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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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78 Squadron Crest
06.10.1944 No 78 Squadron Halifax III LW511 EY-Z W/O. Bradburn

Operation: Scholven-Buer

Date: 06th October 1944 (Friday)

Unit: No. 78 Squadron

Type: Halifax III

Serial: LW511

Code: EY-Z

Base: RAF Breighton, Yorkshire.

Location: Gahlen, Germany

Pilot: W/O. John Henry Bradburn 1343450 RAFVR Age 22. Killed

Fl/Eng: Sgt. David Menzies 3020036 RAFVR Age 19. Killed

Nav: Fl/Sgt. Richard John Holland 1396475 RAFVR Age ? Killed

Air/Bmr: Fl/Sgt. Daniel Crerar 1561150 RAFVR Age 22. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Ronald Charles West 1811334 RAFVR Age ? Killed

Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Edward Borkofsky R/189482 RCAF Age 22. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Alexander Crew Lachie Todd 1554137 RAFVR Age 22. Killed


Took off from RAF Breighton, Yorkshire at 14.17 hrs on a daylight operation to bomb the synthetic oil plant at Scholven-Buer. Another operation was being carried out at the same time on the plant at Sterkrade.

The weather was very clear and reports state that the bombing proved accurate although we have no details of the damage/losses on the ground. 10 aircraft were lost on these two raids. Understood that LW511 was hit by flak and came down in the village of Gahlen as shown on the map.

Two other aircraft and crews were also lost on this operation:

Halifax III LL588 EY-O Flown by F/O. Raymond L. Stanley RAFVR killed with 6 other crew.
Halifax III MZ310 EY-U Flown by F/O. Charles W. Crawford RAFVR killed with 7 other crew.

Reichswald Forest War Cemetery (courtesy Wouter van Dijken)

Burial details:

Right: Panel erected at the South and Levern Parish Church, Barrhead (courtesy John Houston)

W/O. John Henry Bradburn. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. Grave 20.F.11. Son of Stuart Bradburn and of Anne S.W. Bradburn, of Barrhead, Renfrewshire, Scotland.

Sgt. David Menzies 3020036. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. Grave 20.F.8. Son of John Carson Menzies and Grace Blacklock Menzies, of Annan, Dumfriesshire, Scotland.

Fl/Sgt. Richard John Holland. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. Grave 20.F.9. NoK details currently not available - are you able to assist completion of these and any other information?

Fl/Sgt. Daniel Crerar. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. Grave 20.F.12. Son of Daniel and Agnes Crerar, of Airdrie, Lanarkshire, Scotland.

Sgt. Ronald Charles West. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. Grave 20.F.10. NoK details currently not available - are you able to assist completion of these and any other information?

Fl/Sgt. Edward Borkofsky. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. Grave 20.G.1. Son of Louis and Mary Borkofsky, of Russell, Manitoba, Canada.

Sgt. Alexander Crew Lachie Todd. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. Grave 20.F.13. Son of Walter and Jean Todd, of Sighthill, Edinburgh, Scotland.

Researched for Tony Holland, brother of the navigator, Fl/Sgt. Richard Holland. For further details our thanks to the following, Piet Truren from Holland for pointing out incorrect location detail. 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 (Updated 2014 version), Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

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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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