01/02.11.1944 No. 426 Squadron Halifax VII NP709 OW-A F/O. Anderson
Date: 01/2nd November 1944 (Wednesday/Thursday)
Unit: No. 426 Squadron (Thunderbird)
Type: Halifax VII
Base: RAF Linton-on-Ouse, Yorkshire
Location: South West Duisburg
Pilot: F/O. William Frank Anderson J/29202 RCAF Age 21. Missing - believed killed
Fl/Eng: Sgt. James Langton 1822461 RAFVR Age 20. Killed
Nav: F/O. Gordon Joseph Mullin J/36947 RCAF Age 21. Killed (1)
Air/Bmr: P/O. Cyril Christian Goble J/95159 RCAF Age 22. Killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Thomas Robert Edgell 1585145 RAFVR Age 22. Killed
Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Leslie George Griffith R/261261 RCAF Age 24. Killed
Air/Gnr: P/O. John Alexander McLea J/95366 RCAF Age 19. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off from RAF Linton-on-Ouse in Yorkshire at 17:44 hrs to bomb Oberhausen under a full moon - bombing taking place between 20:26 hrs and 20:39 hrs - 288 aircraft on this operation.
The bombing was scattered as the target area was covered in clouds. 36 houses were destroyed with 4 people on the ground killed in Oberhausen - other areas may well have also been hit.
The allies lost 5 Halifaxes and 2 Lancasters with 16 crew taken PoW, 20 other crew lost their lives.
Luftwaffe control plotted them as they were flying over Namur and Verdun as early as 19:53 hrs. But the night fighters arrived too late to prevent the bombing with interceptions made during the homebound flights of the bombers. Seven were lost - all claimed by night fighters, although flak units made claims also for several of these aircraft.
It is believed to have been shot down on its return journey at 7,000 mtrs, by Lt. Martin Tschiersch (1) of 5./NKG2 southwest of Duisberg, with no crash site being established. Time of combat is placed at 20:32 hrs. It was one of two of this Squadrons Halifax’s to be lost on this night.
Above L-R: F/O. William Anderson, Sgt. James Langton, P/O. Cyril Goble and Sgt. Thomas Edgell (courtesy John Jones)
Above L-R: F/O. Gordon Mullin, Fl/Sgt. Leslie Griffith and Fl/Sgt. John Alexander McLea (courtesy John Jones)
The other aircraft lost from the Squadron on this operation was Halifax VII NP711 OW-J Flown by 22 year old, P/O. Rodney Shand Goreham J/88475 RCAF took PoW with one other crew member, the remaining 5 crew lost their lives.
(1) Mullin Lake south-east of Nejanilini Lake, Manitoba, Canada was named after F/O. Gordon Joseph Mullin in 1974.
(2) This was the 9th claim for Lt. Martin Tschiersch - he was killed at 01.58 hours on 21st February 1945 when shot down in Ju88 G6 620543 (4R+DN) of II./NJG2, 20 km. South of Lippstadt. Total claims, 12.
F/O. William Frank Anderson. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 244. Further information: Born on the 05th January 1923. Also remembered on a cross at Pine Grove Cemetery, Norland, Ontario, Canada. A student at Malvern Collegiate Institute in the Beach neighbourhood in Toronto when he joined the RCAF on 23rd April 1942. He was a business and commerce student and an all-around athlete who was popular with his crew. Son of John J. and Beatrice G.V. Anderson of Toronto, Ontario who were married during the first world war at Sandgate, Kent on 3rd November 1915.
Sgt. James Langton. Rheinberg War Cemetery. Grave 11.E.7. Further information: Born on 5th of April 1924 in Dundee Royal Infirmary, Scotland to James and Mary Ann Langton of Linlathen, Angus, Scotland. James had two sisters, Catherine and Isabel. Worked as an engineer before enlisting. He was single and very popular with the ladies, with ice skating and dancing as his main hobbies. Grave inscription: 'Took His Fill Of Music... Came And Stayed And Went, Nor Ever Ceased To Smile'.
F/O. Gordon Joseph Mullin. Rheinberg War Cemetery. Grave 11.E.8. Born on the 16th February 1917. From Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Enlisted in the RCAF on the 23rd June 1942 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
Son of Rugglas Howard and Ada Henriette Mullin (née Brimmei) of Winnipeg (father born in Quebec; mother born in Fort William, Ontario), husband of Gwen J. Mullin of Winnipeg.
Sgt. Cyril Christian Goble. Rheinberg War Cemetery. Grave 11.E.6. Born on the 17th December 1921 in Alberta. Son of Roy (died 08th September 1957, age 65) and Esther Caroline Goble (née Jensen - died 30th August 1981, age 84)( of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Grave inscription: 'He Gave His All That We Might Be Free'.
Sgt. Thomas Robert Edgell. Rheinberg War Cemetery. Grave 11.E.5. Born 25th October 1922 and grew up in Sandford Orcas, Dorset, England. Son of Thomas William (died 26th July 1948, age 69) and Rosina Maud Edgel (died 01st December 1969, age 84), brother of Sylvia, Joan and David. Grave inscription: 'I Give Unto Them Eternal Life, And They Shall Never Perish In God's Keeping. Also remembered on the Sandford Orcas (St.Nicholas) War memorial.
Fl/Sgt. Leslie George Griffith. Rheinberg War Cemetery. Grave 11.E.9. Born on the 166th of April 1920 in Ontario. Son of Thornton and Elsie Maud Griffith (née Clark) and husband of Tillie Lillian Griffith. Address on enlistment, 4829 Livernois Avenue, Detroit, Michigan USA.
Fl/Sgt. John Alexander McLea. Further information: Born on the 31st July 1924 in Hamilton. Son of William and Victoria May McLea (née Tydd) of 11, Foster Avenue, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Sergeant Mclean was a former sergeant with the 81st Squadron Air Cadets of Canada and also attended the Queen Victoria Public School and the Hamilton Technical Institute. He went on to work at Canadian Comstock at Welland before enlisting in the RCAF in June 1943. A sister, Beatrice and brother William also served with the RCAF. On the West Coast and St. Thomas respectively. Grave inscription: 'We Often Speak Of You Time Rolls On But Memories Stay'.
Researched by Linda Ibrom for Aircrew Remembered - May 2017. The page is dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to Maureen Little (Niece) for photographs and information on James Langton, John McLenaghan, nephew of John McLean with special thanks to Lisa Sharp. Also to John Jones for crew photographs.