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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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14/15.01.1944 No. 166 Squadron Lancaster lll EE137 AS-C2 W/O.Butler

Operation: Brauschweig, Lower Saxony, Germany

Date: 14/15th January 1944

Unit: No. 166 Squadron

Type: Lancaster III

Serial: EE137

Code: AS-C2

Base: RAF Kirmington, Lincolnshire

Location: 5km SW of Stockse, Nr. Wienberg-Weser, Gremany

Pilot: W/O. William Valentine Butler 1318348 RAFVR Age 28. Killed

Fl/Eng: Sgt. Raymond Edward William Cheeseman 1804108 RAFVR Age 21. Killed

Nav: Fl/Sgt. J. W. Thomas 1321056 RAF PoW No.? Camp: DL (Wetzar)

Air/Bmr: Sgt. J. Holden 1337090 RAF PoW No. 270044 Camp: L3 (Sagan and Belaria) and 4B (Muhlberg)

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Frederick Charles Collins 1389556 RAFVR Age 20. Killed

Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Ronald Soo 1052600 RAFVR Age 23. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. James Michael Preston R/187614 RCAF Age 22. Killed

REASON FOR LOSS:
Took off at 16:29hrs. from RAF Kirmington on a mission to Braunschweig.

The aircraft crashed into woods 5km South West of Stockse. The reason for this air crash has never been established. The aircraft may have been hit by flak or attacked by an enemy fighter. 496 aircraft took part in this major raid with the loss of 38 Lancasters.

Mayfield School WW2 MemorialW/O. William Valentine Butler is remembered on the WW2 Memorial in the old Northern Grammar School, Portsmouth (now Mayfield School)

Burial details:

W/O. William Valentine Butler. Hanover War Cemetery, Lower Saxony, Germany. Grave Reference. 16. J. 3. Son of William Arthur Butler and of Lucy Ayling Butler of Copnor, Portsmouth, Hampshire, England. William is remembered on the War Memorial panel in the old Northern Grammar School, Portsmouth (now Mayfield School)

Sgt. Raymond Edward William Cheeseman. Hanover War Cemetery, Lower Saxony, Germany. Grave Reference. 16. J. 1. Son of Edward George and Ada Louise Cheeseman of Greenhithe, Kent, England.

Sgt. Frederick Charles Collins. Hanover War Cemetery, Lower Saxony, Germany. Grave Reference. Joint Grave 16. J. 4-5. Son of William Charles and Eliza Dorothy Collins of East Tisted, Hampshire, England.

Fl/Sgt. Ronald Soo. Hanover War Cemetery, Lower Saxony, Germany. Grave Reference. Joint Grave 16. J. 4-5. Son of Quan and Beatrice Soo of Litherland, Liverpool. Ronald was born in 1920, Liverpool, England.

Sgt. James Michael Preston. Hanover War Cemetery, Lower Saxony, Germany. Grave Reference. 16. J. 2. Son of James Edward and Georgina Ann Preston of Chatham, Ontario, Canada. James was born on the 27th November 1921.

Researched by Aircrew Remembered, researcher and specialist genealogist Kate Tame for relatives of this crew.

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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