05/06.09.1943 No 149 Squadron Stirling III EE872 OJ-N Fl/Sgt. Brown
Date: 05/06th September 1943 (Sunday/Monday)
Unit: No. 149 Squadron 3 Group (motto: Fortis Nocte - 'Strong by Night')
Type: Stirling III
Base: RAF Lakenheath, Suffolk
Location: Rheingönheim, Ludwigshafen
Pilot: Fl/Sgt. Andrew Angus Brown 1349635 RAFVR Age 21. Killed
Fl/Eng: Sgt. Douglas Anthony Percy Guest 1603378 RAFVR Age ? Killed
Nav: Fl/Sgt. Alexander Hunter Holms NZ/421933 RNZAF Age 34. Killed
Air/Bmr: Fl/Sgt. David Herbert William Badcock NZ/421312 RNZAF Age 27. Killed (1)
W/Op/Air/Gnr: W/O. Adrian Vincent Douglas NZ/403617 RNZAF Age 23. Killed (2)
Air/Gnr: Sgt. Henry Arthur Saunders 649405 RAF Age ? Killed
Air/Gnr: Sgt. Harry G. Barnard 1308865 RAFVR PoW No: 222665 Camp: Stalag Muhlberg ( 4B Elbe)
Erik Wieman together with his team of archaeological researchers have recently discovered the crash site. They hope to erect a memorial at or near the location. They are keen to contact relatives of the crew - email us in the first instance and your details will be forwarded - if requested.
REASON FOR LOSS:
605 aircraft - 299 Lancasters, 195 Halifaxes and 111 Stirlings were sent to bomb both Mannheim and Ludwigshafen with a high degree of success. Large area of both targets were destroyed. Reports from Mannheim described it as a 'catastrophe' for the town.
The Royal Air Force lost some 13 Lancasters, 9 Stirlings and 13 Halifaxes most, including EE872 were the victims of the Luftwaffe night fighters.
The Luftwaffe controllers had first thought the target to be Nuremberg and scrambled at 00:17 hrs, arriving late at the actual target area. Most of the bombers that were hit had been after they had released their bomb loads and were turning to go home.
Note: This map shows the 'possible' area of the loss, it is not to be considered as an accurate location of the crash site - merely a representation of the area.
Claimed to have been shot down by 30 year old, Hptm. Hans-Wolfgang von Niebelschütz of 5./NJG4 at 00:29 hrs over the target area during their bombing run. His 5th claim of the war making him an 'ace'. Later hit and killed by German flak unit on the 02/03rd January 1944 - totalled credited claims of 11.
It is reported that at least three of the crew did manage to bale out of the aircraft, but only the rear gunner survived as a PoW. Fully aware of the dangers of parachuting in the target area, he delayed opening his chute until the aircraft descended to about 1000 ft, he landed next to a flak post.
Three aircraft were lost from this Squadron, the others:
Stirling III BK711 OJ-O Flown by 29 year old, Fl/Lt. Bernard Cottrell 135402 RAF killed with three other crew, three others taken PoW.
Stirling III BF477 OJ-B Flown by F/O. C.D. Farmer 130221 RAFVR taken PoW along with 3 others, 1 evaded capture with two others PoW.
(1) The brother of Fl/Sgt. Badcock 23 year old, Sgt. Alan Frederick Badcock NZ/412467 RNZAF was killed earlier in the war on the 09th November 1942. On an operation to Hamburg, flying as the Air Bomber on Lancaster I W4165 with 57 Squadron when they were brought down close to the shore at Cuxhaven. All seven crew killed.
(2) The brother of W/O. Douglas 23 year old, Fl/Sgt. Wallace John Douglas NZ/403618 RNZAF was listed as missing - believed killed with all three other crew members. For further details read archive report.
Crew initially buried at Ludwigshafen Main Cemetery on the 08th September - reinterred after the end of the war at Durnbach.
We now have high resolution images of the crew graves courtesy of Family Graham. Available to relatives/friends of this crew free of charge.
Fl/Sgt. Andrew Angus Brown. Durnbach War Cemetery. Collective grave 8.J. 1-18. Son of George McK. Brown and Christina Thom Brown, of Peterculter, Aberdeenshire. Grave inscription reads: "To Live In The Hearts Of Those You Love Is Not To Die".
Sgt. Douglas Anthony Percy Guest. Durnbach War Cemetery. Collective grave 8.J. 1-18. Son of William and Charlotte Elizabeth Guest, of Acton, Middlesex. Grave inscription reads: "Greater Love Hath No Man Than This, He Laid Down His Life For Us All".
Note: The RNZAF crew members do not show a grave inscription - for reasons of this please read the page 'Your Commonwealth Grave Explained'.
Fl/Sgt. Alexander Hunter Holms. Durnbach War Cemetery. Collective grave 8.J. 1-18. Born on the 06th August 1909 at Waimahaka, the son of Alexander Scott Holms and Helen Holms (née Hunter), of Invercargill, Southland, New Zealand. Prior to service worked as a farmer on his fathers farm. A total of 460 flying hours logged and having completed 19 operational sorties.
Fl/Sgt. David Herbert William Badcock. Durnbach War Cemetery. Collective grave 8.J. 1-18. Born on the 28th August 1916 at Hawera, the son of George and Florence Mary Badcock (née Key), of Hawera, Taranaki, New Zealand. A farmer with the Hawera Co-Op Dairy Company. A total of 481 flying hours logged and having completed 20 operational sorties.
W/O. Adrian Vincent Douglas. Durnbach War Cemetery. Grave 8.K 3. Born on the 04th July 1920 at Rotorua, the son of Edward and Marguerite Douglas (née McPherson), of Ohinemutu, Auckland, New Zealand. An electrician prior to service. A total of 321 flying hours logged and having completed 20 operational sorties.
Sgt. Henry Arthur Saunders. Durnbach War Cemetery. Collective grave 8.J. 1-18. No further details - are you able to assist?
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to Jenifer Lemaire of New Zealand for bringing this loss to our attention, the research by Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3”, Auckland War Memorial Museum, Weekly News of New Zealand, other sources as quoted below: