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World War 2 Two II WW2 WWII
No: 514 Squadron
No: 514 Squadron was formed on 1st September 1943 Foulsham, Norfolk, a heavy-bomber squadron flying Lancasters in No. 3 Group. A total of 3,675 operational sorties were flown during the war. In May 1945 the squadron was dropped food supplies to the starving Dutch people and after the end of hostilities they ferried liberated POWs back to England.
Airfields No: 514 Squadron flew from.
- Foulsham, Norfolk. from Sep to Nov 1943
- Waterbeach, Cambridgeshire. from Nov 1943 onwards
List of those who served with No: 514 Squadron during The Second World War
- Sgt. R A Adams (d.9th May 1945) Read his Story.
- F/O. Gordon Harrison "Butch" Bate Read his Story.
- F/S S. Baxter Read his Story.
- F/S J. G. S. Boanson (d.8th Jun 1944) Read his Story.
- F/S W. S. Bonell (d.30th Jul 1944) Read his Story.
- W/O K. E. Bryan (d.8th Jun 1944) Read his Story.
- Sgt. Harold Gordon "Nick" Carter (d.29th July 1944) Read his Story.
- P/O W. E. Chitty pilot (d.30th Jul 1944) Read his Story.
- Sgt. J. Clark Read his Story.
- Flight Engineer Thomas Charles Clayton
- Thomas Charles Clayton Read his Story.
- Sergeant Richard "Jock" Day (d.22nd Mar 1944) Read his Story.
- F/S F. W. Dennehy mid upper gunner Read his Story.
- W/O L. A. Ding (d.30th Jul 1944) Read his Story.
- W/O A. N. Durham Read his Story.
- P/O Richard Frederick Eason (d.1st May 1944) Read his Story.
- F/O Norman James Eley
- F/Lt. Norman James Eley Read his Story.
- WO2 W. E. Eyre Read his Story.
- Sgt R. Fox Read his Story.
- Earl Robert "Judy" Garland Read his Story.
- F/S H. Gilmore Read his Story.
- Sgt. Peter Andrew Gosnold A Flight (d.21st Nov 1944) Read his Story.
- Sgt. Charles Mathieson Guy flight eng. (d.30th Jul 1944) Read his Story.
- Flight Sargeant Robert Calder Guy Air Rear Gunner (d.8th Jun 1944) Read his Story.
- F/S Robert Calder Guy (d.8th June 1944) Read his Story.
- Fgt.Sgt. Bernard Alburn James Hargreves DFC & Bar Read his Story.
- F/O Frederick Hookway Read his Story.
- Sgt L. A. Ive Read his Story.
- F/O George Alexander Jacobson (d.23rd April 1944) Read his Story.
- F/S E. W. Jenner (d.30th Jul 1944) Read his Story.
- Douglas Kenny 514 Squadron (d.20th Feb 1944) Read his Story.
- Sgt. Robert Lane Mid Upper Gunner (d.28/29 July 1944) Read his Story.
- W/O L. W. C. Lewis Read his Story.
- F/S J. R. McClenaghan Read his Story.
- P/O W. L. McGowan Read his Story.
- Flying Officer William Lachlan McGown DFC and Bar Read his Story.
- F/O Thomas James Middleton (d.25th Jul 1944) Read his Story.
- F/O. Bill Parker Read his Story.
- Sgt Allen Bruce Pattison bomb aimer (d.31st Mar 1944) Read his Story.
- Sgt C. Pratt Read his Story.
- Sgt. J. D. Reid Read his Story.
- F/S J. E. Richardson (d.30th Jul 1944) Read his Story.
- Sgt. Eric James Roberts (d.20th Dec 1943) Read his Story.
- Frank Rosher DFM (d.14th Jan 1944) Read his Story.
- Sqd.Ldr. Leonard James Saltmarsh DFC and bar. Read his Story.
- Sgt Jim Scully rear gunner Read his Story.
- Sgt Joseph Shepherd mid upper gunner (d.31st Mar 1944) Read his Story.
- Flt Sgt. (Nav) Sidney Smith (d.5th Mar 1945) Read his Story.
- William Joseph Sparkes (d.14th Mar 1945) Read his Story.
- Flt/Sgt. Gordon Stromberg (d.9th June 1944) Read his Story.
- F/S J. B. Topham pilot Read his Story.
- Flt Sgt. John Walters (d.19th Mar 1944) Read his Story.
- F/S G. C. Wells (d.30th Jul 1944) Read his Story.
- Harold Wigley Read his Story.
- Harold Man Wigley Read his Story.
F/S J. B. Topham pilot 514 Sqd.
On the 3rd of August 1944 at 11:58 F/S Topham took off in Lancaster LL716, JI-G2 from RAF Waterbeach to attack a flying-bomb supply facility at Bois de Cassan. The aircraft was shot down at 1410, crashing 10 km south of Beaumont (Oise), France, all the crew survived. Topham evaded capture along with F/S Dennehy, the other's were taken as prisoners of war.
- F/O J.B.Topham
- Sgt J.D.Reid
- F/O S.Baxter
- F/S J.R.McClenaghan
- F/S H.Gilmore
- F/S F.W.Dennehy
- Sgt J.Scully
- W/O W.E.Eyre
F/S J. R. McClenaghan 514 Sqd.
Having been shot down on the 3rd of August, F/S McClenaghan was interned in Stalag Luft 3.
F/S S. Baxter 514 Sqd.
Having been shot down on the 3rd of August, Sgt Baxter evaded capture until the 9th when he was captured in Paris. He was incarcerated in the notorious Parisian Prison at Fresnes and eventually transported to Buchenwald. Luftwaffe officers obtained his release and he was interned in Stalag Luft 3.
Sgt. J. D. Reid 514 Sqd.
Having been shot down on the 3rd of August, Sgt J.D.Reid evaded capture until the 9th when he was captured in Paris with his crew mates, they were taken to Buchenwald before internment in Stalag Luft 3
F/S F. W. Dennehy mid upper gunner 514 Sqd.
Having been shot down on the 3rd of August, F/S Dennehy evaded capture.
F/S H. Gilmore 514 Sqd.
Having been shot down on the 3rd of August, F/S Gilmore was interned in Stalag Luft 7.
WO2 W. E. Eyre 514 Sqd.
Having been shot down on the 3rd of August 1944, WO2 Eyre was interned in Stalag Luft 7. He had previously flown with 15 Sqd. and had a narrow escape from death by burning when Stirling LS-C crashed into a pond at Potash Farm, Brettenham, near Ipswitch, on the 11th of August 1942 at 03:37 while trying to land at RAF Wattisham. The aircraft had been badly damaged by two Ju88s, one of which was claimed damaged by return fire. F/S Eyre was saved by the heroic actions of three men, Jim, John and Stan Arbons, who chopped their way into the fuselage and dragged the injured airman to safety. The rest of the crew perished. They were: F/S A.A.B.McCausland, Sgt P.Bushby, Sgt J.B.Hammond, Sgt F.Nixon, Sgt R.Tree and Sgt J.Mile.
Sgt Jim Scully rear gunner 514 Sqd.
My uncle was a rear gunner based at RAF Waterbeach 1944 he flew numerous missions and was shot down 3 8 44, and was a POW his pilot was mainly F/S Topham his name was Sgt Jim Scully I would like to hear from anyone who knew Jim I have his logbook POW and release papers Alan Costello nephew
Flight Sargeant Robert Calder Guy Air Rear Gunner 514 Sqdn (d.8th Jun 1944)
Robert Calder Guy who along with twin brother Charles Mathieson Guy stationed at Waterbeach from 1943 to mid Summer 1944 when both were killed in action during June and July '44. Robert went down at La Celle Le Bordes France on the 8th of June 44 and is buried in the village along with two colleagues, his twin brother was lost when his aircraft went down returning from Caen over the English Channel, I am trying to trace P/O W.L. Mc Gowan from Glasgow who evdaded capture when Robert's aircraft came down or any person who was on the operation to bomb rail facilities in tactial support at Massy Palaiseau.
Robert's crew was:
- P/O W.L.McGown
- Sgt J.Clarke
- W/O A.N.Durham RAAF
- P/O L.W.C.Lewis
- W/O K.E.Bryan RAAF
- F/S J.G.S.Boanson
- F/S R.C.Guy KIA
Sgt Joseph Shepherd mid upper gunner 514 Sqd. (d.31st Mar 1944)
Joseph Shepherd was the mid upper gunner of P/O Chitty's crew, he lost his life when Lancaster LL645 A2-R returned to Waterbeach on the 31st of March 1944. While attempting to go around after an aborted landing the aicraft struck the ground, ripping off the undercarrage. He was 19 years old and is buried in Heywood Cemetery, Lancashire.
Sgt Allen Bruce Pattison bomb aimer 514 Sqd. (d.31st Mar 1944)
Sgt Pattison was a member of P/O Chitty's crew, he lost his life when Lancaster LL645 A2-R returned to Waterbeach on the 31st of March 1944. While attempting to go around after an aborted landing the aicraft struck the ground, ripping off the undercarrage. He is buried in Brookwood Military Cemetery, he was 23 years old. His brother John was also killed whilst serving as a signalman with the 1st Canadian Division.
Sgt C. Pratt 514 Sqd.
Sgt Pratt was a member of P/O Chitty's crew, he survived a serious crash when Lancaster LL645 A2-R was returning to Waterbeach on the 30th of March 1944. While attempting to go around after an aborted landing the aicraft struck the ground, ripping off the undercarrage.
F/S G. C. Wells 514 Sqd. (d.30th Jul 1944)
F/S Wells was lost without trace over the English Channel on the 30th of July 1944 when his Lancaster failed to return to Waterbeach after a raid on Caen.
Sgt L. A. Ive 514 Sqd.
Sgt Ive survived a serious crash when Lancaster LL645 A2-R was returning to Waterbeach on the 30th of March 1944. Their landing was aborted and whilst attempting to go around the aicraft struck the ground, ripping off the undercarrage.
Sgt R. Fox 514 Sqd.
Sgt Fox was a member of P/O Chitty's crew, he survived a serious crash when Lancaster LL645 A2-R was returning to Waterbeach on the 30th of March 1944. Their landing was aborted and whilst attempting to go around the aicraft struck the ground, ripping off the undercarrage.
F/S E. W. Jenner 514 Sqd. (d.30th Jul 1944)
F/S Jenner was lost without trace over the English Channel on the 30th of July 1944 when his Lancaster failed to return to Waterbeach after a raid on Caen.
F/S J. E. Richardson 514 Sqd. (d.30th Jul 1944)
F/S Richardson was lost without trace over the English Channel on the 30th of July 1944 when the aircraft failed to return to Waterbeach after a raid on Caen.
P/O W. L. McGowan 514 Sqd.
I am trying to trace P/O W.L. Mc Gowan from Glasgow who evdaded capture when his aircraft came down at La Celle Le Bordes France on the 8th of June 1944 whilst on a bombing raid to Massy Palaiseau.
Sgt. J. Clark 514 Sqd.
Sgt Clark survived the loss of Lancaster DS822 JI-T when it came down at La Celle Le Bordes France on the 8th of June 1944 whilst on a bombing raid to Massy Palaiseau. He evaded capture until the 19th of July when he was picked up in Paris and taken to the Buchenwald Concentration Camp, he was later transferred to Stalag Luft 3.
W/O A. N. Durham 514 Sqd.
W/O Durham survived the loss of Lancaster DS822 JI-T when it came down at La Celle Le Bordes France on the 8th of June 1944 whilst on a bombing raid to Massy Palaiseau. He evaded capture.
W/O L. W. C. Lewis 514 Sqd.
W/O Lewis survived the loss of Lancaster DS822 JI-T when it came down at La Celle Le Bordes France on the 8th of June 1944 whilst on a bombing raid to Massy Palaiseau. He evaded capture until the 16th of August and was then taken to Stalag 12a and later to Stalag Luft 1.
W/O K. E. Bryan 514 Sqd. (d.8th Jun 1944)
W/O Bryan was killed when Lancaster DS822 JI-T came down at La Celle Le Bordes France on the 8th of June 1944 whilst on a bombing raid to Massy Palaiseau.
F/S J. G. S. Boanson 514 Sqd. (d.8th Jun 1944)
F/S Boanson was killed when Lancaster DS822 JI-T came down at La Celle Le Bordes France on the 8th of June 1944 whilst on a bombing raid to Massy Palaiseau.
Sgt. Charles Mathieson Guy flight eng. 514 Sqd. (d.30th Jul 1944)
Charles Mathieson Guy stationed at Waterbeach from 1943 to mid Summer 1944 along with twin brother Robert Calder Guy. Both were killed in action during June and July '44. Charles was lost when his aircraft went down returning from Caen over the English Channel on the 30th July 1944. Robert went down at La Celle Le Bordes France on the 8th of June 44 and is buried in the village.
Charles had survived a serious crash on return from Nuremburg on the 31st March 1944. On return to Waterbeach they were baulked on finals by another Squadron aircraft and crash-landed while attempting to go around. The crew were:
- P/O W.E.Chitty
- Sgt C.M.Guy
- Sgt L.A.Ive
- Sgt R.Fox
- Sgt A.B.Pattison
- Sgt C.Pratt
- Sgt J.Shepherd
Charles' second crew were lost without trace and are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.
- F/L W.E.Chitty
- Sgt C.M.Guy
- W/O L.A.Ding
- F/O W.S.Bonell
- F/S J.E.Richardson
- F/S E.W.Jenner
- F/S G.C.Wells
P/O W. E. Chitty pilot 514 Sqd. (d.30th Jul 1944)
P/O Chitty was injured in a serious crash on return from Nuremburg on the 31st March 1944. On return to Waterbeach his aircraft was baulked on finals by another Squadron aircraft and crash-landed heavily whilst attempting to go around. The crew were:
- P/O W.E.Chitty
- Sgt C.M.Guy
- Sgt L.A.Ive
- Sgt R.Fox
- Sgt A.B.Pattison
- Sgt C.Pratt
- Sgt J.Shepherd
On recovery he formed another crew, retaining his flight engineer Charles Guy. They were lost without trace on the 30th of July 1944 and are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.
- F/L W.E.Chitty
- Sgt C.M.Guy
- W/O L.A.Ding
- F/O W.S.Bonell
- F/S J.E.Richardson
- F/S E.W.Jenner
- F/S G.C.Wells
W/O L. A. Ding 514 Sqd. (d.30th Jul 1944)
W/O Ding was lost without trace over the English Channel on the 30th of July 1944 when the aircraft was returning to Waterbeach after a raid on Caen.
F/S W. S. Bonell 514 Sqd. (d.30th Jul 1944)
F/S Bonell was lost without trace over the English Channel on the 30th of July 1944 when the aircraft failed to return to Waterbeach after a raid on Caen.
Flt/Sgt. Gordon Stromberg 514 Squadron (d.9th June 1944)
My grandmother died not so long ago, and although I had always know about my great uncle who died during the war, it wasn't until clearing out the house that my mother and I came across his flight log book. My great uncle was Flt/Sgt Gordon Stromberg No1386539 a w/op. From his log book he was posted to Waterbeach on November 1943. His first flight was on a Lancaster C on the 25th of November 1943 with no 1678 otu and flew ops with 514 Squadron. His first op was on the 29th of December 1943 to Berlin in a Lancaster S which ditched in the North Sea. He flew various other ops, mostly in C, until he was shot down on 7th June 1944 and died as a POW on 9th June 1944. I am trying to get as much information as possible as we were always told he died with his aircraft until his log book indicated he died two days later as a POW. I would welcome any information that anyone may have or advice on how I might proceed further. It would be great to piece together this family mystery.
Douglas Kenny 514 Squadron Royal Air Force (d.20th Feb 1944)
Doug Kenny was a rear gunner on Lancasters and was killed on 20th Feb 1944. He was my great uncle. I recently went to the Imperial War Museum and they have a database which told me the date he was killed. It prompted me to find out more about his service. I was born on 20th Feb 1964, and as my grandmother always told me I was very much like him, it compels me to learn more about him and his time in the RAF. If anyone has any information I would be really interested and grateful to hear about him and the squadron.
Flying Officer William Lachlan McGown DFC and Bar 514 Squadron, 162 Squadron
Flying Officer William Lachlan McGown was pilot of Lancaster DS822 of 514 Squadron that came down at Le Celles Les Bordes in France on the night of 7th of June 1944. He parachuted down along with 3 colleagues and evaded capture. My wife's cousin flew with him on the fateful night when the Lancaster came down. He too was killed and laid to rest in Le Celles Les Bordes. France with a further two colleagues. F/O McGown returned to Britain and moved onto 162 Squadron.
I understand he left the RAF in 11th April 1946 and return to his native Scotland where he passed away in 1984 aged 70 years, a true hero. I would like to hear of anything from living relatives of his second crew at 162 Squadron.
F/S Robert Calder Guy 514 Squadron (d.8th June 1944)
I have been tracing my wife's late cousin F/S Robert C Guy and have come across the story of Sgt. J. Clarke who was in the same Lancaster Bomber that crashed landed at Le Celle Les Bordes on that fateful evening 8th June 1944, I have traced all the colleagues of Robert's plane, also traced Sgt J Clarke through Buchenwald C.Camp to Stalag 111. I would like to know if J Clarke is still alive or any relatives that has any knowledge of the crash, as we have visited the cemetery in France and the graves of the 3 colleagues who did not survive plus the 4th unknown person who died that night mentioned on the memorial put up by the French villagers in their memory. I would like to hear if P/O L.W.C Lewis is still alive or where he was taken when captured in Paris during Aug 1944 POW no. 86489 in Camp 12A/L1.
Frank Rosher DFM 514 Squadron (d.14th Jan 1944)
I know nothing about Frank as a person, but would greatly value hearing from anybody who may have known him.
Sergeant Richard "Jock" Day 514 Squadron (d.22nd Mar 1944)
My father's brother Sgt R J Day was a wireless operator with 514 Squadron and he was shot down in a Lancaster B2 L.L 684 J.I.N. in the village of Zwartemeer near Emmen(west of the Kamerlingswijk) a mile or so from the German border during an operational flight to or from Frankfurt on the night of 22 March 1944.
The aircraft crew who lost their lives were
- F.O. IJF Rich
- Sgt H John
- Sgt JB Underwood( pilot)
- Sgt AW Johnson
- Sgt RJ Day (wireless operator)
Two members were apparently saved by parachute, but were imprisoned by the Germans. A copy of my uncle's RAF Observers & Air Gunner's Flying Logbook is now in a local museum near to his grave in Neiuw-Dordrecht:
Collectie Brands (Hans Brands), Heerenstreek 11, 7885 AT, Nieuw Dordrecht.
If any surviving family members of the aircrew wish to they can make contact with me.
Sgt. Eric James Roberts 514 Squadron (d.20th Dec 1943)
Eric James Roberts was the father of Eric James Roberts, the son he never met. His wife Adelaide was pregnant when he was shot down over Frankfurt-on-Main by Hauptman Wilhelm Herget on 20/21 December 1943. They were on flight DS817 which took off from Waterbeach on the 20th December, 1943. The crash site was near a small town called Rettert where the six crew were originally buried. They are now at Rheinberg Cemetery. My husband died over 2 and a half years ago but he did get to visit Rheinberg with me and our two children. The pilot, Flight Sergeant G. J Davies survived the crash and became a POW, he escaped three times and was re-captured three times.
Flt Sgt. (Nav) Sidney Smith 514 Squadron (d.5th Mar 1945)
Sidney Smith was my uncle. Although he died almost ten years before I was born and my mother spoke very little about him. Therefore, I only have a few family tales to relate but one poignantly is that he wrote home from training in Canada to say that flying was so wonderful, it was worth dying for. Family history is that he lied about his age so that he could enlist into the RAF. Tragically he and his crew-mates were killed towards the end of the War. I have been told that they flew a Wellington although I am not confident that is correct. They were shot down over Belgium and the crew were buried there together. Much more than that I do not know. He had spent his childhood in an orphanage and was, I understand, a strong character. He had not long turned 21 when he died. We do have a lovely photograph of him walking arm-in-arm with two pretty girls, he is in RAF uniform.
Flt Sgt. John Walters 514 Squadron (d.19th Mar 1944)
I am trying to find details of my uncle John's death. He was a Flight Engineer on a training flight in a Lancaster which crashed at Martelsham Heath, probably Lancaster II J I - A DS.820 on 19th March 1944 from 514 Squadron. My uncle is John Walters from Marshfield, South Wales. I believe they crashed with no flaps deployed and landed at Martelsham believing it was Sutton Heath.
P/O Richard Frederick Eason 514 Squadron (d.1st May 1944)
Dick Eason was a Bombadier. His plane was on a training mission over the English Channel when it was shot down, there were no survivors. He was officially listed as Lost at Sea.
William Joseph Sparkes 514 Sqd. (d.14th Mar 1945)
My Uncle, William Joseph Sparkes, served with 514 Squadron, he was a WOp/Gunner and was killed by flack whilst returning from the Rhur, which I believe he had volunteered for, on 14th March 1945.
He was part of the crew which comprised of:-
If anyone can add to these details or point me in the right direction to do further research, I would be very pleased to hear from you.
- Captain; K. G. Condict
- Navigator; E.G. Winterbourne
- Bomb Aimer; E. L. Thistlewood
- MUG; P. L. Capon
- Rear Gunner; E. Cornwell
- WOP; W. J. Sparkes
Fgt.Sgt. Bernard Alburn James Hargreves DFC & Bar 514 Sqd
Looking for more information on my father's service record. His name was Bernard Hargreves and he was awarded the DFC on 4/5 November 1944. I hope to come to Waterbeach this summer and see if there is any info there. I would be very gratefully for any info anyone might have as my father didn't talk about the War.
F/O Thomas James Middleton 514 Squadron (d.25th Jul 1944)
Flying Officer Thomas Middleton was my uncle, married to my mother's sister, Kathleen. When I was young my mother and father told me many stories about the war, one of which that Tom was worried about the severe loss of life and that many of the men were not coming back. He warned my aunt that this might happen to him, which it did. I have my aunt's will and in it she mentions him missing presumed killed after a raid over Stuttgart on the night of 24/25 July 1944 but I cannot seem to find any reference to this raid. I have inherited the engagement ring he gave my aunt before the war, they never had any children, they were such a good looking couple.
Editor's Note: The raids which took place that night were a heavy raid on Stuttgart, an attack on the oil depot at Donges and on a flying-bomb site at Feray. Bomber Command lost 25 aircraft that night from the 1088 which took off.
Thomas Charles Clayton 514 Sdq.
Thomas Clayton was my Grandfather, he served as a Royal Air Force Flight Engineer for 514 Squadron. I don't know much about his service, but the Lancaster he flew for most of the war was blown up by its own bombs. While being re-armed in a rain shower by the ground crew, a static discharge caused the bomb bay to release its load on the ground. The ground crew were all killed.
He survived the war, emigrating to Canada in 1956 with his son Roger, and his wife Gertrude Chitty who had served in the WAAF.
Sqd.Ldr. Leonard James Saltmarsh DFC and bar. 7 Squadron
Leonard Saltmarsh served before and after the war in the Surrey Constabulary and I am working on the history of that force. In December 1942 he trained in a Tiger Moth and went on to fly Wellingtons and Lancasters with 7 Squadron, Pathfinders. He was awarded the DFC for actions on the 26th of August 1944 in a raid over Kiel. He flew 99 Operational sorties.
D.F.C. London Gazette 3 October 1944. The original recommendation states:
‘Flying Officer L. J. Saltmarsh has so far completed 17 successful sorties as Pilot and Captain of Lancaster aircraft, and has been most conspicuous at all times for his extremely high standard of courage and resoluteness. On two difficult occasions during daylight attacks on Vaires on 12 July 1944 and on Emieville on 18 August 1944, he observed a crippled bomber proceeding at a very reduced speed away from the target. On both occasions he dropped behind the main bomber stream in order to escort the damaged bomber safely back to England. On 15 August, during a daylight attack on the airfield at St. Trond, one of his engines became unserviceable on the way to the target and the propellor had to be feathered. But inspite of the fact that he was getting behind the main stream, owing to his reduced speed, he pressed on and bombed the target, and secured an aiming point photograph. On the way back from the target another engine became unserviceable but did not deter Flying Officer Saltmarsh from proceeding to and bombing an alternative airfield target with a bomb that had failed to be released over the primary target, and once more he secured an aiming point photograph. He eventually arrived safely over base and made a perfect two-engined landing. It was not until after he had landed that he reported the fact that two engines had become unserviceable during the sortie. This very gallant pilot is strongly recommended for the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross.’
Bar to D.F.C. London Gazette 16 November 1945. The original recommendation states:
‘This officer has completed 53 operational sorties, of which 28 have been carried out in the squadron, in the Path Finder Force, 18 of them as Captain of a Marker Crew. Flight Lieutenant Saltmarsh is an efficient and skilful pilot who has always shown a strong devotion to duty and a cheerful confidence which has always inspired a high standard of morale in his crew. He has always displayed exceptional fearlessness in the face of danger, complete disregard for personal safety and has pressed home his attacks against the enemy with the utmost determination.’
Leonard James Saltmarsh commenced pilot training at No. 31 E.F.T.S. at De Winton, Alberta in December 1942, and graduated from No. 34 E.F.S. at Medicine Hat in June 1943. Back in the U.K., he attended No. 11 A.F.U. at Shawbury, prior to joining No. 26 O.T.U. at Little Harwood in early January 1944, where he gained experience on Wellingtons, and then attended a conversion unit for Lancasters at Waterbeach, at which place he joined No. 514 Squadron that June.
Thus ensued his first tour of operations, commencing with a strike against L’Hey on the 23 June and ending with another against Emmerich on 7 October, the intervening period witnessing him attack numerous French targets in support of the Allied invasion, but also a number of heavily defended German targets, including Bremen, Dortmund, Saarbrucken, Stettin and Stuttgart. And as confirmed by the recommendation for his D.F.C. after 17 sorties, several of these trips were not without incident, his flying log book further stating that his Lancaster received flak damage during strikes against enemy panzers and transport at Villiers Bocage on 30 June and against a supply depot at Beauvoir on 2 July. Similarly, too, during a visit to Bremen on the night of 18-19 August.
In October 1944, Saltmarsh attended the Path Finder Force’s training centre at Warboys, as a result of which he was transferred to No. 7 (P.F.F.) Squadron at Oakington in the following month, flying his first such sortie on the night of the 11th-12th, against Dortmund. A daylight strike against enemy communications at Julich, in support of General Patton’s troops, followed on the 14th and a night operation to Sterkrade on the 21st, Saltmarsh’s flying log book again noting flak damage. Then on the 29th he flew as support aircraft to the Master Bomber on a raid to Dortmund, a role that he would fulfil with growing regularity over the coming months. Such heavily defended targets as Duisburg, Essen (twice) and Karlsruhe formed the backbone of his operational agenda in December, while January 1945 saw him attacking, among other locations, Hanover, Magdeburg, Munich and Stuttgart, his flying log book noting an encounter with a Ju. 88 on the Munich run. February witnessed his Lancaster carrying out strikes against Dortmund, Gelsenkirchen, Ludwigshaven and Pforzheim, in addition to participating in the famous “firestorm” raid on Dresden on the 13th, an action that Saltmarsh would robustly defend in years to come.
March saw him completing five more sorties to German targets, three of them in daylight, and April another four, two of these in daylight, including Bremen on the 21st, which latter operation marked the end of his operational tour. He did, however, fly three “Cook’s Tours” to the Rhur in May, and ended his career with an appointment in Transport Command in December 1945. Over and above all of this, however, it would appear that he flew 56 “unspecific” sorties of a secret nature, evidence for which is to be found in the following endorsement from “Bomber” Harris. He also flew: Diversions, experimentation of special equipment, including radar, photographic reconnaissance, these top secret sorties and others. In May 1945 he was selected and volunteered to form a new squadron for the continuation of hostilities against Japan.’
Any information on Mr Saltmarsh DFC and Bar would be appreciated
Earl Robert "Judy" Garland 514 Sqd.
Earl Garland "Judy" was a member of "Red" Campbell's crew in 514 Squadron at Waterbeach, flying Lancaster A2-C which was shot down on the night of the 28th - 29th of July 1944, near my small village. The Germans took him here, in my village but after I don't know what happened. Another crew member, Bob Giffin was killed and is buried in the cemetery of Saint Cloud en Dunois, near my house. Other members of the crew evaded by Freteval camp. I am looking for information, can you tell me where was prisonner Earl Garland?
F/O Frederick Hookway 514 Squadron
My Father, Frederick Hookway, was a Flying Officer at Waterbeach in 1945.
His crew were,
- Bobby, Rear Gunner from London.
- George, Mid upper Gunner from Toronto, Canada.
- Harry, Navigator from Birmingham.
- Dennis, wireless Operator from Cornwall.
- Cyril, Flight Engineer from London and
- Sandy, Bombaimer from Scotland.
I would love to hear from anyone who knew him.
Sgt. Robert Lane Mid Upper Gunner 514 Squadron (d.28/29 July 1944)
My uncle (my father's brother) was Sgt Robert Lane RAF VR N514 Squadron, Waterbeach, a mid-upper gunner in Lancaster LM206. He was shot down May 28/29, 1944 over Neufchateau. There were two survivors. The five airmen sadly killed that night were buried on July 30, 1944 in the Communal Cemetery by the towns people of Neufchateau. I have written Robert's biography and amassed a lot of information on what happened that fateful night.
Sgt. Harold Gordon "Nick" Carter 514 Squadron (d.29th July 1944)
I am trying to find out as much information as possible about my father, Harold Carter, known as Nick. I was just 2 years old when he was killed in action. My Mother, who is now deceased, told me little about him and his wartime exploits. If any one can help me I would be most grateful.
Harold Wigley 514 Squadron
Harold Wigley served in the RAF 514 Squadron as an Engineer and Pilot making several flights to Berlin in the Lancaster. Later he joined the Royal Marines as an Engineer, again working on the Lancaster type planes. He also worked on the Queen's private planes for a while. Any photos of Harold or his work colleagues during this time would be much appreciated as he has since lost the only photos he had.
Harold Man Wigley 514 Sqd.
Harold Wigley served as an engineer with 514 Squadron, Waterbeach, Cambridgeshire. He remembers drying his uniform after washing it using the stream of hot air from the engines of the Lancaster planes inside the hanger. He says that his squadron was the most smartly dressed!
F/Lt. Norman James Eley 514 Squadron
The 30th April 1945 was a day I shall always remember. I piloted a Lancaster to Rotterdam to drop a number of food panniers to the starving Dutch people. 514 squadron flew low over the city and one could see the Dutch people waving and running to get the food as they had been reduced to eating any garbage they could find including tulip bulbs, plants, leaves and roots. I hope our efforts helped save some Dutch people from starvation. Henk Dijkxhoorn, a distinguished and dedicated citizen of Rotterdam now in his 80's clearly remembers the occasion when he was only a schoolboy of 11 yrs. of age. Memories live on.
F/O George Alexander Jacobson 514 Sqn (d.23rd April 1944)
George Jacobson was a country lad from near the provincial large town of Gympie 200 km north of Brisbane who could ride and was well regarded. Is there anyone who has any detail of the action over Holland that fateful night/morning that resulted in the loss of a Lancaster and either whole or part of the crew of 514 Sqn on either 23/11/44 or 23/4/44. George was the navigator.
Sgt. Peter Andrew Gosnold A Flight 514 Squadron (d.21st Nov 1944)
Peter Gosnold was a Flight Engineer having volunteered for the RAF in 1942. He joined the crew of Sgt (later F/O) Geoffrey France and was posted to 514 Squadron at Waterbeach, Cambridgeshire. The crew's first op was to Watten on 5th July 1944. On 21st November 1944 the crew were tasked to take part in an operation to Homberg, flying Lancaster I PD265, JI-G. The aircraft took off from Waterbeach at 12.28hrs. Whilst approaching the target, the Rheinpreussen synthetic oil production plant at Meerbeck outside Homberg, the aircraft was hit by flak, initially in one engine. There was a fire and the aircraft became uncontrollable, crashing in the waterway surrounding the Guildhall at Moers.
The loss of this aircraft was witnessed by a 75 Squadron Pilot Harry Yates D.F.C. and is described in his book "Luck and a Lancaster". Its crash location was provided by a German historian in Moers.
F/O. Gordon Harrison "Butch" Bate 514 Squadron
Gordon Harrison Bate enlisted on June 26, 1942 and was a Flight Navigator with 514 and 115 Squadrons.
F/O. Bill Parker 514 Sqd.
My brother-in-law of Bill Parker was a rear gunner. A book written by His Honour Judge S.S. Gill, Galdersby, Thirsk in 1984 tells a story of his crew.
Sgt. R A Adams Royal Warwickshire Regiment (d.9th May 1945)
Sgt R.A. Adams from the Royal Warwickshire Regiment was among those killed in an air crash on the 9th May 1945. The aircraft a Lancaster Bomber III, RF230-JI-B, from 514 Squadron was detailed to take part in Operation "Exodus “, the evacuation of ex-prisoners of war.
In addition to the crew of the bomber there were 24 army POW’s, ranging from private to captain from various regiments, as well as a lieutenant in the U.S.A.A.F, who was not on the manifest.
All the names of the aircrew and ex-POWs on board the aircraft are listed below.
Aircraft Crew Members.
List of POWS on board aircraft.
- D. Beaton F/Lt.
- A. McMurrugh F/Sgt.
- R.B. Hilchey F/Off. RCAF
- J.G. Brittain F/Sgt.
- R.M. Toms P/Off. RCAF
- O.C. Evers P/Off. RCAF
- Name. Regiment or Corps. Camp. Pow.No.Army No. Rank. Born.
- R.W. Wheeler Royal Engineers 07B 340 85759 Capt. Kent
- P.A.T. Campbell Royal West Kent Regt. 07B 224 124175 Lt. Southend-on-Sea
- E.T.T. Snowdon Royal Artillery 07B 1123 94190 Lt. West London
- R. A. Adams. Royal Warwickshire 344 12497 5111739. Sgt. Coventry
- E. L. Belshaw. East Surrey Regt 383 6774 2650397 Cpl. Wigan
- A. G. Thompson Worcestershire Regt. 344 6259 5253245 Cpl. Worcester
- G.W. Franks Kings Royal Rifle 8B 2584 6844798 L/Cpl. London
- H. Cummings Lancashire Fusiliers 344 35265 3461448 Fus. Salford
- O. Parkin Lancashire Fusiliers 21D 4948 3448706 Fus.
- J. Roe Irish Guards 8B 3308 2719806 Gdsm Birmingham
- A.J.S. Crowe Royal Artillery 7A 125860 840450 Gunner Preston
- A. N. Labotake SAA Gunner
- W.L. Lindhelmer PAL
- M. Maschit PAL
- T. Anderson Cameron Highlanders 7A 137173 2940187 Pte. Glasgow
- W. L. Ball Queens Royal Regt 8B 7289 804169 Pte. Ashford,Mx
- S.J. Bayston Green Howards 7A 4751822 Pte. London
- R.A. Betton K.S.L.I. 344 139030 4032985 Pte. Shropshire
- R.E. Clark Royal Scots 7A 14286 5954856 Pte. Bedfordshire
- W. Croston Pioneer Corps 8B 3737 2185985 Pte. Salford
- R. Danson East Surrey Regt 7A 135108 3392078 Pte. Lancashire
- R. Turnbull Durham Light Inf 8B 35785 4451208 Pte. Gateshead
- P. Yates Leicestershire Regt 07B 83763 14208422 Pte. London. SW
- T.J. Edwards Rfn.
The Lancaster took off at 0726 on the 9th May 1945 for the continent from Waterbeach and commenced the return flight from Juvincourt in France at 1215 hours. A message giving their time of arrival was received at his base at 1219 from the pilot, shortly afterwards the pilot reported he was experiencing trouble with the controls and was putting back to Juvincourt. But a further message sent by the aircraft at 1225 stated that it was making a forced landing. Flares were fired off from an airfield on route indicating permission to land to which no acknowledgment was received.
At 1230 hours this aircraft was seen by a number of witnesses on the ground to approach Roye Ami airfield from the west at a height of 10,000 feet. After circling the airfield twice the aircraft was seen to go into a steep bank to port, before going into a flat spin and crashing into the ground one mile east of Roye Ami.
On investigation into the crash, it was not possible to account for the necessity for a forced landing, as the aircraft seemed to be fully serviceable or to establish definitely the cause of the crash, which must therefore remain obscure. The position of the passengers to the rear of the fuselage however indicated that the aircraft may have been tail heavy, this could have resulted in the pilot finding the aircraft to be dangerously heavy and believing that there was something seriously wrong with the aircraft, he prepared to make a force landing at the nearest airfield, where he lost control and crashed. But whether their incorrect positions were assumed before or after difficulties arose when the aircraft became out of control could not be determined.
All the passengers and crew lost their lives and were buried at Clichy Northern Cemetery, which is on the northern boundary of Paris.
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