02/03.01.1945 No. 100 Squadron Lancaster PB518 HW-P F/O. Bunn
Date: 2/3rd January 1945 (Tuesday/Wednesday)
Unit: No. 100 Squadron
Type: Lancaster III
Code: HW-P ('Pistol Packin Mama')
Base: RAF Grimsby, Lincolnshire
Location: Schlierbach, Germany.
Pilot: F/O. P.M. Bunn 145838 RAFVR Survived PoW. No details of camp, thought to be Stalag Luft Barth Vogelsang
Fl/Eng: Sgt. Douglas James Joseph Timms 546494 RAF Age 26. Killed
Nav: F/O. L.J. Holford 164051 RAFVR Survived PoW. No details of number or camp, thought to beStalag Luft Barth Vogelsang
Air/Bmr: F/O. R.E. Marsh 163531 RAFVR Survived PoW. No details of number or camp, thought to beStalag Luft Barth Vogelsang
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Jack Ernest Benton 1867172 RAFVR Age 20. Killed
Air/Gnr: Sgt. William Cook Muir 1821246 RAFVR Age 20. Killed
Air/Gnr: Sgt. Ronald Poulsom 1831282 RAFVR Age 20. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Took off at 15:10 hrs from RAF Grimsby, Lincolnshire joining 520 Lancasters and Mosquitoes to bomb Nuremberg. Reports from the German city was that the Bombing was very concentrated with the centre of the city destroyed. The castle, Rathaus almost all of the churches, 2,000 preserved medieval houses were destroyed by fires. A further 4,640 houses were destroyed along with some industrial areas such as the Mann works, Siemens factory and the railway system severely damaged. 1.838 people on the ground were killed, at this stage of the war records were lost and injuries not recorded.
Lancaster PB518 was intercepted and shot down by Hptm. Kurt-Heinz Weigel (1) his second of the night. Interception took place at 18:55 hrs with the aircraft coming down in a wood in an area named Guter Mann. The three crew who bailed out were captured by the locals of Schlierbach and were lucky to have been handed over to the authorities such was the feeling of the german civilians towards allied bomber crews.
Right: Hptm. Kurt-Heinz Weigel (courtesy Kracker Archives on this website)
(1) This was the 3rd of 4 victories he claimed during the war. Hptm. Kurt-Heinz Weigel was shot down and killed on 5th March 1945 at Brunnstadt near Gerolzhofen airfield by Fl/Lt. McFadyen and Fl/Lt. Shail of 406 Squadron in a Mosquito. Although some reports state that he had landed and was then strafed by the Mosquito.
Hptm. Weigel had been shot down early on in the war at Scapa Flow on the 4th August 1940 and taken as a PoW. Moved to Canada. He feigned mental sickness and as a prisoner exchange programme, repatriated to Germany in 1944 where he then trained as a night fighter pilot.
Crew graves photographs kindly supplied by David Franklin who visited Durnbach Cemetery especially for Aircrew Remembered. He has granted permission that any relative who would like a H/D copy of the grave photo to contact us.
Crew that were killed were initially buried at Schlierbach church before being reinterred after end of hostelries and subsequent identification by M.R.E.S. on the 23rd April 1947.
Sgt. Douglas James Joseph Timms. Durnbach War Cemetery. Grave 4.J.24. Son of George and Hilda Alberta Timms, of Battersea, London, England. Grave inscription reads: "Our Dear Son. Until The Day Break, And The Shadows Flee Away. R.I.P".
Sgt. Jack Ernest Benton. Durnbach War Cemetery. Grave 4.J.23. Son of Ernest and Winifred Benton, of Hall Green, Birmingham. England.
Sgt. William Cook Muir. Durnbach War Cemetery. Grave 4.J.22. Son of William Duncan Muir, and of Isabella Muir (née Dickson), of Burnside, Rutherglen, Lanarkshire, Scotland. Grave inscription reads: "For Ever In Our Thoughts".
Sgt. Ronald Poulsom. Durnbach War Cemetery. Grave 4.J.25. Son of Phillip John and Sarah Ann Poulsom, of Porth, Glamorgan, Wales. Grave inscription reads: "As We Loved Him So We Miss Him".
Researched for relatives of the crew. With thanks for further information from the R.A.F. Commands Forum, 12 o'clock high forum, Volker Mall, John Kuhn, Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vol. 6', 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', Oliver Clutton-Brock - 'Footprints On The Sands Of Time'. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Tom Kracker - 'Kracker Luftwaffe Archives'.