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Archive Report: Allied Forces

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27/28.08.1942 No. 15 Squadron Stirling I W7624 LS-E Fl/Sgt. Hugh Barton-Smith

Operation: Kassel

Date: 27/28th August 1942

Unit: No. 15 Squadron

Type: Stirling I

Serial: W7624 

Code: LS-E

Base: RAF Bourn

Location: Bentelo (Overijssel), Delden, Holland

Pilot: Fl/Sgt. Hugh Barton-Smith 1312006 RAFVR Age 26. Missing

Fl/Eng: Sgt. John Victor Robinson  567796  RAF Age 23. Missing (1)

Obs: Fl/Sgt. Kenneth Wakefield 1165290 RAFVR Age 20. Missing

Air/Bmr: Sgt. Leonard Edward Moss NZ/403566 RNZAF Age 28. Missing

W/Op/Air/Gnr: W/O. Sgt. Peter Siegfried Sharman 1111468  RAFVR Age 20. Missing

Air/Gnr:  Fl/Sgt. Edward Frederick Talbot 1376849 RAFVR Age 30. Missing

Air/Gnr:  Fl/Sgt. Glen Allen Smith NZ/403032 RNZAF Age 22. Killed

Reason for loss:  

Joining 306 aircraft (Wellingtons, Stirlings, Lancasters, Halifaxes and Hampdens) to bomb Kassel.

                              

Very little cloud cover and the Pathfinders illuminated the area well resulting in widespread damage with 144 buildings destroyed and a further 317 seriously damaged. Several military establishments were hit including the Henschel aircraft company. 43 people were killed on the ground and 251 people injured.

30 Aircraft were lost, most falling victim to Luftwaffe night fighters. 

                     

Top row, L - R: Fl/Sgt Barton-Smith, Fl/Sgt. Wakefield, Sgt. Moss, Sgt. Robinson. Bottom row L - R: Sgt. Sharman, Fl/Sgt. Talbot, Fl/Sgt. Smith (courtesy BBC via the nephew of Fl/Sgt. Barton-Smith)

Stirling I W7624 is believed to have been shot down by a night fighter Oblt. Wolfrat Bauer, from 7./NJG1 at 00.08 hrs. (He also was credited to 44 Squadron Lancaster W4124 on this same raid) He was later himself killed on the 4/5th January 1943 in a crash at Duisburg-Hamborn after being hit by flak.

The rear gunner, New Zealander Flight Sergeant Glen Allen Smith, 24, was found dying close to the site and was buried nearby. Two other unidentified bodies were found soon afterwards and laid to rest alongside him.

                                              

But their comrades remained missing until 2005 when an aircraft was discovered and excavated by the Royal Dutch Airforce. Human remains were also found. The wreckage was identified from serial numbers on the engine and relatives of the dead men were traced.

The human remains found in the recovery have now finally been laid to rest in a single coffin alongside those of Flt/Sgt. Smith and the two others in the Ambt-Delden cemetery in Delden.

Burial Details:

Updated with information as shown above. Although CWGC have yet to update their records as they are still listed on the Runnymede Memorial.

Fl/Sgt. Hugh Barton-Smith. Ambt-Delden General Cemetery, Holland, Plot IB Row:K. Communal grave. Son of Arthur Edward and Annie Emma Barton-Smith, husband of May Barton Smith, of St. Davids, Pembrokeshire. B.Sc. Wales.  A former chemist from Sutton Coldfield, Warwickshire, England.

Sgt. John Victor Robinson. Ambt-Delden General Cemetery, Holland, Plot IB Row:K. Communal grave. (1) Son of Hubert Hedley Robinson, O.B.E., Merchant Navy, Master S.S. Empire Success (London) (Died on active service, 19th February, 1945), and of C. Helen Robinson, of Wimborne Minster, Dorset, England. Husband of Ethel M. Robinson. Originally from the Sevenoaks area of Kent, a scholar prior to enlistment.

Fl/Sgt. Kenneth Wakefield. Ambt-Delden General Cemetery, Holland, Plot IB Row:K. Communal grave. Son of Albert J. and Alice J. Wakefield, of Bedford, England. A clerk prior to joining the R.A.F.V.R., born in Derby, England.

Sgt. Leonard Edward Moss. Ambt-Delden General Cemetery, Holland, Plot IB Row:K. Communal grave. Son of William Johnson Moss and Ivy Myrtle Unita Moss, of Marton, Wellington, New Zealand, husband of Jose Hicken Moss.

Sgt. Peter Siegfried Sharman. Ambt-Delden General Cemetery, Holland, Plot IB Row:K. Communal grave. Son of George Owen Sharman and Gabriel Sharman, of Buxton, Derbyshire, England. From Liverpool, England. A clerk prior to enlisting.

Fl/Sgt. Edward Frederick Talbot. Ambt-Delden General Cemetery, Holland, Plot IB Row:K. Communal grave. Son of Albert Edward and Lillian Florence Talbot, of Morden, Surrey, England. Before joining worked as a milkman in London, England.

Fl/Sgt. Glen Allen Smith. Ambt-Delden General Cemetery, Holland, Plot IB Row:K Grave: 6. Son of Albert George Smith and of Jeanetta Isobel Ellen Smith (nee Ayton), of Auckland City, New Zealand.

Researched by Peter Lord -  for relatives of the crew. With thanks to the following, Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vol's. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions',  Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vol's. 1 and  2',  Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt ‘Bomber Command War Diaries’. CWGC.

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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