01/02.01.1944 No. 626 Squadron Lancaster III DV190 UM-B2 Sgt. E. Berry
Date: 01/02nd January 1944 (Saturday/Sunday)
Unit: No. 626 Squadron
Type: Lancaster III
Base: RAF Wickenby, Lincolnshire.
Location: Gardelegen, Germany.
Pilot: Sgt. Ernest Berry 1133453 RAFVR Age 23. Killed
Fl/Eng: Sgt. Eric Atkinson 2216077 RAFVR Age 19. Killed
Nav: Sgt. J.B. Edwards PoW No further details available.
Air/Bmr: Sgt. Ronald Henry Doull 1449870 RAFVR Age 22. Killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Stanley Henderson 108429 RAFVR Age 23. Killed
Air/Gnr: Sgt. Victor Nelson Trayler 634398 RAF Age 23. Killed
Air/Gnr: Sgt. John Waters 61813 RAF Age ? Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off from RAF Wickenby, Lincolnshire at 00.16 hrs to bomb the heart of Germany.
Berlin. 471 Lancasters taking part in this operation, one of four attacks on the capital within 10 days. The Luftwaffe night fighters intercepted the bomber stream very early, despite a diversionary raid made on Hamburg by 15 Mosquitoes.
About 10 of the 28 Lancaster losses were made early en-route to the target. 2 were victims over Berlin, two were claimed by Berlin flak units, with the remainder on return from the target
Bombing was scattered in the southern parts of the city with only 21 houses and 1 industrial building destroyed.
Above and below, samples of cartoons drawn by Stanley “Chic” Henderson of the crew - to pass the time.
Lancaster DV190 is thought to have been a victim of the fierce flak units, no nightfighter claims were identified for this aircraft which crashed at Gardelegen, Germany. (see map)
Right: RAF Wickenby Memorial today (mouse over image)
Sgt. Ernest Berry. Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery. Grave 6.F.2. NoK details currently not available - Lived at Failsworth, Manchester, England.
Sgt. Eric Atkinson. Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery. Grave 6.F.1. Son of Charles and Clara Atkinson of Mirfield, Yorkshire, England.
Sgt. Ronald Henry Doull. Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery. Grave 6.F.6. Son of Ronald and Lily Alice Doull of Ilford, Essex, England.
Sgt. Stanley Henderson. Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery. Grave 6.F.5. Son of James Laidham and Mary Elizabeth Henderson of Consett, County Durham, England.
Sgt. Victor Nelson Trayler. Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery. Grave 6.F.3. Further information: Son of William Henry and Gwendolyn Cynthia Trayler, husband of Olive Trayler of Newport, Monmouthshire, Wales. Victor joined the RAF at eighteen. Just a month after he and the crew were shot down, his wife gave birth to their son, Michael Victor. Victor was a close friend with the rear gunner, John “Paddy” Waters and also with Sergeant Stanley “Chic” Henderson who drew cartoons of the crew to pass the time.
Sgt. John Waters. Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery. Grave 6.F.4. Son of Matthew and Margaret Waters (née Cummings)
Researched by Aircrew Remembered, researcher and specialist genealogist Linda Ibrom for relatives of this crew. Special thanks to Mrs Olive Perry (widow of Sergeant Trayler) and Michael Trayler, son and Derek Gardner. With thanks also to Mr. Sydney Atkinson of Ontario, Canada, brother of Sgt. Eric Atkinson for details on the pilot.