07/08.07.1944 No. 49 Squadron Lancaster III LM541 EA-N Fl/Lt. George E. Ball DFC
Operation: St-Leu France
Date: 7/8th July 1944 (Friday/Saturday)
Unit: No. 49 Squadron
Type: Lancaster MkIII
Base: RAF Fiskerton
Location: Le Chesne, France
Pilot: Fl/Lt. George Edward Ball DFC. 170964 RAFVR Age 24. Killed
Fl/Eng: Sgt. Eric Wardman 1451760 RAFVR Age 21. Killed
Nav: P/O. George Millar 177977 RAFVR Age 22. Killed
Air/Bmr: P/O. George Arthur Rae J/88120 RCAF Age 23. Killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: P/O. John Kernahan 177752 RAFVR Age 21. Killed
Air/Gnr: Sgt. John Kirwan DFM. 1067998 RAFVR Age 25. Killed
Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Gorden James William Parkinson DFM. 1873911 RAFVR Age 20. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
On an operation to bomb the flying bomb storage depot at St-Leu-d-Esserent taking off at 22:13 hrs.
Left: Sgt. Eric Wardman Right: P/O. George Millar
49 Squadron lost two aircraft during this operation:
Lancaster I LL976 EA-A Flown by 21 year old F/O. Cyril Baker 175921 RAFVR from Stoke-on-Trent, England killed will all of his six other crew. Shot down by a night fighter.
Lancaster III PB207 Flown by F/O. L. McCracken RAFVR - he, together with all his crew, survived after their aircraft was badly damaged by a night fighter - they managed to land back at base, but the Lancaster was struck off charge.
Despite the operational success, a terrible night for Bomber Command regarding losses, some 31 aircraft lost, a further 11 returning home with damage, most to the night fighters of the Luftwaffe. The USAAF also lost some 9 Marauders on an almost simultaneous attack on the V1 Headquarters at Chateau de Ribeneaucourt.
Lancaster LM541 is believed to have been shot down by another Lancaster. But we have no other details regarding this.
Fl/Lt. George Edward Ball DFC. Le Chesne Cemetery, France. Grave 3. Son of George Albert and Margaret Jane Dryhurst Ball, of Leicester, England.
Fl/Eng: Sgt. Eric Wardman. Le Chesne Cemetery, France. Grave 5. Son of Robert and Madge Wardman, of Harrogate, Yorkshire, England.
Nav: P/O. George Millar. Le Chesne Cemetery, France. Grave 1. Son of George and Mattie Millar, of Hawick, Roxburghshire, Scotland.
Air/Bmr: P/O. George Arthur Rae. Le Chesne Cemetery, France. Grave 7. Son of Hugh Franklin Rae and Edith Rae, husband of Mary M. Rae, of Gilmorton, Leicestershire, England.
W/Op/Air/Gnr: P/O. John Kernahan. Le Chesne Cemetery, France. Grave 4. Son of Matthew and Jane Ferguson Kernahan, of Barrhead, Renfrewshire, Scotland.
Air/Gnr: Sgt. John Kirwan DFM. Le Chesne Cemetery, France. Grave 2. Son of Michael and Bridget Kirwan, of Dungarvan, Co. Kilkenny, Irish Republic.
Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Gorden James William Parkinson DFM. Le Chesne Cemetery, France. Grave 6. Son of William and Gladys Violet Parkinson, of Wimblington, Cambridgeshire, England.
Researched by Michel Beckers for Aircrew Remembered March 2015. Photographs from the Researched by Michel Beckers for Aircrew Remembered March 2015. Photographs from the collection of Michel Beckers. Also thanks to Colin Cripps for grave and Fl/Sgt. Millar photographs, to Jean-Pierre Touzeau for War memorial photo.