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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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207 squadron crest
12/13.10.1941 No. 207 Squadron Manchester I L7312 EM-L P/O. Bowes-Cavanagh

Operation: Hüls

Date: 12/13th October 1941 (Sunday/Monday)

Unit: No. 207 Squadron

Type: Manchester I

Serial: L7312

Code: EM-L

Base: RAF Waddington, Lincolnshire

Location: Horendonk about 2 km east of Essen

Pilot: P/O. Brian Derek Bowes-Cavanagh 89371 RAFVR Age 21. Killed

Pilot 2: Sgt. Robert Surfleet Stuart 754925 RAFVR Age 21. Kiled

Obs: Fl/Sgt. Jack A. Cheeseman RAFVR Survived PoW No: 24356 Camp: See notes (1)

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Andrew Joseph Carter 1161981 RAFVR Age 26. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. George Paul Spindler 759054 RAFVR Age 21. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. John William Leason 999653 RAFVR Age 28. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Ian Harry Deare Passy 921874 RAFVR Age 20. Killed


Took off from RAF Waddington, Lincolnshire to bomb the synthetic rubber factory at Hüls. 79 Hampdens and 11 Manchesters took part in this operation which turned out to be a very dissatisfactory bombing raid as the target was completely cloud covered and the bombing scattered.

Manchester L7312 was shot down at 04.08 hrs by Ofw. Paul Gildner (2) flying a Bf110, of 4./NJG1 and the aircraft crashed at Horendonk about 2 km east of Essen.


A great series of photo's showing Manchester EM-S of 207 squadron, taken from the top rear turret of a Hampden (courtesy Flight) 


(1) Fl/Sgt. Jack A. Cheeseman did spend time at various pow camps including: Stalag Teschen, Stalag Luft Sagan and Belaria, Stalag Luft Barth Vogelsang and Stalag Luft Heydekrug. He was captured very quickly and apparently taken back to the crash site the next day by the Germans, perhaps to identify the aircraft. Following that he was taken away for the usual interrogation. Jack Cheeseman died on the 5th July 2005.

(2) This was the 19th kill for Ofw. Paul Gildner who went on to obtain an enormous score of 42 kills before he himself was killed on the 24/25 February 1943 in a forced landing near Gilze-Rijen airfield after engine failure.


Burial details:

P/O. Brian Derek Bowes-Cavanagh. Essen Cemetery Coll grave. Son of Gerald Richard and Cecilia Gwendoline Bowes-Cavanagh, of Hampton, Middlesex, England.

Sgt. Robert Surfleet Stuart. Essen Cemetery Coll grave. Son of George Arthur and Lizzie Stuart, of Narborough, Norfolk, England.

Sgt. Andrew Joseph Carter. Essen Cemetery Coll grave. Son of Stephen Benjamin and Kate Ada Carter, of Over, Cambridgeshire, England.

Sgt. George Paul Spindler. Essen Cemetery Coll grave. Son of George Charles and Pauline Spindler, of Luton, Bedfordshire, England.

Sgt. John William Leason. Essen Cemetery Coll grave. Son of Thomas and Susan Leason; husband of Enid Leason, of Hull, England.

Sgt. Ian Harry Deare Passy. Essen Cemetery Coll grave. Son of Maj. F. H. B. Passy (formerly Indian Army), and Margaret Alexandra Passy, of Cornwood, Devon, England.

Researched for relatives of the crew. With thanks to the following: David Turner - Narborough History Society, Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses' Vol. 2, 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', the C.W.G.C.

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, 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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