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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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192 Squadron Crest
08/09.02.1945 No. 192 Squadron Halifax III MZ342 DT-B Fl/Sgt. Brian L. Butler

Operation: BS - Politz operation (Bomber Support)

Date: 08/9th February 1945 (Thursday/Friday)

Unit: No. 192 Squadron

Type: Halifax III

Serial: MZ342

Code: DT-B

Base: RAF Foulsham, Norfolk

Location: North Sea off Denmark

Pilot: Fl/Sgt. Brian Leonard Butler NZ/429992 RNZAF Age 21. Missing - believed killed

Fl/Eng: Sgt. Kenneth George Cheshire 159179 RAFVR Age 19. Missing - believed killed

Nav: F/O. David Percy Maeers Finnigan 176001 RAFVR Age 23. Missing - believed killed

B/Aim: Fl/Sgt. Douglas William Webb 1187233 RAFVR Age 29. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Robert Dixon Mitcheson 1592400 RAFVR Age 20. Missing - believed killed

Spec/Op: F/O. Noel Burrows 51119 RAF Age 29. Missing - believed killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Evan Albert Ernest Tucker 1852712 RAFVR Age 19. Missing - believed killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Brian Frederick Woods 1881002 RAFVR Age 20. Killed


We would very much appreciate contact from Maryanne Butler who contacted us recently - with regret she did not leave a contact email for us to reply.


REASON FOR LOSS:

Halifax III MZ 342 DT-B left RAF Foulsham at 19:41 hrs. on a Bombing Support mission to Stettin. Their task was to monitor their radar for presence of night fighters. On the homebound journey at 2,000 feet it was involved in a mid-air collision in heavy cloud with Lancaster I PD376 of 625 squadron, flown by P/O. D.E. Chalkley.

The accident occurred circa 01:20 hrs. in position 5617 N 0748 E and though the Lancaster was to escape any serious damage and land safely back in England, the Halifax crashed into the sea.

Six crew including F/O. Burrows, the specialist operator, have no known graves and are commemorated on the Runnymede memorial. Whilst Fl/Sgt. Webb is buried in Esbjerg (Fourfelt) cemetery, with Sergeant Woods resting next to Able Seaman Gordon Henry Smith of HMS Pintail, and an unknown soldier in Husby Churchyard.

Burial details:

Fl/Sgt. Brian Leonard Butler. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 285. Son of Joseph and Mary (née Fabish) Butler of Huirangi, Waitara, Taranaki, New Zealand. Further information: Fl/Sgt. Butler was born on the 18th of December 1923 in New Plymouth and educated at Huirangi Primary School, Waitara. He enjoyed fishing, hunting, riding, swimming and played Rugby at school. He worked as a farmer for five years on his father’s farm at Waitara. After completing a ATC correspondence course he applied for RNZAF Aircrew in May 1942, enlisting at Seagrove on the 16th of August 1942. On the 25th of September 1942 he was promoted to Sergeant. October 1943 after finishing his training in New Zealand he sailed for the UK and was made a Flight Sergeant on the 25th of March 1944 before being commissioned to the rank of Pilot Officer on the 5th of February 1945. After further training and converting to Halifaxes, at 1658 Conversion unit at Riccall joining192 Squadron at Foulsham on the 6th of December, carrying out twelve operations over Germany and Holland.

Sgt. Kenneth George Cheshire. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 274. Son of Edith D. Cheshire of Whitley Bay, Northumberland, England.

F/O. David Percy Maeers Finnigan. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 266. Son of Stanley and Mabel Annie Finnigan and brother of Colin, Norman and Barbara Finnigan of Southgate, Middlesex, England.

Fl/Sgt. Douglas William Webb. Esbjerg Cemetary (Fourfelt). Plot A. Row 13. Grave 9. Son of William Maurice and Ethel Louise Webb of Bristol and husband of Marguerite Conibear Webb of Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol. Further information: Fl/Sgt. Webb's body was found after it had drifted ashore at Haurvig on the Danish North Sea coast on the 21st of February 1946 - buried at Esjberg.

Sgt. Robert Dixon Mitcheson. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 276. Son of Robert Dixon and Amelia Mitcheson of Newsham, Northumberland, England.

F/O. Noel Burrows. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 265. Son of Thomas and Margaret Burrows and husband of Mary Burrows of Pontllanfroith, Monmouthshire, Wales.

Sgt. Evan Albert Ernest Tucker. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 277. Son of Edgar Evan and Dorothy (née Truscott) Tucker of Bethel, Cornwall, England. Further information: Sgt. Tucker was born at Boldventure, Bethel, St. Austell, Cornwall on the 5th of June 1925. He had one sister, Enid Margaret born in 1933. Attended Mount Charles primary school and West Hill Central School before working as a telegram delivery boy for the Post Office.

Sgt. Brian Frederick Woods. Husby Churchyard, Denmark. Son of Charles Oliver and Violet Georgia Woods of Penge, Kent, England. Further information: Sgt. Woods body was found, having drifted ashore at a locality on the Danish North Sea coast named Strandlen 24 on Aaberg Forstrad on the 21st of August 1945. He was buried on the 24th of August at Husby Cemetery.

Researcher - Lindra Ibrom for Aircrew Remembered. With special thanks to John and Margaret Clarke for the information and photos of Sergeant Tucker, also to Peter and David Finnigan for the information and photo of Flying Officer Finnigan and finally to Peter Kivell and the Butler Family website for information and photos of Flight Sergeant Butler. Maryanne Butler for her recent contact.

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 and Fred Paradie - Paradie Archive (both on this site), Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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