AR banner
search tips advanced search

Info LogoAdd to or correct this story with a few clicks.
Archive Report: Allied Forces

Compiled from official National Archive and Service sources, contemporary press reports, personal logbooks, diaries and correspondence, reference books, other sources, and interviews.

We seek additional information and photographs. Please contact us via the Helpdesk.
Our only wish is to honour and respect sacrifices made and to record historical facts: but if in so doing any of our content is inadvertently inappropriate, please contact us via Helpdesk and we will correct the matter.

101 Squadron Crest
101 Squadron Lancaster III DV275 SR-X2 F/O. George Baker

Operation: Mailly-le-Camp

Date: 03/04th May 1944 (Wednesday/Thursday)

Unit: No. 101 Squadron

Type: Lancaster III

Serial: DV275

Code: SR-X2

Base: RAF Ludford Magna, Lincolnshire.

Location: South west of Poivers, France.

Pilot: F/O. George Baker 157833 RAFVR Age ? Killed (1)

Fl/Eng: Sgt. David Harry Cro 1627552 RAFVR Age 20. Killed

Nav: Fl/Sgt. John Edwin Steward 1457149 RAFVR Age 21. Killed

Air/Bmr: Fl/Sgt. Sydney Wilson Ainsworth 1338301 RAFVR Age ? Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: W/O. Donald Hubert McNaught AUS/413135 RAAF Age 24. Killed

Spec/Op: F/O. George Alexander Blair 153893 RAFVR Age 21. Killed

Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Michael John Hackett AUS/429948 RAAF Age 20. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Arthur John Ridgway 1624836 RAFVR Age 20. Killed (2)


We would like to place an appeal on behalf of a relative for any photographs of this aircraft or the crew members.

Taking off late evening from RAF Ludford Magna, Lincolnshire to attack the German military bases (Panzer divisions) at Mailly-le-Camp along with 346 Lancasters and 14 Mosquitoes.

The operation was a success as far as the bombing was concerned with 114 barrack buildings destroyed, 47 transport sheds and some ammunition buildings in the camp destroyed, 192 vehicles, 37 tanks were also hit. 218 German soldiers were killed and a further 156 injured. 1,500 tons of bombs were dropped.

But, due to the delays in signalling the main force to come in and bomb, the Luftwaffe night fighters were waiting for them. 43 were lost this night - 177 aircrew killed, 18 being taken PoW and 31 evading capture.

DV275 was one of four 101 squadron Lancasters lost on this operation:

ME564 SR-Z Flown by Fl/Lt. John A. Keard killed along with 6 other crew, one being made PoW.
LM467 SR-J Flown by F/O. Kenneth Muir killed with all 7 crew.
LM417 SE-A Flown by P/O. Thomas J. Drew killed with 6 other crew members, one being taken PoW.
Lancaster DV275 crashed 1 km. south west of Poivres after being hit by flak based in the north west corner of the camp.

Memorial at Mailly-le-Camp to the many aircrews lost during this operation.

(1) The pilot, F/O. Baker, was shot down earlier in the war. Flying a Halifax II JD368 ZA-A on return to its base shot down by a night fighter with the aircraft crashing at Haulchin, Belgium. 1 crew member was killed, 1 taken PoW and the remainder evaded capture to return to England some four weeks later with the aid of the comet escape line.

(2) The brother of Arthur was sadly also killed during service. At Monte Casino on the 13th July 1944 James Richard Ridgway of the Royal Sussex Regiment. Age also just 20, buried at the Assisi Cemetery.

Poivers Churchyard with insert crew graves (courtesy Phillipe Monf)

Burial details:

F/O. George Baker. Poivers Churchyard Grave 11. Of 54 Alvey Street, Walworth, London, England.

Sgt. David Harry Cro. Poitiers Churchyard. Grave 3. Son of Harry and Lilian Cro, of Minster, Ramsgate, England.

Fl/Sgt. John Edwin Steward. Poivers Churchyard Coll. Grave 24-34. Son of John Edwin and Edna Steward, of Tettenhall, Staffordshire, England.

Fl/Sgt. Sydney Wilson Ainsworth. Poivers Churchyard Joint Grave 20-21. Born East Retford, Notts, England 28 October 1919. Son of Wesley Douglas Ainsworth and Charlotte Ada Wilson (née Wilson). Sisters Joan Mary (March 1921) Ada M (December 1924). Charlotte died on July 23, 1931, in Retford, Nottinghamshire, at the age of 40, and was buried there.

Left: Fl/Sgt. Sydney Wilson Ainsworth

W/O. Donald Hubert McNaught. Poitiers Churchyard. Grave 12. Son of Charles Douglas and Winifred Eva McNaught, of Tingha Road, Inverell, New South Wales, Australia. Also his girlfriend, Miss B. Taylor of 11 McNer Avenue, Kingsford, Sydney, Australia.

F/O. George Alexander Blair. Poitiers Churchyard. Grave 4. Son of Alexander and Una M. Blair, of Glasgow, Scotland.

Fl/Sgt. Michael John Hackett. Poitiers Churchyard. Grave 13. Son of Francis Patrick and Mary Veronica Hackett, of 12 Seventh Street, Port Pirie, South Australia.

Sgt. Arthur John Ridgeway. Poitiers Churchyard. Grave 9. Son of James Arthur and Muriel Ridgway, of Bexhill-on-Sea, Sussex, England.

Researched for James Nicholas Williams, relative of the rear gunner Sgt. Ridgway and dedicated to all the relatives of this crew. With information from various sources quoted below. Also thanks for additional details to David Champion - March 2016.

KTY 27.03.2016 Additional details placed.

Acknowledgements: Sources used by us in compiling Archive Reports include: Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vols. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vols. 1 and 2', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries', Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Tom Kracker - Kracker Luftwaffe Archives, Michel Beckers, Major Fred Paradie (RCAF) and MWO François Dutil (RCAF) - Paradie Archive (both on this site), Jean Schadskaje, Major Jack O'Connor USAF (Retd.), Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of CWGC, UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, New Zealand National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
Click any image to enlarge it

Click to add your info via ticket on Helpdesk •Click to let us know via ticket on Helpdesk• Click to buy research books from Amazon •Click to explore the entire site

At the going down of the sun, and in the morning we will remember them. - Laurence Binyon
All site material (except as noted elsewhere) is owned or managed by Aircrew Remembered and should not be used without prior permission.
© Aircrew Remembered 2012 - 2018
Last Modified: 27 March 2016, 23:38

Monitor Additions/Changes?Click to be informed of changes to this page. Create account for first monitor only, thereafter very fast. Click to close without creating monitor