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


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 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 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 ????? (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