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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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102 squadron Crest
16/17.06.1944 No. 102 Squadron Halifax III MZ642 DY-U P/O. Adam J.Mcd. Barr

Operation: Sterkrade

Date: 16/17th June 1944

Unit: No. 102 Squadron

Type: Halifax III

Serial: MZ642

Code: DY-U

Base: RAF Pocklington, Yorkshire

Location: Luur, Netherlands.

Pilot: P/O. Adam John McDowall Barr 177680 RAFVR Age ? Killed

Fl/Eng: Sgt. Joseph Bender 1867969 RAFVR Age 38. Killed

Nav: Sgt. J.F. Tweed 744733 RAFVR PoW No: 635 Camp: Stalag Luft Bankau-Kreulberg, Poland

Air/Bmr: Fl/Sgt. Alan Milne Duggleby AUS/418928 RAAF Age 22. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Hubert Jack Wakefield 1397471 RAFVR Age ? Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. W. Chapman 1498555 RAFVR PoW No: 209 Camp: Stalag Luft Bankau-Kreulberg, Poland

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Fred Bowman 1594409 RAFVR Age 31. Killed


Took off at 23.12 hrs from RAF Pocklington part of a 321 aircraft raid on Sterkrade synthetic-oil plant in Northern Germany. 162 Halifaxes, 147 Lancasters and 14 Mosquitoes left to find the target area covered by a thick cloud and the markers dropped by the pathfinders very quickly disappeared. The main bomber force could do very little but bomb the demising glow of the markers through the cloud.

Allied photographic reconnaissance and the German reports agree that the bombing was scattered, although some bombs did hit the oil plant. This had little effect on production. 21 Germans were killed on the ground and a further 6 foreign workers. 18 Houses were destroyed.

The loss to the allies was huge with a total of 21 bombers shot down by the German night fighters and another 10 by flak. This amounted to 159 aircrew being killed, 53 being made PoW.

Halifax MZ642 was intercepted and shot down by Hptm. Adolf Breves (1) from Stab IV./NJG1. Time of combat is placed at 01.59 hrs. and intercepted at 3600 mtrs. with the aircraft coming down 9 km. south of Zutphen.

In the same cemetery the bodies of some German casualties were buried, which after the war ended, were re-interred back in Germany.

Me 110 night fighter being refuelled (Kracker archives)

A dreadful night for Bomber Command losing some 36 aircraft. 173 crew members being killed, 53 being made PoW and 9 evading capture. 102 Squadron was devastated by this operation losing no less than 5 aircraft.
LW192 DY-H Piloted by 22 year old Fl/Sgt. Eric Braddock 177675 RAFVR from Northwood, London, all seven crew killed.
MZ292 DY-C Piloted by 23 year old Fl/Sgt. James Kelso 1795060 RAFVR from Antrim, Northern Ireland, all seven crew killed.
MZ301 DY-M Piloted by 21 year old Sq/Ldr. David Fisher DFC. DFM. 125430 RAFVR from Tonbridge, Kent, all seven crew killed.
MZ652 DY-Z Piloted by F/O. Austin Maxwell J/25924 RCAF, all seven crew killed.

(1) This was the seventh kill from Hptm. Adolf Breves, already classed as an ace. He survived the war with a tally of 18.

Burial details:

P/O. Adam John McDowall. Steenderen Cemetery, Netherlands. Coll. Grave 3-4. No further details as yet.

Sgt. Joseph Bender. Steenderen Cemetery. Coll. Grave 3-4. Son of Isaac and Ann Bender; husband of Jane Bender, of Montreal, Province of Quebec, Canada.

Fl/Sgt. Alan Milne Duggleby. Steenderen Cemetery. Coll. Grave 3-4. Son of the Revd. John Taylor Duggleby and Helen Eliza Duggleby, of 70 Richardson Street, North Essendon, Victoria, Australia. Born 12th January 1922 at Leongatha, Vicoria, Australia, trained as a teacher prior to joining RAAF.

Sgt. Hubert Jack Wakefield. Steenderen Cemetery. Coll. Grave 3-4. No further details as yet.

Sgt. Fred Bowman. Steenderen Cemetery. Coll. Grave 3-4. Son of Fredrick and Jessie Oxley Bowman, husband of Kitty May Bowman, of Pocklington, Yorkshire, England.

Researched for Phil Robertson and for the relatives / friends of the crew. With thanks to the following: Bill Chorley - "Bomber Command Losses", Theo Boiten - "German Nightfighter War Diaries", Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt "Bomber Command War Diaries", CWGC.

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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 (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', Archiwum - Polish Air Force Archive (on this site), Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Franek Grabowski, 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.
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