Pilot)
  • Geoffrey Grant Foulkes (Navigator)
  • Noel Charles William Davis (Air Bomber)
  • Murray Thomas Bartle (Wireless Operator)
  • David Poole Balmer (Air Gunner)
  • Irvine Graham (Air Gunner)
  • Alfred Stewart Brereton (Flight Engineer)

ND759 failed to return and the squadron’s Operations Record Book shows “This aircraft is missing, nothing being heard from it after take-off”

Wartime activities relating to the loss

On 28th April 1944 the squadron informed Bomber Command, the Air Ministry and the RAF Records Office that the aircraft and crew were missing.

A telegram, along with a follow up letter from the Commanding Officer, was sent to the next of kin of each crew member advising them that he was “missing as the result of air operations on 27th / 28th April 1944”.

The crew’s kit and personal belongings were removed from their lockers and catalogued; kit was returned to stores and personal belongings sent to the RAF Central Depository at RAF Colnbrook.

The Air Ministry Casualty Branch, which was responsible for investigating, monitoring and reporting on the status of missing aircraft and airmen, subsequently published the following information regarding the crew:

  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No. 406 (Flight 27/07/1944) reported GG Foulkes as “missing”

The squadron’s Operations Record Book shows that the following information was received regarding the crew:

  • 05/05/1944 – Information received from Air Ministry that RG Peter, NCW Davis, MT Bartle, I Graham and DP Balmer, missing on 27th / 28th April 1944, were interned in Switzerland. Balmer and Graham were admitted to hospital suffering from burns

Letter sent to family of MT Bartle (09/05/1944)

  • 13/06/1944 – Information received from Air Ministry that A Brereton, missing on 27th / 28th April 1944, was captured
  • 18/10/1944: Information received from Air Ministry that NCW Davis, missing on 27th / 28th April 1944, arrived in the UK on 8th October 1944
  • 13/01/1945: Information received from Air Ministry that MT Bartle, I Graham and DP Balmer, missing on 27th / 28th April 1944, have arrived safely back in the UK
  • 23/04/1945:  Information received from Air Ministry that a body, believed to be that of GG Foulkes, who baled out of an aircraft captained by RG Peter, which ditched in Lake Constance, has been recovered by the Swiss Authorities from the lake

Crew member(s) who survived the crash and were captured and interned in Switzerland

RG Peter, NCW Davis, MT Bartle, DP Balmer and I Graham  ditched in Lake Constance and were captured and interned in Switzerland as follows:

  • RG Peter (POW Liberation Questionnaire yet to be obtained, so information is unconfirmed)
    • Held in Switzerland: Adelboden?
    • Repatriated: Whitchurch 25/05/1944 (As part of an exchange)
  • NCW Davis (POW Liberation Questionnaire yet to be obtained, so information is unconfirmed)
    • Held in Switzerland: Adelboden May-44 to Oct-44 (Escaped)
    • Evasion Route: Switzerland / France?
    • Repatriated: Northolt 08/10/1944
  • MT Bartle
    • Held in Switzerland: Adelboden May-44 to Oct-44 (Escaped / Recaptured)
    • Imprisoned: Wauwil Concentration Camp / Arosa Oct-44 to Dec-44 (Escaped)
    • Evasion Route: Switzerland / France
    • Repatriated: Bovingdon, December 1944
  • DP Balmer (POW Liberation Questionnaire yet to be obtained, so information is unconfirmed)
    • Held in Switzerland: Hospital
    • Repatriated: Lyneham 31/12/1944
  • I Graham (POW Liberation Questionnaire yet to be obtained, so information is unconfirmed)
    • Held in Switzerland: Hospital
    • Repatriated: December 1944?

Crew member(s) who survived the crash and were captured, interrogated and imprisoned 

AS Brereton baled out and was captured, interrogated and imprisoned as follows:

  • Interrogated: Dulag Luft, Frankfurt Apr-44
  • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft VI, Heydekrug May-44 to Jul-44
  • Imprisoned: Stalag 357, Thorn Jul-44 to Aug-44
  • Imprisoned: Stalag 357, Fallingbostel Aug-44 to Mar-45
  • Repatriated: May-45

Post-War search for the missing crew member(s)

After the war, an investigation officer from the Royal Air Force Missing Research and Enquiry Service (MRES) was tasked with locating the remains of the missing crew member(s).

Original German documents, burial records and eye witness accounts were utilised to establish the location of the crash site, the cause of the loss and the initial fate of the crew; information was recorded in a MRES Investigation Report.

As part of the process, any remains that were located were exhumed, identified (wherever possible) and concentrated (reinterred) at one of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s (CWGC) Cemeteries in the country that they fell, in accordance with Government policy at the time.

Graves were marked with a simple wooden cross, which was replaced by the familiar CWGC headstone during the 1950’s.

Missing airmen who could not be found, or formally identified, had their names commemorated on the Air Forces Memorial at Runnymede, which was unveiled in 1953.

CWGC records do not show any information about the recovery of GG Foulkes’ body from Lake Constance, but show that his remains were concentrated (reinterred) at Vevey (St. Martin’s) Cemetery as follows:

  • FOULKES, Geoffrey Grant ‘420381’ Grave 122

[Courtesy of Geoff Swallow]

Note: CWGC has advised that its records do not contain an original burial date but the squadron’s Operations Record Book shows that his body was recovered prior to April 1945

Theo Boiten (Nachtjagd Combat Archive)

Nightfighter Claim: Oblt Wilhelm Johnen, 6./NJG5, Over Bodensee near Steckborn, 5,600m, 02.30 (Note: Johnen claim never officially confirmed; also claimed by flak of 2./schw. Flak Abt. 241, 2 and 4./schw. Flak Abt, 455, Heimat Flak Battr. 230/VII, Heimat Flak Battr. 215/VII, 5./schw. Flak Abt. 705 (unknown type of a/c Steckborn 02.30hrs) Flak claim marked VNE

MT Bartle Repatriation Questionnaire

Attacked by fighter 50 miles from target on the way in. One engine feathered and bombed from 16,000ft. Attacked again 20 minutes after leaving target and aircraft caught fire and dropped to 3,000ft. Navigator and Flight Engineer baled out during spin. Air Bomber’s chute opened in aircraft and the chutes of both air gunners were burnt. Turned back and ditched in Lake Constance, paddled to Swiss side of lake and laid up for four hours, then taken into custody by Swiss Authorities.

WR Chorley (Bomber Command Losses of the Second World War)

Hit either by flak or cannon fire from a nightfighter and ditched at 02.30 in the Bodensee.

Aircraft Recovery

ND759 was ditched on Lake Constance, Switzerland and it sank. It was recovered from the lake by Martin Shaffner during 1953/1954. It was put on display in Steckborn before being scrapped in 1955.

pic3

The recovery of the aircraft [Courtesy of Warbird.ch]


Notes:

  1. Digitised record for MT Bartle available in Australian Archives; no digitised records for GG Foulkes, NCW Davis or RG Peter available (as at July 2017)

Lancaster ND755 (19/10/1944)

Lancaster ND755 was one of sixteen No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack Stuttgart on the night of the 19th / 20th October 1944.

Its eight-man crew comprised:

  • Robert William Brown (Pilot)
  • John Anthony Creemer Clarke (Navigator)
  • Reginald Francis Jack Bright (Air Bomber)
  • Dennis Thompson (Set Operator)
  • Adam Linton (Wireless Operator)
  • Edmond Joseph Kiely (Air Gunner)
  • Frank David Thomas Phillips (Air Gunner)
  • Colin Johnson (Flight Engineer)

EJ Kiely, RFJ Bright, C Johnson, FDT Phillips, A Linton, RW Brown, JAC Clarke
[Courtesy of Peter and Margaret Quirk]

Lancaster ND755 failed to return and the squadron’s Operations Record Book shows “This aircraft is missing, nothing being heard from it after take-off”

Wartime activities relating to the loss

On 20th October 1944 the squadron informed Bomber Command, the Air Ministry and the RAF Records Office that the aircraft and crew were missing.

A telegram, along with a follow up letter from the Commanding Officer, was sent to the next of kin of each crew member advising them that he was “missing as the result of air operations on 19th / 20th October 1944”.

telegram 2

An example of the telegram that was sent

The crew’s kit and personal belongings were removed from their lockers and catalogued; kit was returned to stores and personal belongings sent to the RAF Central Depository at RAF Colnbrook. The Air Ministry Casualty Branch, which was responsible for investigating, monitoring and reporting on the status of missing aircraft and airmen, subsequently published the following information regarding the crew:

  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No. 578 (Flight 09/05/1946) reported RW Brown “previously reported missing” as “now presumed killed in action”
  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No. 582 (Flight 23/05/1946) reported JAC Clarke, RFJ Bright, D Thompson, A Linton, EJ Kiely, FDT Phillips and C Johnson “previously reported missing” as “now presumed killed in action”

Note: Presumption of death enabled a death certificate to be issued; personal belongings could then be sent to next of kin, along with any monies due.

Post War search for the missing crew members

After the war, an investigation officer from the Royal Air Force Missing Research and Enquiry Service (MRES) was tasked with locating the remains of the missing crew member(s).

Original German documents, burial records and eye witness accounts were utilised to establish the location of the crash site, the cause of the loss and the initial fate of the crew; information was recorded in a MRES Investigation Report.

As part of the process, any remains that were located were exhumed, identified (wherever possible) and concentrated (reinterred) at one of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s (CWGC) Cemeteries in the country that they fell, in accordance with Government policy at the time.

Graves were marked with a simple wooden cross, which was replaced by the familiar CWGC headstone during the 1950’s.

Missing airmen who could not be found, or formally identified, had their names commemorated on the Air Forces Memorial at Runnymede, which was unveiled in 1953.

CWGC records do not show where the remains of RW Brown, JAC Clarke, RFJ Bright, D Thompson, A Linton, EJ Kiely, FDT Phillips and C Johnson were located but show that they were concentrated (reinterred) at WINTZENBACH PROTESTANT CHURCHYARD as follows:

  • BROWN, ROBERT WILLIAM Flying Officer ‘414768’ Grave 1.
  • PHILLIPS, FRANK DAVID THOMAS Flight Sergeant ‘1128364’ Grave 2.
  • BRIGHT, REGINALD FRANCIS JACK Flight Sergeant ‘1800892’  Grave 3.
  • LINTON, ADAM Flying Officer ‘158128’ Grave 4.
  • THOMPSON, DENNIS Warrant Officer ‘1090928’ Grave 5.
  • JOHNSON, COLIN Sergeant ‘1819247’ Grave 6.
  • KIELY, EDMOND JOSEPH Flight Sergeant ‘2211230’ Grave 7.
  • CLARKE, JOHN ANTHONY CREEMER Pilot Officer ‘177263’ Grave 8.
ND755 Headstones


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

MRES Report

At about 08.00hrs on the night of 19th October 1944, a four-engine bomber crashed in flames and exploded 2 km. NW of Wintzenbach. Eight bodies were found and buried in the Protestant Cemetery. The debris of the aircraft was removed by the Germans therefore no identification of this machine is possible locally.

Map showing crash area / original burial location

ND755 Loss Location

Theo Boiten (Nachtjagd Combat Archive)

Nightfighter Claim: Hptm Heinz Rokker (2/NJG2), 3800M, Pirmasens-Weissenberg area (UQ), 21.48
Note: Also claimed by 1 & 2/schw Flak Abt 543, 5200M, 2km NW of Winzenbach, 20.29

Crew Memorial

[Source: aerosteles.net]

Lancaster ND734 (26/04/1944)

Lancaster ND734 was one of eight No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack Essen on the night of 26th / 27th April 1944.

Its seven-man crew comprised:

  • Mauritz Bernard Berndsson (Pilot)
  • Howard Monckton Pringle (Navigator)
  • Norman Thomas Adams (Air Bomber)
  • Raymond Perkins (Wireless Operator)
  • Thomas Nainby (Air Gunner)
  • Walter Edmond Crawford (Air Gunner)
  • Arthur George Page (Flight Engineer)

The squadron’s Operations Record Book shows “Lancaster ND734 made a normal landing and was almost stationary on the runway when a Mosquito of No. 692 Squadron, landing without R/T and with very poor lighting, collided with it, killing the mid-upper gunner, WE Crawford and dangerously injuring the tail gunner, T Nainby.

On 6th May 1944, the Record Book shows “T Nainby, injured in crash with Mosquito on 27th April 1944, died in RAF Hospital, Ely”.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) records show the following burial details:

  • CRAWFORD, WALTER EDMOND Sergeant ‘2206157’ HOOTON (ST. PAUL) CHURCHYARD Sec. B. Row 78. Grave 1.
  • NAINBY, THOMAS Sergeant ‘1591232’ WHITLEY BAY (HARTLEY SOUTH) CEMETERY Sec. J. Grave 3521.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

AM Form 78

The AM Form 78 shows that the aircraft was repaired on site by AV Roe and returned to the squadron on 27th May 1944

AM Form 1180

The AM Form 1180 shows “Aircraft finishing landing run was struck by Mosquito ND977 which landed behind. Slight blame this pilot for not having downward ident. lights on

Note: The form incorrectly shows serial as ND148

RAF Graveley ORB

Mosquito aircraft ML977 on return from operational sortie crashed into tail of Lancaster ND734 while taxying on landing. S/L Saunderson and F/L Clarkson, pilot and navigator of the Mosquito sustained only a few bruises but Sgt Crawford, mid upper gunner of the Lancaster died from injuries sustained in the wreckage and Sgt Nainby, rear gunner, was very seriously injured. He was admitted to Huntingdon County Hospital forthwith and transferred to RAF General Hospital, Ely when fit to travel 36 hours later

Lancaster ND734 (23/06/1944)

Lancaster ND734 was one of sixteen No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack rocket bases at Courbronne on the night of the 23rd / 24th June 1944.

Its eight-man crew comprised:

  • George Francis Henry Ingram (Pilot)
  • Vincent John Murphy (Navigator)
  • George William Rushbrook (Air Bomber)
  • Maurice John  Spencer (Set Operator)
  • Stephen Jackson (Wireless Operator)
  • Douglas Alfred Weatherill (Air Gunner)
  • Robert Henry James Gill (Air Gunner)
  • Douglas Belmont Gerrard (Flight Engineer)

The route was: Bradwell, North Foreland, Lattice B 10.65 (Eastern Chain), Target, 5045N 0228E, 5105N 0230E, Orfordness

ND734 failed to return and the squadron’s Operations Record Book shows “This aircraft is missing, nothing being heard from it after take-off”

Wartime activities relating to the loss

On 24th June 1944 the squadron informed Bomber Command, the Air Ministry and the RAF Records Office that the aircraft and crew were missing.

A telegram, along with a follow up letter from the Commanding Officer, was sent to the next of kin of each crew member advising them that he was “missing as the result of air operations on 23rd / 24th June 1944”.

The crew’s kit and personal belongings were removed from their lockers and catalogued; kit was returned to stores and personal belongings sent to the RAF Central Depository at RAF Colnbrook.

The Air Ministry Casualty Branch, which was responsible for investigating, monitoring and reporting on the status of missing aircraft and airmen, subsequently published the following information regarding the crew:

  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No. 435 (Flight 19/10/1944) reported GFH Ingram and DA Weatherill as “missing”
  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No. 556 (Flight 27/12/1945) reported GFH Ingram and DA Weatherill “previously reported missing” as “now presumed killed in action”

Note: Presumption of death enabled a death certificate to be issued; personal belongings could then be sent to next of kin, along with any monies due.

No. 35 Squadron’s Operations Record Book shows the following information was received relating to the crew:

  • 28/07/1944: Information received from the Air Ministry that VJ Murphy, missing on 23rd / 24th June 1944, was killed
  • 22/08/1944: Information received from the Air Ministry that VJ Murphy, missing on 23rd / 24th June 1944, was not dead, but a prisoner of war
  • 15/09/1944: Information received from the Air Ministry that VJ Murphy, GW Rushbrook, S Jackson, RH Gill and DB Gerrard, missing on 23rd / 24th June 1944, are prisoners of war
  • 30/10/1944: Information received from the Air Ministry that MJ Spencer, missing on 23rd / 24th June 1944, is a prisoner of war

Crew members who survived the crash and were captured / imprisoned

VJ Murphy, GW Rushbrook, MJ Spencer, S Jackson, RH Gill and DB Gerrard survived the crash and were captured, interrogated and imprisoned for the remainder of the war.

Their POW Liberation Questionnaires, which were completed as part of the repatriation process at 106 Personnel Reception Centre (RAF Cosford) in 1945, show the following details:

  • VJ Murphy (POW Liberation Questionnaire yet to be obtained, so information is unconfirmed)
    • Captured:
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft III, Sagan
    • Repatriated:
  • GW Rushbrook
    • Captured Nr Dixmude 24/06/1944
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft III, Sagan Jul-44 to Jan-45
    • Imprisoned: Marlag Nord, Tarmstedt Feb-45 to Apr-45
    • Repatriated:  May-45
  • MJ Spencer
    • Captured: Nr Ostende 24/06/1944 (Fractured Arm)
    • Hospitalised: St Gilles, Brussels Jun-44 to Aug-44
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft III, Sagan Sep-44 to Feb-45
    • Imprisoned: Stalag XIII-D, Nürnberg  Feb-45 to May-45
    • Repatriated: May-45
  • S Jackson
    • Captured: Newport 24/06/1944
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft VII, Bankau Jul-44 to Jan-45
    • Imprisoned:  Stalag IIIA, Luckenwalde Feb-45 to May-45
    • Repatriated: May-45
  • RH Gill
    • Captured Ostend 24/06/1944
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft VII, Bankau Jul-44 to Jan-45
    • Imprisoned: Stalag IIIA, Luckenwalde Feb-45 to May-45
    • Repatriated: May-45
  • DB Gerrard
    • Captured: Newport 24/06/1944
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft VII, Bankau Jul-44 to Jan-45
    • Imprisoned: Stalag IIIA, Luckenwalde Feb-45 to May-45
    • Repatriated: May-45

Post War search for the missing crew members

After the war, an investigation officer from the Royal Air Force Missing Research and Enquiry Service (MRES) was tasked with locating the remains of the missing crew member(s).

Original German documents, burial records and eye witness accounts were utilised to establish the location of the crash site, the cause of the loss and the initial fate of the crew; information was recorded in a MRES Investigation Report.

As part of the process, any remains that were located were exhumed, identified (wherever possible) and concentrated (reinterred) at one of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s (CWGC) Cemeteries in the country that they fell, in accordance with Government policy at the time.

Graves were marked with a simple wooden cross, which was replaced by the familiar CWGC headstone during the 1950’s.

Missing airmen who could not be found, or formally identified, had their names commemorated on the Air Forces Memorial at Runnymede, which was unveiled in 1953.

CWGC records do not show where the remains of DA Weatherill were located but show that they were concentrated (reinterred) at COXYDE MILITARY CEMETERY, Belgium as follows:

  •  WEATHERILL, DOUGLAS ALFRED Flying Officer ‘148094’  Grave VI. J. 1.

[Source; Find-a-Grave]

CWGC records show that the remains of GFH Ingram were not found, or could not be formally identified and, as such, his name is commemorated on the Runnymede memorial as follows:

  • INGRAM, GEORGE FRANCIS HENRY Squadron Leader ‘116714’ RUNNYMEDE MEMORIAL Panel 200.

[Courtesy of Clive Lewis]

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Theo Boiten (Nachtjagd Combat Archive)

Three possible nightfighter claims:

  • Hptm. Josef Krahforst, 2./NJG4, St. Omer-Ypres area (NE-NF), 3000m, 01.10
  • Hptm. Werner Husemann, Stab I./NJG3, St. Omer-Ypres area (NE-NF), 3700m, 01.15
  • Lt. Manfred Scheunpflug, Stab I./NJG3, St. Omer-Ypres area (NE-NF), 3600m, 01.20

Bomber Command Loss Card

The Bomber Command Loss Card shows “Shot down by nightfighter below unseen over Dunkirk at 11000ft. Aircraft on fire in air; aircraft abandoned in air. Cause of loss due fire; Aircraft destroyed; Target bombed”

Lancaster ND731 (04/07/1944)

Lancaster ND731 was one of fourteen No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack the marshalling yards at Villeneuve St. Georges on the night of the 4th / 5th July 1944.

Its eight-man crew comprised:

  • George Frank Lambert (Pilot)
  • Frank Salt (Navigator)
  • David Rotely Hall (Air Bomber)
  • Patrick Moorhead (Set Operator)
  • Frank Desmond Round (Wireless Operator)
  • Francis Emanuel O’Connell (Air Gunner)
  • John Grant Cooke (Air Gunner)
  • Robert James Goode (Flight Engineer)

The route was Reading, 5030N 0020W, 4950N 0035E, 4830N 0107E, Target, 4846N 0230E, 4830N 0230E, 4832N 0108E, 4850N 0059E, 4900N 0130W, 4940N 0230W

Lancaster ND731 failed to return and the squadron’s Operations Record Book shows “This aircraft is missing, nothing being heard from it after take off”

Wartime activities relating to the loss

On 5th July 1944 the squadron informed Bomber Command, the Air Ministry and the RAF Records Office that the aircraft and crew were missing.

A telegram, along with a follow up letter from the Commanding Officer, was sent to the next of kin of each crew member advising them that he was “missing as the result of air operations on 4th / 5th July 1944”.

The crew’s kit and personal belongings were removed from their lockers and catalogued; kit was returned to stores and personal belongings sent to the RAF Central Depository at RAF Colnbrook.

The Air Ministry Casualty Branch, which was responsible for investigating, monitoring and reporting on the status of missing aircraft and airmen, subsequently published the following information regarding the crew:

  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No. 441 (Flight 09/11/1944) reported GF Lambert, FD Round and JG Cooke as “missing”
  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No. 530 (Flight 09/08/1945) reported GF Lambert, FD Round and JG Cooke “previously reported missing” as “now presumed killed in action”
  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No. 544 (Flight 25/10/1045) reported FE O’Connell “previously reported missing” as “now presumed killed in action””

No. 35 Squadron’s Operations Record Book shows the following information was received relating to the crew:

  • 15/09/1944: Information received from Air Ministry that RJ Goode, missing on operations on 4th / 5th July 1944, is a prisoner of war
  • 24/09/1944: Information received from Air Ministry that P Moorhead, missing on operations on 4th / 5th July 1944, had arrived in the United Kingdom
  • 15/11/1944: Information received from Air Ministry that DR Hall, missing on operations on 4th / 5th July 1944, is a prisoner of war
  • 24/11/1944: Information received from Air Ministry that GF Lambert, FD Round and two unknown, missing on operations on 4th / 5th July 1944, were killed
  • 19/12/1944: Information received from Air Ministry that F Salt, missing on operations on 4th / 5th July 1944, is a prisoner of war and that JG Cooke and FE O’Connell were killed

Note: Presumption of death enabled a death certificate to be issued; personal belongings could then be sent to next of kin, along with any monies due.

Crew member(s) who survived the crash and evaded capture

P. Moorhead survived the crash and evaded capture as follows:

  • Landed: Nr Rambouillet
  • Evasion Route: France (Georges Broussine’s Bourgogne escape line?)
  • Repatriation: August / September 1944

Crew member(s) who survived the crash and were captured and imprisoned

DR Hall, RJ Goode and F Salt survived the crash and were captured and imprisoned for the remainder of the war.

Their POW Liberation Questionnaires, which were completed as part of the repatriation process at 106 Personnel Reception Centre, RAF Cosford in 1945, show the following:

  • DR Hall
    • Evaded: Jul-44
    • Captured: 10 miles south of Caen 12/07/1944
    • Imprisoned: Belaria (Stalag Luft III overflow camp) Aug-44 to Jan-45
    • Imprisoned: Stalag III-A, Luckenwalde Feb-45 to May-45
    • Repatriated: May-45
  • RJ Goode
    • Captured: Rambouilett 05/07/1944
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft VII, Bankau Jul-44 to Jan-45
    • Imprisoned: Stalag III-A, Luckenwalde Feb-45 to May-45
    • Repatriated: May-45
  • F Salt
    • Evaded: Jul-44 to Aug-44
    • Captured: Paris 07/08/1944
    • Imprisoned: Fresnes Aug-44
    • Imprisoned: Buchenwald Concentration Camp Aug-44 to Oct-44
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft III, Sagan Oct-44 to Jan-45
    • Imprisoned: Stalag III-A, Luckenwalde Feb-45 to May-45
    • Repatriated: May-45

Post War search for the missing crew members

After the war, an investigation officer from the Royal Air Force Missing Research and Enquiry Service (MRES) was tasked with locating the remains of the missing crew member(s).

Original German documents, burial records and eye witness accounts were utilised to establish the location of the crash site, the cause of the loss and the initial fate of the crew; information was recorded in a MRES Investigation Report.

As part of the process, any remains that were located were exhumed, identified (wherever possible) and concentrated (reinterred) at one of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s (CWGC) Cemeteries in the country that they fell, in accordance with Government policy at the time.

Graves were marked with a simple wooden cross, which was replaced by the familiar CWGC headstone during the 1950’s.

Missing airmen who could not be found, or formally identified, had their names commemorated on the Air Forces Memorial at Runnymede, which was unveiled in 1953.

CWGC records show that the remains of FE O’Connell, JG Cooke, FD Round and GF Lambert were located at Emance Communal Cemetery.

It is understood that their remains were left in situ (ie they were not exhumed and formally identified as part of the MRES investigation) in the following graves:

  • O’CONNELL, FRANCIS EMANUEL Flying Officer ‘432451’ Grave 1.
  • COOKE, JOHN GRANT Flight Lieutenant ‘46790’  Grave 2.
  • ROUND, FRANK DESMOND Flight Lieutenant ‘48054’ Grave 3.
  • LAMBERT, GEORGE FRANK Squadron Leader ‘63419’ Grave 4.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Crew Memorial (Emance)

ND731 Memorial

[Source: aerosteles.net]

Theo Boiten (Nachtjagd Combat Archive)

Nightfighter Claim: Uffz Heinrich Schultz, 6./NJG2, Mantes-Rambouillet,  2500m, 01.32

WR Chorley (Bomber Command Losses of the Second World War)

Crashed 01.33 between St. Hilarion and Emance

DR Hall’s Flying Log Book Entry

Extract from DR Hall’s Flying Log Book [Courtesy of Stephen Cooke]

Shadows on the Sands of Time

The book “Shadows on the Sands of Time” by RJ Goode, has more details relating to his service career and the loss of the aircraft.

Lancaster ND708 (15/03/1944)

Lancaster ND708 was one of twelve No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack Stuttgart on the night of the 15th / 16th March 1944.

It was equipped with Gee, H2S, Fishpond and API and was carrying 5 x 2000lb HC. Its designated Pathfinder role was Supporter

Its seven-man crew comprised:

  • Arthur Ganderton (Pilot)
  • Joseph William Samuel Burden (Navigator)
  • Colin Oswald Gibbons (Air Bomber)
  • George Bagnall (Wireless Operator)
  • Arthur Henry Weller (Air Gunner)
  • Harry Roy Lowman (Air Gunner)
  • John Stewart Martin (Flight Engineer)

The route was Reading, Selsey Bill, 4918N 0005W, 4810N 0130E, 4755N 0900E, Target, 4907N 0915E, 4825N 0740E, 4905N 0325E, 5000N 0715E, Selsey Bill, Reading (needs to be confirmed as some text is unreadable)

ND708 failed to return and the squadron’s Operations Record Book shows “This aircraft is missing, nothing being heard from it after take off”

Wartime activities relating to the loss

On 16th March 1944 the squadron informed Bomber Command, the Air Ministry and the RAF Records Office that the aircraft and crew were missing.

A telegram, along with a follow up letter from the Commanding Officer, was sent to the next of kin of each crew member advising them that he was “missing as the result of air operations on 15th / 16th March 1944”.

The crew’s kit and personal belongings were removed from their lockers and catalogued; kit was returned to stores and personal belongings sent to the RAF Central Depository at RAF Colnbrook.

The Air Ministry Casualty Branch, which was responsible for investigating, monitoring and reporting on the status of missing aircraft and airmen, subsequently published the following information regarding the crew:

  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No. 389 (Flight 01/06/1944) reported JWS Burden, G Bagnall and AH Weller as “missing”
  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No. 513 (Flight 07/06/1945) reported JWS Burden,G Bagnall and AH Weller “previously reported missing” as “now presumed killed in action”

Note: Presumption of death enabled a death certificate to be issued; personal belongings could then be sent to next of kin, along with any monies due.

No. 35 Squadron’s Operations Record Book shows the following information was received relating to the crew:

  • 17/05/1944: Information received from Air Ministry that A Ganderton, missing on 15th / 16th March 1944, is prisoner of war
  • 08/06/1944: Information received from Air Ministry that HR Lowman, missing on 15th / 16th March 1944, is prisoner of war
  • 15/06/1944: Information received from Air Ministry that CO Gibbons and JS Martin, missing on 15th / 16th March 1944, were captured

Crew members who survived the crash and were captured / imprisoned

A Ganderton,  CO Gibbons, HR Lowman and JS Martin survived the crash and were captured, interrogated and imprisoned for the remainder of the war.

Their POW Liberation Questionnaires, which were completed as part of the repatriation process at 106 Personnel Reception Centre (RAF Cosford) in 1945, show the following details:

  • CO Gibbons
    • Captured: River Rhine, near Kappeln 17/03/1944
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft VI, Heydekrug Mar-44 to Jul-44 (Evacuated)
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft IV, Gross Tychow Jul-44 to Feb-45
    • Imprisoned: Stalag XI-B, Fallingbostel Mar-45 to Apr-45
    • Repatriated May-45
  • A Ganderton (POW Liberation Questionnaire yet to be obtained, so information is unconfirmed)
    • Captured:
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft III, Sagan
    • Repatriated:
  • JS Martin (POW Liberation Questionnaire yet to be obtained, so information is unconfirmed)
    • Captured:
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft VI / Stalag 357
    • Repatriated:
  • HR Lowman (POW Liberation Questionnaire yet to be obtained, so information is unconfirmed)
    • Captured:
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft VI / Stalag Luft IV
    • Repatriated:

Post War search for the missing crew members

After the war, an investigation officer from the Royal Air Force Missing Research and Enquiry Service (MRES) was tasked with locating the remains of the missing crew member(s).

Original German documents, burial records and eye witness accounts were utilised to establish the location of the crash site, the cause of the loss and the initial fate of the crew; information was recorded in a MRES Investigation Report.

As part of the process, any remains that were located were exhumed, identified (wherever possible) and concentrated (reinterred) at one of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s (CWGC) Cemeteries in the country that they fell, in accordance with Government policy at the time.

Graves were marked with a simple wooden cross, which was replaced by the familiar CWGC headstone during the 1950’s.

Missing airmen who could not be found, or formally identified, had their names commemorated on the Air Forces Memorial at Runnymede, which was unveiled in 1953.

CWGC records show that the remains of G Bagnall, JWS Burden and AH Weller were located at Lahr Cemetery

nd708-concentration

Their remains were exhumed, identified and concentrated (reinterred) at Durnbach War Cemetery on 6th August 1948 as follows:

  • BAGNALL, GEORGE Sergeant ‘1577534’ Grave 2. G. 28.
  • BURDEN, JOSEPH WILLIAM SAMUEL Sergeant ‘753568’ Grave 2. G. 27.
  • WELLER, ARTHUR HENRY Sergeant ‘1359082’ Grave 2. G. 26.

JWS Burden’s Temporary Cross [Courtesy of Alan Chapman]


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Theo Boiten (Nachtjagd Combat Archive)

Nightfighter Claim: Oblt. Gunther Koberich, 6./NJG2, Strassburg area; 6200m 23.00. Also claimed by Flak of 5./schw. Flak Abt. 460, 2./schw. Flak Abt. 906, 3./schw. Flak Abt. 436 and 4./schw. Flak Abt. 418. Victory probably credited to Flak.

WR Chorley (Bomber Command Losses of the Second World War)

Homebound, shot down by a nightfighter and crashed at Niederschopfheim, 9km nne of Lahr / Schwarzwald,

Lancaster ND702 (11/09/1944)

Lancaster ND702 was one of six No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack Gelsenkirchen on 11th September 1944 (Daylight Raid).

It was equipped with Nav Aid Y (H2S), Fishpond and Carpet and was carrying 1 x 4000lb HC and 16 x 500lb MC. Its designated Path Finder role was Supporter.

Its seven-man crew comprised:

  • George Bradburn (Pilot)
  • Deryck Michael Denys Lambert (Navigator)
  • James White (Air Bomber)
  • Arthur Thomas Britchford (Wireless Operator)
  • Frederick John Feakins (Air Gunner)
  • Randolph Rhodes (Air Gunner)
  • Dennis Charles Prior (Flight Engineer)

ND702 failed to return and the squadron’s Operations Record Book shows “This aircraft is missing, nothing being heard from it after take-off”

Wartime activities relating to the loss

On 12th September 1944 the squadron informed Bomber Command, the Air Ministry and the RAF Records Office that the aircraft and crew were missing.

A telegram, along with a follow up letter from the Commanding Officer, was sent to the next of kin of each crew member advising them that he was “missing as the result of air operations on 11th September 1944”.

The crew’s kit and personal belongings were removed from their lockers and catalogued; kit was returned to stores and personal belongings sent to the RAF Central Depository at RAF Colnbrook.

The Air Ministry Casualty Branch, which was responsible for investigating, monitoring and reporting on the status of missing aircraft and airmen, subsequently published the following information regarding the crew:

  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No. 460 (Flight 18/01/1945) reported G Bradburn, AT Britchford and FJ Feakins as “missing”
  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No. 545 (Flight 25/10/1945) reported AT Britchford and FJ Feakins “previously reported missing” as “now presumed killed in action”

Note: Presumption of death enabled a death certificate to be issued; personal belongings could then be sent to next of kin, along with any monies due.

No. 35 Squadron’s Operations Record Book shows the following information was received relating to the crew:

  • 05/12/1944: Information received from Air Ministry that AT Britchford and FJ Feakins, missing on 11th September 1944, were killed; also that DMD Lambert and R Rhodes were captured
  • 12/12/1944: Information received from Air Ministry that DC Prior and one unknown, missing on 11th September 1944, were killed

Crew members who survived the crash and were captured / imprisoned

DMD Lambert and R Rhodes survived the crash and were captured, interrogated and imprisoned for the remainder of the war.

Their POW Liberation Questionnaires, which were completed as part of the repatriation process at 106 Personnel Reception Centre (RAF Cosford) in 1945, show the following details:

  • DMD Lambert
    • Captured: NW of Gelsenkirchen (11/09/1944)
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft VII, Bankau Sep-44 to Jan-45
    • Imprisoned: Stalag III-A, Luckenwalde Feb-45 to Apr-45
    • Repatriated May-45
  • R Rhodes
    • Captured: Ruhr (11/09/1944)
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft VII, Bankau Sep-44 to Jan-45
    • Imprisoned: Stalag III-A, Luckenwalde Feb-45 to May-45
    • Repatriated May-45

Post War search for the missing crew members

After the war, an investigation officer from the Royal Air Force Missing Research and Enquiry Service (MRES) was tasked with locating the remains of the missing crew member(s).

Original German documents, burial records and eye witness accounts were utilised to establish the location of the crash site, the cause of the loss and the initial fate of the crew; information was recorded in a MRES Investigation Report.

As part of the process, any remains that were located were exhumed, identified (wherever possible) and concentrated (reinterred) at one of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s (CWGC) Cemeteries in the country that they fell, in accordance with Government policy at the time.

Graves were marked with a simple wooden cross, which was replaced by the familiar CWGC headstone during the 1950’s.

Missing airmen who could not be found, or formally identified, had their names commemorated on the Air Forces Memorial at Runnymede, which was unveiled in 1953.

CWGC records show that the remains of G Bradburn, J White, FJ Feakins and DC Prior were located at Gladbeck Cemetery

Their remains were exhumed, identified and concentrated (reinterred) at REICHSWALD FOREST WAR CEMETERY on 24th September 1947 as follows:

  • WHITE, JAMES Flight Sergeant ‘1562042’ Joint grave 30. D. 8.
  • FEAKINS, FREDERICK JOHN Sergeant ‘1473318’ 30. D. 10.
  • PRIOR, DENNIS CHARLES Sergeant ‘1819099’ 30. D. 7.
  • BRADBURN, GEORGE Flying Officer ‘175008’ 30. D. 9.

[Source: Find-a-Grave and Begraafplaatsen]

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s (CWGC) records show that the remains of AT Britchford were located at Gelsenkirchen-Huellen Cemetery.

ND702 Concentration2[Britchford].jpg

His remains were exhumed, identified and concentrated (reinterred) at REICHSWALD FOREST WAR CEMETERY on 20th April 1948 as follows:

  • BRITCHFORD, ARTHUR THOMAS Flight Sergeant ‘1098212’ 11. C. 1.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

WR Chorley (Bomber Command Losses of the Second World War)

Crashed 18.25 at Gladbeck

Note: This information also appears on the Bomber Command Loss Card

Crew Information

G Bradburn was posted into the squadron, from No. 41 Base on 19th July 1944 – read more – 

Lancaster ND701 (09/04/1944)

Lancaster ND701 was one of four No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack the marshalling yards at Lille on the night of the 9th / 10th April 1944.

The aircraft was equipped with SAA, IFF, Gee, Nav. Aid Y (H2S), GTI and Fishpond and was carrying 12 x 1000lb MC and 2 x 500lb MC bombs. Its designated Path Finder role was Supporter

Its seven-man crew comprised:

  • Ronald John Bordiss (Pilot)
  • Lionel Moore Talbot (Navigator)
  • William Severs (Air Bomber)
  • Peter Alfred O’Brien (Wireless Operator)
  • Frederick Brynmor James (Air Gunner)
  • Thomas Malcolm Holder (Air Gunner)
  • John Robertson (Flight Engineer)
Bordiss Crew

O’Brien, Talbot, Jackson (replaced by Holder on this sortie), Bordiss, James, Robertson, Severs [Courtesy of John Robertson]

The route was Selsey Bill, 4758N 0110E, 4935N 0220E, Target, 5050N 0300E, 5140N 0200E, Orfordness, Base

ND701 failed to return and the squadron’s Operations Record Book shows “This aircraft is missing, nothing being heard from it after take-off”

Wartime activities relating to the loss

On 10th April 1944 the squadron informed Bomber Command, the Air Ministry and the RAF Records Office that the aircraft and crew were missing.

A telegram, along with a follow up letter from the Commanding Officer, was sent to the next of kin of each crew member advising them that he was “missing as the result of air operations on 9th / 10th April 1944”.

The crew’s kit and personal belongings were removed from their lockers and catalogued; kit was returned to stores and personal belongings sent to the RAF Central Depository at RAF Colnbrook.

The Air Ministry Casualty Branch, which was responsible for investigating, monitoring and reporting on the status of missing aircraft and airmen, subsequently published the following information regarding the crew:

  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No. 405 (Flight 20/07/1944) reported RJ Bordiss and LM Talbot as “missing believed killed in action”
  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No. 531 (Flight 16/08/1945) reported RJ Bordiss and LM Talbot “previously reported missing believed killed in action” as “now presumed killed in action”

Note: Presumption of death enabled a death certificate to be issued; personal belongings could then be sent to next of kin, along with any monies due.

No. 35 Squadron’s Operations Record Book shows the following information was received relating to the crew:

  • 05/05/1944: Information received from Air Ministry that PA O’Brien, missing on 9th / 10th April 1944, is safe in neutral territory (Switzerland)
  • 02/06/1944:  Information received from Air Ministry that W Severs and TM Holder, missing on 9th / 10th April 1944, are prisoners of war; also that two unknown were killed
  • 18/10/1944: Information received from Air Ministry that PA O’Brien, missing on 9th / 10th April 1944, arrived in the UK on 8th October 1944
  • 04/01/1945: Information received from Air Ministry that J Robertson, missing on 9th / 10th April 1944, is a prisoner of war; also that two unknown, assumed to be RJ Bordiss and LM Talbot, were killed
  • 11/01/1945: Information received from Air Ministry that FB James, missing on 9th / 10th April 1944, is a prisoner of war

Crew members who survived the crash and evaded capture

PA O’Brien survived the crash and evaded capture as follows:

  • Evasion Route: France / Switzerland
  • Repatriated: October 1944

Crew members who survived the crash and were captured / imprisoned

W Severs and TM Holder survived the crash and were captured, interrogated and imprisoned for the remainder of the war.

Their POW Liberation Questionnaires, which were completed as part of the repatriation process at 106 Personnel Reception Centre (RAF Cosford) in 1945, show the following details:

  • W Severs
    • Captured: Nr Amiens 10/04/1944
    • Interrogated: Dulag Luft Obereusel, Frankfurt Apr-44
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft VI, Heydekrug Apr-44 to Jul-44
    • Imprisoned: Stalag 357, Thorn Jul-44 to Aug-44
    • Imprisoned: Stalag 357, Fallingbostel Aug-44 to Apr-45
    • Repatriated: May-45
  • TM Holder
    • Captured: Nr Amiens 10/04/1944
    • Interrogated: Dulag Luft Obereusel, Frankfurt Apr-44
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft VI, Heydekrug Apr-44 to Jul-44
    • Imprisoned: Stalag 357, Thorn Jul-44 to Aug-44
    • Imprisoned: Stalag 357, Fallingbostel Aug-44 to Apr-45
    • Repatriated: May-45

FB James and J Robertson evaded for several months before being captured, interrogated and imprisoned for the remainder of the war.

Their POW Liberation Questionnaires, which were completed as part of the repatriation process at 106 Personnel Reception Centre (RAF Cosford) in 1945, show the following details:

  • FB James
    • Evaded: Apr-44 to Aug-44
    • Captured: Flixecourt, Picardy (29/08/1944)
    • Interrogated: Dulag Luft Obereusel, Frankfurt Aug-44 to Sep-44
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft I, Barth Sep-44 to May-45
    • Repatriated: May-45
  • J Robertson
    • Evaded: Apr-44 to Sep-44
    • Captured: Amiens 30/09/1944 (Note: His POW Card shows 29/08/1944 Abbeville)
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft VII, Bankau Oct-44 to Jan-45
    • Imprisoned: Stalag III-A, Luckenwalde Feb-45 to May-45
    • Repatriated: May-45

Post War search for the missing crew members

After the war, an investigation officer from the Royal Air Force Missing Research and Enquiry Service (MRES) was tasked with locating the remains of the missing crew member(s).

Original German documents, burial records and eye witness accounts were utilised to establish the location of the crash site, the cause of the loss and the initial fate of the crew; information was recorded in a MRES Investigation Report.

As part of the process, any remains that were located were exhumed, identified (wherever possible) and concentrated (reinterred) at one of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s (CWGC) Cemeteries in the country that they fell, in accordance with Government policy at the time.

Graves were marked with a simple wooden cross, which was replaced by the familiar CWGC headstone during the 1950’s.

Missing airmen who could not be found, or formally identified, had their names commemorated on the Air Forces Memorial at Runnymede, which was unveiled in 1953.

CWGC records do not show where the remains of RJ Bordiss and LM Talbot were located but show that they were concentrated (reinterred) at ABBEVILLE COMMUNAL CEMETERY EXTENSION as follows:

  •  BORDISS, RONALD JOHN Flying Officer ‘136427’  Plot 6. Row H. Grave 2.
  • TALBOT, LIONEL MOORE Flight Sergeant ‘1392407’ Plot 6. Row H. Grave 1.

Theo Boiten (Nactjagd Combat Archive)

Hit by 1.-4./gem. Flak Abt 314 and crashed at Saint-Ouen (sic) at 00.49hrs (Note: Book incorrectly shows Saint-Guen)

Francecrashes39-45

Crashed in the area around Vignacourt (24km SE Abbeville) with airmen landing by parachute between Flesselles and Bettencourt Bordiss’ body was found in the plane. [Original Source not identified].

Extract from J Robertson’s POW Records

POW document 1 (Cropped)

[Courtesy of John Robertson]

Lancaster ND697 (29/04/1944)

Lancaster ND697 was taxiing to take off on a training flight on 29th April 1944

The crew comprised:

  • AV Hardy
  • Others

The squadron’s Operations Record Book shows: At approximately 15.00hrs, Lancaster ND697, captained by AV Hardy, was taxiing to take off on a training flight when the undercarriage was suddenly, accidentally retracted and the aircraft sank on to its fuselage causing considerable damage.


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Lancaster ND697

The AM Form 1180 (Accident Card) shows “On taxiing to take off, mid-upper gunner in 2nd Pilot’s seat intending to lower flaps raised undercarriage up. Pilot responsible; mid-upper gunner not qualified to carry out take off duties. Crew drill poor” .

The AM Form 78 (Movement Card) shows that the aircraft was classified as Cat FA/AC; it was struck off charge on 17th May 1944

Lancaster ND696 (24/04/1944)

Lancaster ND696 was one of fourteen No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack Karlsruhe on the night of the 24th / 25th April 1944.

Its seven-man crew comprised:

  • Mauritz Bernard Berndsson (Pilot)
  • Howard Monckton Pringle (Navigator)
  • Norman Thomas Adams (Air Bomber)
  • Raymond Perkins (Wireless Operator)
  • Kenneth Albert Lawrence Mitchell (Air Gunner)
  • Thomas Nainby (Air Gunner)
  • Walter Stanley Mountford (Flight Engineer)

RAF Graveley’s operations record book shows “Lancaster ND696 hit by flak; Perspex splintered and small fragment was lodged in the left eye of Sgt Mitchell. He was admitted to RAF General Hospital, Ely later in the day”.


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

AM Form 78

The AM Form 78 (Movement Card) shows that the aircraft was sent for repair on 25th April 1944; it was repaired on site and returned to the squadron on 6th May 1944

Personnel

KAL Mitchell returned to operational service in June 1944

Lancaster ND691 (12/09/1944)

Lancaster ND691 was one of seven No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack Wanne Eickle on the afternoon of the 12th September 1944 (Daylight Raid).

It was equipped with Nav Aid Y (H2S), Fishpond and Carpet and carried 1 x 4000lb HC, 16 x 500lb AMN.64 and 6 x 500lb MC. Its designated Path Finder role was Supporter.

Its seven-man crew comprised:

  • Peter Coram Granger (Pilot)
  • Harold Edward Hewitt Healas (Navigator)
  • Kenneth Burdett Freer (Air Bomber)
  • Douglas Arthur Foster (Wireless Operator)
  • Harry William Frederick Howe (Air Gunner)
  • Percy Froud (Air Gunner)
  • Jack Murgatroyd (Flight Engineer)

ND691 failed to return and the squadron’s Operations Record Book shows “This aircraft is missing, nothing being heard from it after take-off”

Wartime activities relating to the loss

On 12th September 1944 the squadron informed Bomber Command, the Air Ministry and the RAF Records Office that the aircraft and crew were missing.

A telegram, along with a follow up letter from the Commanding Officer, was sent to the next of kin of each crew member advising them that he was “missing as the result of air operations on 12th September 1944”.

The crew’s kit and personal belongings were removed from their lockers and catalogued; kit was returned to stores and personal belongings sent to the RAF Central Depository at RAF Colnbrook.

The Air Ministry Casualty Branch, which was responsible for investigating, monitoring and reporting on the status of missing aircraft and airmen, subsequently published the following information regarding the crew:

  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No. 465 (Flight 01/02/1945) reported PC Granger, HEH Healas, KB Freer, DA Foster, P Froud, HWF Howe and J Murgatroyd as “missing”
  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No. 550 (Flight 22/11/1945) reported PC Granger, KB Freer, P Froud, HWF Howe and J Murgatroyd “previously reported missing” as “now presumed killed in action”
  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No. 559 (Flight 17/01/1946) reported HEH Healas and DA Foster “previously reported missing” as “now presumed killed in action”

Note: Presumption of death enabled a death certificate to be issued; personal belongings could then be sent to next of kin, along with any monies due.

No. 35 Squadron’s Operations Record Book shows the following information was received relating to the crew:

  • 28/03/1945: Information received from Air Ministry that PC Granger, KB Freer, HWF Howe, P Froud, J Murgatroyd and two unknown, missing on 12th September 1944, were all killed

Post War search for the missing crew members

After the war, an investigation officer from the Royal Air Force Missing Research and Enquiry Service (MRES) was tasked with locating the remains of the missing crew member(s).

Original German documents, burial records and eye witness accounts were utilised to establish the location of the crash site, the cause of the loss and the initial fate of the crew; information was recorded in a MRES Investigation Report.

As part of the process, any remains that were located were exhumed, identified (wherever possible) and concentrated (reinterred) at one of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s (CWGC) Cemeteries in the country that they fell, in accordance with Government policy at the time.

Graves were marked with a simple wooden cross, which was replaced by the familiar CWGC headstone during the 1950’s.

Missing airmen who could not be found, or formally identified, had their names commemorated on the Air Forces Memorial at Runnymede, which was unveiled in 1953.

CWGC records show that the remains of all the crew members were located at Gladbeck Cemetery

Their remains were exhumed, identified and concentrated (reinterred) on 24th September 1947 at REICHSWALD FOREST WAR CEMETERY as follows:

  • GRANGER, PETER CORAM Flight Lieutenant ‘116087’  Grave 30. D. 12.
  • HEALAS, HAROLD EDWARD HEWITT Flying Officer ‘153200’ Coll. grave 30. C. 6-8.
  • FREER, KENNETH BURDETT Flying Officer ‘153721’ Grave 30. C. 5.
  • FOSTER, DOUGLAS ARTHUR Flying Officer ‘159149’  Coll. grave 30. C. 6-8.
  • FROUD, PERCY Sergeant ‘1800278’ Grave 30. C. 1.
  • HOWE, HARRY WILLIAM FREDERICK Sergeant ‘1461728’ Grave 30. D. 11.
  • MURGATROYD, JACK Sergeant ‘1685275’ Grave 30. C. 4.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

WR Chorley (Bomber Command Losses of the Second World War)

Crashed at 14.45hrs at Gladbeck-Zweckel


Lancaster ND653 (14/06/1944)

Lancaster ND653 was one of eight No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack a military choke point at Evrecy on the night of the 14th / 14th June 1944.

Its seven-man crew comprised:

  • Svein Johannes Hausvik (Pilot)
  • Herbert George Hornsby (Navigator)
  • Finn Haagensen (Air Bomber)
  • Othmar Lorentz Flaaten (Wireless Operator)
  • Arthur Bevin (Air Gunner)
  • Eric McHugh Davies (Air Gunner)
  • Malcolm Scholes (Flight Engineer)

The squadron’s Operations Record Book shows “ND653 was hit in the nose by anti-aircraft fire, the air bomber, F Haagensen suffering a wound in his back which necessitated his removal to hospital

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

RAF Graveley ORB

Lancaster ND653 hit by bullets (presumably from an unseen fighter) over target area. Sgt Haagensen sustained gunshot wounds of right buttock and was admitted to RAF Hospital, Ely.

AM Form 1180

There isn’t an AM Form 1180 (Accident Card) held at the RAF Museum and, as such, it has not been possible to establish any more details

Notes: 

  1. Haagensen was operational again in September 1944

Lancaster ND649 (22/03/1944)

Lancaster ND649 was one of fourteen No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack Frankfurt on the night of the 22nd / 23rd March 1944.

It was equipped with IFF, Gee, Nav Aid Y (H2S) and Fishpond and was carrying 6 x 2000lb MC. Its designated Pathfinder role was Supporter

Its seven-man crew comprised:

  • John Cameron Keith Webb (Pilot)
  • Edwin Gordon Fidler (Navigator)
  • Wallace Rose (Air Bomber)
  • William Frederick Martin (Wireless Operator)
  • Frederick James Marriott (Air Gunner)
  • William McKenna Smith (Air Gunner)
  • Kenneth Ephraim Harris (Flight Engineer)

The route was Base, 5405N 0400E, 5220N 0845E, Target, 4948N 0830E, 4945N 0710E, 5105N 0240E, Base

ND649 failed to return and the squadron’s Operations Record Book shows “This aircraft is missing, nothing being heard from it after take off”

Wartime activities relating to the loss

On 23rd March 1944 the squadron informed Bomber Command, the Air Ministry and the RAF Records Office that the aircraft and crew were missing.

A telegram, along with a follow up letter from the Commanding Officer, was sent to the next of kin of each crew member advising them that he was “missing as the result of air operations on 22nd / 23rd March 1944”.

The crew’s kit and personal belongings were removed from their lockers and catalogued; kit was returned to stores and personal belongings sent to the RAF Central Depository at RAF Colnbrook.

The Air Ministry Casualty Branch, which was responsible for investigating, monitoring and reporting on the status of missing aircraft and airmen, subsequently published the following information regarding the crew:

  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No. 391 (Flight 08/06/1944) reported JCK Webb, EG Fidler, W Rose, WF Martin, FJ Marriott, WM Smith and KE Harris as “missing”
  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No. 498 (Flight 03/05/1945) reported JCK Webb, FJ Marriott, WM Smith and KE Harris “previously reported missing” as “now presumed killed in action”

Note: Presumption of death enabled a death certificate to be issued; personal belongings could then be sent to next of kin, along with any monies due.

No. 35 Squadron’s Operations Record Book shows the following information was received relating to the crew:

  • 09/08/1944: Information received from Air Ministry that seven members of the crew of JCK Webb, missing on 22nd / 23rd March 1944, were killed

Post War search for the missing crew members

After the war, an investigation officer from the Royal Air Force Missing Research and Enquiry Service (MRES) was tasked with locating the remains of the missing crew member(s).

Original German documents, burial records and eye witness accounts were utilised to establish the location of the crash site, the cause of the loss and the initial fate of the crew; information was recorded in a MRES Investigation Report.

As part of the process, any remains that were located were exhumed, identified (wherever possible) and concentrated (reinterred) at one of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s (CWGC) Cemeteries in the country that they fell, in accordance with Government policy at the time.

Graves were marked with a simple wooden cross, which was replaced by the familiar CWGC headstone during the 1950’s.

Missing airmen who could not be found, or formally identified, had their names commemorated on the Air Forces Memorial at Runnymede, which was unveiled in 1953.

CWGC records show that the remains of all the crew members were located at Eschborn Civilian Cemetery

nd649-concentration

Their remains were exhumed, formally identified and concentrated (reinterred) at Durnbach War Cemetery on 5th December 1947 as follows:

  • FIDLER, EDWIN GORDON Sergeant ‘1396105’ Grave 7. K. 13.
  • HARRIS, KENNETH EPHRAIM Sergeant ‘1584722’ Coll. grave 7. K. 14-19.
  • MARRIOTT, FREDERICK JAMES Flight Sergeant ‘1398464’ Coll. grave 7. K. 14-19.
  • MARTIN, WILLIAM FREDERICK Flight Sergeant ‘1079614’ Coll. grave 7. K. 14-19.
  • ROSE, WALLACE Flight Sergeant ‘1481165’ Coll. grave 7. K. 14-19.
  • SMITH, WILLIAM MCKENNA Sergeant ‘1368230’ Coll. grave 7. K. 14-19.
  • WEBB, JOHN CAMERON KEITH Flight Sergeant ‘1498781’ Coll. grave 7. K. 14-19.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Theo Boiten (Nachtjagd War Diaries)

Nightfighter Claim: Hptm. Gerhard Raht; 4./NJG3, NW Frankfurt, 21.48. (Note: Coned by 3./Flakscheinw. Abt.399; also claimed by flak of 4. & 5./schw. Flak Abt. 255, 2., 5. & 6./schw. Flak Abt. 396 and 1./schw. Flak Abt. 435 (Lancaster Eschborn 21.49hrs); victory credited by Abschuss Kommission to Hptm Raht 21/07/1944

WR Chorley (Bomber Command Losses of the Second World War)

Crashed at Eschborn, 16km north-west from the centre of Frankfurt

Lancaster ND645 (22/03/1944)

Lancaster ND645 was one of fourteen No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack Frankfurt on the night of the 22nd / 23rd March 1944.

It was equipped with IFF, Gee, Nav Aid Y (H2S) and Fishpond and was carrying 1 x 1000lb MC, 2 x 500lb MC and 1 x 4000lb HC [Minol] and various flares / target indicators. Its designated Pathfinder role was Blind Marker Illuminator

Its seven-man crew comprised:

  • Thomas Rowe (Pilot)
  • Edmund Howard Williams (Navigator)
  • Alexander Grant (Air Bomber)
  • Fred Haigh (Wireless Operator)
  • Harry Gray (Air Gunner)
  • Malcolm Ross Hunter (Air Gunner)
  • Abel Simpson (Flight Engineer)

The route was Base, 5405N 0400E, 5220N 0845E, Target, 4948N 0830E, 4945N 0710E, 5105N 0240E, Base

ND645 failed to return and the squadron’s Operations Record Book shows “This aircraft is missing, nothing being heard from it after take off”

Wartime activities relating to the loss

On 23rd March 1944 the squadron informed Bomber Command, the Air Ministry and the RAF Records Office that the aircraft and crew were missing.

A telegram, along with a follow up letter from the Commanding Officer, was sent to the next of kin of each crew member advising them that he was “missing as the result of air operations on 22nd / 23rd March 1944”.

The crew’s kit and personal belongings were removed from their lockers and catalogued; kit was returned to stores and personal belongings sent to the RAF Central Depository at RAF Colnbrook.

The Air Ministry Casualty Branch, which was responsible for investigating, monitoring and reporting on the status of missing aircraft and airmen, subsequently published the following information regarding the crew:

  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No. 394 (Flight 15/06/1944) reported EH Williams, A Simpson and MR Hunter as “missing believed killed in action; also F Haigh as “missing”
  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No. 501 (Flight 10/05/1945) reported MR Hunter “previously reported missing believed killed in action as “now presumed killed in action”

Note: Presumption of death enabled a death certificate to be issued; personal belongings could then be sent to next of kin, along with any monies due.

No. 35 Squadron’s Operations Record Book shows the following information was received relating to the crew:

  • 11/05/1944: Information received from Air Ministry that T Rowe and A Grant, missing on 22nd / 23rd March 1944, are prisoners of war; also that EH Williams, MR Hunter, H Gray and A Simpson were killed

Crew members who survived the crash and were captured / imprisoned

T Rowe and A Grant survived the crash and were captured, interrogated and imprisoned for the remainder of the war.

Their POW Liberation Questionnaires, which were completed as part of the repatriation process at 106 Personnel Reception Centre, RAF Cosford, in 1945, show the following details:

  • T Rowe (POW Liberation Questionnaire yet to be obtained, so information is unconfirmed)
    • Captured:
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft I, Barth
    • Repatriated:
  • A Grant (POW Liberation Questionnaire yet to be obtained, so information is unconfirmed)
    • Captured:
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft I, Barth
    • Repatriated: 

Post War search for the missing crew members

After the war, an investigation officer from the Royal Air Force Missing Research and Enquiry Service (MRES) was tasked with locating the remains of the missing crew member(s).

Original German documents, burial records and eye witness accounts were utilised to establish the location of the crash site, the cause of the loss and the initial fate of the crew; information was recorded in a MRES Investigation Report.

As part of the process, any remains that were located were exhumed, identified (wherever possible) and concentrated (reinterred) at one of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s (CWGC) Cemeteries in the country that they fell, in accordance with Government policy at the time.

Graves were marked with a simple wooden cross, which was replaced by the familiar CWGC headstone during the 1950’s.

Missing airmen who could not be found, or formally identified, had their names commemorated on the Air Forces Memorial at Runnymede, which was unveiled in 1953.

CWGC records show that the remains of EH Williams, MR Hunter, A Simpson and H Gray were located at Giessen Cemetery

hr645-concentration

Their remains were exhumed, formally identified and concentrated (reinterred) at HANOVER WAR CEMETERY on 1st May 1947 as follows:

  • SIMPSON, ABEL Sergeant ‘1031549’  Grave 4. E. 9.
  • WILLIAMS, EDMUND HOWARD Pilot Officer ‘171772’ Grave 4. C. 8.
  • HUNTER, MALCOLM ROSS Pilot Officer ‘421982’ Grave 4. C. 7.
  • GRAY, HARRY Pilot Officer ‘420662’ Grave 4. C. 10.

[Source: Find-a-Grave]

The remains of F Haigh were not located (or could not be formally identified) and, as such, his name is commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial as follows:

  • HAIGH, FRED Flight Lieutenant ‘101522’ Panel 202.
Haigh F 202

[Courtesy of Clive Lewis]

Theo Boiten (Nachtjagd Combat Archive)

Nightfighter Claim: Hptm. Paul Zorner, 8./NJG3, Giessen Area, N target Frankfurt, 5900m, 21.43

WR Chorley (Bomber Command Losses of the Second World War)

Exploded, throwing clear the two survivors in the general vicinity of Hanover

Bomber Command Loss Card

Rowe: I was extremely lucky in getting out unhurt, slightly sprained my foot on landing

Crew Memorial

img_0157

National Memorial Arboretum

Lancaster ND643 (03/05/1944)

Lancaster ND643 was one of fourteen No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack Montdidier on the night of the 3rd / 4th May 1944.

It was equipped with IFF, Gee, Nav Aid Y (H2S), Fishpond and Carpet and was carrying 1 x 4000lb, 11 x 500 MC and 2 x 500 GP LD. Its designated Path Finder role was Main Force

Its seven-man crew comprised:

  • Colin Elton (Pilot)
  • John Hugh Ferguson (Navigator)
  • Reginald George Samuel Russell (Air Bomber)
  • Kenneth Anthony Oswald (Wireless Operator)
  • Howard James Norman (Air Gunner)
  • John Thomas Fenton (Air Gunner)
  • Albert Royden Tranter (Flight Engineer)

The route was Reading, Selsey, Target, 4937N 0245E, 4925N 0235E, 5017N 0020E, Reading, Base

ND643 failed to return and the squadron’s Operations Record Book shows “This aircraft is missing, nothing being heard from it after take off”

Wartime activities relating to the loss

On 4th May 1944 the squadron informed Bomber Command, the Air Ministry and the RAF Records Office that the aircraft and crew were missing.

A telegram, along with a follow up letter from the Commanding Officer, was sent to the next of kin of each crew member advising them that he was “missing as the result of air operations on 3rd / 4th May 1944”.

The crew’s kit and personal belongings were removed from their lockers and catalogued; kit was returned to stores and personal belongings sent to the RAF Central Depository at RAF Colnbrook.

The Air Ministry Casualty Branch, which was responsible for investigating, monitoring and reporting on the status of missing aircraft and airmen, subsequently published the following information regarding the crew:

  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No. 415 (Flight 17/08/1944) reported C Elton, JH Ferguson, RGS Russell, KA Oswald, JT Fenton, HJ Norman and AR Tranter as “missing”
  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No. 509 (Flight 31/05/1945) reported C Elton, RGS Russell, JT Fenton, HJ Norman and AR Tranter “previously reported missing” as “now presumed killed in action”
  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No. 521 (Flight 05/07/1945) reported JH Ferguson “previously reported missing” as “now presumed killed in action”
  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No. 526 (Flight 19/07/1945) reported KA Oswald “previously reported missing” as “now presumed killed in action”

Note: Presumption of death enabled a death certificate to be issued; personal belongings could then be sent to next of kin, along with any monies due.

No. 35 Squadron’s Operations Record Book shows the following information was received relating to the crew:

  • 04/10/1944: Information received from Air Ministry that C Elton, AR Tranter, HJ Norman, JT Fenton and RGS Russell, missing on 3rd / 4th May 1944, were killed; also that two unknown were killed
  • 13/01/1945; Information received from Air Ministry that two unknown, assumed to be JH Ferguson and KA Oswald, missing on 3rd / 4th May 1944, were killed

Post War search for the missing crew members

After the war, an investigation officer from the Royal Air Force Missing Research and Enquiry Service (MRES) was tasked with locating the remains of the missing crew member(s).

Original German documents, burial records and eye witness accounts were utilised to establish the location of the crash site, the cause of the loss and the initial fate of the crew; information was recorded in a MRES Investigation Report.

As part of the process, any remains that were located were exhumed, identified (wherever possible) and concentrated (reinterred) at one of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s (CWGC) Cemeteries in the country that they fell, in accordance with Government policy at the time.

Graves were marked with a simple wooden cross, which was replaced by the familiar CWGC headstone during the 1950’s.

Missing airmen who could not be found, or formally identified, had their names commemorated on the Air Forces Memorial at Runnymede, which was unveiled in 1953.

CWGC records do not show where the remains of C Elton, JH Ferguson, RGS Russell, KA Oswald, JT Fenton, HJ Norman and AR Tranter were located but show that they were concentrated (reinterred) at MONTDIDIER FRENCH NATIONAL CEMETERY as follows:

  • ELTON, COLIN Pilot Officer ‘171397’  Grave 5817.
  • FENTON, JOHN THOMAS Sergeant ‘1283600’ Grave 5816.
  • FERGUSON, JOHN HUGH Pilot Officer ‘J/86519’ Grave 5821.
  • NORMAN, HOWARD JAMES Sergeant ‘1586301’  Grave 5815.
  • OSWALD, KENNETH ANTHONY Flight Sergeant ‘1332102’ Grave 5820.
  • RUSSELL, REGINALD GEORGE SAMUEL Sergeant ‘1399883’ Grave 5818.
  • TRANTER, ALBERT ROYDEN Sergeant ‘1581787’ Grave 5819.

[Source: Find-a-Grave]


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Bomber Command Loss Card

  • Place of Loss: North Side of Montdidier
  • Cause of Loss: Night Fighter
  • Aircraft exploded in the air

Theo Boiten (Nachtjagd Combat Archives)

Possible nightfighter claims:

– Oblt. Jakob Schaus, 4./NJG4, N Paris 3500m 00.16
– Hptm. Helmut Bergmann, 8./NJG4, N Paris 2000m 00.26
– Hptm. Helmut Bergmann, 8./NJG4, N Paris 1600m 00.39

WR Chorley (Bomber Command Losses of the Second World War)

Hit by cannon fire from a nightfighter and blew up over the north side of the target area

Lancaster ME620 (08/05/1944)

Lancaster ME620 was one of fourteen No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack Haine-St-Pierre on the night of the 8th / 9th May 1944.

It was equipped with IFF, SAA, Gee, H2S, Fishpond and Carpet and was carrying 18 x 500lb bombs. Its designated Pathfinder role was as a Mainforce bomber.

Its seven-man crew comprised:

  • Joseph Charles Kemp (Pilot)
  • Robert Charles Clark (Observer / Navigator)
  • Alfred George Boam (Air Bomber)
  • Leslie Albert Lewis (Wireless Operator)
  • David Charles Rhodes (Air Gunner)
  • Henry Dale (Air Gunner)
  • William G Lawrie (Flight Engineer)

The route was Orfordness, 5155N 0240E, Target, 5023N 0416E, 5022N 0355E, 5054N 0320E, 5107N 0237E, Base

Lancaster ME620 failed to return and the squadron’s Operations Record Book shows “This aircraft is missing, nothing being heard from it after take off”

Wartime activities relating to the loss

On 9th May 1944 the squadron informed Bomber Command, the Air Ministry and the RAF Records Office that the aircraft and crew were missing.

A telegram, along with a follow up letter from the Commanding Officer, was sent to the next of kin of each crew member advising them that he was “missing as the result of air operations on 8th / 9th May 1944”.

The crew’s kit and personal belongings were removed from their lockers and catalogued; kit was returned to stores and personal belongings sent to the RAF Central Depository at RAF Colnbrook.

The Air Ministry Casualty Branch, which was responsible for investigating, monitoring and reporting on the status of missing aircraft and airmen, subsequently published the following information regarding the crew:

  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No. 411 (Flight 10/08/1944) reported JC Kemp, RC Clark, AG Boam, LA Lewis, H Dale and DC Rhodes as “missing”
  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No. 501 (Flight 10/05/1945) reported RC Clark and DC Rhodes “previously reported missing” as “now presumed killed in action”
  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No. 558 (Flight 10/01/1946) reported JC Kemp, AG Boam, LA Lewis and H Dale “previously reported missing” as “now presumed killed in action”

Note: Presumption of death enabled a death certificate to be issued; personal belongings could then be sent to next of kin, along with any monies due.

No. 35 Squadron’s Operations Record Book shows the following information was received relating to the crew:

  • 21/04/1945: Information received from Air Ministry that JC Kemp, AG Boam, LA Lewis and H Dale, missing on 8th / 9th May 1944, were killed

Crew members who survived the crash and evaded capture

WG Lawrie baled out (burnt hands and face) and evaded capture.

His evasion report, which was completed on his return to the UK, shows the following details:

  • Landed: Near Estinnes, Belgium
  • Kept Safe in Estinnes, Belgium: 08/05/1944 to 12/09/1944 (when town was liberated)
  • Repatriation: September 1944

Post War search for the missing crew members

After the war, an investigation officer from the Royal Air Force Missing Research and Enquiry Service (MRES) was tasked with locating the remains of the missing crew member(s).

Original German documents, burial records and eye witness accounts were utilised to establish the location of the crash site, the cause of the loss and the initial fate of the crew; information was recorded in a MRES Investigation Report.

As part of the process, any remains that were located were exhumed, identified (wherever possible) and concentrated (reinterred) at one of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s (CWGC) Cemeteries in the country that they fell, in accordance with Government policy at the time.

Graves were marked with a simple wooden cross, which was replaced by the familiar CWGC headstone during the 1950’s.

Missing airmen who could not be found, or formally identified, had their names commemorated on the Air Forces Memorial at Runnymede, which was unveiled in 1953.

CWGC records do not show where the remains of AG Boam, RC Clark, H Dale, JC Kemp, LA Lewis and DC Rhodes were located, but the MRES report shows that they were buried in Communal Grave 15 at Chievres Communal Cemetery, Belgium(*).

(*) Original documents from the period suggest that the cemetery was hit during a bombing raid in May 1944 and some of the burial crosses and remains, in particular those relating to Communal Grave 15, were disturbed

CWGC records do however show that they were concentrated (reinterred) at Chievres as follows:

  • BOAM, ALFRED GEORGE Flight Sergeant ‘1233242’ Coll. grave 35.
  • CLARK, ROBERT CHARLES Flight Sergeant ‘651129’ Coll. grave 35.
  • DALE, HENRY Sergeant ‘2210202’ Coll. grave 35.
  • KEMP, JOSEPH CHARLES Warrant Officer ‘805412’ Coll. grave 35.
  • LEWIS, LESLIE ALBERT Sergeant ‘1324641’ Coll. grave 35.
  • RHODES, DAVID CHARLES Sergeant ‘1892174’ Coll. grave 35.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Theo Boiten (Nachtjagd Combat Archive)

Nightfighter Claim: Uffz. Konrad Beyer, 1./NJG4, Maubeuge (Charleroi Area) PH-PJ or QH-QJ, 3000m, 03.25

WR Chorley (Bomber Command Losses of the Second World War)

Aircraft came down at Estinnes-au-Val, Belgium

WG Lawrie (Evasion Report)

We were about 2 minutes early over the target and did an orbit to the starboard. Immediately after this the skipper gave orders to abandon aircraft and I saw the plane was on fire. I baled out and landed near the village of Estinnes.

On the way down, I lost my boots and my hands were badly burned. I found it impossible, therefore, to hide my chute, so I made for the village

Chievres Communal Cemetery 1945

Chievres Communal Cemetery June 1945 [Courtesy of Paul Sylvah]

Lancaster ND597 (24/03/1944)

Lancaster ND597 was one of fourteen No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack Berlin on the night of the 24th / 25th March 1944.

It was equipped with IFF, Gee, Nav Aid Y (H2S) and Fishpond and was carrying various Target Indicators. Its designated Path Finder role was Visual Marker.

Its seven-man crew comprised:

  • Richard Thomas Fitzgerald (Pilot)
  • John Francis Savage (Navigator)
  • William Scott Muego (Air Bomber)
  • Robert Alexander Brewington (Wireless Operator)
  • Frederick Kenneth Smith (Air Gunner)
  • Stanley Harvey Boulton (Air Gunner)
  • Cecil John Dineen (Flight Engineer)
Aircrew + ground 35sqn

The crew with their ground crew [Source: Pathfinder Museum]
Back Row L to R, Dineen, Muego, Fitzgerald, Smith, Savage, Brewington, Boulton

The route was Base, 5440N 0430E, 5515N 0940E, 5420N 1222E, 5306N 1352E, Berlin, 5205N 1300E, 5150N 1300E, 5240N 0800E, 5250N 0400E, Cromer, Base

ND597 failed to return and the squadron’s Operations Record Book shows “This aircraft is missing, nothing being heard from it after take off”

Wartime activities relating to the loss

On 25th March 1944 the squadron informed Bomber Command, the Air Ministry and the RAF Records Office that the aircraft and crew were missing.

A telegram, along with a follow up letter from the Commanding Officer, was sent to the next of kin of each crew member advising them that he was “missing as the result of air operations on 24th / 25th March 1944”.

The crew’s kit and personal belongings were removed from their lockers and catalogued; kit was returned to stores and personal belongings sent to the RAF Central Depository at RAF Colnbrook.

The Air Ministry Casualty Branch, which was responsible for investigating, monitoring and reporting on the status of missing aircraft and airmen, subsequently published the following information regarding the crew:

  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No. 394 (Flight 15/06/1944) reported RT Fitzgerald, JF Savage, RA Brewington, FK Smith and CJ Dineen as “missing”
  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No. 525 (Flight 12/07/1945) reported RT Fitzgerald and RA Brewington “previously reported missing” as “now presumed killed in action”
  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No. 526 (Flight 19/07/1945) reported CJ Dineen “previously reported missing” as “now presumed killed in action”

Note: Presumption of death enabled a death certificate to be issued; personal belongings could then be sent to next of kin, along with any monies due.

No. 35 Squadron’s Operations Record Book shows the following information was received relating to the crew:

  • 16/05/1944: Information received from Air Ministry that F/S Boulton and F/L Muego, missing on 24th / 25th March 1944, are prisoners of war; also that F/S Smith was killed
  • 10/11/1944: Information received from Air Ministry that P/O Savage and three unknown, missing on 24th / 25th March 1944, were killed

Crew members who survived the crash and were captured / imprisoned

WS Muego and SH Boulton survived the crash and were captured, interrogated and imprisoned for the remainder of the war.

Their POW Liberation Questionnaires, which were completed as part of the repatriation process at 106 Personnel Reception Centre (RAF Cosford) in 1945, show the following details:

  • WS Muego
    • Captured: Nr Welsleben (Wounded) 24/03/1944
    • Hospitalised: POW Reserve Lazeret, Magdeburg Mar-44 to Apr-44
    • Interrogated: Dulag Luft, Frankfurt Apr-44
    • Hospitalised: Hohemark Hospital, Frankfurt Apr-44
    • Hospitalised: POW Reserve Lazeret, Schliez? Apr-44 to Jun-44
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft III, Sagan Jun-44 to Jan-45
    • Imprisoned: Stalag III-A, Luckenwalde Feb-45 to May-45
    • Repatriated: May-45
  • SH Boulton
    • Captured: Nr Schonebeck  25/03/1944
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft VI, Heydekrug Apr-44 to Aug-44
    • Imprisoned: Stalag 357, Thorn Aug-44 to Sep-44
    • Imprisoned: Stalag 357, Fallingbostel Sep-44 to Apr-45
    • Repatriated: May-45

Post-War search for the missing crew member(s)

After the war, an investigation officer from the Royal Air Force Missing Research and Enquiry Service (MRES) was tasked with locating the remains of the missing crew member(s).

Original German documents, burial records and eye witness accounts were utilised to establish the location of the crash site, the cause of the loss and the initial fate of the crew; information was recorded in a MRES Investigation Report.

As part of the process, any remains that were located were exhumed, identified (wherever possible) and concentrated (reinterred) at one of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s (CWGC) Cemeteries in the country that they fell, in accordance with Government policy at the time.

Graves were marked with a simple wooden cross, which was replaced by the familiar CWGC headstone during the 1950’s.

Missing airmen who could not be found, or formally identified, had their names commemorated on the Air Forces Memorial at Runnymede, which was unveiled in 1953.

CWGC records show that the remains of RT Fitzgerald, JF Savage, RA  Brewington and CJ Dineen were located at Welsleben Cemetery.

nd597-concentration

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s records suggest that the remains of FK Smith were located at Schonebeck (Foreigners Cemetery), although other reports show his remains were located at Welsleben Cemetery (further research required).

nd597-concentration1

All the remains were exhumed, identified and concentrated (reinterred) at Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery on 2nd June 1947 as follows:

  • BREWINGTON, ROBERT ALEXANDER Warrant Officer ‘405673’ Grave 2. D. 15.
  • DINEEN, CECIL JOHN Flying Officer ‘53475’ Grave 2. D. 12.
  • FITZGERALD, RICHARD THOMAS Squadron Leader ‘295249’ Grave 2. D. 13.
  • SAVAGE, JOHN FRANCIS Flying Officer ‘426690’ Grave 2. D. 14.
  • SMITH, FREDERICK KENNETH Flight Sergeant ‘1433744’ Grave 2. D. 16.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Bomber Command Loss Card

[Source: RAF Museum]

“Muego states his aircraft was attacked and set on fire by fighters about 40 miles south west of Berlin on 24th / 25th March. The aircraft blew up about 3,000 feet. FK Smith was killed, his body being identified at Wesserbieben (Welsleben) by the M/UG S Boulton. Muego thinks that he and Boulton were the only survivors of the explosion but has no positive evidence of the death of the others”

Theo Boiten (Nachtjagd Combat Archives)

Flak Claim:  “Coned by Flakscheinw. Abt. 108, hit by 4. & 5./schw. Flak Abt. 495, exploded and crashed at Welsleben at 23.15 hrs. Note: claimed as ‘Fortress Welsleben 23.15 hrs’”

WR Chorley (Bomber Command Losses of the Second World War)

Homebound, attacked by fighter and exploded, crashing at Welsleben. The two survivors were ejected by the blast, WS Muego being badly wounded.

Extract from an article written about S Boulton  1983

The outward route was completed without incident. Flying in a 60-miles-wide echelon, the Pathfinders’ aircraft ran in over Denmark. in an effort to fox the German defences as to the destination, and then dog-legged three times to reach Berlin.

The bomb aimer. Flight Lieutenant “Jock” Scott Muego, who was the bombing leader, could not see the target at A-apple’s original height of 12.000ft. so they made further runs over the city at 6,000ft. and 3.000ft.

Still it was impossible to identify the exact target visually, as was required, so Muego concluded that the markers could not be dropped for fear of misleading the main bomber force. Instead, the 4,000lb. bomb was dumped on Berlin.

At about 23.30hrs. A-apple began climbing out of the target area and had reached 6,000ft. Search-lights came to life, licking the sky with long, brilliant fingers of intense light as they sought the Pathfinder aircraft.

This was the customary sign that German night-fighters were lurking in the vicinity. The gunners intensified their vigil.  Suddenly, a Messerschmitt 210 twin-engine fighter came in from the starboard bow, guns blazing. There was a great flash and the starboard outer engine was put out of action. The pilot calmly feathered it and continued on three engines.

Warrant Officer Boulton’s mid-upper turret had also been hit. “The top of the turret was ripped away at the rear,” he said. “I was damned lucky not to have been killed. I could see the Messerschmitt’s incendiary bullets glowing green as they ploughed into the Lancaster’s starboard wing. We hardly had time to retaliate.”

Then began the nightmare struggle for survival. He saw the starboard inner engine catch fire and the entire wing swept by flames. Cut off from the intercom system and so unable to communicate with the rest of the crew, he dropped from his turret into the fuselage.

The aircraft by this time was in a steep dive. He checked automatically to see if the rear gunner. Flight Sergeant Smith, had managed to get his parachute, which had been parked, as required, in the fuselage within arm’s reach of the turret doors. It had gone.

A-apple’s dive steepened to the point where Warrant Officer Boulton had to cling to the fuselage stanchions for support. He realised that the crew must abandon the aircraft, and rapidly. He could see no other crew members, who were doubtless heading for the escape hatch in the nose.

He grabbed his own parachute and clipped it on to his harness, and began to inch his way aft to the Lancaster’s main door.

“The dive was so steep and the speed so great that I found myself climbing up the fuselage, hanging on to the struts to pull myself upwards.” he said. “That was the most terrible part of it — a struggle for life. Frankly, in my mind I thought I had ‘had it’. I thought: This is the end’.”

Realisation that “the Reaper” was beckoning gave him strength. He reached the door, opened it, and without hesitation baled out. As he floated on his back before his parachute opened, the stricken Lancaster blew up.

The unused target indicators, he concluded, had exploded, and the bomb aimer, when they met many years afterwards, confirmed that he had been blown out of the aircraft.

The bomb aimer, Flight Lieutenant Muego. and he were the only survivors. The pilot, an Australian whose tunic bore the ribbon of the D.F.C., was killed and is buried in Berlin. The navigator, Flying Officer Jock Savage, R.A.A.F.: the Flight Engineer. Flying Officer Johnny Dineen; and the wireless operator, Warrant Officer Bob Brewington, also died.

And when he had landed safely and was trying to establish his bearings, Warrant Officer Boulton found the body of Flight Sergeant Smith, his parachute only half open. “He was lying there apparently quite peacefully,” he said. “He didn’t appear to be wounded. I stayed for a few moments remembering the long time we had been together, but there was nothing I could do.”

Extract from WS Muego’s POW Log

17th – 22nd April [1945]

For the past week we have been expecting to be relieved by the Americans from the bridgehead across the Elbe. As the week went by and nothing happened we turned to the east. The Russians opened up an attack and we expected them to cut us off. On the 20th the goons pulled out and we waited patiently. On the 21st we heard the front approach and Luckenwalde started to burn. The goons appeared to be in utter confusion and many comical instances occurred. At 6.00am on 22nd, the Russian armoured search car appeared at the camp. We were all organised and for the last 48 hours had been running things ourselves. About 11.00hours, the first Russian tanks appeared and they were very impressive. All their lorries, trucks, cars, jeeps etc are American. Their tanks however, Russian made are very fine. Each man in the spearhead which came through here was armed to the teeth. The troops, young, 18-25 are tough looking babies and their officers look very good types indeed. 

For a year now, I have been looking forward to this day. However, now that it has come I find myself somewhat disillusioned. I had expected to be full of life but find myself somewhat weary. I realise now that nothing but Margaret’s voice on the phone will suffice. How I long for that day. As it is here, I am just waiting. I hope we won’t go from Odessa – I long to go back via the Americans and France to Britain. That would be the speediest way out for us and I long for that to come true. However, until something is organised we will remain here and hope that all will be easy. I doubt it, but I hope.

At the moment our existence is merely one of uncertainty. We are free, but we are not free – rather a complex situation

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.


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

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 –

Halifax LV864 (19/02/1944)

Halifax LV864 was one of seventeen No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack Leipzig on the night of the 19th / 20th February 1944.

It was equipped with Gee, IFF, H2S, API, Monica, GPI and Fishpond and was carrying 3 x 1000lbs MC, 1 x 500lbs MC and various flares / target indicators. Its designated Path Finder role was Blind Backer Up

Its seven-man crew comprised:

  • Keith George McAlpine (Pilot)
  • Gerald Walter Traylor (Navigator)
  • Leslie Chant (Air Bomber)
  • Albert Abraham John Meyers (Wireless Operator)
  • Alexander Gartshore Stirling McCulloch (Air Gunner)
  • David Sinclair (Air Gunner)
  • Richard John Twine (Flight Engineer)

The route was 5400N 0440E, 5240N 0810E, 5237N 1152E, 5200N 1255E, Target, 5100N 1200E, 5240N 0810E, 5315N 0400E

LV864 failed to return and the squadron’s Operations Record Book shows “This aircraft is missing, nothing being heard from it after take off”

Wartime activities relating to the loss

On 20th February 1944 the squadron informed Bomber Command, the Air Ministry and the RAF Records Office that the aircraft and crew were missing.

A telegram, along with a follow up letter from the Commanding Officer, was sent to the next of kin of each crew member advising them that he was “missing as the result of air operations on 19th / 20th February 1944”.

Capture

Extract from letter sent to the family of KG McAlpine

The crew’s kit and personal belongings were removed from their lockers and catalogued; kit was returned to stores and personal belongings sent to the RAF Central Depository at RAF Colnbrook.

The Air Ministry Casualty Branch, which was responsible for investigating, monitoring and reporting on the status of missing aircraft and airmen, subsequently published the following information regarding the crew:

  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No. 384 (Flight 18/05/1944) reported GW Traylor, KG McAlpine and D Sinclair as “missing”
  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No. 499 (Flight 03/05/1945) reported D Sinclair “previously reported missing” as “now presumed killed in action”
  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No. 507 (Flight 24/05/1945) reported GW Traylor” previously reported missing” as “now presumed killed in action”
  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No. 510 (Flight 31/05/1944) reported KG McAlpine “previously reported missing” as “now presumed killed in action”

Note: Presumption of death enabled a death certificate to be issued; personal belongings could then be sent to next of kin, along with any monies due.

No. 35 Squadron’s Operations Record Book shows the following information was received relating to the crew:

  • 26/03/1944: Information received from Air Ministry that D Sinclair, missing on 19th / 20th February 1944, was killed
  • 04/04/1944: Information received from Air Ministry that L Chant, AAJ Myers, RJ Twine and AGS McCulloch, missing on 19th / 20th February 1944, are prisoners of war
  • 12/01/1945: Information received from Air Ministry that L Chant, missing on 19th / 20th February 1944, died on 2nd December 1944 whilst a prisoner of war

Crew members who survived the crash and were captured / imprisoned

AAJ Meyers, AGS McCulloch and RJ Twine survived the crash and were captured, interrogated and imprisoned for the remainder of the war.

Their POW Liberation Questionnaires, which were completed as part of the repatriation process at 106 Personnel Reception Centre (RAF Cosford) in 1945, show the following details:

  • AGS McCulloch
    • Captured: SE of Magdeburg 20/02/1944
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft III, Sagan Feb-44 to Jan-45
    • Imprisoned: Marlag und Milag Nord, Westertimke (Tarmstedt) Feb-45 to Apr-45
    • Repatriated: May-45
  • AAJ Meyers (POW Liberation Questionnaire yet to be obtained, so information is unconfirmed)
    • Captured:
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft VI, Heydekrug / Stalag 357
    • Repatriated:
  • RJ Twine (POW Liberation Questionnaire yet to be obtained, so information is unconfirmed)
    • Captured:
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft VI, Heydekrug / Stalag 357
    • Repatriated:

L Chant survived the crash and was captured, interrogated and imprisoned. He died as a result of a heart attack on 2nd December 1944.

Post War search for the missing crew members

After the war, an investigation officer from the Royal Air Force Missing Research and Enquiry Service (MRES) was tasked with locating the remains of the missing crew member(s).

Original German documents, burial records and eye witness accounts were utilised to establish the location of the crash site, the cause of the loss and the initial fate of the crew; information was recorded in a MRES Investigation Report.

As part of the process, any remains that were located were exhumed, identified (wherever possible) and concentrated (reinterred) at one of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s (CWGC) Cemeteries in the country that they fell, in accordance with Government policy at the time.

Graves were marked with a simple wooden cross, which was replaced by the familiar CWGC headstone during the 1950’s.

Missing airmen who could not be found, or formally identified, had their names commemorated on the Air Forces Memorial at Runnymede, which was unveiled in 1953.

CWGC records show that the remains of L Chant were located at Orbke (believed to be the cemetery at Stalag XIB at Fallingbostel)

chant-lv864-concentration

L Chant’s remains were exhumed, identified and concentrated (reinterred) at BECKLINGEN WAR CEMETERY on 12th August 1946 as follows:

  • CHANT, LESLIE Flight Sergeant ‘1315456’  Grave 14. A. 8.

The remains of KG McAlpine and D Sinclair were located at Buckow and the remains of GW Traylor at Vieritz

lv864-concentration
lv864-concentration1

KG McAlpine’s, D Sinclair’s and GW Traylor’s remains were exhumed, identified and concentrated (reinterred) at BERLIN 1939-1945 WAR CEMETERY on 19th July 1947 as follows:

  • McALPINE, KEITH GEORGE Pilot Officer ‘412623’  Grave 9. B. 28.
  • SINCLAIR, DAVID Flight Sergeant ‘R/76842’ Grave 9. B. 27.
  • TRAYLOR, GERALD WALTER Flight Sergeant ‘658044’ Grave 9. H. 28.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Theo Boiten (Nachtjagd Combat Archive)

Shot down in flames, crashed 1km S of Buckow, near Vieritz

Possible Nightfighter Claim: Ofw. Heinrich Sawert, 4./NJG5, SSW of unknown location, 6000m

WR Chorley (Bomber Command Losses of the Second World War)

Shot down in flames by a nightfighter, the survivors baling out from heights ranging from 6000ft to 900ft.

MRES Report (Source: Australian Archives)

It is believed that the aircraft was brought down by enemy fighters and crashed 1km south of Buckow (near Vieritz-Buckow road) and it burnt for some time. The bodies of KG McAlpine and D Sinclair were recovered from the wreckage. The body of GW Traylor, who baled out of the aircraft but did not make a successful landing, was recovered the following day in woods at Bohne about 4-5km north of Vieritz.

McCulloch Letter (Source: Australian Archives)

Halifax LV861 (15/02/1944)

Halifax LV861 was one of nineteen No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack Berlin on the night of 15th / 16th February 1944.

It was equipped with H2S, Monica and Fishpond and was carrying 3 x 1000lb MC T.Inst, 1 x 500lb MC T.Inst and various target indicators. Its designated Path Finder role was Blind Backer Up.

Its seven man crew comprised:

  • Colin Frazer Blundell (Pilot)
  • Patrick Baring Oates Ranalow (Navigator)
  • Albert Walter Bennett (Air Bomber)
  • Reginald Moreton (Wireless Operator)
  • Jeffrey Eugene Pogonowski (Air Gunner)
  • Raymond Valentine Montigue Daniels (Air Gunner)
  • Leslie Albert Hazell (Flight Engineer)

The route was 5450N 0400E, 5525N 0700E, 5510N 1000E, 5430N 1230E, Target

LV861 failed to return and the squadron’s Operations Record Book shows “This aircraft is missing, nothing being heard from it after taking off”.

Wartime activities relating to the loss

On 16th February 1944 the squadron informed Bomber Command, the Air Ministry and the RAF Records Office that the aircraft and crew were missing.

A telegram, along with a follow up letter from the Commanding Officer, was sent to the next of kin of each crew member advising them that he was “missing as the result of air operations on 15th / 16th February 1944”.

Extract from letter sent to CF Blundell’s relatives [Australian Archives]

The crew’s kit and personal belongings were removed from their lockers and catalogued; kit was returned to stores and personal belongings sent to the RAF Central Depository at RAF Colnbrook.

The Air Ministry Casualty Branch, which was responsible for investigating, monitoring and reporting on the status of missing aircraft and airmen, subsequently published the following information regarding the crew:

  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No. 377 (Flight 27/04/1944) reported CF Blundell and JE Pogonowski as “missing”
  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No. 484 (Flight 29/03/1945) reported CF Blundell, RVM Daniels, JE Pogonowski and LA Hazell “previously reported missing” as “now presumed killed in action”

Note: Presumption of death enabled a death certificate to be issued; personal belongings could then be sent to next of kin, along with any monies due.

No. 35 Squadron’s Operations Record Book shows that the following information was received relating to the crew:

  • 02/07/1944: Information received from Air Ministry that JE Pogonowski, missing on 15th / 16th February 1944, was killed
  • 17/10/1944: Information received from Air Ministry that PBO Ranalow, missing on 15th / 16th February 1944, arrived in the UK on 6th October 1944

Crew members that survived the crash and evaded capture

PBO Ranalow, AW Bennett and R Moreton survived the crash and evaded capture as follows:

  • PBO Ranalow
    • Evasion Route: Holland / Switzerland
      Repatriation: 06/10/1944
  • AW Bennett
    • Evasion Route: Holland / Belgium / France / Switzerland / France
    • Repatriation: September 1944?
  • R Moreton
    • Evasion Route: Holland / Belgium
    • Repatriation: 07/09/1944

Post War search for the missing crew member(s)

After the war, an investigation officer from the Royal Air Force Missing Research and Enquiry Service (MRES) was tasked with locating the remains of the missing crew member(s).

Original German documents, burial records and eye witness accounts were utilised to establish the location of the crash site, the cause of the loss and the initial fate of the crew; information was recorded in a MRES Investigation Report.

As part of the process, any remains that were located were exhumed, identified (wherever possible) and concentrated (reinterred) at one of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s (CWGC) Cemeteries in the country that they fell, in accordance with Government policy at the time.

Graves were marked with a simple wooden cross, which was replaced by the familiar CWGC headstone during the 1950’s.

Missing airmen who could not be found, or formally identified, had their names commemorated on the Air Forces Memorial at Runnymede, which was unveiled in 1953.

CWGC records show that the remains of CF Blundell, RVM Daniels, JE Pogonowski and LA Hazell were concentrated (reinterred) at DIEPENVEEN GENERAL CEMETERY (where they were initially buried) as follows :

  • BLUNDELL, COLIN FRAZER Pilot Officer ‘411116’ Row 2, Grave 15.
  • DANIELS, RAYMOND VALENTINE MONTIGUE Sergeant ‘962812’ Row 2, Grave 13.
  • HAZELL, LESLIE ALBERT Flight Sergeant ‘918657’ Row 2, Grave 16.
  • POGONOWSKI, JEFFREY EUGENE Flight Sergeant ‘418011’ Row 2, Grave 14.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Theo Boiten (Nachtjagd Combat Archive)

Nightfighter claim: Oblt. Hans-Heinz Augenstein, 7./NJG1,  Diepenveen 4km NNW Deventer, 3000m, 22.47

Evasion Report Numbers (National Archives)

  • AIR40/286 PBO Ranalow
  • WO208/3322/2326 AW Bennett
  • WO208/3322/2271 R Moreton

Crew Memorial

LV861 Memorial

Memorial to the crew at Diepenveen [Photograph: © F Loggen]

Notes:

  1. JE Pogonowski’s and CF Blundell’s service files are digitised at the Australian Archives; they contain details regarding the loss and evasion of crew members

Halifax LV860 (24/02/1944)

Halifax LV860 was one of twenty one No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack Schweinfurt on the night of the 24th / 25th February 1944.

Its seven-man crew comprised:

  • William George Barnes (Pilot)
  • Herbert George Hornsby (Navigator)
  • Albert Clement Michael Taylor (Air Bomber)
  • Raymond Perkins (Wireless Operator)
  • Alistair Stuart McLaren (Air Gunner)
  • Horace John Walker (Air Gunner)
  • Charles Erickson (Flight Engineer)

The squadron’s Operations Record Book shows “Halifax LV860 landed without brake pressure and collided with stationery Halifax LV866, both aircraft being damaged.


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

AM Form 1180 (Halifax LV860)

Landed with no brake pressure and over ran runway into LV866 which was also off runway end

AM Form 78 (Halifax LV860)

The movement card shows that the aircraft was classified as Cat FB/AC; it was repaired on site and returned to the squadron on 16th March 1944


Halifax LV857 (28/02/1944)

Halifax LV857 was being utilised for a local flight on 28th February 1944.

The crew comprised:

  • JR Petrie-Andrews
  • Others?

The squadron’s Operations Record Book shows “Whilst carrying out feathering procedure on the port outer propeller, P/O Petrie-Andrews experienced trouble whilst on a local flight and when circling the aerodrome engine caught fire but was kept under control by fire extinguishers and ultimately extinguished by the fire tender party when the aircraft landed. A few seconds after touchdown the port outer propeller fell off onto the runway but the aircraft suffered no further damage”


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

AM Form 78

The AM Form 78 (Movement Card) does not contain any information regarding the incident.

AM Form 1180

There is no AM Form 1180 (Accident Card) available for this incident; as such, no further details are available

Halifax LV834 (19/02/1944)

Halifax LV834 was one of seventeen No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack Leipzig on the night of the 19th / 20th February 1944.

It was equipped with Gee, IFF, H2S, API, Monica, GPI and Fishpond and was carrying 3 x 1000lbs MC, 1 x 500lbs MC and various flares / target indicators. Its designated Path Finder role was Blind Backer Up

Its seven-man crew comprised:

  • Randall Vincent Jones (Pilot)
  • Horatius Douglas Stewart White (Navigator)
  • Ronald Booth (Air Bomber)
  • Thomas Donald Henderson (Wireless Operator)
  • Gerald Carrell (Air Gunner)
  • James Walter Warren (Air Gunner)
  • Wilfred Arthur Jeffries (Flight Engineer)

The route was 5400N 0440E, 5240N 0810E, 5237N 1152E, 5200N 1255E, Target, 5100N 1200E, 5240N 0810E, 5315N 0400E

LV834 failed to return and the squadron’s Operations Record Book shows “This aircraft is missing, nothing being heard from it after take off”

Wartime activities relating to the loss

On 20th February 1944 the squadron informed Bomber Command, the Air Ministry and the RAF Records Office that the aircraft and crew were missing.

A telegram, along with a follow up letter from the Commanding Officer, was sent to the next of kin of each crew member advising them that he was “missing as the result of air operations on 19th / 20th February 1944”.

The crew’s kit and personal belongings were removed from their lockers and catalogued; kit was returned to stores and personal belongings sent to the RAF Central Depository at RAF Colnbrook.

The Air Ministry Casualty Branch, which was responsible for investigating, monitoring and reporting on the status of missing aircraft and airmen, subsequently published the following information regarding the crew:

  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No. 379 (Flight 04/05/1944) reported RVJ Jones,
    R Booth, TD Henderson, G Carrell and JW Warren as “missing”
  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No. 502 (Flight 10/05/1945) reported R Booth, TD Henderson, G Carrell and JW Warren “previously reported missing” as “now presumed killed in action”

Note: Presumption of death enabled a death certificate to be issued; personal belongings could then be sent to next of kin, along with any monies due.

No. 35 Squadron’s Operations Record Book shows the following information was received relating to the crew:

  • 30/03/1944: Information received from Air Ministry that HDS White and WA Jefferies, missing on 19th / 20th February 1944, are prisoners of war, though WA Jefferies was wounded; also that five unknown were killed
  • ??/??/????: Information received from Air Ministry that JW Warren, G Carrell, R Booth and TD Henderson, missing on 19th / 20th February 1944, were killed

Crew members who survived the crash and were captured / imprisoned

HDS White and WA Jeffries survived the crash and were captured, interrogated and imprisoned for the remainder of the war.

Their POW Liberation Questionnaires, which were completed as part of the repatriation process at 106 Personnel Reception Centre (RAF Cosford) in 1945, show the following details:

  • WA Jeffries (Jefferies)
    • Captured: 20 miles, SW Stendal (20/02/1944)
    • Hospitalised: Hermann Goering Hospital, Berlin Feb-44 to Mar-44
    • Interrogated: Dulag Luft, Frankfurt Mar-44
    • Hospitalised: Reserve Hospital, Schliez Mar-44 to May-44
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft VI, Heydekrug May-44 to Jul-44
    • Imprisoned: Stalag 357, Thorn / Fallingbostel Jul-44 to Apr-45
    • Repatriated: May-45
  • HDS White (POW Liberation Questionnaire yet to be obtained, so information is unconfirmed)
    • Captured:
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft III, Sagan
    • Repatriated:

Post War search for the missing crew members

After the war, an investigation officer from the Royal Air Force Missing Research and Enquiry Service (MRES) was tasked with locating the remains of the missing crew member(s).

Original German documents, burial records and eye witness accounts were utilised to establish the location of the crash site, the cause of the loss and the initial fate of the crew; information was recorded in a MRES Investigation Report.

As part of the process, any remains that were located were exhumed, identified (wherever possible) and concentrated (reinterred) at one of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s (CWGC) Cemeteries in the country that they fell, in accordance with Government policy at the time.

Graves were marked with a simple wooden cross, which was replaced by the familiar CWGC headstone during the 1950’s.

Missing airmen who could not be found, or formally identified, had their names commemorated on the Air Forces Memorial at Runnymede, which was unveiled in 1953.

CWGC records show that the remains of RVJ Jones, R Booth, TD Henderson, G Carrell and JW Warren were located at Gohre Cemetery

lv834-concentration-1

Their remains were exhumed, identified and concentrated (reinterred) at BERLIN 1939-1945 WAR CEMETERY as follows:

  • JONES, RANDALL VINCENT JOEY Flight Lieutenant ‘139585’  Grave 8. E. 9.
  • BOOTH, RONALD Sergeant ‘1549733’ Grave 8. E. 8.
  • HENDERSON, THOMAS DONALD Flight Sergeant ‘1126958’ Grave 8. E. 7.
  • CARRELL, GERALD Flight Sergeant ‘1319244’ Coll. grave 8. G. 1-16.
  • WARREN, JAMES WALTER Flight Lieutenant ‘126722’ Coll. grave 8. G. 1-16.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Theo Boiten (Nachtjagd Combat Archive)

There are no nightfighter or flak claims for this aircraft in the latest version of the Nachtjagd Combat Archive. The original diaries showed a nightfighter claim for Fw. Gunther Bahr (3./NJG6, Gohre 15km SSW Stendal, 6100m, 03.20) but this appears to have been incorrect.

Halifax LV793 (19/02/1944)

Halifax LV793 was one of seventeen No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack Leipzig on the night of the 19th / 20th February 1944.

It was equipped with IFF, Gee, H2S, Fishpond and Monica and was carrying 3 x 1000lb MC, 1 x 500lb MC and various target indicators. Its designated Path Finder role was Blind Backer Up

Its seven-man crew comprised:

  • William McTurk (Pilot)
  • Thomas Calistus Kerr (Navigator)
  • Edward John Trickey (Air Bomber)
  • Ronald Wright (Wireless Operator)
  • Alfred Fred Poynton (Air Gunner)
  • William Hugo McCormick (Air Gunner)
  • George Forman (Flight Engineer)

The route was Cromer, 5400N 0440E, 5240N 0810E, 5237N 1152E, 5200N 1255E, Target (return route varied)

LV793 failed to return and the squadron’s Operations Record Book shows “This aircraft is missing, nothing being heard from it after take off”

Wartime activities relating to the loss

On 20th February 1944 the squadron informed Bomber Command, the Air Ministry and the RAF Records Office that the aircraft and crew were missing.

A telegram, along with a follow up letter from the Commanding Officer, was sent to the next of kin of each crew member advising them that he was “missing as the result of air operations on 19th / 20th February 1944”.

An example of the telegram that was sent

The crew’s kit and personal belongings were removed from their lockers and catalogued; kit was returned to stores and personal belongings sent to the RAF Central Depository at RAF Colnbrook.

The Air Ministry Casualty Branch, which was responsible for investigating, monitoring and reporting on the status of missing aircraft and airmen, subsequently published the following information regarding the crew:

  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No. 376 (Flight 27/04/1944) reported R Wright, WH McCormick, AF Poynton and G Forman as “missing”
  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No. 485 (Flight 05/04/1945) reported WH McCormick “previously reported missing” as “now presumed killed in action”
  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No. 591 (Flight 04/07/1946) reported R Wright, AF Poynton and G Forman “previously reported missing” as “now presumed killed in action”

No. 35 Squadron’s Operations Record Book shows the following information was received relating to the crew:

  • 07/04/1944: Information received from the Air Ministry that W McTurk, TC Kerr, EJ Trickey, missing on 19th / 20th February 1944 are prisoners of war; also that WH McCormick and one unknown are dead.

Crew members who survived the crash and were captured / imprisoned

W McTurk, TC Kerr and EJ Trickey survived the crash and were captured, interrogated and imprisoned for the remainder of the war.

Their POW Liberation Questionnaires, which were completed as part of the repatriation process at 106 Personnel Reception Centre (RAF Cosford) in 1945, show the following:

  • W McTurk (POW Liberation Questionnaire yet to be obtained, so information is unconfirmed)
    • Captured:
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft III, Sagan
    • Repatriated:
  • TC Kerr (POW Liberation Questionnaire yet to be obtained, so information is unconfirmed)
    • Captured:
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft VI, Heydekrug / Stalag 357
    • Repatriated:
  • EJ Trickey (POW Liberation Questionnaire yet to be obtained, so information is unconfirmed)
    • Captured:
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft III, Sagan
    • Repatriated:

Post War search for the missing crew members

After the war, an investigation officer from the Royal Air Force Missing Research and Enquiry Service (MRES) was tasked with locating the remains of the missing crew member(s).

Original German documents, burial records and eye witness accounts were utilised to establish the location of the crash site, the cause of the loss and the initial fate of the crew; information was recorded in a MRES Investigation Report.

As part of the process, any remains that were located were exhumed, identified (wherever possible) and concentrated (reinterred) at one of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s (CWGC) Cemeteries in the country that they fell, in accordance with Government policy at the time.

Graves were marked with a simple wooden cross, which was replaced by the familiar CWGC headstone during the 1950’s.

Missing airmen who could not be found, or formally identified, had their names commemorated on the Air Forces Memorial at Runnymede, which was unveiled in 1953.

CWGC records show that the remains of R Wright and G Forman were located at Brandenburg Cemetery.

lv793-concentration

Their remains were exhumed, identified and concentrated (reinterred) at BERLIN 1939-1945 WAR CEMETERY on 11th January 1947 as follows:

  • WRIGHT, RONALD Warrant Officer ‘1133855’ Grave 8. K. 4.
  • FORMAN, GEORGE Flight Sergeant ‘1365898’ Grave 8. K. 5.

The remains of WH McCormick and  AF Poynton were not found (or could not be formally identified); as such, their names are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial as follows:

  • McCORMICK, WILLIAM HUGO Flight Sergeant ‘710079’ Panel 220.
  • POYNTON, ALFRED FRED Flight Sergeant ‘1671803’ Panel 221.

[Courtesy of Clive Lewis]


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Theo Boiten (Nachtjagd Combat Archive)

Probable Nightfighter Claim: Ofw. Walter Kammerer, 6./NJG5, W Berlin, 5600m, 03.26

WR Chorley (Bomber Command Losses of the Second World War)

Outbound at 19000ft, picked up by a nightfighter operating near Stendal and later abandoned near Brandenburg

Halifax LV787 (21/01/1944)

Halifax LV787 was one of the twenty one No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack Magdeburg on the night of 21st / 22nd January 1944.

It was equipped with IFF, Gee, Nav Aid Y (H2S), Monica and Fishpond and was carrying 3 x 1000lb GP T.Inst and various Target Indicators. Its designated Path Finder role was Visual Marker

Its seven-man crew comprised:

  • Peter Richard Bales (Pilot)
  • Dennis Harold Kent (Navigator)
  • David Alton MacGregor (Air Bomber)
  • William John Gowdy (Wireless Operator)
  • George Ernest Grigg (Air Gunner)
  • Leonard George William Watts (Air Gunner)
  • Frederick Buchan (Flight Engineer)

The route was as follows; 5430N 0500E, 5430N 06