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 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 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 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


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

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

LV787 failed to return and it was reported as “missing, nothing being heard of it after take off”

Wartime activities relating to the loss

On 22nd January 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 21st / 22nd January 1944”.

Extract from letter to the family of DA MacGregor

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. 366 (Flight 30/03/1944) reported PR Bales, DH Kent, DA MacGregor, WJ Gowdy, GE Grigg, LGW Watts and F Buchan as “missing”
  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No. 496 (Flight 26/04/1945) reported LGW Watts “previously reported missing” as “now presumed killed in action”
  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No. 497 (Flight 26/04/1945) reported PR Bales, DH Kent, WJ Gowdy, GE Grigg and F Buchan “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 PR Bales, DH Kent, DA MacGregor, WJ Gowdy, JE Grigg, LGW Watts and F Buchan were not located (or could not be formally identified) and, as such, their names are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial as follows:

  • BALES, PETER RICHARD Flying Officer ‘150127’ Panel 204.
  • BUCHAN, FREDERICK Sergeant ‘1801638’ Panel 226.
  • GOWDY, WILLIAM JOHN Sergeant ‘1512471’ Panel 230.
  • GRIGG, GEORGE ERNEST Sergeant ‘1419839’ Panel 230.
  • KENT, DENNIS HAROLD Flying Officer ‘144046’ Panel 207.
  • MACGREGOR, DAVID ALTON Flying Officer ‘J/20671’ Panel 247.
  • WATTS, LEONARD GEORGE WILLIAM Sergeant ‘1890347’ Panel 240.

[Courtesy of Clive Lewis]


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Lost without trace

Crew Information

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

Halifax JP123 (05/01/1944)

Halifax JP123 was one of ten aircraft No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack Stettin on the night of 5th / 6th January 1944.

It was equipped with Gee, Nav Aid Y (H2S), Monica and Fishpond and was carrying 4 x 500 HC and various Target Indicators. Its designated Path Finder role was Blind Backer Up.

Its seven-man crew comprised:

  • Robert Reginald George Appleby (Pilot)
  • Norman George Emery (Navigator)
  • Ernest Charles Nixon (Air Bomber)
  • Ivor Charles Redfearn (Wireless Operator)
  • Clifford George Bromham (Air Gunner)
  • Donald Seymour James (Air Gunner)
  • Bernard Leo Robinson (Flight Engineer)

The route was as follows: Base, 5600N 0600E, 5600N 1300E, 5405N 1323E, Stettin, 5325N 1450E, 5500N 1505E, 5600N 1300E, 5600N 0600E, Base

JP123 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 activity relating to the loss

On 6th January 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 5th / 6th January 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. 356 (Flight 16/03/1944) reported RRG Appleby, EC Nixon, IC Redfearn,  CG Bromham, DS James and BL Robinson as “missing”
  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No. 532 (Flight 16/08/1945) reported EC Nixon, IC Redfearn,  CG Bromham and BL Robinson “previously reported missing” as “now presumed killed in action”
  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No. 533 (Flight 23/08/1945) reported RRG Appleby and DS James “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 Air Ministry provided them (and presumably the families of the crew) with the following information:

  • 28/02/1944: Information received from Air Ministry that NG Emery, missing on 5th / 6th January 1944, is a prisoner of war
  • 01/05/1944: Information received from Air Ministry that RRG Appleby, missing on 5th / 6th January 1944, was killed

Crew members who survived the crash and were captured / imprisoned

NG Emery 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:

  • NG Emery (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 RRG Appleby, IC Redfearn, CG Bromham, DS James and BL Robinson were located at Torgelow Cemetery.

jp123-concentration
Redfearn1 (Cropped and Cleaned)..jpg

The original grave markers [Courtesy of Henry Pederson]

Their remains were exhumed, identified and concentrated  (reinterred) at BERLIN 1939-1945 WAR CEMETERY on 4th October 1947 as follows:

  • APPLEBY, ROBERT REGINALD GEORGE Flight Lieutenant ‘145692’  Grave 2. F. 21
  • BROMHAM, CLIFFORD GEORGE Flight Sergeant ‘1413551’ Grave 2. F. 19.
  • JAMES, DONALD SEYMOUR Flight Sergeant ‘1603174’ Grave 2. F. 17.
  • REDFEARN, IVOR CHARLES Flight Sergeant ‘645572’ Grave 2. F. 20.
  • ROBINSON, BERNARD LEO Flight Sergeant ‘1061193’ Grave 2. F. 18.

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

  • NIXON, ERNEST CHARLES Pilot Officer ‘170344’ Panel 212.

[Courtesy of Clive Lewis]


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Bomber Command Loss Card

  • On 3 engines, maintaining height 5505N 0320E (message received by another aircraft)
  • Halifax shot down by flak NW Target at 20,000 feet
  • 4 unknown with Emery (POW) …… 6th January ……….

Theo Boiten (Nachtjagd Combat Archive)

Possible Nightfighter Claim: Oblt. Paul Zorner, 8./NJG3, NW target Stettin, 5700m, 03.51

Halifax JP121 (20/02/1944)

Halifax JP121 was one of seventeen No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack Stuttgart on the night of the 20th / 21st February 1944.

It was equipped with H2S, Monica and Fishpond and was carrying 10 x 500lb MC and various target markers. Its designated Path Finder role was Visual Backer Up.

Its seven-man crew comprised:

  • James Gray Leslie (Pilot)
  • Frederick Iredale Stephens (Navigator)
  • Owen Letchworth Roberts (Air Bomber)
  • Jack Whitehouse (Wireless Operator)
  • Francis Norman Paisley (Air Gunner)
  • Raymond Cecil Davis (Air Gunner)
  • Dennis Stanley Male (Flight Engineer)

The route was 5110N 0240E, 4752N 0855E, Target, 4900N 0708E, 5110N 0240E

JP121 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 21st 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 20th / 21st 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 provided No. 35 Squadron with the following information regarding the crew:

  • 21/03/1944: Information received from Air Ministry that FI Stephens, JG Leslie and FN Paisley, missing on 20th / 21st February 1944, are prisoners of war
  • 30/03/1944: Information received from Air Ministry that  J Whitehouse, OL Roberts, DS Male and  RC Davis, missing on 20th / 21st February 1944, are prisoners of war

Crew members who survived the crash and were captured / imprisoned

JG Leslie, FI Stephens, OL Roberts, J Whitehouse, RC Davis, FN Paisley and DS Male 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:

  • JG Leslie
    • Captured: Black Forest  22/02/1944
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft VI, Heydekrug Mar-44 to Jul-44
    • Imprisoned: Stalag 357, Thorn Jul-44 to Aug-44
    • Imprisoned: Stalag 357, Fallingbostel Sep-44 to Jan-45
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft III, Sagan Jan-45
    • Imprisoned: Stalag III-A, Luckenwalde Feb-45 to May-45
    • Repatriated:   May-45
  • FI Stephens
    • Captured: Freiburg  23/02/44
    • Interrogated: Dulag Luft Oberursel, Frankfurt Feb-44
    • 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
  • OL Roberts
    • Captured: Nr. Nurstadt? 21/02/1944
    • 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
  • J Whitehouse
    • Captured: Nr Stuttgart 21/02/1944
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft VI, Heydekrug Mar-44 to Jun-44
    • Imprisoned: Stalag 357, Thorn Jun-44 to Jul-44
    • Imprisoned: Stalag 357, Fallingbostel Jul-44 to Apr-45
    • Repatriated: May-45
  • RC Davis
    • Captured: Black Forest 21/02/1944
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft VI, Heydekrug Mar-44 to Jun-44
    • Imprisoned: Stalag 357, Thorn Jun-44 to Jul-44
    • Imprisoned: Stalag 357, Fallingbostel Jul-44 to Apr-45
    • Repatriated: May-45
  • FN Paisley
    • Captured: Nr Frankfurt 21/02/1944 (Broken arm, ribs and cut face)
    • Hospitalised: Hohemark Hospital, Frankfurt Feb-44 to Mar-44
    • Hospitalised: 1249, Obermassfeld Mar-44 to May-44
    • Hospitalised: 1288, Meiningen May-44 to Oct-44
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft VII, Bankau Oct-44 to Jan-45
    • Imprisoned: Stalag III-A, Luckenwalde Feb-45 to May-45
    • Repatriated: May-45
  • DS Male
    • Captured Near Frieburg 21/02/1944
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft VI, Heydekrug Mar-44 to Jun-44
    • Imprisoned: Stalag 357, Thorn Jun-44 to Aug-44
    • Imprisoned: Stalag 357, Fallingbostel Aug-44 to Apr-45
    • Repatriated: May-45

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Theo Boiten (Nachtjagd Combat Archive)

Nightfighter claim: Uffz. Lorenz Gerstmayr, 4./NJG3, 10-15km W Stuttgart, 03.12. Also claimed by Flak of 2 & 3/schw. Flak Abt. 357.

“Crash of the Halifax JP121 TL-U at the Silberberg – Hinterzarten, 21st February 1944”

A booklet entitled “Crash of the Halifax JP121 TL-U at the Silberberg – Hinterzarten, 21st February 1944” was produced by Theo Gremmelspacher (Birkenweg 18, Hinterzarten). The content was agreed by surviving crew members (who received a summary in English). Trying to get hold of a copy of this document

Crash Location

It is understood that the aircraft crashed near the small community of Todtmoos in the Black Forest area of South Germany.

[Source: badische-zeitung.de]

Crew Information

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

Halifax HX325 (19/02/1944)

Halifax HX325 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 Primary Blind Marker

Its seven-man crew comprised:

  • Douglas Julian Sale (Pilot)
  • Gordon Henry Francis Carter (Navigator)
  • Boris Oleh Bodnar (Air Bomber)
  • Harold John Rogers (Wireless Operator)
  • Kenneth Knight (Air Gunner)
  • Robert Lionel Lamb (Air Gunner)
  • George Henry Cross (Flight Engineer)

The route was 5400N 0440E, 5240N 0810E, 5237N 1152E, 5200N 1255E, Target, 5100N 1200E, 5240N 0810E, 5315N 0400E

HX325 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 provided No. 35 Squadron with the following information regarding the crew:

  • 26/03/1944: Information received from Air Ministry that DJ Sale, GHF Carter and BO Bodnar, missing on 19th / 20th February 1944, are prisoners of war; DJ Sale was wounded
  • 04/04/1944: Information received from Air Ministry that HJ Rogers, GH Cross and RL Lamb, missing on 19th / 20th February 1944, are prisoners of war; also that K Knight was killed
  • 24/10/1944: Information received from Air Ministry that DJ Sale, missing on 19th / 20th February 1944, had died on 20th March 1944, whilst a prisoner

Crew members who survived the crash and were captured / imprisoned

GHF Carter, BO Bodnar, HJ Rogers, RL Lamb and GH Cross 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:

  • GHF Carter (POW No. 3526)
    • Captured: Nienburg / Weser 22/02/1944
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft III, Sagan Mar-44 to Jan-45
    • Imprisoned: Marlag und Milag Nord, Westertimke (Tarmstedt) Feb-45 to Apr-45
    • Repatriated: May-45
  • GH Cross
    • Captured Celle, Nr Hanover 21/02/1944
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft VI, Heydekrug Mar-44 Jul-44
    • Imprisoned: Stalag 357, Thorn Jul-44 Aug-44
    • Imprisoned: Stalag 357, Fallingbostel Aug-44 Apr-45
    • Repatriated May-45
  • BO Bodnar (POW Liberation Questionnaire yet to be obtained, so information is unconfirmed)
    • Captured:
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft III, Sagan
    • Repatriated:
  • HJ Rogers (POW Liberation Questionnaire yet to be obtained, so information is unconfirmed)
    • Captured:
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft III, Sagan
    • Repatriated:
  • RL Lamb (POW Liberation Questionnaire yet to be obtained, so information is unconfirmed)
    • Captured:
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft III, Sagan
    • Repatriated:

DJ Sale survived the crash and was captured and hospitalised at the Air Force Hospital, Giessener Strasse, Frankfurt-am-Main. He died as a result of his injuries (fracture of the pelvis resulting from a parachute jump) on 20th March 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 DJ Sale were located at St Avold US Military Cemetery (although a letter to his family suggests that his remains were exhumed from The Town Cemetery, Frankfurt-am-Main by American Forces and reinterred at St Avold)

dj-sale-concentration

His remains were exhumed, identified and concentrated (reinterred) on 12th February 1948 at CHOLOY WAR CEMETERY as follows:

  • SALE, DOUGLAS JULIAN ‘J/9929’  Grave 1. G. 8.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s (CWGC) records show that the remains of K Knight were located at Beedenbostel New Cemetery.

hx325-concentration

His remains were exhumed, identified and concentrated (reinterred) at HANOVER WAR CEMETERY on 9th April 1947 as follows:

  • KNIGHT, KENNETH Flight Sergeant ‘1602007’  Grave 5. C. 7


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Theo Boiten (Nachtjagd Combat Archive)

Possible Nightfighter Claim: Hptm. Ludwig Meister, 1./NJG4, Beedenbostel 13km NE Celle, 02.48

GHF Carter (POW Record)


Notes:

  1. Some sources suggest that DJ Sale committed suicide after sustaining serious injuries as a result of the crash. However, the cause of death section on his Certificate of Registration of Death, which can be completed as either “Accident, Suicide or Homicide”, shows “Accident, died of wounds as a prisoner of war” 

Halifax HX324 (21/01/1944)

Halifax HX324 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 Blind Backer Up.

Its seven-man crew comprised:

  • John Johnstone Jagger (Pilot)
  • John Ralph Humberstone (Navigator)
  • Thomas Patrick McGarry (Air Bomber)
  • Donald Smedley (Wireless Operator)
  • Eric Hie (Air Gunner)
  • Nelson John Rapere (Air Gunner)
  • William Percival (Flight Engineer)

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

HX324 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 January 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 21st / 22nd January 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. 364 (Flight 30/03/1944) reported JJ Jagger,  E Hie, NJ Rapere and W Percival as “missing”
  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No. 497 (Flight 20/04/1945) reported JJ Jagger and E Hie “previously reported missing” as “now presumed killed in action”
  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No. 502 (Flight 10/05/1945) reported NJ Rapere “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.

The squadron’s Operation Record Book shows the following information relating to the crew:

  • 29/02/1944: Information received from Air Ministry that JR Humberstone and D Smedley, missing on  21st / 22nd January 1944, were prisoners of war.
  • 30/03/1944: Information received from Air Ministry that McGarry,  missing on  21st / 22nd January 1944, was a prisoner of war (but wounded)

Crew members who survived the crash and were captured / imprisoned

TP McGarry, JR Humberstone and D Smedley 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:

  • TP McGarry
    • Captured: Dannenberg 23/01/1944 (Injured)
    • Hospitalised: Stalag XC, Bremervorde Jan-44 to Mar-44
    • Hospitalised: Luftwaffe Lazerette, Wismar Mar-44 to Apr-44
    • Interrogated: Dulag Luft, Frankfurt Apr-44
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft I, Barth Apr-44 to May-45
    • Hospitalised: POW Hospital, New Brandenburg ?
    • Repatriated: May-45
  • JR Humberstone
    • Captured: Dannenberg 23/01/1944
    • Interrogated: Dulag Luft, Frankfurt Jan-44 to Feb-44
    • 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
  • D Smedley
    • Captured: Bourge-Bie-Magdeburg 23/01/1944
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft VI, Heydekrug Feb-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

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 MRES report shows that the remains of JJ Jagger, E Hie, NJ Rapere and W Percival were located at Lüchow and exhumed on 27th May 1947. It was not possible to positively identify any of the airmen and, as such, the remains were concentrated (reinterred) at Soltau, Becklingen and their names recorded on the Runnymede Memorial as follows:

  • HIE, ERIC Flight Sergeant ‘1103376’ Panel 218.
  • JAGGER, JOHN JOHNSTONE Squadron Leader ‘123520’ Panel 200.
  • PERCIVAL, WILLIAM Flight Sergeant ‘621831’ Panel 221.
  • RAPERE, NELSON JOHN Flight Sergeant ‘633193’ Panel 221.

Note: The Commonwealth War Graves Commission has advised that the grave(s) at Soltau, Becklingen would have a headstone marked “An airman of the 1939-1945 War” with the inscription “Known unto God” at the bottom. It also advised that there are 47 headstones with this inscription at Becklingen.


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Theo Boiten (Nachtjagd Combat Archive)

Nightfighter Claim: Hptm. Eduard Jacob, 3./NJG2, 22.30

MRES Report

The MRES team established that the aircraft crashed 1/2 km W of Rehbeck, Germany and an eye witness report in their findings stated: “A four engine aircraft was observed approaching Rehbeck from the Southeast at approximately 22:00 on 21st January 1944. It was flying at a very low altitude and when about ½km west of Rehbeck at a height of approximately 100 metres it exploded in the air. The bombs had been jettisoned prior to the explosion. Cannon fire was heard and it is assumed that the aircraft was shot down by a nightfighter. The aircraft burned for approximately ½ hour. Debris from the wreckage was scattered over an area of about 500m in diameter. On the following day the Luftwaffe took the remains of the wreckage to Salzwedel. The remains of the aircrew were taken to Lüchow by the Burgermeister of Weitsche and buried in the new cemetery, Lüchow”.

Halifax HX323 (24/02/1944)

Halifax HX323 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:

  • Robert Walter Beveridge (Pilot)
  • Michael Ingoldsby Massy (Navigator)
  • John Gordon Irwin (Air Bomber)
  • James John Mather (Wireless Operator)
  • John Allinson (Air Gunner)
  • John David Smith (Air Gunner)
  • Arthur Richard Hall (Flight Engineer)

The squadron’s Operations Record Book shows “Halifax HX323 broke a tail wheel unit on landing”


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

AM Form 78

The AM Form 78 shows that the aircraft was classified as Cat. FB/AC; it was repaired on site and returned to the squadron on 16th March 1944

AM Form 1180

The AM Form 1180 shows “Tail wheel fractured on landing”


Halifax HX317 (21/01/1944)

Halifax HX317 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 Blind Backer Up.

Its seven-man crew comprised:

  • Thomas William Hill (Pilot)
  • Victor Maurice Hanks (Navigator)
  • William Carl Lawes (Air Bomber)
  • Sidney George Murrell (Wireless Operator)
  • Peter Ross Jung (Air Gunner)
  • Reginald Charles Bailey (Air Gunner)
  • William McCulloch (Flight Engineer)

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

HX317 failed to return and it was reported as “missing, nothing being heard of it after take off”

Wartime activities relating to the loss

On 22nd January 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 21st / 22nd January 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. 362 (Flight 23/03/1944) reported RC Bailey and TW Hill as “missing”
  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No. 377 (Flight 27/04/1944) reported TW Hill “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.

The squadron’s Operation Record Book shows the following information relating to the crew:

  • 14/03/1944: Information received from Air Ministry that PR Jung, missing on 21st / 22nd January 1944, was a a prisoner of war and that TW Hill and RC Bailey had been killed.
  • 30/03/1944: Information received from Air Ministry that SG Murrell, WC Lawes and VM Hanks, missing on 21st / 22nd January 1944, were prisoners of war.
  • 19/04/1944: Information received from Air Ministry that W McCulloch, missing on 21st / 22nd January 1944, has died whilst a prisoner of war.

Crew members who survived the crash and were captured and imprisoned

VM Hanks, WC Lawes, SG Murrell and PR Jung 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:

  • VM Hanks (POW Liberation Questionnaire yet to be obtained, so information is unconfirmed)
    • Captured:
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft VI (Heydekrug) / Stalag Luft IV (Gross Tychow)
    • Repatriated
  • WC Lawes (POW Liberation Questionnaire yet to be obtained, so information is unconfirmed)
    • Captured:
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft VI (Heydekrug) / Stalag 357
    • Repatriated:
  • SG Murrell (POW Liberation Questionnaire yet to be obtained, so information is unconfirmed)
    • Captured:
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft VI (Heydekrug) / Stalag 357
    • Repatriated:
  • PR Jung (POW Liberation Questionnaire yet to be obtained, so information is unconfirmed)
    • Captured
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft I, Barth
    • Repatriated

W McCulloch was captured and died in captivity (7th March 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 TW Hill and RC Bailey were located at Mockern Cemetery (Stradtfriedhof).

hx317-concentration

Their remains were exhumed, identified and concentrated (reinterred) at BERLIN 1939-1945 WAR CEMETERY on 19th July 1947 as follows:

  • BAILEY, REGINALD CHARLES Flight Sergeant ‘1398336’  Grave 6. H. 6.
  • HILL, THOMAS WILLIAM Pilot Officer ‘169912’ Grave 6. H. 7.

W McCulloch’s remains were located at Altengrabow Cemetery (Standortfriedhof).

mcculloch-hx317-concentration

His remains were exhumed, identified and concentrated (reinterred) at BERLIN 1939-1945 WAR CEMETERY on 4th December 1947 as follows:

  • McCULLOCH, WILLIAM Flight Sergeant ‘1367884’  Grave 1. Z. 17.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Theo Boiten (Nachtjagd Combat Archive)

Hit by 2./schw.Flak Abt. 495 and crashed near Stegelitz at 23.22hrs. Also hit and set on fire by an unidentified Nachtjager

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

Shot down by a nightfighter in the target area

Halifax HX169 (19/01/1944 [Non Op.])

Halifax HX169 was on a training flight on 19th January 1944.

Its seven-man crew consisted of:

  • Ralph Blakey (Pilot)
  • Joseph William Samuel Burden (Navigator)
  • Douglas John McLeod (Air Bomber)
  • Stephen Jackson (Wireless Operator)
  • Kenneth Albert Lawrence Mitchell (Air Gunner)
  • Thomas Nainby (Air Gunner)
  • Leslie Valentine Norton (Flight Engineer)

The squadron’s Operations Record Book shows “Halifax Mark II HX169, whilst on a training flight, crashed near the aerodrome when attempting to land on three engines at approximately 11.15 hours. Though the aircraft was completely wrecked, only R Blakey and DJ McLeod were injured. Both were removed to RAF Hospital, Ely”


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Cause / Location of Loss

Crashed between Toseland and Yelling?

AM Form 78

The movement card shows that the aircraft was classified as Cat. FA/E and it was struck off charge on 2nd February 1944

AM Form 1180

Crashed near airfield after overshooting on three engines; aircraft started turn at 300ft after take-off; pilot reported aircraft behaving strangely and that ailerons were jamming. Investigation found accident due to technical failure

R Blakey / DJ McLeod

R Blakey returned to the squadron and was operational again in May 1944. DJ McLeod did not return to the squadron.

Halifax HX160 (05/01/1944)

Halifax HX160 was one of ten No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack Stettin on the night of 5th / 6th January 1944

It was equipped with Gee, Nav Aid Y (H2S), Monica and Fishpond and was carrying 4 x 500lb MC and various Target Indicators. Its designated Path Finder role was Blind Backer Up.

Its seven-man crew (plus KAJ Campbell as 2nd Dickie) consisted of:

  • Thomas William Albert Hutton (Pilot)
  • Kenneth Alfred John Campbell (2nd Dickie)
  • Paul Barber (Navigator)
  • William Henry Lewis Sidney Way (Air Bomber)
  • Dennis Roy Perrin (Wireless Operator)
  • Joseph Jean Robert Theobald Godin (Air Gunner)
  • William Inverarity (Air Gunner)
  • Royston James Child (Flight Engineer)

The route was as follows: Base, 5600N 0600E, 5600N 1300E, 5405N 1323E, Stettin, 5325N 1450E, 5500N 1505E, 5600N 1300E, 5600N 0600E, Base

HX160 failed to return and the squadron’s Operations Record Book shows “This aircraft is missing, nothing being heard from it after take-off”

Wartime activity relating to the loss

On 6th January 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 5th / 6th January 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. 357 (Flight 16/03/1944) reported KAJ Campbell, WHLS Way, RJ Child and JRT Godin as “missing”
  • Air Ministry Casualty Communique No. 489 (Flight 12/04/1945) reported JRT Godin “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:

  • 19/02/1944: Information received from Air Ministry that W Invararity, missing on  5th / 6th January 1944, was a prisoner of war (but wounded) and that JRT Godin had been killed

Crew members who survived the crash and were captured and imprisoned

TWA Hutton, DR Perrin, P Barber and W Inverarity 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 in 1945, show the following:

  • TWA Hutton
    • Captured: Nr Stettin 06/01/44
    • Interrogated: Dulag Luft, Frankfurt Jan-44
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft III, Sagan Jan-44 to Jan-45
    • Imprisoned: Oflag IIIA, Luckenwalde Feb-45 to May-45
    • Repatriated: May-45
  • DR Perrin
    • Captured: Nr Stettin 06/01/44
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft III, Sagan Jan-44 to Jan-45
    • Imprisoned: Oflag IIIA, Luckenwalde Feb-45 to May-45
    • Repatriated: May-45
  • P Barber
    • Captured 30km NW Stettin 08/01/1944
    • Interrogated Dulag Luft Oberursel, Frankfurt Jan-44
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft III, Sagan Jan-44 to Jan-45
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft IIIa, Luckenwalde Feb-45 to May-45
    • Repatriated May-45
  • W Inverarity
    • Captured: Stettin 05/01/1944 (Broken Ribs, Broken Pelvis and Head Injuries)
    • Hospitalised: Stettin Jan-44
    • Hospitalised: Stortmunden? Jan-44 to Feb-44
    • Hospitalised: Greifswald Feb-44 to Mar-44
    • Interrogated: Dulag Luft, Frankfurt Mar-44
    • Imprisoned: Red Cross Transit Camp Mar-44
    • Imprisoned: Stalag Luft III, Sagan Mar-44 to Jan-45
    • Imprisoned: Nurnberg / Moosburg Jan-45 to May-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 Runnymede Memorial, which was unveiled in 1953.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s (CWGC) records show that the remains of KAJ Campbell, WHLS Way, JJRT Godin and RJ Child were located at Stettin (Map Reference O54/Q55)

Their remains were exhumed, identified and concentrated (re-interred) at Poznan Old Garrison Cemetery on 8th October 1948 as follows:

  • GODIN, Joseph Jean Robert Theobald ‘J/18240’  Coll. grave 6. C. 3-12.
  • CAMPBELL, Kenneth Alfred John ‘1386525’ Coll. grave 6. C. 3-12.
  • CHILD, Royston James ‘149060’ Coll. grave 6. C. 3-12
  • WAY, William Henry Lewis Sidney ‘129744’ Coll. grave 6. C. 3-12.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Dr Theo Boiten (Nachtjagd Combat Archive)

Probable Nightfighter Claim: Ofw. Kurt Welter: 5./JG302, W. Stettin, 03.46

Bomber Command Loss Card

Barber says “We were (_) The aircraft was damaged; P/O Godin reported that he had been wounded in the leg. The (-) which set our fuel tanks on fire. Before anyone could leave the aircraft the tanks exploded blowing up the aircraft. I woke up to find myself falling through the air. I have no further recollections of my companions. Perrin corroborates

Hutton says “Barber and Perrin were informed at the Dulag Luft that Campbell had been killed. Same of Godin who was seriously injured in aircraft during first attack. We carried on to target and were attacked a second time. Aircraft hit amidships and starboard wing set on fire. Order to abandon. Presume Way and Child badly injured in second attack as there was time and height for them to get out

From Stalag Luft 3 Facebook Page

W Inverarity was imprisoned in the East Compound of Stalag Luft 3 and ended up at Nürnberg after the evacuation of Stalag Luft 3 in January 1945.

Stalag Luft 3 (East Compound) [Courtesy of Ben Van Drogenbroek]

Crew Information

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


Notes:

  1. L Gorman (whose name is included on JJRT Godin’s headstone) was Leonard Gorman (Service Number 1490579) who was killed on 6th January 1944 whilst serving with No. 57 Squadron (Lancaster JB541)

Halifax ????? (20/02/1944)

Halifax ????? was one of seventeen No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack Stuttgart on the night of the 20th / 21st 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 “This aircraft crashed on take off” (All personnel survived)

  • Further research required to establish which aircraft this was