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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.


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24/25.07.1944 No. 83 Squadron Lancaster III ND922 OL-J Fl/Lt. R.C. Banfield DFC

Operation: Stuttgart

Date: 24/25 July 1944 (Monday/Tuesday)

Unit: No. 83 Squadron

Type: Lancaster III

Serial: ND922

Code: OL-J

Base: RAF Coningsby, Lincolnshire.

Location: South East Jungingen, Germany.

Pilot: Fl/Lt. Raymond Charles Banfield DFC 415490 RAAF Age 24. Killed

Fl/Eng: Sgt. Ernest Pattison 1812157 RAFVR Age 20. Killed

Nav: Fl/Lt. Michael Ward DFC 134564 RAFVR Age 22. Killed

Air/Bmr: Fl/Lt. Stanley George Norris DFC 135750 RAFVR Age 30. Killed

Air/Bmr 2: W/O. Wallace Herbert DFM 1178839 RAFVR Age 32. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Joseph Casebrook 1316080 RAFVR Age 24. Killed

Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Joseph Wheeler 2208907 RAFVR Age ? Killed

Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Stanley James Compton 1600146 RAFVR Age ? Killed

REASON FOR LOSS:

Taking off from RAF Coningsby, Lincolnshire at 22.15 hrs joining 461 Lancasters and 153 Halifaxes to Stuttgart. This was the first of 3 heavy raids on Stuttgart in 5 nights and the only report available is a composite one for the 3 raids. 

The 3 raids caused the most serious damage of the war in the central districts of Stuttgart which, being situated in a series of narrow valleys, had eluded Bomber Command for several years. They were now devastated and most of Stuttgart's public and cultural buildings were destroyed. The second of the 3 raids, on the night of 25/26 July, was the most successful.

Shot down by Uffz. Bernhard Kratz of 3./NJG6 at 01.56 hrs with combat taking place at 4.700 metres. 

Right: Uffz. Bernard Kratz of 3./NJG6 (Courtesy Susan Robinson Peters via Wendy White)

(1) Uffz. Bernhard Kratz this his 5th of 6 Abschüsse. Understood to have survived the war. Interesting in that he was wounded only days before this action on the 23/24th July in a crash shortly after take off from Coulommiers airfield. No further details.




Burial details:

Fl/Lt. Raymond Charles Banfield DFC. Durnbach War Cemetery. Grave 8.D.30. Son of Charles Thomas Banfield and Violet Banfield, of Victoria Park, Western Australia.

Sgt. Ernest Pattison. Durnbach War Cemetery. Coll. Grave 8.D.31-35. Son of Ernest and Ruth Pattison, of New Herrington, Co. Durham, England.

Fl/Lt. Michael Ward DFC. Durnbach War Cemetery. Coll. Grave 8.D.31-35. Son of William and Isabel Ward, of York, England.

Fl/Lt. Stanley George Norris DFC. Durnbach War Cemetery. Coll. Grave 8.D.31-35. Son of Thomas Henry Stanley Norris and Grace Ethel Norris, husband of Winifred May Norris, of West Wimbledon, Surrey, England.

W/O. Wallace Herbert DFM. Durnbach War Cemetery. Coll. Grave 8.D.31-35. Son of Edward Wallace Herbert and Lizzie Herbert, husband of Florence Rose Herbert, of Weston Rhyn, Shropshire, England. Schoolmaster.

Fl/Sgt. Joseph Casebrook. Durnbach War Cemetery. Coll. Grave 8.D.31-35. Son of William Tibbets Casebrook and Jessie Davies Casebrook, of Bodicote, Oxfordshire, England.

Fl/Sgt. Joseph Wheeler. Durnbach War Cemetery. Coll. Grave 8.D.31-35. Son of Wilfred and Annie Wheeler, of Nantwich, Cheshire, England.

Fl/Sgt. Stanley James Compton. Durnbach War Cemetery. Coll. Grave 8.D.31-35. Son of James Tynte Agg Compton and Kate Compton, of Bassett, Hampshire, England.

Researched for relatives of the crew. With many thanks to David Franklin, who has kindly visited the cemetery taking photographs of the crew graves, on behalf of the Aircrew Remembered. Any relative wishing to have a copy of these, David has given us his permission to release them full size. Also thanks to Bill Chorley - "Bomber Command Losses Vol. 5", Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - "Nightfighter War Diaries Vol. 2", Commonwealth Graves Commission.

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 and Fred Paradie - Paradie Archive (both on this site), 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 UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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