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RAF East Kirkby in the Second World War 1939-1945 - The Wartime Memories Project -

The Wartime Memories Project

- RAF East Kirkby during the Second World War -


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World War 2 Two II WW2 WWII

RAF East Kirkby



   

RAF East Kirkby opened on the 20th August 1943 as a Bomber command Station.

The station closed in 1958 and is now home to an air museum whose prize exhbit is the Lancaster Bomber "Just Jane". The aircraft was purchased by the Panton brothers from a museum in Blackpool where it had been a static exhibit. Now fully restored, in memory of their brother who was killed on a Bomber Command mission, the Lancaster has been given a taxi licence and frequently makes runs for visitors. The museum website can be visited here: The Lincolnshire Air Museum

After the end of hostilities, East Kirby was home to 460 sqd. RAAF, (previously at RAF Binbrook) until October, 1945.

Squadrons stationed at East Kirkby

  • No: 57 Squadron
  • No: 630 Squadron


An interactive panorama of the RAF East Kirby Memorial Chapel.

View full screen



 

15th March 1943 57 Squadron Lancaster lost

28th August 1943 

31st March 1944 
630 Squadron Lancaster lost

17th Apr 1945 57 Squadron Lancaster lost

25th April 1945 Final Ops

4th May 1945 


If you can provide any additional information, please add it here.



Those known to have served at

RAF East Kirkby

during the Second World War 1939-1945.

  • Ansdell Geoffrey R.A.. F/Sgt. (d.22nd June 1944)
  • Beaumont DFC.. Ronald A.W. F/Lt. (d.22nd Jun 1944)
  • Beck Paul Allen. W/O
  • Bjoroy H G. Sergeant
  • Clark Maurice A.. F/Sgt. (d.22nd June 1944)
  • Evensen Niels Christian. (d.17th December 1944)
  • Fitzpatrick Ernest H.. Flt.Sgt.
  • Gale DFM. Norman Leslie Ernest. Flight Sargeant (d.19th July 1944)
  • Garling John Rober. Flying Officer (d.17th December 1944)
  • Goehring Edward H.. F/Sgt. (d.22nd June 1944)
  • Gregson James Gilroy.
  • Grubb Anthony Edward. F/Lt. (d.5th July 1944)
  • Gulliksen W G.
  • Hall Bernard. F/O (d.17th May 1945)
  • Henley Maurice Benjamin. Sgt. (d.22nd Nov 1944)
  • Higgins DFC.. F. R.G.A.. P/O
  • Hurley Charles H.T.. WO (d.22nd June 1944)
  • Hussey Milt.
  • Langley John.
  • Mayne Thomas H. PO (d.June 22, 1944)
  • McCallum Robert. W/O
  • McCrudden Dennis J.. PO (d.June 22, 1944)
  • Meade Victor Francis Dobell. F/O (d.17th May 1945)
  • Moore Peter William Lewis. Sgt. (d.26/27 Aug 1944)
  • O'Donnell Ronald James. F/O (d.17th May 1945)
  • Penicud Alfred. Sgt Air Gunner
  • Pickering Alfred Luther. W/O
  • Plowman G. E.. Sgt.
  • Powell A R. Sergeant (d.6th January 1945)
  • Rabbetts Gordon Leonard. Sgt. (d.17th May 1945)
  • Scott D S. Sergeant
  • Smith Reginald Henry. Sgt. (d.17th May 1945)
  • Southwold Vincent Reginald Woodburn. Sgt. (d.17th May 1945)
  • Stills John Alfred. Sgt. (d.17th May 1945)
  • Thomason Albert. Warrant Officer
  • Wright Ivan Herbert. W/O.

The names on this list have been submitted by relatives, friends, neighbours and others who wish to remember them, if you have any names to add or any recollections or photos of those listed, please Add a Name to this List

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Sgt. G. E. Plowman w/op 630 Sqd

Sgt Plowman was the Wireless Operator on my Father's crew, thier Lancaster was shot down the 16th of March 1944. My father, Len Barnes evaded capture.

The crew were:

  • P/O L.A.Barnes
  • Sgt K.A.Walker
  • F/O M.Geisler
  • Sgt M.E.Gregg
  • Sgt G.E.Plowman
  • Sgt J.H.Overholt
  • Sgt T.A.Fox

Amanda Burrows



Flight Sargeant Norman Leslie Ernest Gale DFM 57 Squadron (d.19th July 1944)

My great uncle flew (and died) with 57 Sqd in WW2: Flt Sgt Norman Leslie Ernest Gale DFM, No 1297387 Flight Engineer from Sway, Hampshire. Died 19/7/44 over France - buried with 3 other members of crew in Bassevelle (East of Paris) They are the pilot, Flt Lt John Alec Bulcraig DFM, wireless operator Sgt Thomas Loughlin from Liverpool, and bomb aimer F/O Edward Chatterton Robson who was from Blackpool. The surviving crew members were, Sgt L.E.S.Manning and Sgt F.J.D.Taylor who both evaded capture and F/O E.H.Ruston who was taken POW and held in Stalag Luft 1.

I'm trying to find out circumstances of both raid my great uncle died on and his DFM

UPDATE:

The Lancaster, DX-L took off at 22:56 on the 18th of July 1944 from East Kirkby to bomb the key railway junction at Revigny. It was coned by searchlights soon after crossing the French coast and while escaping the beams wandered off course. The aircraft was shot down by a night-fighter and crashed at Bassevelle (Seine-et-Marne)

Sgt Gale had gained his award in the most hazardous circumstances while serving with No.106 Sqdn, his DFM Citation was Gazetted 28th Sep 1943. His Lancaster, JB146 had taken off at 20:10 on the 31st of Aug 1943 from Syerston and was hit by Flak over Berlin. The pilot F/O Harry Ham and w/op Sgt James Weight were wounded when the Flak struck their aircraft and both later died as a result of their injuries. The crew managed to get the aircraft home but crash-landed at 03:00 on the 1st of Sept on the Romney Marshes in Kent.

The crew were:

  • F/O H.D.Ham
  • Sgt N.Gale
  • F/O C.Pitman
  • Sgt J.E.Jones
  • Sgt J.W.Weight
  • F/S N.D.Higman
  • Sgt T.Waller

15 years ago, Anne-Marie and Bernard Langou of Bassevelle - 77750 France have found the survivors and the families of them and the families of the people who died on 19 july 1944 when the Lancaster JB318 crashed here. We wrote a booklet (80 pages). I wrote to Ivor GALE, the uncle of Norman, many times and Leonard MANNING, the air gunner, too, but only one answer, (I have a copy for you), after no contact. Here, at Bassevelle, we had commemorations on 1994, 1999, 2004 and 2009 with many flags, music, and english families of the crew who are now our friends (families MANNING, RUSTON, BULCRAIG, TAYLOR and ROBSON). We have made a memorial, a panel and other things. the last ceremony : 18 july 2009.

I can give M. Padgett, what we have collected during these fifteen years and perhaps we can answer a little. We will be honored to receive you and your familie in the village like the other families.

Robin Padgett



Niels Christian "Kiss" Evensen 57 Squadron (d.17th December 1944)

I am looking for information about my uncle, Niels Christian Evensen (nicknamed Kiss). He was shot down near Dieppe, France on 17/12/1944. Is there anyone who remembers him?

The crew were:

  • Capt N.C.Evensen RNAF
  • F/S W.G.Gulliksen RNAF
  • F/O John Roger Garling RAF, 154595 (name on Runnymede Memorial)
  • Sgt H.G.Bjoroy RNAF
  • W/O Albert Thomason RAF VR 1117171 (buried Longuenesse (St Omer) Souvenir Cemetery)
  • Sgt A.R.Powell RCAF
  • Sgt D.S.Scott RAF

  • Lise Armstrong



    W G Gulliksen 57 Squadron

    I am looking for information about my uncle, Niels Christian Evensen, shot down near Dieppe, France on 17/12/1944. Is there anyone who remembers him?

    The crew were:

  • Capt N.C.Evensen RNAF
  • F/S W.G.Gulliksen RNAF
  • F/O John Roger Garling RAF, 154595 (name on Runnymede Memorial)
  • Sgt H.G.Bjoroy RNAF
  • W/O Albert Thomason RAF VR 1117171 (buried Longuenesse (St Omer) Souvenir Cemetery)
  • Sgt A.R.Powell RCAF
  • Sgt D.S.Scott RAF

  • Lise Armstrong



    Flying Officer John Rober Garling 57 Squadron (d.17th December 1944)

    I am looking for information about my uncle, Niels Christian Evensen, shot down near Dieppe, France on 17/12/1944. Is there anyone who remembers him?

    The crew were:

  • Capt N.C.Evensen RNAF
  • F/S W.G.Gulliksen RNAF
  • F/O John Roger Garling RAF, 154595 (name on Runnymede Memorial)
  • Sgt H.G.Bjoroy RNAF
  • W/O Albert Thomason RAF VR 1117171 (buried Longuenesse (St Omer) Souvenir Cemetery)
  • Sgt A.R.Powell RCAF
  • Sgt D.S.Scott RAF

  • Lise Armstrong



    Sergeant H G Bjoroy 57 Squadron

    I am looking for information about my uncle, Niels Christian Evensen, shot down near Dieppe, France on 17/12/1944. Is there anyone who remembers him?

    The crew were:

  • Capt N.C.Evensen RNAF
  • F/S W.G.Gulliksen RNAF
  • F/O John Roger Garling RAF, 154595 (name on Runnymede Memorial)
  • Sgt H.G.Bjoroy RNAF
  • W/O Albert Thomason RAF VR 1117171 (buried Longuenesse (St Omer) Souvenir Cemetery)
  • Sgt A.R.Powell RCAF
  • Sgt D.S.Scott RAF

  • Lise Armstrong



    Warrant Officer Albert Thomason 57 Squadron

    I am looking for information about my uncle, Niels Christian Evensen, shot down near Dieppe, France on 17/12/1944. Is there anyone who remembers him?

    The crew were:

  • Capt N.C.Evensen RNAF
  • F/S W.G.Gulliksen RNAF
  • F/O John Roger Garling RAF, 154595 (name on Runnymede Memorial)
  • Sgt H.G.Bjoroy RNAF
  • W/O Albert Thomason RAF VR 1117171 (buried Longuenesse (St Omer) Souvenir Cemetery)
  • Sgt A.R.Powell RCAF
  • Sgt D.S.Scott RAF

  • Lise Armstrong



    Sergeant A R Powell 57 Squadron (d.6th January 1945)

    I am looking for information about my uncle, Niels Christian Evensen, shot down near Dieppe, France on 17/12/1944. Is there anyone who remembers him?

    The crew were:

  • Capt N.C.Evensen RNAF
  • F/S W.G.Gulliksen RNAF
  • F/O John Roger Garling RAF, 154595 (name on Runnymede Memorial)
  • Sgt H.G.Bjoroy RNAF
  • W/O Albert Thomason RAF VR 1117171 (buried Longuenesse (St Omer) Souvenir Cemetery)
  • Sgt A.R.Powell RCAF
  • Sgt D.S.Scott RAF

  • Lise Armstrong



    Sergeant D S Scott 57 Squadron

    I am looking for information about my uncle, Niels Christian Evensen, shot down near Dieppe, France on 17/12/1944. Is there anyone who remembers him?

    The crew were:

  • Capt N.C.Evensen RNAF
  • F/S W.G.Gulliksen RNAF
  • F/O John Roger Garling RAF, 154595 (name on Runnymede Memorial)
  • Sgt H.G.Bjoroy RNAF
  • W/O Albert Thomason RAF VR 1117171 (buried Longuenesse (St Omer) Souvenir Cemetery)
  • Sgt A.R.Powell RCAF
  • Sgt D.S.Scott RAF

  • Lise Armstrong



    James Gilroy Gregson 57 Squadron

    My father, James Gilroy Gregson, served in 57 Squadron at East Kirkby during WW2 as an armourer, reloading planes' guns and ensuring they fired properly etc. Sadly he died in 2005 aged 91 but thankfully I was able to take him a few years ago, when my mother was alive, to visit East Kirby museum. He was particularly delighted to find a photograph of himself and three pals in front of a gate in the countryside - this was found downstairs in the control tower.

    Alex Gregson



    Flt.Sgt. Ernest H. Fitzpatrick rear gunner 57 Squadron

    Ernest Fitzpatrick is my Grandfather. He has told me that he flew in a Lancaster bomber('P' for Peter) from East Kirkby and that he was the rear gunner

    Sue Fitzpatrick



    P/O F. R.G.A. Higgins DFC. Air Gunner. 630 Squadron

    Would you please add the following Officers name (my late uncle) to the lists of those who served on 57 Sqdn and also 630 Sqdn. P/O F.R.G.A. Higgins DFC (Air Gunner). Thank you.

    Roy Kirk



    F/O Bernard Hall 630 Squadron (d.17th May 1945)

    I am carrying out research into the crash of Avro Lancaster RF124 (LE-S). The aircraft based with 630 Squadron, had left East Kirkby on 17th May 1945 on a routine cross-country training flight.

    The aircraft had the following crewmen on board:

    • F/O Bernard Hall 24 yrs pilot
    • F/O Ronald James O'Donnell 21 yrs F/Engineer
    • F/O Victor Francis Dobell Meade 23yrs Air Bomber
    • Sgt Reginald Henry Smith 21yrs Navigator
    • Sgt Gordon Leonard Rabbetts 21yrs Wirless Op
    • Sgt Vincent Reginald Woodburn Southworth 20yrs(?)A/Gunner
    • Sgt John Alfred Sills 21yrs A/Gunner
    All crewmen were members of the RAFVR At approx 17:15 hrs on that date the aircraft was seen to be in trouble over Wednesfield Nr Wolverhampton, West Midlands. The aircraft hit the ground and was completely destroyed with the crew suffering simply horrendous injuries. All died on impact. The crew's remains were collected and returned to their respective families for burial back in their own home towns. As a resident of Wednesfield I can pass on to any surviving family members that their loved ones are still remembered on each anniversary when poppy wreaths are placed at the crash scene.

    I have spoken to many eye-witnesses in recent weeks (Since April 2011) and have had many conflicting accounts of the final flight path of the doomed aircraft. It's final flying state is also in doubt with some witnesses stating that engine(s) were on fire or emitting smoke and others state it was gliding down under control. One even states that a crewman was seen lying prone on the portside wing. The official enquiry finding was that the crash was caused by an 'Obscure' reason. The official record states that the a/c came out of low cloud inverted and flew into the ground.

    If anyone is able to pass on any further information please contact me.

    Graham Smith



    W/O Alfred Luther Pickering 9 Squadron

    My Dad, Alfred Pickering, joined up in 1941 and did some of his basic training in, of all places, the Royal Albert Hall in London. After basic training whilst waiting to do is courses for aircrew, the RAF sent him and his mates to work in a cider factory in Somerset. He said he had never seen so many wasps in is life. He passed his courses and eventualy joined an aircrew with 9 Squadron.

    He flew on 31 ops the extra op came about because of a sad accident. After bombing Berlin in April 1944 on returning they had to land at a differant airfield. Flying back the next day, on returning the pilot P/O K L Porter asked Dad to go back with him to collect a bomb sight, which had been left at the other airfield. But Dad had two days leave so asked another wop to go instead and gave him ten shillings. So they took off with some air cadets on board and sadly flew into the ground on the way back. Several people were killed including P/O Porter, dad's best frend. When my brother was born in september that year dad and mam named him Kenneth Luther Pickering after his friend. One good thing was the wireless operator didn't die in the crash

    Because dad then had no crew. He was transfered to 57 squadron at East Kirkby and the crew he was there with had done one op less than him so rather than let them fly there last op with another operator, he did it with them. He carried on with the RAF until 1946 as an instructor. Sadly dad is no longer here but lived a full life and died when he was 81. If anyone remembers him, please get in touch.

    Allan Pickering



    Sgt. Peter William Lewis Moore 57 Squadron (d.26/27 Aug 1944)

    My Uncle, Sgt Peter William Lewis Moore, was a Flight Engineer in RAF Bomber Command, 57 Squadron at East Kirby. He was Engineer on board Lancaster LM232 - DX-G/F. This plane was airborne at 20:13 on 26 Aug 44 from East Kirkby on a raid to Konigsberg. It was lost without trace.

    I have been collecting information about Peter's sorties, this information is from 57 Squadron's Operational Records Books.

    3rd/4th June 1944. Target Ferme D'Urville W/T Station. Text from 57 Squadron Operational Records Book: 10 Aircraft were detailed and took off to attack Ferme D'Urville W/T Station. The red T.I.s went down at 00:57 hrs in two pairs about 400 yards apart and the Westerly pair was immediately backed up by a Green T.I. All crews report the bombing to have been very well concentrated. A large explosion was seen in the target area at 01:02 hrs. Ground defences were very slight and there were some search lights. All aircraft returned safely to base. The visibility was good with some ground haze.

    Aircraft Type and Number: Lancaster III LM.580

    Crew:

    • P/O. Owen.N. - Pilot
    • Sgt Moore.P.W.L - F/Eng
    • F/S Bennett.E. - Nav.
    • F/S/Shaw.E. - A/B
    • Sgt Grice.J. - W/Op
    • Sgt Stevens.M.L - M/U
    • Sgt Kirwan.K. - R/G
    They took off at 23:00 and returned at 02:50 Sortie Completed. The Bomb Load was 1 x 4,000 lb H.C. and 16 x 500 lb M.C.

    Background: From Bomber Command Campaign Diary: 96 Lancasters of No 5 Group and 4 Pathfinder Mosquitos to attack the important German signals station at Ferme d'Urville (near "Invasion coast") which had escaped serious damage in bombing 2 nights earlier. 3 of the Oboe Mosquitos placed their markers perfectly and the Lancasters wiped out the station. No aircraft lost.

    4th/5th June 1944. Target - Maisy Gun Emplacement. Text from 57 Squadron Operational Records Book: 15 aircraft were detailed and all took off to attack this target. Owing to poor visibility, little could be seen of the results of the attack. Most crew saw only the glow of Red or Green T.I.'s though cloud and bombed this assisted by navigational aids. Defences very very slight. Heavy flak. All aircraft returned safely to base.

    Aircraft Type and Number Lancaster III LM.573 Crew:

    • P/O. Owen.N. - Pilot
    • Sgt Moore.P.W.L - F/Eng
    • F/S Bennett.E. - Nav.
    • F/S/Shaw.E. - A/B
    • Sgt Grice.J. - W/Op
    • Sgt Stevens.M.L - M/U
    • Sgt Kirwan.K. - R/G
    They took off at 01:10 and returned at 05:06 Sortie Completed. Bomb Load was 18 x 500 lb G.P.

    Background: From Bomber Command Campaign Diary: 259 aircraft - 125 Lancasters, 118 Halifaxes, 16 Mosquitos - of Nos 1, 4, 5, 6 and 8 Groups to bomb 4 gun positions; 3 of these were deception targets in the Pas de Calais but the fourth battery, at Maisy, was in Normandy between what would soon be known as Omaha and Utah Beaches, where American troops would land in less than 36 hours' time. Unfortunately, Maisy was covered by cloud and could only be marked by Oboe skymarkers, but it was then bombed by 52 Lancasters of No 5 Group. Two of the three gun positions in the Pas de Calais were also affected by bad weather and could only be bombed through cloud but the position at Calais itself was clear and was accurately marked by the Mosquitos and well bombed by Halifaxes and Lancasters of No 6 Group. No aircraft lost on these operations.

    5th-6th June 1944. Target - La Pernelle Coastal Guns. D-Day.

    Text from 57 Squadron Operational Records Book. 16 Aircraft were detailed and all took off to attack the Coastal Guns at La Pernelle. The Red T.I's appeared to be a little late in going down but at 03:39 hrs the controller broadcast the order to bomb. Bombing ceased at 04:03 hrs. Most crews had no difficulty in bombing the markers or the glow reflected on the clouds. Ground defences were negligible and no fighters were seen. All returned safely to base.

    Aircraft Type and Number Lancaster III ND.954 Crew:

  • P/O. Owen.N. - Pilot
  • Sgt Moore.P.W.L - F/Eng
  • F/S Bennett.E. - Nav.
  • F/S/Shaw.E. - A/B
  • Sgt Grice.J. - W/Op
  • Sgt Stevens.M.L - M/U
  • Sgt Kirwan.K. - R/G They took off at 01:41 and returned at 05:47 Sortie Completed. Bomb Load was 11 x 1,000 lb M.C. 4 x 500lb G.P.

    Background: From Bomber Command Campaign Diary: 1,012 aircraft - 551 Lancasters, 412 Halifaxes, 49 Mosquitos - to bomb coastal batteries at Fontenay, Houlgate, La Pernelle, Longues, Maisy, Merville, Mont Fleury, Pointe du Hoc, Ouisterham and St Martin de Varreville. 946 aircraft carried out their bombing tasks. 3 aircraft were lost - 2 Halifaxes of No 4 Group on the Mont Fleury raid and 1 Lancaster of No 6 Group on the Longues raid. Only two of the targets - La Pernelle and Ouisterham - were free of cloud; all other bombing was entirely based on Oboe marking. At least 5,000 tons of bombs were dropped, the greatest tonnage in one night so far in the war.

    7th-8th June 1944. Target - Foret de Cerisy - Tank Depot

    Text from 57 Squadron Operational Records Book. 11 Aircraft were detailed to attack the tank depot Foret de Cerisy. The bombing of the green T.I.s was very concentrated and resulted in one very large explosion at 01:44 hrs whilst a series of mminor explosions occurred throughout the attack. Black smoke was also abserved coming up from the ground. Fighter activity was on a very small scale. One aircraft returned early due to failure of S.O. Engine but the remainder all attacked the target and returned safely to base.

    Aircraft Type and Number Lancaster III NN.977

    • P/O. Owen.N. - Pilot
    • Sgt Moore.P.W.L - F/Eng
    • F/S Bennett.E. - Nav.
    • F/S/Shaw.E. - A/B
    • Sgt Grice.J. - W/Op
    • Sgt Stevens.M.L - M/U
    • Sgt Kirwan.K. - R/G
    They took off at 23:37and returned at 01:26 Sortie not completed, failure of S.O. Engine. Bomb Load was 18 x 500 lb G.P.

    Background: From Bomber Command Campaign Diary: 112 Lancasters and 10 Mosquitos of Nos 1, 5 and 8 Groups carried out an accurate attack on an important 6-way road junction half-way between Bayeux and St-Lo at Foret De Cerisy. The surrounding woods were believed to contain fuel dumps and German tank units preparing to counter-attack the Allied landing forces. The nearest French village was several kilometres away. 2 Lancasters lost.

    9th-10th June 1944. Target - Etampes.

    Text from 57 Squadron Operational Records Book: 15 Aircraft were detailed and all took off for this operation. The yellow T.I.s and the initial red spot fires at the target were punctual, but the first red spot fire was about 400 yards N.E. of A/P. Some crews bombed this but at 23:59 hrs the controller ordered "stand By- stop bombing". The target was re-marked with several red spot fires, one of which was backed up by green T.I.s and the bombing resumed at 00:13hrs. The bombing was reported as being well concentrated. All aircraft bombed and return safely. Aircraft Type and Number Lancaster III NN.977

    • P/O. Owen.N. - Pilot
    • Sgt Moore.P.W.L - F/Eng
    • F/S Bennett.E. - Nav.
    • F/S/Shaw.E. - A/B
    • Sgt Grice.J. - W/Op
    • Sgt Stevens.M.L - M/U
    • Sgt Kirwan.K. - R/G
    They took off at 1:46 and returned at 02:42 Sortie completed but suffered a hang up over target of 1 x 500lb M.C. Bomb Load was 16 x 500 lb M.C.: 2 x 500lb G.P.

    Background: From Bomber Command Campaign Diary: 108 Lancasters and 4 Mosquitos of No 5 Group, with 5 Pathfinder Mosquitos, attempted to bomb a railway junction at tampes, south of Paris. 6 Lancasters lost. The marking was accurate but late and the bombing spread from the railway junction into the town. This was a 5 Group attack, led by Mosquito Pathfinders, on the railway junction at Etampes, south of Paris. It had rained for most of the day across Lincolnshire with the dull overcast bringing visibility down to 1 mile. But in the evening, shortly after 21.00hrs, a force of 108 Lancasters took to the air including 21 Lancasters from Fiskerton, all bound for France once again. Over the target marking was accurate but late, causing the Lancasters to orbit. During this dangerous period many aircraft were seen to go down in flames. Bombs started to spread from the junction into the town, and sadly over 400 houses were destroyed before the 'Master of Ceremonies' could halt the attack. Etampes was one of the headquarters of the Luftwaffe and an important railway junction.

    12th -13th June 1944. Target - Bridges at Caen.

    Text from 57 Squadron Operational Records Book: 18 aircraft were detailed to attack the Bridges at Caen. The initial marking appears to have been on time but at 02:18hrs the Controller ordered "stand by. Do not bomb", and at 02:20 hrs "Bomb Visually". The latter order was variously interpreted by crews to mean that illuminating flares were going to be dropped or that they were to come below cloud and bomb visually on the markers on the bridges. Photographs show the attack to have fallen in the vicinity of the bridges and in the town immediately north of the river. 8 aircraft bombed the target, 1 returned early due to failure of S.I. Engine and the remainder were abortive owing to inability to identify the target or markers. All returned safely to base.

    Aircraft Type and Number Lancaster III NN.560

    • P/O. Owen.N. - Pilot
    • Sgt Moore.P.W.L - F/Eng
    • F/S Bennett.E. - Nav.
    • F/S/Shaw.E. - A/B
    • Sgt Grice.J. - W/Op
    • Sgt Stevens.M.L - M/U
    • Sgt Kirwan.K. - R/G
    They took off at 21:46 and returned at 02:42 Sortie completed. Target bombed. Bomb Load was 13 x 1000 lb NA-M.

    Background: From Bomber Command Campaign Diary: 671 aircraft - 348 Halifaxes, 285 Lancasters, 38 Mosquitos - of Nos 4, 5, 6 and 8 Groups to attack communications, mostly railways, at Amiens/St Roch, Amiens/Longueau, Arras, Caen, Cambrai and Poitiers. (It is interesting to note that, with the exception of Caen, all of these targets were the sites of well-known battles of earlier wars and Caen was soon to be the scene of fierce fighting.) Bomber Command's records state that the Poitiers attack, by No 5 Group, was the most accurate of the night and that the 2 raids at Amiens and the raid at Arras were of reasonable accuracy. The target at Cambrai was hit but many bombs also fell in the town. The most scattered attack (also by No 5 Group) was at Caen. 23 aircraft - 17 Halifaxes and 6 Lancasters - were lost from these raids; all of these losses were from Nos 4 and 6 Groups.

    14th-15th June 1944. Target - Aunay Sur Odon

    Text from 57 Squadron Operational Records Book: 17 Aircraft were detailed for this operation and all took off and returned safely to base. Flares and red spot fires were accurate and punctual and some of the crews saw the road junction clearly in the light of the bomb bursts. The target was re-marked at 00:43 hrs and bombing re-commenced at 00:53 hrs. Apart from some difficulty in seeing the red spot flares and T.I's due to smoke, the crews had no trouble in bombing. There were about 20 heavy flak guns in the vicinity of the target and some light flak about 4 miles north.

    Aircraft Type and Number Lancaster III ND.977

    • P/O. Owen.N. - Pilot
    • Sgt Moore.P.W.L - F/Eng
    • F/S Bennett.E. - Nav.
    • F/S/Shaw.E. - A/B
    • Sgt Grice.J. - W/Op
    • Sgt Stevens.M.L - M/U
    • Sgt Kirwan.K. - R/G
    They took off at 22:01 and returned at 02:43 Sortie Completed. Bomb Load was 11 x 1,000 lb M.C. 4 x 500lb G.P.

    Background: From Bomber Command Campaign Diary: 337 aircraft - 223 Lancasters, 100 Halifaxes, 14 Mosquitos - of Nos 4, 5 and 8 Groups attacked German troop and vehicle positions at Aunay-sur-Odon and vrecy, near Caen. These raids were prepared and executed in great haste, in response to an army report giving details of the presence of major German units. The weather was clear and both targets were successfully bombed. The target at Aunay, where the marking was shared by Nos 5 and 8 Groups, was particularly accurate. No aircraft were lost.

    Fearing a German armoured offensive southwest of Caen, the British high command decided to bomb the important crossroads at Aunay-sur-Odon, in order to bar the Panzers' route. In the early hours of 12 June 1944, two waves of aircraft raked the high street and totally destroyed the centre of the village, killing around a hundred inhabitants. On the nights of the 14 and 15 June, the rest of Aunay-sur-Odon was reduced to rubble by a second bombardment. Nothing was left standing, except for the dangerously unstable church tower, which was later demolished for safety. The town was re-built (Marshal Plan) during the 1950s.

    4th-5th July 1944. Target St. Leu D'Esserent

    Allied intelligence firmly identified late in June 1944 that Saint-Leu-d'Esserent and Nucourt were V-1 storage depots. On 27 June 1944, Saint-Leu-d'Esserent was initially bombed by the US Army Air Force,then on July 4/5 1944 by two RAF forces (the first unsuccessfully used Tallboy bombs in an attempt to collapse the limestone roof of the caves). Finally on 7 July 1944, an evening RAF raid successfully blocked the tunnels.

    Text from 57 Squadron Operational Records Book: 17 Aircraft were detailed to attack a supply site at St. Leu D'Esserant. All took off. The attack started at 01:33 hours, marking was punctual and seemed accurate. The original markers were well backed up and most crews bombed red T.I.s picked out by Green T.I.s Bombing is said to have been well concentrated on the markers. Ground defences were less than expected but there was considerable fighter activity, both on the outward and homeward routes and in the vicinity of the target. Photographs indicate that the markers were probably accurate and that the bombing was close to the markers. The attack closed at 01:45 hours. Two aircraft reported missing, nothing was heard from them after take-off. 1 aircraft abandoned the sortie, having heard in plain language at 01:12 and 01:16 hours what he thought was an order to return to base. 15 aircraft returned safely to base.

    Aircraft Type and Number Lancaster III ND.977

    • P/O. Owen.N. - Pilot
    • Sgt Moore.P.W.L - F/Eng
    • F/S Bennett.E. - Nav.
    • F/S/Shaw.E. - A/B
    • Sgt Grice.J. - W/Op
    • Sgt Stevens.M.L - M/U
    • Sgt Kirwan.K. - R/G
    They took off at 23:34 and landed at 04:40 Sortie Completed landed at Strubby (another airfield virtually next door to East Kirby) Bomb Load was 11 x 1,000 lb M.C. 4 x 500lb G.P.

    7th/8th July 1944. Target St. Leu D'Esserent

    On this mission Peter Moore and J Grice had food poisoning and were replaced by Sgt J. Gains and F/L K. Stevens (the Squadron's Australian Signals Leader) respectively.

    • P/O. Owen.N. - Pilot
    • Sgt Gains J. - Engineer
    • F/S Bennett.E. - Nav
    • F/S/Shaw.E. - A/B
    • F/L Stevens.K. - W/Op
    • Sgt Stevens.H.L - M/U
    • Sgt Kirwan.K. - R/G
    The flight Lancaster III ND.977, went missing. They were shot down. Amazingly they all survived.
    • Flt Sgt Keith Kirwan (RAAF) - Bailed out, became PoW No395 in Camp L7.
    • Flt Sgt George M. Shaw (RAF) - Bailed out, became PoW No 412 in Camp L7.
    • Flt Sgt G. Bennett (RAF) - Bailed out, probably initially evaded because he is reported to have been imprisoned in the notorious Buchenwald before being interned in Camp L3, PoW No.8077.
    • Sgt H.L.J. "Herb" Stephen (RCAF) Bailed out, evaded capture.
    • Sgt Keith J. Stevens (RAAF). Bailed out, evaded capture.
    • Sgt J.A. Gains bailed out and evaded capture.

    Peter now joined a new crew.

    Day 2nd August 1944. Target Trossy St. Maximin.

    Text from 57 Squadron Operational Records Book: An attack on a flying bomb site. Punctual and accurate marking. Crews bombed red T.I.s or visually, an excellent concentration of bombs. No enemy fighters were seen but moderate and accurate heavy flak was experienced over the target. Several aircraft reported minor damage. Excellent visibility. Time of attack 17:01/17:05 hrs. Height 15,000-18,000 ft.

  • Aircraft Type and Number Lancaster III LM.626
    • F/O. P. Ainley - Pilot
    • Sgt P. Moore - F/Eng
    • F/O. L. Bradbeer - Nav
    • F/O F. Cole - A/Br.
    • F/O A. Fishburn - W/Op
    • Sgt E.McTrowe - M/U
    • Sgt D. Salisbury - R/G
    They took off at 14:22 and returned at 18:40 Sortie Completed. Bomb Load was 8 x 1000lb AN.M.59 3 x 1000lb MC 3 x 500ln G.P.

    Background: From Bomber Command Campaign Diary: 394 aircraft - 234 Lancasters, 99 Halifaxes, 40 Mosquitos, 20 Stirlings, 1 Lightning - attacked 1 flying bomb launch site and 3 supply sites. Visibility was clear at all targets and good bombing results were claimed.

    Day 5th August 1944. Target Target St. Leu D'Esserent.

    Text from 57 Squadron Operational Records Book: The target was the underground storage for flying bombs, which had been attacked by the squadron on two previous occasions. Very few crew saw the yellow T.I.s and the cumulous cloud made visual identification of the target difficult. The leading formation was well to starboard of track for most of the way to target and only made the necessary correction when within 25 miles of the target. This materially increased the difficulty of crew to make a good bombing run. In consequence the bombing headings were chaotic and the bombing itself very scattered. Moderately heavy flak was experienced over the target, several aircraft sustaining flak damage. No enemy fighters were seen. Times of attack 13:32 to 13.35 hours. Height 16,000 ft.

    Aircraft Type and Number Lancaster III LM.626

    • F/O. P. Ainley - Pilot
    • Sgt P. Moore - F/Eng
    • F/O. L. Bradbeer - Nav
    • F/O F. Cole - A/Br.
    • F/O A. Fishburn - W/Op
    • Sgt E.McTrowe - M/U
    • Sgt D. Salisbury - R/G
    They took off at 10.48 and returned at 15:26 Sortie Completed. Bomb Load was 10 x 1000lb AN.M 4x 500lb G.P.

    Background: From Bomber Command Campaign Diary: 742 aircraft - 469 Halifaxes, 257 Lancasters, 16 Mosquitos - of Nos 4, 5, 6 and 8 Groups attacked the Foret de Nieppe and St Leu d'Esserent storage sites. Bombing conditions were good. 1 Halifax lost from the St Leu d'Esserent raid.

    Night 26th 27th August 1944. Target Target Konigsberg.

    Text from 57 Squadron Operational Records Book: Weather at the target was clear, visibility good. The normal 5 group technique of illumination was employed, the aiming point to be marked visually and backed up if accurate. Crews were to bomb T.I.'s direct. Illumination was punctual, three markers identifying the target simultaneously, and dropping their markers together. The first was 350 yards North West of the aiming point, the second 100 yards to the north east. The Master Bomber dropped his own markers about 500 yards east of the aiming point and midway between the two previous markers. He then ordered the backers up to back these up, but the first 'backer up' disobeyed these instructions and backed up those which had fallen 1200 yards to the north east, which he believed to be accurate. The Master Bomber was not aware of this misplacement of the concentration and once the bombing started he found assessment difficult due to glare. As the result the concentration of bombing fell to the North East of the aiming point.

    Aircraft Type and Number Lancaster III LM.232

    • F/O. A. Russell - Pilot
    • Sgt P. Moore - F/Eng
    • F/O. G. Christensen - Nav.
    • F/O J. Cahir - A/Br
    • F/S T. O'Callaghan - W/Op
    • Sgt A. Watton - M/U
    • Sgt B. Young - R/G
    They took off at 20:13 and were declared missing as nothing more was heard from them after take-off. Bomb Load was 1 x 2000 HC 11 x J type clusters

    For most of this crew this was only their 3rd Sortie. It was their first with Peter Moore (For Peter this was his at least 11th). The Pilot (F/O Russell) flew as 2nd pilot with Charlie Southfield's crew on the August 16 raid on Stettin to gain operational experience.

    Two Luftwaffe pilots (Oblt. Arnold Brinkmann and Fw. Otto Hiller) claim separately to have shot down LM 232 on the night of August 26/7 1944 near the Danish coast. The pilots were from the 8./NGA3 and 12./NGA5 squadrons (NGA = Nachtjagdgeschwader = Night-fighter Wing) and would have been flying Messerschmitt Bf 110s (ME 110) which were twin-engined heavy fighters. From records of Luftwaffe pilots, it appears that Brinkmann was later credited with the hit. The Luftwaffe used a complicated map reference system called Jagdtrapez that divided sectors into smaller and smaller squares. The combat took place in Jagdtrapez 15ON NA 3 which I calculate as being a square centred on Tune Island off the east cost of Denmark and bounded by the coordinates 55deg 55min N, 10deg 20min E (bottom LH corner) and 56deg 0min N, 10deg 30min E (top RH corner). Most of this square is sea, so this could explain why there is no entry for LM 232 on the very comprehensive Danish site that lists all known WWII crash sites.

  • Michael D



    W/O Paul Allen Beck Bomber Command 57 Squadron

    My father Paul Beck, served with a Lancaster crew out of East Kirkby, Lincs. Other aircrew included Bert Simms (UK), Skip, John Harvey (RepSA), nav. Dad was w/op. One other crew was named 'Swede'. Ops Germany, Berchtesgarten, Ferry allied POWs. Skip highly skilled at flak and cone evasion. Comrades all.

    Alan Beck



    John Langley 630 Squadron

    Part of a letter written by John Langley in May 2008.

    I have been reliving old memories and I can’t get them out of my mind. First of all, I have landed at both Manston and Gatwick and for the life of me I cannot understand why Gatwick was developed rather than Manston. When I touched down at Gatwick, it was a grass field, ie NO runways, whereas Manston had a huge runway which was so wide that when I took off using the left hand side of the runway a squadron of Spitfires was doing a formation landing on the same runway at the same time. Admittedly I did not like it, but it illustrates the size of the runway.

    Additionally, the place is, in my opinion, much better suited than either Gatwick or Heathrow (another grassy field in those days), most particularly from the point of noise pollution, to say nothing of the fact that the circuit above Heathrow is over the most densely populated area of the country.

    But the reason why Manston is the place I remember so well is this: When I joined the squadron at East Kirkby, at first I had to fly whatever aircraft was not being used by its "owner" as I had to wait until a new plane was delivered (we were allocated an aircraft and the associated ground crew, but until one came there was always a crew on leave or, as happened to me, I was given the CO’s kite as of course he didn’t fly every op. When eventually I got my brand new Lancaster it was a Mark 2, the only one on the airfield. It differed from the Mark Ones by having Packard-built Merlins with Stromberg carburettors, which unfortunately no one knew anything about. As a result, it was very troublesome and eventually it was "posted" to an OTU while I was on leave.

    I was given the letter A Able, which was rather nice. By this time I had flown about a dozen different lettered planes, including S Sugar, which was the dual-controlled kite used for training and was universally detested as being a real old crock. One day, we were told that come what may with the weather (awful), Churchill had insisted a raid must take place, regardless of the consequences. We were going to Munich and were routed over the Alps. When the time came to take off, the cloud base was under 500 feet, it was raining cats and dogs and to crown it all, the wind direction meant we had to use the shortest of the three runways. About two-thirds of the take-off run, when it was impossible to stop, one of the engines caught fire and the flight engineer stopped it, feathered the prop, and operated the fire extinguisher button. I managed to get airborne on the other three engines, but we were unable to get high enough to fly over the Alps and another engine was overheating, so I had to turn back.

    The weather at East Kirkby was too bad for landing, so we made our way to the main emergency strip at Manston, where we landed safely. A van with the ‘follow me’ light led us to our parking place and after reporting the forced landing to the squadron, we went to bed.

    Don’t have page 2 of the letter, but apparently, they got up next morning to the shock of a badly damaged Lanc where they’d parked theirs, before realising it was another plane that had come in during the night.

    A. Langley



    W/O Robert McCallum Air Gunner 50 Sqn/630 Sqn/44 Sqn

    Robert McCallum joined the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve on the 20th of June 1940 and served until the 13th of Mar 1946. He became aircrew in 1943 and trained with 17 OTU at Turweston and Silverstone this was followed by 1661 Conversion Unit at Winthorpe. He began at 50 Sqn Skellingthorp with F/O Hinkling as his first pilot then transferred to 630 Sqn in Feb 1945, flying with pilot F/Sgt Grange at East Kirkby. He transferred to 44Sqn on 18th June 1945 to the crew of pilot F/O Munson

    Nic



    Sgt Air Gunner Alfred "Paddy" Penicud 630 Squadron

    I am trying to find out any information about my Uncle Alfred Penicud (Paddy). He was stationed at East Kirkby in either 57 of 630 Sq, his Capt was called McDuffy. That is the only information I have.

    After the war he and his wife went to live in Canada. He passed away in 2003 in the Soldiers Memorial Hospital, Orillia, Ontario. If you have any information I would be so very pleased, or if you could point me in the right direction. Thank you very much.

    Chris Merrett



    Sgt. Maurice Benjamin Henley 630 Squadron (d.22nd Nov 1944)

    Headstone situated in Section G, Row D, Grave 20, Harrogate (Stonefall) Cemetery.

    From the memories of John Cox (nephew):

    On the fateful night when Benny Henley died, they are not sure why, whether it was because of a heavy bomb load or a faulty engine, pilot Ross Flood had to make several attempts before they could get airborne. This put him behind the rest of the squadron so he would have had to have made up the distance in order to catch up and join them on their way to the submarine targets in the Norwegian fjords. The bombing raid was successful and they started their return to RAF East Kirby, Spilsby, Lincolnshire, North England.

    They crashed onto Sunk Island Sands, East Riding of Yorkshire, near the Humber Estuary, there was no evidence that the crew were aware of having to make a forced landing, all crew were still in their seats on the airplane, as opposed to being moved to the bulkhead which would have been the safest area. There was one initial survivor, but he never regained consciousness and died in hospital.

    The general thought is that 1 of 2 things may have happened:-

    • 1. Fuel guages may have been faulty and fuel would have been used in the extra efforts to get the plane up on the way to the bombing
    • 2. The Lancaster1 was an early model and it's known that some of them had dropped out of the sky, but there was nothing to say that this was the case

    Memories of Derek Cox (nephew) regarding Benny's death:

    It was a few weeks later that I came home from school at lunchtime to find Mom blackleading the grate of our fireplace and I couldn't help noticing she was crying. I was shocked to the core, Mothers don't cry. In answer to my question of why she was in this state she simply pointed to an envelope sitting on the mantle shelf. The letter was from Aunt Stella, it was short, less than one page of notepaper and simply said that "Ben will not be coming home again". It went on to say he and all the crew were dead.

    Some thirty years later, Uncle Ray (Benny's brother) met, at a service men's reunion, a couple of RAF veterans who had been at East Kirby at that time and were told that on the day, November 22nd 1944, Ben's aircraft, a Lancaster Bomber, E for Easy, serial number I.I.949 of 630 Squadron, piloted by a New Zealander, Pilot Office Ross Flood, had trouble getting off the ground to start their flight to Trondheim, Norway and had made three runs before getting airborne. It was thought that the fuel used up getting airborne resulted in the plane simply running out of gas on the return flight.

    In a publication entitled "Lincolnshire Air War, 1935-45" the crash is mentioned as occuring "near the Humber" which is a major river on England's east coast. Initially listed as missing, the plane was first spotted by an area farmer, working his field, on a sand bank at the estuary to the river. The local lifeboat reached the wreckage before it was covered by the incoming tide and one of the crew was found alive, but died a few days later.

    If this is what happened, and it was not an uncommon occurrence that loaded bombers had such difficulties, it begs the question as to why PO Flood couldn't have made for one of the many other airfields which would have been within reach. Also, why did all of the 7 crew members die? Their shortage of fuel would have been known for some time and some, if not all, of the crew could surely have parachuted to safety.

    Another authority on these types of losses is Dave Newham, an English fiction writer, who was an RAF photographer and who has developed a special interest in the wartime airfields of Lincolnshire and the east coast. My brother, John, has met with Dave and been shown Dave's plotted map of E-Easy's flightpath which shows that it would have flown over several miles of England's east coast and been able to land at alternative airfields. It was also learned that each of the crew were found at their operational station. When it's known that a crash landing is inevitable, crew members were gathered at the plane's main bulkhead, over the wing's main spar, with only the pilot and flight engineer remaining at their usual places.

    Although we will never know what happened on the flight's final moments, it is reasonable to assume that there was no warning of the crash. Was it pilot error, with PO Flood falling asleep at the "wheel"?

    Maxine Belcher



    Milt Hussey RAF East Kirkby

    I was stationed at RAF East Kirkby with the USAAF from 1944 to 1947 with the base dispensary. I enjoyed the experience greatly and married a girl from Skegness.

    Milt Hussey



    F/Lt. Anthony Edward Grubb 57 Squadron (d.5th July 1944)

    RAF Pilot Flight Lieutenant Anthony Edward Grubb, of No. 57 Squadron at East Kirkby during WW2, was father to both myself David Michael Grubb Born Nov 12th 1941,and Edward John Grubb Born Sept 11th 1939, married to our mother Joan Rollason Grubb. Tony Grubb was a Bakers Clerk at his father's Bakery in Coventry. He was the only child to Edward Hugh Grubb and Laura Grubb of Coventry Warwickshire.

    He was killed at only twenty four years old. Battle Casualty Lancaster Mk 111 - JB.486 was reported missing from operations on the night of July 4th/July 5th 1944, and the following details of the Crew are published for information,sent by Officer Commander, No. 57 Squadron, RAF signed by Wing Commander Commanding No.57 Squadron, RAF. The Lancaster and all her Crew were shot down by a German Night-fighter on a bombing raid to the VI Flying Bomb Stores at St. Leu-d'Esserent, and crashed in a wood close to Cormielles St.Poix and where the Crew of seven, were laid to rest in the village chapel. When my cousin Steven Gascoigne and I visited East Kirkby we also found the actual crash site. We were directed to the site by a couple of very senior French villagers that told us that two planes came down that night within sight of the village. There was nothing to see except a depression in the ground and smaller trees surrounding it. It was very emotional to see where it had crashed.

    After the war, the Graves Commission moved all the crew remains to the war graves section of the church (which is heavily pock marked from gunfire) in St Croix just outside Amiens, where they now rest. We visited the graves and were very impressed that they were so lovingly maintained. A vote of thanks to the French for being so respectful.

    The lost RAF Crew were:

    • Anthony Edward Grubb F/O(A/F/L)(Pilot) Service 151259 of Warwickshire
    • Sgt. Harry Lees F/ENGINEER Service 2216226 of Lancashire
    • W.O. James William Weyers (Navigator) Service R.171682 of Alberta,Canada
    • Jack Paull Hodges F/O (A/Bomber) Service A.413768 of N.S.W.,Australia
    • Sgt. George Thomas Osborne (W/Op.Air) Service 1210239 of Staffordshire
    • Sgt. Clifford Neil Stalker(A/G) Service 1893122 of Kent
    • Sgt. Joseph Terance Nixon (A/G) Service 1682465 of Manchester

    I was not yet three years old when my father died and my brother John only four at the time, so I have grown up with photographs, and stories about my father from family and friends who knew him well. I am still deeply emotional by his tragic loss, as was the family. My paternal grandparents never recovered after Tony was killed. I emigrated to Canada at eighteen. Growing up in Warwickshire my mother remarried a wonderful man Peter Wormell, now 95 yrs old, a survivor of a Japanese Prisoner of War in Burma. He survived two and a half years before being liberated in 1945.He is still living in Kenilworth, Warwickshire after my Mother's death in 2009. We chat on the phone every week to this day. I visited my mother Joan and stepfather Peter and on many occasions I was able to ask her to recount personal details about my father. He loved to travel to the continent with friends, enjoyed music, dancing, driving, and was an Artist, mostly Watercolors. I have his Art Box, and some sketches, his riding boots,and his RAF Wings & Medals.

    My father most certainly took on his duty seriously,flying with the RAF. He was sent to Moose Jaw, Canada in 1942 where he had pilot and aircraft flight training. He loved his King, his country, and of course his family and friends. We can all say "Thank You" to all the lost during WW2. May they all rest in eternal peace.

    In 2001 I was joyfully surprised by my cousin Steven Gascoigne, and my Mother, who had arranged for me to visit East Kirkby. They arranged with a pilot friend of my cousin named Bob, to fly myself from Coventry to East Kirkby in his four seater Cherokee. We landed on the same main runway that my father had used all those years ago. There are no words that can describe the feelings that rose up and my eyes swelled with tears at that moment. Looking down at the runway was surreal, time stopped as I felt the souls of those very, very brave men and women who had served there. The Panton brothers, who I believe still own the air field at East Kirkby, drove us around and showed us the parking pads of the Lancaster's, the Air Tower and Museum. In the East Kirkby Chapel, there is a commemorative wall with the names of all the RAF Flight Crews that were lost. To see the lovingly restored Lancaster Bomber "Just Jane" up close, I climbed the stairs to look in the cockpit where my father would have sat, was unbelievably emotional thinking of them flying off into the night one of many a bombing missions, not knowing if they would ever see those landing lights on the runway again. Alas, A.E.Grubb, my father, along with the Crew, did not return from that fateful bombing mission to France,on the night of July 4th/5th 1944. It was his 27th bombing mission. We spent most of the day there,and took off from the same runway he would have, flying back to Coventry.

    East Kirkby is now a living museum thanks to the Panton brothers, who also lost a brother in Bomber Command. Thank you Bob (Pilot) Steve and Mother, for the trip of a lifetime -- I shall never forget that day or all those who were stationed there of whom many gave the ultimate sacrifice.

    If anyone has any information or photos of 57 Squadron during those years, I would so appreciate if you would share them on this site for my family.

    David Michael Grubb



    F/Lt. Ronald A.W Beaumont DFC. 57 Squadron (d.22nd Jun 1944)

    Ronald A.W Beaumont was the pilot in command of Lancaster Mk.1, (NN 696) DX - H which took off in the first slot, at 2300 hrs. on the 21st of June 1944, from East Kirkby on the Wesseling Oil Refinery raid. The aircraft was attacked and shot down by a German JU-88 Night Fighter flown by Uffz. Johann Werthner of 7./NJ2, crashing west of Geilenkirchen with the loss of all 7 crew members.

    Jason



    F/Sgt. Maurice A. Clark 57 Squadron (d.22nd June 1944)

    Flt. Sgt. Maurice Clark was the RAF Flight Engineer of Lancaster Mk.1, (NN 696) DX - H This plane took off in the first slot, at 2300 hrs. June 21, 1944, from East Kirkby on the Wesseling Oil Refinery raid. This plane was attacked and shot down by a German JU-88 Night Fighter flown by Uffz. Johann Werthner of 7./NJ2, crashing west of Geilenkirchen with the loss of all 7 crew members.




    PO Dennis J. McCrudden Squadron 57 (d.June 22, 1944)

    Pilot Officer Dennis McCrudden, was the Navigator of Lancaster Mk.1, (NN 696) DX - H This plane took off in the first slot, at 2300 hrs. June 21, 1944, from East Kirkby on the Wesseling Oil Refinery raid. This plane was attacked and shot down by a German JU-88 Night Fighter flown by Uffz. Johann Werthner of 7./NJ2, crashing west of Geilenkirchen with the loss of all 7 crew members. P/O McCrudden was the "old man" of the crew, being 34 years of age at his death.




    PO Thomas H Mayne 57 Squadron (d.June 22, 1944)

    Pilot Officer Thomas Mayne, the Air Bomber of Lancaster Mk.1, (NN 696) DX - H This plane took off in the first slot, at 2300 hrs. June 21, 1944, from East Kirkby on the Wesseling Oil Refinery raid. This plane was attacked and shot down by a German JU-88 Night Fighter flown by Uffz. Johann Werthner of 7./NJ2, crashing west of Geilenkirchen with the loss of all 7 crew members. One of countless Volunteer Canadian Air Crew that served with the RAF as well as the RCAF in Bomber Command. The War saw truly "Commonwealth" crews.




    WO Charles H.T. Hurley 57 Squadron (d.22nd June 1944)

    Warrant Officer Charles Hurley, the Wireless Operator of Lancaster Mk.1, (NN 696) DX - H This plane took off in the first slot, at 2300 hrs. June 21, 1944, from East Kirkby on the Wesseling Oil Refinery raid. This plane was attacked and shot down by a German JU-88 Night Fighter flown by Uffz. Johann Werthner of 7./NJ2, crashing west of Geilenkirchen with the loss of all 7 crew members.




    F/Sgt. Geoffrey R.A. Ansdell RAF 57 Squadron (d.22nd June 1944)

    Flt. Sgt. Geoffrey Ansdell was the Mid-Upper Air Gunner of Lancaster Mk.1, (NN 696) DX - H This plane took off in the first slot, at 2300 hrs. June 21, 1944, from East Kirkby on the Wesseling Oil Refinery raid. This plane was attacked and shot down by a German JU-88 Night Fighter flown by Uffz. Johann Werthner of 7./NJ2, crashing west of Geilenkirchen with the loss of all 7 crew members.




    F/Sgt. Edward H. Goehring RAF 57 Squadron (d.22nd June 1944)

    Flight Sgt. Edward Goehring was the Rear Air Gunner of Lancaster Mk.1, (NN 696) DX - H This plane took off in the first slot, at 2300 hrs. June 21, 1944, from East Kirkby on the Wesseling Oil Refinery raid. This plane was attacked and shot down by a German JU-88 Night Fighter flown by Uffz. Johann Werthner of 7./NJ2, crashing west of Geilenkirchen with the loss of all 7 crew members. The second of two Canadians that crewed DX-H on the fateful raid of June 21 - 22 1944.




    W/O. Ivan Herbert Wright 57 Squadron

    Ivan Wright, born Tauranga, New Zealand, died Sep 2 2010 Waipu, New Zealand. He left New Zealand for Canada on the Jan Ericson in 1942 to undertake flying training. He was posted to No 34 Operational Training Unit. Graduated from Penfield Ridge No 3 Wireless School as wireless operator. He then sailed to England on the Queen Mary and was posted to No 10 Advanced Flying Unit. He was stationed with 57 Squadron at East Kirkby on 18th of February 1945 with Flying Officer Dimond, an Australian, as his Captain. His first recorded operation was Mar 3rd or 4th when they bombed Dortmund - Emms Canal at Ladbukgen and experienced German night intruders. On 5th of March 1945 they carried 11 500lb bombs, a 4000lb and a 500lb bomb on a raid on Bohlem Oil Refinery. The flight was 10 hours 30 minutes. They survived a crash at Nuneaton on return. They were subsequently involved in leaflet drops, repatriating POW's from Europe and in food supplies to Holland.

    He talked about the friendships and life on the base. He left the squadron after VE Day in May 1945. He left England on the Dominion Monarch and arrived home in time for Christmas.

    Janet Nops







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