30/01.05.1943 No. 106 Squadron Lancaster III ED451 ZN-O Sgt. Sydney Abel
Operation: Essen, Germany.
Date: 30th April / 1st May 1943 (Friday/Saturday)
Unit: No. 106 Squadron
Type: Lancaster III
Base: RAF Syerston, Nottinghamshire
Location: Wulfen, Germany
Pilot: Sgt. Sydney Abel 1335643 RAFVR Age 21. Killed
Fl/Eng: Sgt. John Gordon Alderson R/89283 RCAF Age 22. Killed
Nav: P/O. Vincent Anthony Nono 127018 RAFVR Age 33. Killed
Air/Bmr: P/O. Stanley Plaskett 145328 RAFVR Age 22. Killed.
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Charles Malcolm Harrower 1377395 RAFVR Age 31. Killed
Air/Gnr: Sgt. Alfred Lionel Barber 1200694 RAFVR Age 34. Killed
Air/Gnr: Sgt. Douglas Brown 1004817 RAFVR Age 21. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Took off at 23:55 hrs from Syerston, Nottinghamshire - part of a force made up of 305 aircraft (190 Lancasters, 105 Halifaxes and 10 Mosquitoes) to attack the city of Essen.
The raid was considered a success despite the cloud cover this night. No bombing photographs were available but 238 crews reported that they had bombed Essen.
189 buildings were destroyed, 237 severely damaged. The Krupps factory was hit again and 53 people on the ground were killed and a further 218 injured. The raid cost the RAF 12 aircraft (6 Lancasters and 6 Halifaxes). 81 crewmen were killed, 2 injured and a further 17 made Prisoner of War. The bombing commenced at 02:31 hrs and continued until 03:19 hrs. on the 1st May.
Above as described (Courtesy Geoffrey Bibby, John Leaf and Douglas Callow - all relatives of these crew members)
Left to right: G/Crew ?, G/Crew ?, Sgt. Harrower, G/Crew ?, P/O. Plaskett, G/Crew ?, Sgt. Barber (Courtesy John Leaf - relative of Sydney)
The crew of Lancaster ED451. Left to right: Sgt. Brown, P/O. Plaskett, P/O. Nono, Sgt. Alderson, Sgt. Abel, Sgt. Harrower and Sgt. Barber.
It is thought that ED451 had been taken down by flak as no reports from the German night fighter have claimed this loss (they claimed 3 x Halifaxes and 3 x Lancasters).
Left: Crew graves at Reichswald Forest War Cemetery (courtesy Mitch Buiting from Denmark - we are happy to supply these individually at a higher resolution for relatives - courtesy of Mitch, please contact us)
Sgt. Sydney Abel. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. 17. B. 12. Son of Hugh Stanley Abel, and of Lily Abel, of Stretford, Lancashire, England.
Sgt. John Gordon Alderson. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. 17. B. 13. Son of W.T. and Elspeth Alderson, of Alliston, Ontario, Canada.
P/O. Vincent Anthony Nono. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. 17. B. 10. Son of Joseph and Nora Nono, husband of Jean Ramsay Henry Nono.
P/O. Stanley Plaskett. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. 17. B. 11. Son of Clive and Margaret Jane Plaskett, of Bangor, Caernarvonshire, Wales.
Sgt. Charles Malcolm Harrower. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. 17. B. 14. Son of Alexander and Isabella Harrower, husband of Mary A. Harrower, of Coldstream, Berwickshire, England.
Sgt. Alfred Lionel Barber. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. 17. B. 8-9. Son of Alfred Thomas Barber, and of Elizabeth Barber, of East Dereham, Norfolk, England. (Shown right)
Sgt. Douglas Brown. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. 17. B. 8-9. Son of David and Fanny Rae Brown, nephew of Mrs. M. Carson, of Kirkcudbright.
With thanks to the following: Mitch Buiting from Denmark, Geoffrey Bibby, John Leaf, also thanks to Douglas Callow, who contacted us in March 2018. Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vol's. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries', Commonwealth War Graves Commission.