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No. 57 Squadron Royal Air Force in the Second World War 1939-1945 - The Wartime Memories Project -

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World War 2 Two II WW2 WWII

No. 57 Squadron Royal Air Force



 

 

24th Sept 1939 

13th Oct 1939 Recce

16th Oct 1939 57 Squadron Blenheim lost

6th Nov 1939 57 Squadron Blenheim lost

7th Nov 1939 57 Squadron Blenheim lost

16th Nov 1939 57 Squadron Belenheim lost

25th Jan 1940 57 Squadron Blenheim lost

16th Mar 1940 57 Squadron Blenheim lost

14th Apr 1940 57 Squadron Blenheim lost

10th May 1940 57 Squadron Blenheim lost

10th May 1940 57 Squadron Blenheim lost

12th May 1940 Aircraft Lost

14th May 1940 57 Squadron Blenheim lost

18th May 1940 Evacuation

19th May 1940 Evacuation

22nd May 1940 Aircraft Lost

24th June 1940 Move

26th Aug 1940 57 Squadron Blenheim lost

20th Nov 1940 Conversion

24th Jun 1941 Aircraft Lost

27th Jun 1941 Aircraft Lost

7th Jul 1941 Aircraft Lost

15th Jul 1941 Aircraft Lost

24th Jul 1941 Aircraft Lost

2nd Sep 1941 Aircraft Lost

6th Sep 1941 Aircraft Lost

13th Sep 1941 Aircraft Lost

15th Sep 1941 Aircraft Lost

20th Sep 1941 Aircraft Lost

28th Sep 1941 Aircraft Lost

30th Sep 1941 Aircraft Lost

10th Oct 1941 Aircraft Lost

12th Oct 1941 Aircraft Lost

15th Oct 1941 Aircraft Lost

22nd Oct 1941 Aircraft Lost

26th Oct 1941 Aircraft Lost

7th Nov 1941 Aircraft Lost

27th Dec 1941 Aircraft Lost

5th Jan 1942 Aircraft Lost

1st Apr 1942 Aircraft Lost

28th Aug 1942 57 Squadron Wellington lost

4th Sept 1942 Conversion

15th March 1943 57 Squadron Lancaster lost

14th May 1943 57 Squadron Lancaster lost

13th Jun 1943 57 Squadron Lancaster lost

28th August 1943 

24th Sep 1943 
57 Squadron Lancaster lost

3rd Oct 1943 57 Squadron Lancaster lost

6th Mar 1945 57 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 with

No. 57 Squadron Royal Air Force

during the Second World War 1939-1945.

  • Alidis S. C.. F/Sgt.
  • Ansdell Geoffrey R.A.. F/Sgt. (d.22nd June 1944)
  • Armin Norman. Sqd/Ldr.
  • Baker Sidney Roland. Flt.Sgt.
  • Beaumont Ronald A.W. F/Lt. (d.22nd Jun 1944)
  • Beck Paul Allen. W/O
  • Bjoroy H G. Sergeant
  • Bowden Samuel. F/O (d.11th November 1944)
  • Bray Leonard Charles. Sgt. (d.12th Aug 1942)
  • Brett Arthur C.. Sgt. (d.11th November 1944)
  • Brown R. C.. Sgt.
  • Carpenter John Alexander. Sgt. (d.13th Jul 1943)
  • Cherrington A.. Sgt.
  • Clark Maurice A.. F/Sgt. (d.22nd June 1944)
  • Curtis Claude Francis. Sgt. (d.1st April 1942)
  • Davies Alfred. Sgt. (d.24th July 1942)
  • Duff Gordon Alexander. P/O (d.23rd September 1943)
  • Ellmer Harold Roy. Sgt. (d.23rd Sep 1943)
  • Evensen Niels Christian. (d.17th December 1944)
  • Finch Kenneth Rupert.
  • Fishburn Alf.
  • Fishburn Alf.
  • Fitzpatrick Ernest H.. Flt.Sgt.
  • Foley Kenneth Albert. F/O. (d.6th Dec 1944)
  • Gale 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)
  • Green Sidney Charles. F/Sgt. (d.11th November 1944)
  • Gregson James Gilroy.
  • Grubb Anthony Edward. F/Lt. (d.5th July 1944)
  • Gulliksen W G.
  • Guy Guilyn Penry. P/O
  • Henderson Stanley James. Sgt.
  • Higgins F. R.G.A.. P/O
  • Hill John Valentine. (d.26th Mar 1942)
  • Hodges Jack Paull. F/O (d.5th July 1944)
  • Hodgkinson Eric Thomas. F/Lt.
  • Hood Frederick William. P/O (d.5th July 1944)
  • Hurley Charles H.T.. WO (d.22nd June 1944)
  • Jennings Douglas Alan.
  • Jones James. F/O
  • Lees Harry. Sgt. (d.5th July 1944)
  • Mancer Cyril Ernest.
  • Manning Leonard. (d.30th Nov 1941)
  • Mapledoram Alfred Lewis. Sergeant
  • Mayne Thomas H. PO (d.June 22, 1944)
  • McCrea William Ernest. Sqd Ldr.
  • McCrudden Dennis J.. PO (d.June 22, 1944)
  • McIntyre Reginald Colin. Flt.Sgt. (d.21st Apr 1944)
  • McLaughlin James Aloysius. Sgt. (d.11th November 1944)
  • Mercer Robert Denholm. Sgt. (d.5th July 1944)
  • Moore Peter William Lewis. Sgt. (d.26/27 Aug 1944)
  • Moore Walter Raymond. F/Sgt. (d.5th July 1944)
  • Nagley L. W.. Sgt.
  • Nixon Joseph Terance. Sgt. (d.5th July 1944)
  • O'Dwyer James V.. Flt.Sgt.
  • Osborne George Thomas. (d.5th July 1944)
  • Palmer Douglas Haig. Sqd.Ldr.
  • Pickering Alfred Luther. W/O
  • Powell A R. Sergeant (d.6th January 1945)
  • Pryde William. F/Sgt. (d.23rd September 1943)
  • Ramey G. H.. WO2 (d.10th December 1942)
  • Ratcliffe Jack. Sgt. (d.22nd June 1944)
  • Ritch Aliston Rank Gray. F/O (d.5th Feb 1943)
  • Roberts William Arthur. Sgt. (d.5th July 1944)
  • Rolfe Phillip Neville. F/O (d.23rd September 1943)
  • Scott D S. Sergeant
  • Smith Raymond Purser. Sgt. (d.23rd September 1943)
  • Smith Ronald Richard. F/O (d.5th July 1944)
  • Spencer Charles Frederick. F/Sgt. (d.5th July 1944)
  • Stalker Clifford Neil. Sgt. (d.5th July 1944)
  • Thomason Albert. Warrant Officer
  • Vowles Peter Adrian. F/Sgt.
  • Weyers James William. W.O. (d.5th July 1944)
  • Winter Robert Gordon. Sgt.
  • Wood Ernest Albert. Sgt. (d.5th July 1944)
  • 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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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



    Sgt. Leonard Charles Bray 57 Squadron (d.12th Aug 1942)

    My uncle, Charles Bray, died before I was born. His name is on the memorial at Runnymede. I should like to know what type of aircraft he flew, where he was stationed and the circumstances in which he died. I know that his plane was shot down into the sea off the coast of France, but that is all.

    Rho Jacques



    Sgt. John Alexander Carpenter 57 Squadron (d.13th Jul 1943)

    My Mum would not talk about her brother John Carpenter, all I know is his Lancaster went missing on the 13th of July 1943.

    Dave Hawkes



    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



    Sgt. Stanley James "Chick" Henderson DFM. 57 Sqdn

    I was posted to 57 Sqdn with my crew. I was the flight engineer in Jan 1944. The other crew members were J. Castagnola, pilot; J. Gorringe, navigator; N. Evans; B.A.W Eaves Wireless Operator; T. Craig, Mid Upper; J. Ronald, Rear Gunner.

    We flew 15 ops starting with three trips to Berlin in four days and ending with Nuremberg on the 31 March. After the first three ops we were given our own aircraft 'B' baker - this was great. However on the Nuremberg trip we were badly shot up by two Ju 88 night fighters and on return the maintenance did all they could - changed the wing section behind the rear spar and all four engines, but it still wouldn't climb or fly decently and was converted to a squadron hack.

    We then got the oportunity to go to 617 squadron for a Special 'D' day op - Operation Taxable. We wanted to stay with 617, but 57 said we were only loaned to 617 so back we went to 57 where from the 14th July to the 2nd August we flew another 13 ops. on a variety of targets. Railways, V1 and V2 sites, troops etc. On completion of these trips we had discharged our obligation to 57 and volunteered to return to 617 where we stayed till the end of the war.

    Stan Henderson



    Sgt. Claude Francis Curtis 57 Sqd. (d.1st April 1942)

    Claude was my mother's brother. His No. was 1375137. His Wellington III, serial no. X3410, took off at 21.20 on the 1st April 1942 on a raid on the railway sidings at Hanau. The aircraft crashed south of Hanau at a place called Frettenheimer. I believe that his aircraft was the only one that went missing on that night. I have been in touch with the mayor of Frettenheimer and he remembers the aircraft crashing (apparentley the only one during the war) and he offered to show me the crash site. I will get there sometime. The crew were as follows:-
    • PILOT : Harvie, Guy de Laval, Squadron Leader, (36112) (killed)
    • CREW : Sergeant C F Curtis (killed),
    • Sergeant S L Green RAAF (killed),
    • Sergeant D Henderson (killed),
    • Sergeant R Marshall RAAF (killed),
    • FlightLieutenant Thomas Henry Tozer (rear gunner) (76019) (killed)
    • DETAILS : All members of the crew are buried Rheinberg War Cemetery.
    • S/LHarvie was a New Zealander, serving in the RAF, from Cambridge, Auckland,where his father was the Revd F G Harvie MA. From his rank, F/L Tozer was probably the squadron gunner leader.

    Roger Teagle



    Sergeant Alfred Lewis "Derek" Mapledoram 57 Squadron

    My Grandfather, Alfred Lewis Mapledoram (known as Derek), was a Flight Engineer on Lancasters with 57 Squadron. He flew a full tour of 30 missions with his crew on H-HOWE, affectionately known as HAPPY.

    I have many happy memories of him telling me stories as a lad but one that really sticks in my mind relates to a mission over Cologne when his Lancaster was "coned", a term used when all of the searchlights around a city focused on one aeroplane. He told me that this was a sticky situation as many planes were shot down when this happened. As luck would have it, their pilot was an Australian who had done some stunt flying prior to the war. He pulled a few fancy moves (for a Lancaster) and got them out of the cone.

    That night they had an officer sitting in as rear gunner as their normal rear gunner had lost his fingers to frostbite having become oxygen drunk and failing to put on his gloves. As H-HOWE flew into the darkness, my grandfather said that there was a great silence among the crew as they counted their blessings. Over the intercom came the voice of the officer rear-gunner "I say chaps, that reminds me - I must get a new battery for my torch!" This story has always made me think of the great attitude these men had. My grandfather, his comrades and all who have fought for our country are true heroes and deserved to be remembered. If anyone can help me fill in any names for his crew I would be really grateful to hear from you.

    Duncan Hodson



    Douglas Alan Jennings 57 Squadron

    My uncle, Dougls Jennings, joined the RAF in November 1941. After training as a bomb aimer he joined 57 Squadron in 1943 flying in Wellingtons. His crew was.
    • Sgt. Guilyn (Ginger) Guy - Pilot
    • F.O. Victor Spalding - Navigator
    • Sgt, Grenville (Lofty) Hyde - Wireless Operator
    • Sgt. Eric (Taffy) Raffels - Rear Gunner
    • Ft Lt Douglas Jennings - Bomb Aimer

    Later they converted to 4 engine Sterlings and then Lancasters. This required 2 extra crew

    • Joe Hatter - Flight engineer
    • Alan (Al) Applegarth - Mid-upper Gunner

    On or about their 18th operation on the 21st June 1944 they were shot down over Belgium. Ginger saved his crew by remaining at the controls whilst the others bailed out, but didn't make it himself and was killed. My uncle met up with the Belgium resistance and was hidden by them until they were liberated.

    On return to England, he joined 9 Squadron which flew similar raids to the more famous 617, dropping 12,000lb Tallboys. After the war he returned to civilian life and lives today on the South Coast. In 2005 he published a book "Jump or Die" chronicling his experiences.

    Peter Jennings



    John Valentine Hill 57 Squadron (d.26th Mar 1942)

    I am currently researching detains of my Grandad's cousin, John Hill who died on the 26th March 1942 aged 21. He served in the 57 Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. He is buried at the Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery at Reichwald Forest in Germany.

    What I have managed to find out so far is that during the time of his death the 57 Squardon were flying Wellington Bombers and according to the RAF bomber command diary carried out bombing raid on the German town of Essen on the nights of 25/26 where they lost 3 Wellingtons as well as other aircraft and also on the following night of 26/27 where they lost 10 Wellingtons.

    I hope to carry out more research to find out which raid he died in and maybe details of his aircraft and crew. I am going to try and locate any photos. If anyone has more information please feel feee to email me.

    Dave Osbourn



    F/O Aliston Rank Gray Ritch 57 Squadron (d.5th Feb 1943)

    On the night 4-5 February 1943, an Avro Lancaster I, serial ED352, code DX-Q, of squadron n°57 of 5 Bomber Group, Royal Air Force, based at Scampton Lincolnshire took off for a bombing raid on Turin. In terrible weather the plane crashed on the slopes of Belleface in the mountains of the Massif de la Pointe de Terrasse opposite the small hamlet of Crêt Bettex, ten kilometres north of Bourg Saint Maurice, Savoie, France.All seven crew members were killed.
    • F/O Aliston Rank Gray Ritch J/10305 RCAF, pilot
    • Sgt Thomas Cosford 1244294, Flight Engineer
    • Sgt Eric Atkins 1318855 RAF, Navigator
    • Sgt D.G.Busby 1391156 RAF, Bombardier
    • Sgt Douglas McNeil 1025811 RAF, Wireless Operator
    • Sgt Eric Norman Perkins 1601353 RAF, Gunner
    • F/Sgt Ronald Shears 542963 RAF, Gunner
    There was thick snow covering the spot at the time but as the snow melted a search was set up by the Italian army of occupation. At the end of June 1943 two bodies and later three more were recovered from a snow drift in the area. On July 1st the Italian authorities requested the town council of Bourg Saint Maurice to make coffins and to dig graves to bury these airmen. Eight bodies enclosed in six coffins were carried from the village of Les Chapieux to Bourg Saint Maurice with the assistance of the Italian authorities. On July 5th July a religious service was held in the Parish church and the burial took place in the local churchyard in the presence of the local council, the local police officer and officers of the Italian Army who buried the dead with Military Honours. In 1950 the bodies were exhumed and transferred for burial to the British Military Cementry of Saint Germain au Mont d'Or, Rhône, France

    Lancaster RAF of Bourg Saint Maurice, Memoire- Aeronautique.

    To aid in the research any details would be most welcome from any of the families or friends of the airmen. Local interest has indicated that a historical group would like to erect a monument to commemorate these airmen.

    Michèle Howell



    Leonard Manning 57 Squadron (d.30th Nov 1941)

    My Father, Leonard Manning, was on the Lancaster JB318 with Norman Gale when it was shot down. My family and I have just returned from Bassevelle in France where they hold a commemoration service every 5 years and lay wreaths on the graves of the 4 air men killed. One of which is Norman Gale. The lady who organises the event has been trying unsucessfully to trace Norman Gale's family, so if Robin Padgett can contact me it would be great.

    Jan Verrall



    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



    F/O. Kenneth Albert Foley 57 Squadron (d.6th Dec 1944)

    I am researching the last flight of Lancaster NG 199 that was shot down on the 6/12/44 by a Nightfighter (ME 110) close to Mornshausen. A local historian has found the crash site and I want to put a small memorial on the site. I am looking for anybody who may remember the crew or has a photo of them. I am particularly interested in the Bomb Aimer Flying Officer Ken Foley. The crew are buried in a communal grave at Hannover War Cemetery although some doubt exists about this.

    Martin Foley



    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



    Sqd/Ldr. Norman "Red" Armin DFC Pilot 57,139 & 608 Squadrons

    My dad joined the RAF in 1942. He had red hair and a quick temper hence the nickname 'Red'. He was not the stereo typical RAF officer and got into numerous scrapes off duty. On the day he signed up the guy behind the desk slung the signing up forms at him and they landed on the floor. Typically he got down on the floor signed the forms and left. He detested arrogance and bad manners. After a brief introduction to the Lewis machine gun at RAF Shoreham he saw his first action as an AC2 against German tip and run raiders coming in low level across the English Channel. The enemy bombers were so low they had to depress their guns to take aim. They also managed to shoot at each other across the airfield. They did manage to shoot one bomber down and it crash landed in the field next to the airfield. One airman streaked ahead of the rest and by the time they caught up he had bayoneted the emerging pilot who according to him had resisted arrest. The airman's brother had been killed at Dunkirk. The reality of war was never far away. He completed his flying training in Canada On Tiger Moths and Avro Ansons and passed out as Pilot Officer. On his return to England he joined 57 Squadron flying Vickers Wellingtons. The Wellington could take a tremendous amount of punishment with its geodetic construction and fabric covering. It was a very heavy aircraft to fly. The controls had no power assistance. One night on a raid they were coned after the master searchlight locked on to then. My dad put the aircraft into a dive to evade the searchlights and it took him and his navigator their full combined force with their feet on the instrument panel to pull the aircraft out of the dive. My dad completed his first tour of operations with 57 Squadron and then joined an OTU Operational Training Squadron at Wellesbourne for a 'rest' He always maintained that this was as dangerous as operational flying because the Wellingtons they used for training were clapped out. On one training flight he was called away and had to leave the student with the aircraft with the engines ticking over. The student failed to periodically open and shut the engines which meant there was a danger of them overheating. He frantically tried to signal from the other side of airfield to the student to open up the engines but to no avail. On getting back to the aircraft he raised merry hell with the student while opening and closing the throttles. On take off they had just retracted the undercarriage when one of the engines caught fire and had to be immediately shut down. Climbing a Wellington on one engine particularly a clapped out one was unheard of at the time. With much cursing the hapless student was given the task of putting out the fire then manually lowering the undercarriage with a lever because the dead engine powered the hydraulics. After what was later considered to be an outstanding piece of airmanship dad managed to land the aircraft in one piece. By then he was raging and in a typical temper got out of the cockpit walked along the wing and peed on the offending engine. Unknown to him a party of WAAF's had been on a visit to the control tower and had observed the entire event. Needless to say the Station CO after commending him for his airmanship gave him a right old earwigging. On return to operations my dad joined the famous 139 Jamaica Squadron flying Mosquitoes. He loved the Mossie, no crew to worry about apart from the Navigator and they were so fast very few fighters could catch them. More importantly it kept him alive. As he was nearing the end of his second tour of operations he was asked to transfer to the newly re-formed 608 Squadron which needed some experienced crews to help bed the Squadron in. Most of the raids in 1944 were against Berlin and on his last raid he flew with a heavy head cold, came down too fast on his return and damaged his eardrums. This was the end of his flying career as he was grounded. His navigator was re-crewed and was killed over Berlin a few weeks later. He ended the war in Rangoon running an operational admin unit for General Slim. He caught malaria and it had a marked effect on his health for many years after his return to civilian life.

    John Armin



    Flt.Sgt. James V. O'Dwyer 57 Squadron

    Jim O'Dwyer may have been my father. He seems most likely from the little I was told. I would have been so proud of him. I would have loved to have known him. Sought him all my life, but he is probably gone now, I was told he was Irish and volunteered.

    Ann McGrath



    F/Lt. Eric Thomas Hodgkinson DFC. 57 Squadron

    My Grandfather was Flight Lieutenant E.T. Hodgkinson who flew with 57 Squadron during the Second World War. He was the pilot and according to his log books flew many different aircraft, but the majority of his stories and his flights were from piloting the Lancastar Bombers.

    Sadly he passed away in 2003, but we still have many photos from his time in the RAF, many of men we do not know. I was wondering whether we could help other family members out there who are looking for photographs of their loved ones. Maybe we could get in contact?




    F/Sgt. Peter Adrian "Chick" Vowles 103 Sqn

    Op Manna

    Op Dodge

    Crew inside

    Crew on aircraft

    My Uncle Peter Vowles was proud of his service with 103 Sqn as an Air Gunner (Tail and occasional Mid Upper), serving at Elsham Wolds as part of Taff Slee’s crew from late 1943 until converting to Lincolns transferring “en Bloc” to 57 Sqn at Scampton.

    He took part in Op Manna and Op Dodge but we know little about any other operations he was involved in and would love to hear from anyone who can fill in these gaps for us. I attach some photos from his Diary that may jog memories.

    David Wookey



    Sqd Ldr. William Ernest "Paddy" McCrea DFC. 57 Squadron

    Bill's crew

    Bill's Crew

    Bill McCrea flew with 57 Sqd. during the war, his memoirs " A Chequer Board of Nights", was published several years ago, Sadly he died in February but saw the rough cut of a short film I and the Granddaughter of his mid upper gunner made of chapter 6 of his book.

    The film will be ready for the Squadron centenary next year. The true accounts of one crew's tour in a Lancaster Bomber during WWII. We follow one raid, at a time when any raid could be their last. The Crew are a team interdependant, but their gunners should be even closer, why doesn't Ace like Chris?, this could spell disaster. For more information follow facebook.com/AChequerBoardofNights

    Doug Kirby



    Alf Fishburn 57 Squadron

    My grandfather Alf Fishburn served as a Wireless Operator with 57 Squadron. He was an amazing person who took chances and opportunities throughout his life, a real entrepreneur and lived life.

    Julie Gidley



    Sqd.Ldr. Douglas Haig Palmer 57 Squadron

    My father Squadron Leader Douglas Haig Palmer a New Zealander served with 57 Squadron from 13/07/42 until 26/02/43.

    Nick Palmer



    WO2 G. H. Ramey 57 Squadron RAF (d.10th December 1942)

    My father, WO2 G. H. Ramey, was a pilot in the Royal Canadian Air Force, serving in 57 Squadron, based at RAF Scampton. He was killed on 10th December 1942 when his damaged Lancaster W4250 crashed while attempting to land at Woodhall Spa after returning from a sortie to Turin. I would like to contact anyone who was in 57 Squadron at that time.

    Gord H Ramey



    Cyril Ernest Mancer 57 Sqdn.

    Cyril Mancer was a navigator with 57 Squadron stationed at East Kirkby from 1942 until 1945.

    Sue Mancer



    F/O Samuel Bowden 57 Sqdn. (d.11th November 1944)

    F/O Bowden was a member of the crew of a Lancaster bomber shot down on 11th November 1944.

    Info is from Chorley's Bomber Command Losses 1944:

    11/12 Nov 1944, 57 Sqn, Avro Lancaster I, Serial No. LL939, Code DX-H, Op: Hamburg

  • F/O S Bowden, Pilot (died)
  • Sgt AC Brett, Flight Engineer (died)
  • Sgt LW Nagley (pow)
  • F/S SC Alidis (pow)
  • Sgt JA McLaughlin, Wireless Operator/Airgunner(died)
  • F/S FC Green, Airgunner (died)
  • Sgt C Bayford, Airgunner (died)

    Took off 1654 East Kirkby. Hit by flak and crash-landed circa 1927 near Beckdorf, 8 km SSW from Buxtehude. On the first impact one engine and the rear turret were torn away, the rest of the Lancaster bouncing back into the air and flying on for over a km before smashing back to earth. The two survivors are believed to have baled out, as did Sgt Brett but his parachute failed to deploy. He lies in Becklingen War Cemetery, while the others who died are buried in Hamburg Cemetery, Ohlsdorf.




  • Sgt. Arthur C. Brett 57 Sqdn. (d.11th November 1944)

    Sgt. Brett was a member of a Lancaster bomber which was shot down on 11th November 1944. Info is from Chorley's Bomber Command Losses 1944:

    11/12 Nov 1944, 57 Sqn, Avro Lancaster I, Serial No. LL939, Code DX-H, Op: Hamburg

  • F/O S Bowden, Pilot (died)
  • Sgt AC Brett, Flight Engineer (died)
  • Sgt LW Nagley (pow)
  • F/S SC Alidis (pow)
  • Sgt JA McLaughlin, Wireless Operator/Airgunner(died)
  • F/S FC Green, Airgunner (died)
  • Sgt C Bayford, Airgunner (died)

    Took off 1654 East Kirkby. Hit by flak and crash-landed circa 1927 near Beckdorf, 8 km SSW from Buxtehude. On the first impact one engine and the rear turret were torn away, the rest of the Lancaster bouncing back into the air and flying on for over a km before smashing back to earth. The two survivors are believed to have baled out, as did Sgt Brett but his parachute failed to deploy. He lies in Becklingen War Cemetery, while the others who died are buried in Hamburg Cemetery, Ohlsdorf.




  • Sgt. James Aloysius McLaughlin 57 Sqdn. (d.11th November 1944)

    Sgt McLaughlin was a member of the crew of a Lancaster bomber which was shot down on 11th November 1944. Info is from Chorley's Bomber Command Losses 1944:

    11/12 Nov 1944, 57 Sqn, Avro Lancaster I, Serial No. LL939, Code DX-H, Op: Hamburg

  • F/O S Bowden, Pilot (died)
  • Sgt AC Brett, Flight Engineer (died)
  • Sgt LW Nagley (pow)
  • F/S SC Alidis (pow)
  • Sgt JA McLaughlin, Wireless Operator/Airgunner(died)
  • F/S FC Green, Airgunner (died)
  • Sgt C Bayford, Airgunner (died)

    Took off 1654 East Kirkby. Hit by flak and crash-landed circa 1927 near Beckdorf, 8 km SSW from Buxtehude. On the first impact one engine and the rear turret were torn away, the rest of the Lancaster bouncing back into the air and flying on for over a km before smashing back to earth. The two survivors are believed to have baled out, as did Sgt Brett but his parachute failed to deploy. He lies in Becklingen War Cemetery, while the others who died are buried in Hamburg Cemetery, Ohlsdorf.




  • F/Sgt. Sidney Charles Green 57 Sqdn. (d.11th November 1944)

    F/Sgt Green was a member of the crew of a Lancaster bomber which was shot down on 11th November 1944. Info is from Chorley's Bomber Command Losses 1944:

    11/12 Nov 1944, 57 Sqn, Avro Lancaster I, Serial No. LL939, Code DX-H, Op: Hamburg

  • F/O S Bowden, Pilot (died)
  • Sgt AC Brett, Flight Engineer (died)
  • Sgt LW Nagley (pow)
  • F/S SC Alidis (pow)
  • Sgt JA McLaughlin, Wireless Operator/Airgunner(died)
  • F/S FC Green, Airgunner (died)
  • Sgt C Bayford, Airgunner (died)

    Took off 1654 East Kirkby. Hit by flak and crash-landed circa 1927 near Beckdorf, 8 km SSW from Buxtehude. On the first impact one engine and the rear turret were torn away, the rest of the Lancaster bouncing back into the air and flying on for over a km before smashing back to earth. The two survivors are believed to have baled out, as did Sgt Brett but his parachute failed to deploy. He lies in Becklingen War Cemetery, while the others who died are buried in Hamburg Cemetery, Ohlsdorf.




  • F/Sgt. S. C. Alidis 57 Sqdn.

    F/Sgt Alidis was a member of the crew of a Lancaster bomber which was shot down on 11th November 1944. Info is from Chorley's Bomber Command Losses 1944:

    11/12 Nov 1944, 57 Sqn, Avro Lancaster I, Serial No. LL939, Code DX-H, Op: Hamburg

  • F/O S Bowden, Pilot (died)
  • Sgt AC Brett, Flight Engineer (died)
  • Sgt LW Nagley (pow)
  • F/S SC Alidis (pow)
  • Sgt JA McLaughlin, Wireless Operator/Airgunner(died)
  • F/S FC Green, Airgunner (died)
  • Sgt C Bayford, Airgunner (died)

    Took off 1654 East Kirkby. Hit by flak and crash-landed circa 1927 near Beckdorf, 8 km SSW from Buxtehude. On the first impact one engine and the rear turret were torn away, the rest of the Lancaster bouncing back into the air and flying on for over a km before smashing back to earth. The two survivors are believed to have baled out, as did Sgt Brett but his parachute failed to deploy. He lies in Becklingen War Cemetery, while the others who died are buried in Hamburg Cemetery, Ohlsdorf.




  • Sgt. L. W. Nagley 57 Sqdn.

    Sgt Nagley was a member of the crew of a Lancaster bomber which was shot down on 11th November 1944. Info is from Chorley's Bomber Command Losses 1944:

    11/12 Nov 1944, 57 Sqn, Avro Lancaster I, Serial No. LL939, Code DX-H, Op: Hamburg

  • F/O S Bowden, Pilot (died)
  • Sgt AC Brett, Flight Engineer (died)
  • Sgt LW Nagley (pow)
  • F/S SC Alidis (pow)
  • Sgt JA McLaughlin, Wireless Operator/Airgunner(died)
  • F/S FC Green, Airgunner (died)
  • Sgt C Bayford, Airgunner (died)

    Took off 1654 East Kirkby. Hit by flak and crash-landed circa 1927 near Beckdorf, 8 km SSW from Buxtehude. On the first impact one engine and the rear turret were torn away, the rest of the Lancaster bouncing back into the air and flying on for over a km before smashing back to earth. The two survivors are believed to have baled out, as did Sgt Brett but his parachute failed to deploy. He lies in Becklingen War Cemetery, while the others who died are buried in Hamburg Cemetery, Ohlsdorf.




  • Sgt. William Arthur Roberts 57 Sqdn. (d.5th July 1944)

    My uncle, Sgt William Arthur Roberts, was in 57 Squadron and was shot down on 5th July 1944. The Lancaster was DX-P JB 723 and was lost over France. The full crew were:
  • Sgt WA Roberts RAFVR, Airgunner
  • F/O RR Smith RAAF, Pilot
  • Sgt RD Mercer RAFVR Flt. Eng
  • P/O FW Hood, RCAF Navigator
  • Fl/Sgt CF Spencer RAFVR Airbomber
  • Sgt EA Wood RAF, Wop/Airgunner
  • F/Sgt WR Moore RCAF, Airgunner

    They are all buried in a collective grave in Aubermesnil Churchyard, Aubermesnil-aux-Erables, Seine-Maritime, France.

  • Ken Hunt



    F/O Ronald Richard Smith 57 Sqdn. (d.5th July 1944)

    F/O Smith was in 57 Squadron and was shot down on 5th July 1944. The Lancaster was DX-P JB 723 and was lost over France. The full crew were:
  • Sgt WA Roberts RAFVR, Airgunner
  • F/O RR Smith RAAF, Pilot
  • Sgt RD Mercer RAFVR Flt. Eng
  • P/O FW Hood, RCAF Navigator
  • Fl/Sgt CF Spencer RAFVR Airbomber
  • Sgt EA Wood RAF, Wop/Airgunner
  • F/Sgt WR Moore RCAF, Airgunner

    They are all buried in a collective grave in Aubermesnil Churchyard, Aubermesnil-aux-Erables, Seine-Maritime, France.




  • Sgt. Robert Denholm Mercer 57 Sqdn. (d.5th July 1944)

    Sgt Mercer was in 57 Squadron and was shot down on 5th July 1944. The Lancaster was DX-P JB 723 and was lost over France. The full crew were:
  • Sgt WA Roberts RAFVR, Airgunner
  • F/O RR Smith RAAF, Pilot
  • Sgt RD Mercer RAFVR Flt. Eng
  • P/O FW Hood, RCAF Navigator
  • Fl/Sgt CF Spencer RAFVR Airbomber
  • Sgt EA Wood RAF, Wop/Airgunner
  • F/Sgt WR Moore RCAF, Airgunner

    They are all buried in a collective grave in Aubermesnil Churchyard, Aubermesnil-aux-Erables, Seine-Maritime, France.




  • P/O Frederick William Hood 57 Sqdn. (d.5th July 1944)

    P/O Hood was in 57 Squadron and was shot down on 5th July 1944. The Lancaster was DX-P JB 723 and was lost over France. The full crew were:
  • Sgt WA Roberts RAFVR, Airgunner
  • F/O RR Smith RAAF, Pilot
  • Sgt RD Mercer RAFVR Flt. Eng
  • P/O FW Hood, RCAF Navigator
  • Fl/Sgt CF Spencer RAFVR Airbomber
  • Sgt EA Wood RAF, Wop/Airgunner
  • F/Sgt WR Moore RCAF, Airgunner

    They are all buried in a collective grave in Aubermesnil Churchyard, Aubermesnil-aux-Erables, Seine-Maritime, France.




  • F/Sgt. Charles Frederick Spencer 57 Sqdn. (d.5th July 1944)

    F/Sgt Spencer was in 57 Squadron and was shot down on 5th July 1944. The Lancaster was DX-P JB 723 and was lost over France. The full crew were:
  • Sgt WA Roberts RAFVR, Airgunner
  • F/O RR Smith RAAF, Pilot
  • Sgt RD Mercer RAFVR Flt. Eng
  • P/O FW Hood, RCAF Navigator
  • Fl/Sgt CF Spencer RAFVR Airbomber
  • Sgt EA Wood RAF, Wop/Airgunner
  • F/Sgt WR Moore RCAF, Airgunner

    They are all buried in a collective grave in Aubermesnil Churchyard, Aubermesnil-aux-Erables, Seine-Maritime, France.




  • Sgt. Ernest Albert Wood 57 Sqdn. (d.5th July 1944)

    Sgt Wood was in 57 Squadron and was shot down on 5th July 1944. The Lancaster was DX-P JB 723 and was lost over France. The full crew were:
  • Sgt WA Roberts RAFVR, Airgunner
  • F/O RR Smith RAAF, Pilot
  • Sgt RD Mercer RAFVR Flt. Eng
  • P/O FW Hood, RCAF Navigator
  • Fl/Sgt CF Spencer RAFVR Airbomber
  • Sgt EA Wood RAF, Wop/Airgunner
  • F/Sgt WR Moore RCAF, Airgunner

    They are all buried in a collective grave in Aubermesnil Churchyard, Aubermesnil-aux-Erables, Seine-Maritime, France.




  • F/Sgt. Walter Raymond Moore 57 Sqdn. (d.5th July 1944)

    F/Sgt Moore was in 57 Squadron and was shot down on 5th July 1944. The Lancaster was DX-P JB 723 and was lost over France. The full crew were:
  • Sgt WA Roberts RAFVR, Airgunner
  • F/O RR Smith RAAF, Pilot
  • Sgt RD Mercer RAFVR Flt. Eng
  • P/O FW Hood, RCAF Navigator
  • Fl/Sgt CF Spencer RAFVR Airbomber
  • Sgt EA Wood RAF, Wop/Airgunner
  • F/Sgt WR Moore RCAF, Airgunner

    They are all buried in a collective grave in Aubermesnil Churchyard, Aubermesnil-aux-Erables, Seine-Maritime, France.




  • 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



    Sgt. Harold Roy Ellmer 57 Sqdn. (d.23rd Sep 1943)

    My uncle Sgt 1294158 Harold Roy Ellmer died in a Lancaster of 57 Squadron on 23rd September 1943. All I have is hearsay that he was shot down over the UK whilst returning from an operation in a Lancaster.

    Update: Lancaster W4948, DX-S was shot down by an intruder on 23/9/1943. Two escaped by parachute, the others died. The members of the crew were:

    • Sgt H.R. Ellmer - commemorated at Haywards Heath Cemetery
    • F/O P.N. Rolfe - buried in Nottingham Cemetery
    • P/O G.A. Duff - buried in Cambridge City Cemetery
    • Sgt R.P. Smith - buried in Cambridge City Cemetery
    • F/Sgt W. Pryde - buried in Cambridge City Cemetery
    • Sgt A. Cherrington - bailed out
    • Sgt R.C. Brown - bailed out

    Gary Ellmer



    P/O Gordon Alexander Duff 57 Sqdn. (d.23rd September 1943)

    Lancaster W4948, DX-S was shot down by an intruder on 23/9/1943. Two escaped by parachute, the others died. The members of the crew were:
  • Sgt H.R. Ellmer - commemorated at Haywards Heath Cemetery
  • F/O P.N. Rolfe - buried in Nottingham Cemetery
  • P/O G.A. Duff - buried in Cambridge City Cemetery
  • Sgt R.P. Smith - buried in Cambridge City Cemetery
  • F/Sgt W. Pryde - buried in Cambridge City Cemetery
  • Sgt A. Cherrington - bailed out
  • Sgt R.C. Brown - bailed out




  • Sgt. A. Cherrington 57 Sqdn.

    Lancaster W4948, DX-S was shot down by an intruder on 23/9/1943. Two escaped by parachute, the others died. The members of the crew were:
  • Sgt H.R. Ellmer - commemorated at Haywards Heath Cemetery
  • F/O P.N. Rolfe - buried in Nottingham Cemetery
  • P/O G.A. Duff - buried in Cambridge City Cemetery
  • Sgt R.P. Smith - buried in Cambridge City Cemetery
  • F/Sgt W. Pryde - buried in Cambridge City Cemetery
  • Sgt A. Cherrington - bailed out
  • Sgt R.C. Brown - bailed out




  • F/O Phillip Neville Rolfe 57 Sqdn. (d.23rd September 1943)

    Lancaster W4948, DX-S was shot down by an intruder on 23/9/1943. Two escaped by parachute, the others died. The members of the crew were:
  • Sgt H.R. Ellmer - commemorated at Haywards Heath Cemetery
  • F/O P.N. Rolfe - buried in Nottingham Cemetery
  • P/O G.A. Duff - buried in Cambridge City Cemetery
  • Sgt R.P. Smith - buried in Cambridge City Cemetery
  • F/Sgt W. Pryde - buried in Cambridge City Cemetery
  • Sgt A. Cherrington - bailed out
  • Sgt R.C. Brown - bailed out




  • Sgt. R. C. Brown 57 Sqdn.

    Lancaster W4948, DX-S was shot down by an intruder on 23/9/1943. Two escaped by parachute, the others died. The members of the crew were:
  • Sgt H.R. Ellmer - commemorated at Haywards Heath Cemetery
  • F/O P.N. Rolfe - buried in Nottingham Cemetery
  • P/O G.A. Duff - buried in Cambridge City Cemetery
  • Sgt R.P. Smith - buried in Cambridge City Cemetery
  • F/Sgt W. Pryde - buried in Cambridge City Cemetery
  • Sgt A. Cherrington - bailed out
  • Sgt R.C. Brown - bailed out




  • Sgt. Raymond Purser Smith 57 Sqdn. (d.23rd September 1943)

    Lancaster W4948, DX-S was shot down by an intruder on 23/9/1943. Two escaped by parachute, the others died. The members of the crew were:
  • Sgt H.R. Ellmer - commemorated at Haywards Heath Cemetery
  • F/O P.N. Rolfe - buried in Nottingham Cemetery
  • P/O G.A. Duff - buried in Cambridge City Cemetery
  • Sgt R.P. Smith - buried in Cambridge City Cemetery
  • F/Sgt W. Pryde - buried in Cambridge City Cemetery
  • Sgt A. Cherrington - bailed out
  • Sgt R.C. Brown - bailed out




  • F/Sgt. William Pryde 57 Sqdn. (d.23rd September 1943)

    Lancaster W4948, DX-S was shot down by an intruder on 23/9/1943. Two escaped by parachute, the others died. The members of the crew were:
  • Sgt H.R. Ellmer - commemorated at Haywards Heath Cemetery
  • F/O P.N. Rolfe - buried in Nottingham Cemetery
  • P/O G.A. Duff - buried in Cambridge City Cemetery
  • Sgt R.P. Smith - buried in Cambridge City Cemetery
  • F/Sgt W. Pryde - buried in Cambridge City Cemetery
  • Sgt A. Cherrington - bailed out
  • Sgt R.C. Brown - bailed out




  • Sgt. Harry Lees 57 Squadron (d.5th July 1944)

    Lancaster Mk 111 - JB.486 of 57 Squadron was reported missing from operations on the night of July 4th/July 5th 1944. It was 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.

    The lost RAF Crew were:

  • Anthony Edward Grubb F/O(A/F/L)(Pilot) of Warwickshire
  • Sgt. Harry Lees F/Engineer of Lancashire
  • W.O. James William Weyers (Navigator) of *Alberta,Canada
  • Jack Paull Hodges F/O (A/Bomber) of N.S.W.,Australia
  • Sgt. George Thomas Osborne (W/Op.Air) of Staffordshire
  • Sgt. Clifford Neil Stalker(A/G) of Kent
  • Sgt. Joseph Terance Nixon (A/G) of Manchester
  • David Michael Grubb



    W.O. James William Weyers 57 Squadron (d.5th July 1944)

    Lancaster Mk 111 - JB.486 of 57 Squadron was reported missing from operations on the night of July 4th/July 5th 1944. It was 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.

    The lost RAF Crew were:

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



    F/O Jack Paull Hodges 57 Squadron (d.5th July 1944)

    merlean@gmail.com Lancaster Mk 111 - JB.486 of 57 Squadron was reported missing from operations on the night of July 4th/July 5th 1944. It was 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.

    The lost RAF Crew were:

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



    George Thomas Osborne 57 Squadron (d.5th July 1944)

    Lancaster Mk 111 - JB.486 of 57 Squadron was reported missing from operations on the night of July 4th/July 5th 1944. It was 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.

    The lost RAF Crew were:

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



    Sgt. Clifford Neil Stalker 57 Squadron (d.5th July 1944)

    Lancaster Mk 111 - JB.486 of 57 Squadron was reported missing from operations on the night of July 4th/July 5th 1944. It was 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.

    The lost RAF Crew were:

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



    Sgt. Joseph Terance Nixon 57 Squadron (d.5th July 1944)

    Lancaster Mk 111 - JB.486 of 57 Squadron was reported missing from operations on the night of July 4th/July 5th 1944. It was 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.

    The lost RAF Crew were:

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




    Sgt. Jack Ratcliffe 57 Squadron (d.22nd June 1944)

    Jack Ratcliffe was an air gunner on a Lancaster Bomber (rear gun position) and was reported missing and later killed in action. His plane was shot down after a raid over Wesseling, Germany. Only one member of the crew survived after bailing out and the plane crashed in the Netherlands.

    Louise Wilson



    Flt.Sgt. Reginald Colin "Mac" McIntyre 57 Squadron (d.21st Apr 1944)

    My great uncle Reginald McIntyre was killed when his plane crash landed close to Croydon airport on the night of 20th-21st April 1944. He was 24 years old and a Navigator with 57 Squadron. My Granny was heartbroken and often used to tell us the story of receiving the news of her beloved brother's death.

    A Bevan



    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



    P/O Guilyn Penry "Ginger" Guy 57 Sqdn. Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve

    Our Welsh hero, P/O Penry Guy and his crew took off on 21st June 1944 from East-Kirkby with his Lancaster LM580 DX-L to bomb the Wesseling synthetic oil refinery.

    On his way to Wesseling in Germany his Lancaster was hit above Eindhoven in the Netherlands and crashed a few hundred yards from our railway station in As, Belgium.

    In 2014, 70 years to the day, we unveiled a beautiful monument with parts of the Lancaster incorporated into it honouring the crew of Lancaster LM580 DX-L, especially P/O Penry Guy who saved his crew and was killed. He is buried in our community cemetery.

    Wuyts Jean-Pierre



    Sgt. Alfred Davies 57 Sduadron (d.24th July 1942)

    Alf Davies was the son of my great aunt Mary and her husband Alf. They lived in Whitley Bay in the 1950s. I was then too young to realize that the black and white picture of a man in RAF uniform was their son Alf who had died during the war. The picture of Alf in RAF uniform was always around in all my aunties` living rooms. He was much thought of by the family. He was in Wellingtons out of RAF Feltwell, Norfolk during WW2, until his death in July 1942. He is buried in West Terschelling General Cemetery in Holland.

    D R Thompson



    Sgt. Robert Gordon Winter 57 Squadron

    My Father, Robert Winter, completed 30 sorties between July and December 1944, survived the war, married and had 4 children, sadly died too young at 52.

    Howard Winter







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