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 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