29/30.05.1943 No. 218 Squadron Stirling BF565 HA-H P/O. Allan
Date: 29/30th May 1943 (Saturday/Sunday)
Unit: No. 218 Squadron (Gold Coast) (motto: 'In Time')
Type: Stirling III
Base: RAF Downham Market, Norfolk
Location: Kettenis, Belgium
Pilot: P/O. Stanley Gordon Allan AUS/416404 RAAF Age 21. Killed
Fl/Eng: F/O. John Charles Thomas 620927 RAFVR Age ? Missing - believed killed
Nav: Sgt. Horton Neilson Wade NZ/42313 RNZAF Age 30. Killed
Air/Bmr: F/O. Erle Stanley Garai 132096 RAFVR Age 20. Killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. William Frederick Henderson 1072483 RAFVR Age 22. Missing - believed killed
Air/Gnr: Sgt. Kenneth Munro Campbell 614965 RAF Age ? Missing - believed killed
Air/Gnr: Sgt. Donald Percy Strong NZ/411614 RNZAF Age 24. Missing - believed killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off at 23:03 hrs joining 718 aircraft attacking the town of Wuppertal, the home of the Goldschmitt firm which produced Tego-Film, a wood adhesive used in the production of the HE162 and TA154.
300,000 incendiary bombs were dropped and around 1000 acres was destroyed in the firestorm that followed - 211 industrial buildings and nearly 4,000 half timber houses were totally destroyed in very narrow streets. A figure of 3,400 fatalities on the ground has been recorded.
Bomber Command did not escape lightly on this operation losing some 36 aircraft.
Although a claim was made from Flak 1.schw Flak Abt 514 the claim was awarded to Lt. Heinz-Wolfgang Schnaufer of Stab II.NJG1, with his bordfunker Lt. Baro. Shot down at 00:48 hrs from their Bf110 G-4 G9+EC. This was his 10 claim of the war and one of 3 others on this operation.
He also shot down another 218 Squadron Stirling during this operation at 02:22 hrs:
Stirling III BK688 HA-A Flown by 31 year old, Fl/Sgt. William Arthur Mathias Davis AUS/408278 RAAF - killed with all his crew.
Although some of the crew are recorded on the Runnymede Memorial it is known that at least 3 are buried at Hotton War Cemetery as that of 'Unknown Airman'.
P/O. Stanley Gordon Allan. Hotton War Cemetery. Grave VII.C.II. Born on the 12th August 1921 at Adelaide, the son of Herbert George and Clare Allan, of 4 Hudson Street, Prospect, South Australia. Grave inscription reads: "Loved Son Of Mr. And Mrs. H.G. Allan Of Prospect, South Australia".
F/O. John Charles Thomas. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 167. No additional details - are you able to assist?
Sgt. Horton Neilson Wade. Hotton War Cemetery. Grave VII.C.I2. Born on the 31st March 1913 at Eltham, the son of Horton
Charles David and Elizabeth Mary Wade, of Eltham, Taranaki, New Zealand. A total of 271 flying hours logged and having completed 10 operational sorties. Joined 218 Squadron on the 24th March 1943 from 1657 Heavy Conversion Unit.
F/O. Erle Stanley Garai. Hotton War Cemetery. Grave VII.C.I0. Son of Bernard and Alice Rose Garai, of Woking, Surrey, England. Grave inscription reads: "To The World He Was But One, To Us He Was The World".
Sgt. William Frederick Henderson. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 153. Son of William and Mary Ellen Henderson, of West Hartlepool, Co. Durham, England.
Sgt. Kenneth Munro Campbell. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 144. No additional details - are you able to assist?
Sgt. Donald Percy Strong. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 200. Born on the 30th June 1918 at Auckland, the son of Harry Rosser Strong and Florence Strong (née Constance), of 30 Norman's Hill Road, Onehunga, Auckland, New Zealand. A total of 222 flying hours logged and having completed 10 operational sorties. Joined 218 Squadron on the 24th March 1943 from 1657 Heavy Conversion Unit.
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to the research by Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3”, Auckland War Memorial Museum, Weekly News of New Zealand, also to Des Phllpipart for grave photographs, other sources as quoted below: