Halifax W7878 (21/06/1943)

Halifax W7878 was one of nineteen No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack Krefeld on the night of the 21st / 22nd June 1943.

Its seven-man crew comprised:

  • Michael Wilfred Peter Clarke (Pilot)
  • Bewick Johnston Dowse (Air Bomber)
  • Francis Montague Mazin (Navigator)
  • Harry Richard Fink (Wireless Operator)
  • Alister Campbell MacLeod (Air Gunner)
  • Joseph Georges Paul Emille Richer (Air Gunner)
  • Cledwyn Matthew Harcombe (Flight Engineer)

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

W7878 failed to return and the squadron’s Operations Record Book shows “This aircraft did not return, nothing being heard from it after taking off”

Wartime activities relating to the loss

On 22nd June 1943 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 June 1943”.

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.272 (Flight 02/09/1943) reported MWP Clarke,  BJ Dowse, FM Mazin, HR Fink, JGPE Richer, AC MacLeod and CM Harcombe as “missing”
  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No. 371 (Flight 13/04/1944) reported MWP Clarke and HR Fink “previously reported missing” as “now presumed killed in action”
  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No. 375 (Flight 20/04/1944) reported FM Mazin 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:

  • 02/09/1943: Information received from Air Ministry that Sgt Fink, missing on 21st / 22nd June 1943, 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 do not show where the remains of  MWP Clarke, HR Fink and CM Harcombe were located but show that they were concentrated as follows:

  • CLARKE MICHAEL WILFRED PETER Flying Officer ‘127957’ BERGEN-OP-ZOOM WAR CEMETERY 32. B. 10.
  • FINK HARRY RICHARD Sergeant ‘1331566’ BERGEN GENERAL CEMETERY Plot 2. Row C. Grave 6.
  • HARCOMBE CLEDWYN MATHEW Sergeant ‘577177’ BERGEN GENERAL CEMETERY Plot 2. Row C. Grave 7.

[Source: Find-a-Grave]

The remains of the rest 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:

  • DOWSE BEWICK JOHNSTON Sergeant ‘1078821’ RUNNYMEDE MEMORIAL Panel 148.
  • MAZIN FRANCIS MONTAGUE Sergeant ‘1600686’ RUNNYMEDE MEMORIAL Panel 158.
  • MACLEOD ALISTER CAMPBELL Sergeant ‘950711’ RUNNYMEDE MEMORIAL Panel 158.
  • RICHER JOSEPH GEORGE PAUL EMILLE Flight Sergeant ‘R/81607’ RUNNYMEDE MEMORIAL Panel 185.

[Courtesy of Clive Lewis]

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Theo Boiten (Nachtjagd Combat Archive)

Nightfighter Claim: Hptm. Rudolf Sigmund, 10./NJG1, Sea 140km W Den Helder (Holland) (EF 2. Salzhering), 2,500m, 03.24

Bomber Command Loss Card

HR Fink’s body was washed ashore at Bergen on 4th July 1943

World War II Allied Aircraft Crashes in the Netherlands and North Sea

  • MWP Clarke’s body was washed ashore on 5th July 1943 at beach pole 17.1, near Callentsoog, Holland
  • CM Harcombe’s body was washed ashore on 8th July 1943 at beach pole 29, near Bergen

Halifax JB785 (11/06/1943)

Halifax JB785 was one of sixteen No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack Munster on the night of the 11th / 12th June 1943.

It was equipped with Nav Aid Y; its designated Path Finder role was “Main Force”

Its seven-man crew comprised:

  • George Racine Herbert (Pilot)
  • Ernest Cassingham (Navigator)
  • Robert Hubert Makin (Air Bomber)
  • Francis Joseph Greenwood (Wireless Operator)
  • Archibald Victor Wallace (Air Gunner)
  • Ronald Henry Boone (Air Gunner)
  • Frank Stewart (Flight Engineer)

The route was 5223N 0143E, 5123N 0500E, 5157N 0620E, Munster, turn right, 5150N 0520E 5240N 0330E

JB785 failed to return and the squadron’s Operations Record Book shows “This aircraft did not return, nothing being heard from it after taking off”.

Wartime activities relating to the loss

On 12th June 1943 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 / 12th June 1943”.

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. 266 (Flight 19/08/1943) reported GR Herbert, E Cassingham, FJ Greenwood, RH Boone  and F Stewart as “missing”
  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No. 354 (Flight 09/03/1944) reported GR Herbert, E Cassingham, FJ Greenwood, RH Boone  and F Stewart “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:

  • 25/07/1943: Information received from the Air Ministry that Sgt Makin, missing on 11th / 12th June 1943 is a prisoner of war; also that Sgt Stewart was killed
  • 06/08/1943: Information received from the Air Ministry that F/O Wallace, missing on 11th / 12th June 1943, is a prisoner of war; also that P/O Herbert, Sgt Cassingham, F/S Greenwood and Sgt Boone were killed

Crew members who survived the crash and were captured / imprisoned

RH Makin and AV Wallace 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:

  • RH Makin
    • Captured: Gorinchem, Holland 11/06/1943 (Injured)
    • Hospitalised: Amsterdam Jun-43
    • Interrogated: Dulag Luft Oberursel, Frankfurt Jun-43 to Jul-43
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft VI, Heydekrug Jul-43 to Jul-44
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft IV, Gross Tychow Jul-44 to Feb-45
    • Imprisoned: ? Feb-45 to Apr-45
    • Imprisoned: Stalag 357, Fallingbostel Apr-45
    • Repatriated: May-45
  • AV Wallace (POW Liberation Questionnaire yet to be obtained, so information is unconfirmed)
    • Captured: (19/06/1943)
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft III
    • 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 do not show where the remains of GR Herbert, E Cassingham, FJ Greenwood, RH Boone and F Stewart were located but show that they were concentrated (reinterred) at ROTTERDAM (CROOSWIJK) GENERAL CEMETERY as follows:

  • BOONE, RONALD HENRY Sergeant ‘1331310’ Plot LL. Row 1. Joint grave 41-42.
  • GREENWOOD, FRANCIS JOSEPH Flight Sergeant ‘1059993’ Plot LL. Row 1. Joint grave 41-42.
  • CASSINGHAM, ERNEST Flight Sergeant ‘1335447’ Plot LL. Row 1. Grave 43.
  • STEWART, FRANK Flight Sergeant ‘566943’ Plot LL. Row 2. Grave 43.
  • HERBERT, GEORGE RACINE Pilot Officer ‘142149’ Plot LL. Row 2. Grave 44.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Theo Boiten (Nachtjagd Combat Archive)

Nightfighter Claim: Lt. Werner Baake, 1./NJG1, Hoornaar 5km NW Gorinchem (Holland) (Himmelbett), 5000m, 02.43

Crew Memorial 

jb785-memorial-giessen
jb785-plaque

JB785 Plaque on Giessenburg Memorial
More information regarding the memorial and the loss can be found at:
http://stichting-vliegeniersmonument-giessenlanden-wo2.nl/

Halifax HR850 (28/06/1943)

Halifax HR850 was one of six No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack Cologne on the night of the 28th / 29th June 1943.

Its seven-man crew (plus a 2nd Dickie) comprised:

  • Nelson Alexander Cobb (Pilot)
  • Leonard Whiteley (2nd Dickie)
  • David Archibald Codd (Navigator)
  • Walter Palfrey Trask (Air Bomber)
  • Charles Henry Bulloch (Wireless Operator)
  • Jack Edward Stuart Matthews (Air Gunner)
  • Mark Anthony Sachs (Air Gunner)
  • Roland Hurlston Baldwin (Flight Engineer)

The route was Base, 5122N 0320E, 5028N 0632E, Target,  5135N 0340E, Orfordness, Base

HR850 failed to return and the squadron’s Operations Record Book shows “This aircraft is missing. No message received”

Wartime activities relating to the loss

On 29th June 1943 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 / 29th June 1943”.

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. 281 (Flight 16/09/1943) reported NA Cobb as “missing, believed killed in action”
  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No. 363 (Flight 30/03/1944) reported NA Cobb “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:

  • 11/08/1943: Information received from the Air Ministry that F/O Cobb, missing on 28th / 29th June 1943, was killed; also that the following were captured: F/O Whitely, F/S Trask, P/O Bulloch, F/O Sachs, F/S Matthews and Sgt Baldwin
  • 14/08/1943: Information received from the Air Ministry that F/O Codd, missing on 28th / 29th June 1943, is a prisoner of war

Crew members who survived the crash and were captured / imprisoned

L Whiteley,  WP Trask, DA Codd, CH Bulloch, JES Matthews, MA Sachs and RH Baldwin 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:

  • L Whiteley (POW Liberation Questionnaire yet to be obtained, so information is unconfirmed)
    • Captured:
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft III, Sagan
    • Repatriated:
  • WP Trask (POW Liberation Questionnaire yet to be obtained, so information is unconfirmed)
    • Captured:
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft VI / Stalag 357
    • Repatriated:
  • DA Codd (POW Liberation Questionnaire yet to be obtained, so information is unconfirmed)
    • Captured:
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft III, Sagan
    • Repatriated:
  • CH Bulloch (POW Liberation Questionnaire yet to be obtained, so information is unconfirmed)
    • Captured:
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft III, Sagan
    • Repatriated:
  • JES Matthews (POW Liberation Questionnaire yet to be obtained, so information is unconfirmed)
    • Captured:
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft VI / Stalag 357
    • Repatriated:
  • MA Sachs (POW Liberation Questionnaire yet to be obtained, so information is unconfirmed)
    • Captured:
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft III, Sagan
    • Repatriated:
  • RH Baldwin (POW Liberation Questionnaire yet to be obtained, so information is unconfirmed)
    • Captured:
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft VI / 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 NA Cobb were located at Ulpenich Village Cemetery

cobb-concentration

His remains were exhumed, identified and concentrated (reinterred) on 5th May 1947 at RHEINBERG WAR CEMETERY as follows:

  • COBB, NELSON ALEXANDER, Flight Lieutenant  ‘J/16276’   Grave 11. B. 11.

[Source: FindaGrave]


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Theo Boiten (Nachtjagd Combat Archive) 

Nightfighter Claim; Ofw. Fritz Shellwat, 5./NJG1, 600m S  Ulpenich 8km W Euskirchen (Germany) (6C), 6200m, 02.10 (Note: also claimed by Flak of 3./schw.Flak Abt. 477, 1.-3./schw.Flak Abt. 331 and 6./schw.Flak Abt. 245 ‘Halifax Euskirchen 01.54hrs’. Victory  Ofw. Shellwat confirmed on 20/12/1944)

Map showing original burial / loss location

Bomber Command Loss Card

Body of NA Cobb said to have been found amongst the wreckage of the aircraft

Letter to the family of NA Cobb from DA Codd (1943)

Letter [Cobb Service File].JPG

[Source: NA Cobb’s Service File]

Notes:

  1. More information can be found in the book Blue Job – Brown Job by David Codd DFC

Halifax HR848 (21/06/1943)

Halifax HR848 was one of nineteen No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack Krefeld on the night of the 21st / 22nd June 1943.

Its designated Path Finder Force role was Backer Up

Its seven-man crew comprised:

  • Richard Joseph Quigly (Pilot)
  • John Henry Roy Sarano St. John (Navigator)
  • Francis Ronald Carpenter (Air Bomber)
  • Francis James Williams (Wireless Operator)
  • Jack White (Air Gunner)
  • Reginald Brian Capon (Air Gunner)
  • John Irvine Barrie (Flight Engineer)

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

HR848 failed to return and the squadron’s Operations Record Book shows “This aircraft did not return, nothing being heard from it after taking off”

Wartime activities relating to the loss

On 22nd June 1943 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 June 1943”.

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. 273 (Flight 02/09/1943) reported JHRS St. John,  RB Capon and JI Barrie as “missing, believed killed in action”; also J White  as “missing”
  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No. 359 (Flight 23/03/1944) reported JHRS St. John, RB Capon and JI Barrie “previously reported missing, believed killed in action” as “now presumed killed in action”; also J White  “previously reported missing” “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:

  • 06/08/1943: Information received from Air Ministry that F/S Quigly, missing on 21st / 22nd June 1943, is a prisoner of war
  • 24/08/1943: Information received from Air Ministry that Sgt White, missing on 21st / 22nd June 1943, was killed

Crew members who survived the crash and were captured / imprisoned

RJ Quigly, FR Carpenter and FJ Williams 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:

  • FJ Williams
    • Captured: Uden, Holland (22/06/1943)
    • Interrogated: Dulag Luft, Frankfurt Jul-43 to Oct-43
    • Imprisoned: Stalag IVB, Muhlberg Oct-43 to Apr-45
    • Repatriated: May-45
  • RJ Quigly (POW Liberation Questionnaire yet to be obtained, so information is unconfirmed)
    • Captured:
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft VI
    • Repatriated:
  • FR Carpenter (POW Liberation Questionnaire yet to be obtained, so information is unconfirmed)
    • Captured:
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft VI, Stalag 357
    • 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 do not show where the remains of JHRS St. John, RB Capon, J White and JI Barrie were located but show that they were concentrated (reinterred) at UDEN WAR CEMETERY as follows:

  • BARRIE, JOHN IRVINE, Sergeant ‘1010564’  Grave 5. E. 4.
  • CAPON, REGINALD BRIAN, Flying Officer ‘126833’ Grave 5. E. 6.
  • St. JOHN, JOHN HENRY ROY SARANO, Flying Officer ‘126886’ Grave 5. E. 5.
  • WHITE, JACK, Sergeant ‘941955’ Grave 5. E. 7.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Theo Boiten (Nachtjagd Combat Archive)

Nightfighter Claim: Lt. Werner Baake, 1./NJG1, 3 km S Uden (Holland), 3.000m. 01.37 

Bomber Command Loss Card

Sgt Williams states:

(a) Informed by interrogating officer at Dulag Luft that Sgt White was dead. After attack he shouted something over the intercom but do not know what. We were ordered to bale out and to the best of my belief he was alive when I left the aircraft.
(b) Informed by interrogating officer that F/O St John was dead. I handed him his parachute prior to my leaving the aircraft. He nodded to me as I went out at approx 10,000ft; that was the last I saw of him.
(c) Informed by interrogating officer that F/O Capon was dead. I saw and heard nothing of him up until the time I left the aircraft.
(d) Informed by interrogating officer that Sgt Barrie was dead. I did not see him during attack or up to time I left the aircraft

Sgt Carpenter states:

Heard from an authoritative source that there were four bodies in wreckage of the aircraft and that the bodies of the above officers were four of them

Eye witness report (Rough Translation of a Dutch Report)

PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS TEXT CONTAINS GRAPHIC CONTENT REGARDING THE AFTERMATH

On the night of 21 / 22 June 1943, an English bomber crashed into the Oak hill. It was a Halifax that was on its way to Krefeld in Germany. The device came down gently, anxiously watched by hundreds of residents of the Oak Hill and the surrounding area. Everyone was afraid that the large object would be crash on a farm but in the end it came down a hundred meters behind the farm of Dort van Driel at the end of a country road in the meadow of Bert Rovers.

German soldiers, who were quartered at Driek Verkuijlen, were quickly on the spot and closed immediately the area around the site. The Uden department of Population Protection also came with some men.

The plane was on fire with four airmen left on board. Their groans of pain were heart wrenching, but nobody was allowed to approach the aircraft. Young men from the neighbourhood including Adam and Verkuilen tried to come closer but as they crawled by a nearby watercourse they were noticed by the Germans and were driven off by warning shots. When comments were made by local residents about the hellish pains of the occupants this was dismissed by the German soldiers with: “The is only a Tommy “. In retrospect, it turned out to be very dangerous in the vicinity of the aircraft because the entire bombload was still present.

Days later when the fire was extinguished and what remained was cooled, the bombs were detonated from a distance. This happened from a silage silo at Driek Verkuijlen. Everyone in the neighbourhood was evacuated. The damage was great, with countless windows broken and tiles blown from roofs.

At Dort van Driel and Bert van den Broek there was a hole in the roof of the farm. Even At Duifhuis, many panes had to be re-laid. Hereafter, the Germans came with five boxes to collect the remains. Dort van Driel was requested the day before to sign up to help. He went early in the morning to his in-laws and got away from the job. People in prison clothes had the remains collected and put into boxes. A chest remained empty.

Bert van den Broek who happened to come by horse and cart was summoned to take the crates to Uden. Farmers still found body parts later, including a part of one hand found. A parachute that the Germans had hidden was taken home by Lambert van Duijnhoven van Duifhuis. The bloody part was cut off because it could not be cleaned and clothes were made from the rest, as the silk fabric was very suitable for this.

The part of the aircraft that had sunk into the ground was dug out and taken away by a scrap metal merchant in the 1950s. Some parts can still be found in the museum at Dorshout (a piece of the airframe and a bomb shard). Willem van Cuijk also has some remains and bullets that he collected.

[Source: eikenheuvel.nl]

Notes:

  1. WR Chorley suggests that the nightfighter claim was by Hptm. Hans-Dieter Frank, 1./NJG1 and that the aircraft crashed at 01.23 near Eikenheuwel

Halifax HR812 (28/06/1943)

Halifax HR812 was one of six No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack Cologne on the night of the 28th / 29th June 1943.

It was carrying 1 x 2000lb HC, 1064 x 4lb incendiaries and  76 x “4x” incendiaries. Its designated Path Finder role was Main Force

Its seven-man crew comprised:

  • Graham Thomas Beveridge (Pilot)
  • Stanley Kiran Gordon-Powell (Navigator)
  • Henry Charles Billett (Air Bomber)
  • Roger James Taylor (Wireless Operator)
  • Francis Cyril Compton (Air Gunner)
  • William Hughes (Air Gunner)
  • Leslie Ernest Carey (Flight Engineer)

The route was Base, 5122N 0320E, 5028N 0632E, Target, 5135N 0340E, Orfordness, Base

HR812 failed to return and the squadron’s Operations Record Book shows “This aircraft is missing. No message received”

Wartime activities relating to the loss

On 29th June 1943 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 / 29th June 1943”.

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. 281 (Flight 16/09/1943) reported GT Beveridge, FC Compton, W Hughes and LE Carey as “missing”
  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No. 373 (Flight 20/04/1944) reported GT Beveridge, FC Compton and W Hughes “previously reported missing” as “now presumed killed in action”
  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No. 502 (Flight 10/05/1945) reported LE Carey “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:

  • 04/09/1943: Information received from the Air Ministry that Sgt Beveridge, missing on 28th / 29th June 1943, was killed
  • 05/10/1943: Information received from the Air Ministry that Sgt Gordon-Powell, missing on 28th / 29th June 1943, is a prisoner of war
  • 25/11/1943: Information received from the Air Ministry that Sgt Billett, missing on 28th / 29th June 1943, is a prisoner of war

Crew members who survived the crash and were captured / imprisoned

SK Gordon-Powell, HC Billett and RJ Taylor 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:

  • HC Billett
    • Evaded: Jun-43 to Jul-43 (Betrayed)
    • Captured: Bordeaux 24/07/1943
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft VI, Heydekrug Oct-43 to Jul-44 (Evacuated)
    • Imprisoned: Stalag 357, Thorn Jul-44 to Aug-44 (Relocated)
    • Imprisoned: Stalag 357, Fallingbostel Aug-44 to Apr-45 (Evacuated)
    • Repatriated: May-45
  • SK Gordon-Powell
    • Evaded: Jun-43 to Jul-43 (Betrayed)
    • Captured: Paris 15/07/1943
    • Held: Fresnes Jul-43 to Aug-43
    • Interrogated: Dulag Luft Sep-43
    • Imprisoned: Stalag IVB Sep-43 to Dec-43 (Escaped / Recaptured)
    • Imprisoned: Stalag IVD Dec-43 to Aug-44 (Escaped / Recaptured)
    • Imprisoned: Stalag IVB Aug-44 to Mar-45 (Escaped)
    • Repatriated: May-45
  • RJ Taylor
    • Captured: Near Liege 02/07/1943
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft VI, Heydekrug Jul-43 to Jul-44 (Evacuated)
    • Imprisoned: Stalag 357, Thorn Jul-44 to Aug-44 (Relocated)
    • Imprisoned: Stalag 357, Fallingbostel Aug-44 to Apr-45 (Evacuated)
    • 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 GT Beveridge, FC Compton, W Hughes and LE Carey were located at Brusthem (St Trond) Cemetery

hr812-concentration

Their remains were exhumed, identified and concentrated (reinterred) at HEVERLEE WAR CEMETERY on 19th March 1947 as follows:

  • BEVERIDGE, GRAHAM THOMAS Pilot Officer ‘146337’  Grave 9. F. 7.
  • CAREY, LESLIE ERNEST Sergeant ‘R/125005’ Coll. grave 6. D. 1-20.
  • COMPTON, FRANCIS CYRIL Sergeant ‘1322681’ Coll. grave 6. D. 1-20.
  • HUGHES, WILLIAM Sergeant ‘1494700’ Coll. grave 6. D. 1-20.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Theo Boiten (Nachtjagd Combat Archive)

Nightfighter Claim; Lt. Heinz Wolfgang Schnaufer, Stab II./NJG1, Near Wandre, 7km NE Liege (Belgium) (Lurch), 5300m, 01.45

Wim Govaerts

The following extracts are from documents kindly sent to me by Wim Govaerts:

hr812-schnaufer-extract Extract from Schnaufer’s Log Book

Claim.JPG

In his report, Schnaufer recorded: “I took off at 00.52am on 29.6.1943 for a night-time patrol in the Lurch Raum. At 01.38, I was directed onto an enemy aircraft on a bearing of 100°, at an altitude of 5,300m, which I identified above and to my left from a distance of about 200m as a Halifax at 01.40am. After a short time I made my first attack from behind and below, which set the right outside engine on fire, whereupon the Halifax fell away. I followed the burning aircraft until impact, which occurred at 01.45am near Wandre, 7km north-north east of Liege”

Note: The MRES report confirms that the aircraft crashed on an embankment of the River Meuse at Souverain (Wandre)

german-doc-9photo

Wreckage of Halifax HR812 [Courtesy of Wim Govaerts]

Bomber Command Loss Card

  • 162/134 Beveridge G 1334486 shot down 29.6.43 Buried 1.7.43 St Trond
  • 169/415 2 unknown belonging 162/134 recovered later and buried 3.7.43 St Trond
  • 284A We got shot down and I had to jump as plane was on fire. Landed safely and spent a month in the country before I was caught.
  • Billett says “Carey alive and uninjured following attack and until I left aircraft at 15,000 feet. Aircraft on fire in port wing. Beveridge alive and uninjured following attack and at controls when I jumped. I know nothing of Hughes or Compton.
  • Taylor says: “On capture I was given to understand that Beveridge was dead. No news of Hughes or Carey”

SK Gordon-Powell Escape Attempts

SK Gordon-Powell made 6 escape attempts. On his sixth attempt, he escaped from a fatigue party with a South African soldier (AM Kuhn). He reached Flensburg via Berlin and crossed into Denmark where he was put aboard a Danish trawler which took him to Helsingborg, Sweden (arriving on 17th April 1945).

London Gazette (08/03/1946)

SK Gordon-Powell was awarded the Military Cross for his efforts. The citation reads:

On the night of the 28th June 1943, Warrant Officer Gordon-Powell was the navigator of a bomber aircraft that was shot down over Liege.  He at once took steps to evade capture and joined up with some members of an underground movement who attempted to take him to Bordeaux.  Whilst passing through Paris, the party was ambushed and Warrant Officer Gordon-Powell was arrested by the Gestapo and sent to Stalag IVB.  During his captivity, covering a period of nearly two years, he made several attempts to escape.  On four occasions he managed to travel some miles from the camp and only by experiencing bad luck was he recaptured.  His fifth effort was made in company with another prisoner in January 1945.  Both managed to reach Berlin, having secured civilian clothing and, posing as French workers, they ultimately reached the Danish frontier where, owing to a dense blizzard, they inadvertently walked into a German customs guard who arrested them.  Warrant Officer Gordon-Powell was sent back to Stalag IVB where he was told that if he attempted to escape again he would be shot.  In spite of this threat he made a sixth effort on 21st March 1945.  With the same companion who accompanied him on the previous attempt he again reached Berlin.  Here the two escapers made contact with a Dutch doctor who fed and hid them for two days.  Both subsequently travelled by train to the Danish frontier which they crossed by wading through a swamp which almost enveloped them.  After walking some miles into Denmark they sought refuge with a resistance movement the members of which facilitated their passage to Sweden.  Both reached Helsingborg where they were met by the Danish Vice-Consul who arranged for their journey to Stockholm in April 1945.

Halifax HR799 (21/06/1943)

Halifax HR799 was one of nineteen No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack Krefeld on the night of the 21st / 22nd June 1943.

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

  • William Henry Hickson (Pilot)
  • Henry John Krohn (2nd Dickie)
  • Allan Delamere Hutchinson (Navigator)
  • Patrick Norman Croft (Air Bomber)
  • James Harrison Graham (Wireless Operator)
  • Joseph Francis Dowsing (Air Gunner)
  • William Gordon Leslie Brown (Air Gunner)
  • Fred Shaw Maltas (Flight Engineer)

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

HR799 failed to return and the squadron’s Operations Record Book shows “This aircraft is missing and nothing was heard from it after taking off”

Wartime activities relating to the loss

On 22nd June 1943 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 June 1943”.

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. 273 (Flight 02/09/1943) reported HJ Krohn and WGL Brown as “missing”

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

  • 06/08/1943: Information received from the Air Ministry that Sgt Dowsing, missing on 21st / 22nd June 1943, is a prisoner of war; also that Sgt Graham was killed [Note information on Graham was incorrect]
  • 02/09/1943: Information received from the Air Ministry that Sgt Maltas, missing on 21st / 22nd June 1943, is a prisoner of war
  • 27/09/1943: Information received from the Air Ministry that P/O Hickson, missing on 21st / 22nd June 1943, is a prisoner of war
  • 07/10/1943: Information received from the Air Ministry that Sgt Graham, missing on 21st / 22nd June 1943, is a prisoner of war
  • 17/10/1943: Information received from the Air Ministry that P/O Croft, missing on 21st / 22nd June 1943, is a prisoner of war
  • 12/01/1944: Information received from the Air Ministry that P/O Hutchison, missing on 21st / 22nd June 1943, is a prisoner of war

Crew members who survived the crash and were captured / imprisoned

WH Hickson,  AD Hutchison,  PN Croft,  JH Graham,  JF Dowsing and FS Maltas 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:

  • JH Graham
    • Captured: Venlo Area 22/06/1943 (Injured)
    • Hospitalised: Amsterdam Jun-43 to Aug-43
    • Interrogated: Dulag Luft Oberursel, Frankfurt Aug-43
    • Imprisoned: Stalag IV-B, Muhlberg Aug-43 to May-45
    • Repatriated: May-45
  • WH Hickson (POW Liberation Questionnaire yet to be obtained, so information is unconfirmed)
    • Captured:
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft III
    • Repatriated:
  • AD Hutchinson (POW Liberation Questionnaire yet to be obtained, so information is unconfirmed)
    • Captured:
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft VI, Stalag Luft III
    • Repatriated:
  • PN Croft (POW Liberation Questionnaire yet to be obtained, so information is unconfirmed)
    • Captured: Paris (07/08/1943)
    • Imprisoned: Stalag IV-B, Muhlberg
    • Repatriated:
  • JF Dowsing (POW Liberation Questionnaire yet to be obtained, so information is unconfirmed)
    • Captured:
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft VI, Stalag 357
    • Repatriated:
  • FS Maltas (POW Liberation Questionnaire yet to be obtained, so information is unconfirmed)
    • Captured:
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft VI, Stalag 357
    • 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.

Original Burials

CWGC records show that the remains of HJ Krohn and WGL Brown were located at Mook British Cemetery.

hr799-concentration

Post War Concentration

After the war, their remains were exhumed, identified and concentrated (reinterred) on 3rd December 1947 at JONKERBOS WAR CEMETERY as follows:

  • BROWN, WILLIAM GORDON LESLIE, Pilot Officer ‘155006’  Grave 7. H. 8.
  • KROHN, HENRY JOHN, Flight Sergeant ‘34017’ Grave 7. I. 1.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Theo Boiten (Nachtjagd Combat Archive)

Nightfighter Claim: Maj. Gunther Radusch, Stab II./NJG3 (det. 3./NJG1), Klein-Oirlo NNW Venlo (Holland)(Himmelbett), 5500m, 01.34 (Note: also claimed by Flak of Flak Regt. 24 (8.-9., 14.-18. and 22./z.b.V. 5707 ‘Halifax Straelen 01.35hrs’) victory Maj. Radusch confirmed 19/12/1944)

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

Shot down by a nightfighter and crashed at 01.34 at Valkenburg. Sgt Krohn left the aircraft but died due to the failure of his parachute to fully deploy

Bomber Command Loss Card

Aircraft hit by flak over Holland; starboard engine caught fire

Notes:

  1. Digitised record for HJ Krohn available in Australian Archives (as at July 2017)

Halifax HR685 (21/06/1943)

Halifax HR685 was one of nineteen No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack Krefeld on the night of the 21st / 22nd June 1943.

Its seven-man crew comprised:

  • Thomas Henry Lane (Pilot)
  • Peter McGregor Jackson (Navigator)
  • George William Darling (Air Bomber)
  • Albert Peter Balson (Wireless Operator)
  • Donald Robert Alexander (Air Gunner)
  • Roy Frederick MacDonald (Air Gunner)
  • Frederick James Rogers (Flight Engineer)

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

HR685 failed to return and the squadron’s Operations Record Book shows “This aircraft is missing and nothing was heard from it after taking off”

Wartime activities relating to the loss

On 22nd June 1943 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 June 1943”.

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 provided No. 35 Squadron with the following information regarding the crew:

  • 04/08/1943: F/L Jackson and F/S Rogers, missing on 21st / 22nd June 1943, were captured
  • 06/08/1943: F/O Alexander, missing on 21st / 22nd June 1943, is a prisoner of war
  • 09/08/1943: F/O Lane, missing on 21st / 22nd June 1943, is a prisoner of war
  • 11/08/1943: F/S Balson, missing on 21st / 22nd June 1943, is a prisoner of war
  • 26/08/1943: P/O Darling, missing on 21st / 22nd June 1943, is a prisoner of war
  • 04/09/1943: F/S MacDonald, missing on 21st / 22nd June 1943, is a prisoner of war

Crew members who survived the crash and were captured / imprisoned

All crew members 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:

  • AP Balson
    • Captured: Wamel, Holland  24/06/43
    • Hospitalised: Wilhelmina Hospital, Amsterdam (Broken right ankle)
    • Interrogated: Dulag Luft Oberursel, Frankfurt
    • Imprisoned: Stalag IX-C, Bad Sulza   Nov-43
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft VI, Heydecrug Dec-43 to Jun-44
    • Imprisoned: Stalag 357, Fallingbostel Jun-44 to Apr-45
    • Repatriated: May-45
  • TH Lane (POW Liberation Questionnaire yet to be obtained, so information is unconfirmed)
    • Captured:
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft III
    • Repatriated:
  • PM Jackson (POW Liberation Questionnaire yet to be obtained, so information is unconfirmed)
    • Captured:
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft III
    • Repatriated:
  • GW Darling (POW Liberation Questionnaire yet to be obtained, so information is unconfirmed)
    • Captured:
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft VI, Stalag 357
    • Repatriated:
  • DR Alexander
    • Captured: Tiel, Holland (21/06/1943)
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft III, Sagan Jul-43 to Jan-45
    • Imprisoned: Marlag und Milag Nord, Westertimke (Tarmstedt) Feb-45 to Apr-45
    • Repatriated: May-45
  • RF MacDonald (POW Liberation Questionnaire yet to be obtained, so information is unconfirmed)
    • Captured:
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft VI, Stalag 357
    • Repatriated:
  • FJ Rogers (POW Liberation Questionnaire yet to be obtained, so information is unconfirmed)
    • Captured:
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft VI, Stalag 357
    • Repatriated:

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Theo Boiten (Nachtjagd Combat Archive)

Nightfighter Claim: Hptm. Hptm. Manfred Meurer, 3./NJG1, 1/2 km SW Wamel (Holland) (Himmelbett) , 5500m, 01.48

Also see:

  • tremele.nl/english/crashes/e_wamel22061943/e_wamel22juni1943.htm
  • “Amazing Airmen: Canadian Flyers in the Second World War” by Ian Darling

Halifax HR798 (11/06/1943)

Halifax HR798 was one of three No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack Dusseldorf on the night of the 11th / 12th June 1943.

Its seven-man crew comprised:

  • 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 route was: 5145N 0350E, 5055N 0630E, Dusseldorf, turn wide left, 5117N 0630E, Noordwijk

The squadron’s Operations Record Book shows “Two aircraft attacked the target, but the third (HR798) was forced to jettison when attacked by two fighters before reaching the objective. Both fighters were shot down by the rear gunner F/S Williams, who with the other gunner, F/S Smith was wounded and afterwards admitted to hospital.


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

NF Williams / TRD Smith Injuries

NF Williams was wounded in the leg and abdomen. He was admitted to Ely Hospital and returned to the squadron on 5th August 1943.

TRD Smith was grazed on the head, was concussed and his optic nerve was damaged. He was unable to fly again due to impaired vision

Injury Report sent to family of NF Williams [Courtesy of Geoff Swallow]

CGM Citation for NF Williams

One night in June 1943, this airman was the rear gunner of an aircraft detailed  to attack Dusseldorf. During the operation, the bomber was intercepted by 2 enemy fighters. In the first encounter, Flight Sergeant Williams’ turret was rendered unserviceable, while he sustained several bullet wounds in the legs and body. Nevertheless, when the second fighter attacked, Flight Sergeant Williams skilfully gave his captain directions which enabled the fighter to be evaded. Flight Sergeant Williams then delivered an accurate burst of fire which caused the enemy aircraft to explode in the air. The first fighter resumed the attack but, although in considerable pain, with both legs partially paralysed, Flight Sergeant Williams with a well placed burst of fire from close range, shot the enemy  aircraft down. Making light of his injuries he remained in his damaged turret until a landing was effected when his turret had to be cut away before he could be extricated. By his great skill, courage and determination, this airman contributed in a large measure to the safe return of the bomber and its crew.

Combat Reports

Combat Reports available at TNA:

  • AIR 50/185/130
  • AIR 50/185/131
  • AIR 50/185/132
  • AIR 50/185/133
  • AIR 50/185/134
  • AIR 50/185/135
  • AIR 50/185/136

Crew Photographs

Cobb (Left hand picture), Smith, Trask and Williams (Right hand Picture)
[Source: Blue Job, Brown Job by David Codd DFC]

Notes:

  1.  More information can be found in the book Blue Job – Brown Job by David Codd DFC

Halifax DT805 (11/06/1943)

Halifax DT805 was one of sixteen No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack Munster on the night of the 11th / 12th June 1943.

It was equipped with Nav Aid Y (H2S); its designated Path Finder role was Blind Illuminator.

Its seven-man crew comprised:

  • Stanley George Howe (Pilot)
  • Wilfred Henry  Burgess (Observer)
  • George Peter Watts (Air Bomber)
  • Hector Alfred Jamieson (Wireless Operator)
  • Frederick William Barry (Air Gunner)
  • George Buchan (Air Gunner)
  • Alan Henry Mundy (Flight Engineer)

The route was 5223N 0143E, 5123N 0500E, 5157N 0620E, Munster, turn right, 5150N 0520E 5240N 0330E

DT805 failed to return and the squadron’s Operations Record Book shows “This aircraft did not return, nothing being heard from it after taking off”.

Wartime activities relating to the loss

On 12th June 1943 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 / 12th June 1943”.

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. 271 (Flight 02/09/1943) reported SG Howe as “missing”

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

  • 06/08/1943: Information received from the Air Ministry that F/L Howe, missing on 11th / 12th June 1943, was killed. Also that F/L Watts, F/L Burgess, P/O Jamieson, F/S Barry, F/S Buchan and P/O Mundy were captured

Crew members who survived the crash and were captured / imprisoned

WH Burgess, GP Watts, HA Jamieson, FW Barry, GM Buchan and AH Mundy 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:

  • WH Burgess (POW Liberation Questionnaire yet to be obtained, so information is unconfirmed)
    • Captured: (Sprained knee on landing)
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft III
    • Repatriated:
  • GP Watts (POW Liberation Questionnaire yet to be obtained, so information is unconfirmed)
    • Captured:
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft III
    • Repatriated:
  • HA Jamieson (POW Liberation Questionnaire yet to be obtained, so information is unconfirmed)
    • Captured:
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft III
    • Repatriated:
  • FW Barry (POW Liberation Questionnaire yet to be obtained, so information is unconfirmed)
    • Captured: (Slightly injured in air)
    • Imprisoned: Stalag IV-B, Stalag Luft III, Stalag 357
    • Repatriated:
  •  GM Buchan (POW Liberation Questionnaire yet to be obtained, so information is unconfirmed)
    • Captured: (Slightly injured in air)
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft VI, Stalag 357
    • Repatriated:
  • AH Mundy (POW Liberation Questionnaire yet to be obtained, so information is unconfirmed)
    • Captured:
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft VI, Stalag Luft III
    • 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 do not show where the remains of SG Howe were located but show that they were concentrated (reinterred) at ZELHEM GENERAL CEMETERY as follows:

  • HOWE, STANLEY GEORGE, Flight Lieutenant ‘132816’  Plot E. Row 2. Grave 1.

[Source: TracesofWar]


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Theo Boiten (Nachtjagd Combat Archive)

Nightfighter Claim: Oblt. Manfred Meurer, 3./NJG1, Zelhem 5km NE Doetinchem (Holland) [HN98, Himmelbett], 5300m, 01.40

oudzelhem.nl/oorlog/1943/omschrijving_historie.htm

The burning wreckage ended up in an open field near Heidenhoek. The body of SG Howe was found at Halseweg [He was buried, with full military honours at Zelhem early on 16th June 1943].

Bomber Command Loss Card

  • Howe: Baled out; chute opened but found dead on the ground

Missing above the Achterhoek (By Wim and Peter Rhebergen)

Details of the loss of the aircraft and the capture of the airmen is contained in the book “Vermist boven de Achterhoek (Missing above the Achterhoek)” by Wim and Peter Rhebergen

Halifax BB368 (21/06/1943)

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

Its seven-man crew comprised:

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

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

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


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Halifax BB361 (21/06/1943)

Halifax BB361 was one of nineteen No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack Krefeld on the night of the 21st / 22nd June 1943.

Its seven-man crew comprised:

  • James Wesley Andrews (Pilot)
  • David John Jones (Navigator)
  • Frederick Vernon Barnard (Air Bomber)
  • Reginald Arthur Muldoon (Wireless Operator)
  • Neil Thomas MacAulay (Air Gunner)
  • William Downie Robertson (Air Gunner)
  • Robert Matthew Scott (Flight Engineer)

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

BB361 failed to return and the squadron’s Operations Record Book shows “This aircraft did not return, nothing being heard from it after taking off”

Wartime activities relating to the loss

On 22nd June 1943 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 June 1943”.

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. 273 (Flight 02/09/1943) reported JW Andrews, FV Barnard, DJ Jones, RA Muldoon, NT Macaulay, WD Robertson and RM Scott as “missing”
  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No. 379 (Flight 04/05/44) reported NT Macaulay “previously reported missing” as “now presumed killed in action”
  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No. 380 (Flight 04/05/44) reported FV Barnard, WD Robertson and RM Scott “previously reported missing” as “now presumed killed in action”
  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No. 394 (Flight 15/06/44) reported JW Andrews “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:

  • 09/11/1943: Information received from Air Ministry that Sgt Macaulay, missing on operations 21st / 22nd June 1943, was killed

Note 1: 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.

Note 2: It is known that the body of NT Macaulay was recovered from the shoreline at Texel (near beach pole 13), Holland on 7th September 1943; he was buried in Texel (Den Burg) Cemetery two days later

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 NT MaCauley were located but show that they were concentrated (reinterred) as follows:

  • MacAULAY, NEIL THOMAS, Warrant Officer ‘R/121633’ TEXEL (DEN BURG) CEMETERY Plot K. Row 5. Grave 100.

[Source: FindaGrave]

The remains of the rest 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:

  • ANDREWS, JAMES WESLEY, Pilot Officer ‘J/18204’ Panel 175.
  • BARNARD, FREDERICK VERNON, Sergeant ‘1392675’ Panel 141.
  • JONES, DAVID JOHN, Sergeant ‘1338696’ Panel 155.
  • MULDOON, REGINALD ARTHUR, Sergeant ‘1382671’ Panel 160.
  • ROBERTSON, WILLIAM DOWNIE, Sergeant ‘1306838’ Panel 163.
  • SCOTT, ROBERT MATTHEW, Sergeant ‘575419’ Panel 164.

[Courtesy of Clive Lewis]


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Theo Boiten (Nachtjagd Combat Archive)

Nightfighter and Flak Claim: Probably Hptm. Franz Buschmann, 12./NJG1, 15 km NW Den Helder (Holland)(EK, Salzhering), 3.000 m. 02.20. Note: also claimed by Flak of M. Fla. A. 808 (enemy aircraft 25 km. W. Den Helder 02.32 hrs), victory Hptm. Buschmann confirmed on 20.12.1944

World War II Allied Aircraft Crashes in Holland and North Sea

  • Crashed in the North Sea, about 25km west of Den Helder
  • NT MacAulay’s body was washed ashore on 7th September 1943 at beach pole 13, Texel