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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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103 Squadron Crest
22/23.05.1944 No. 103 Squadron Lancaster III ND629 PM-G P/O. William J.D. Charles

Operation: Dortmund

Date: 22/23rd May 1944 (Monday/Tuesday)

Unit: No. 103 Squadron

Type: Lancaster III

Serial: ND629 (1)

Code: PM-G

Base: RAF Elsham Wolds, Lincolnshire.

Location: North Ahaus, Germany

Pilot: P/O. William James Donald Charles J/19622 RCAF Age 27. Killed

Fl/Eng: Sgt. Augustus Ernest Lee 1874595 RAFVR Age ? Killed

Nav: F/O. Owen Wright J/28272 RCAF Age 28. Killed

Air/Bmr: F/O. Lancelot Stanley Kennedy J/27157 RCAF Age 27. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: F/O. Derek Abraham Wiener 157874 RAFVR Age 21. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Vaughan Davies 2210654 RAFVR Age ? Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Henry Alfred Shephard 1853068 RAFVR Age 20. Killed

A relative of the crew would dearly appreciate any photographs in particular F/O. Lancelot S. Kennedy.


Taking off at 22:34 hrs along with 360 Lancasters and 14 Mosquitoes of 1, 3, 6 and 8 Groups to bomb Dortmund, the first large raid on this target for a year. 18 Lancasters lost.

The attack fell mainly in the south-eastern districts of Dortmund, mostly in residential areas. 852 houses and 6 industrial buildings were destroyed, 788 houses were seriously damaged. 335 Germans and 26 prisoners of war were killed with 1,697 people injuries on the ground.

Thought that it was a ‘possible’ claim by Oblt. Wilhelm Henseler (2) of 1./NJG1 with combat taking place at 5.500 metres at 00:39 hrs. The Lancaster crashed 5 km north of Alhaus, Germany. All the crew lost their lives.

Also lost on this operation from 103 Squadron:

Lancaster I LL946 PM-Z Flown by 22 year old Fl/Lt. Godfrey Arnold Morrison DSO. 150107 RAFVR from Pickering, Yorkshire, England. Killed with all 6 other crew members.

(1) Lancaster ND 629 had been delivered to 103 Squadron in February 1944. Fitted with Merlin 38 engines and built by A.V. Roe of Chadderton. The crew had taken part in the following operations together: 19/20 th May 1944 Target - Orleans - Railway Yards, Aircraft - ND381. Up 22:11 hrs, down 03:01 hrs. Bombed markers from 10,000 feet at 00:49 hrs. On return bomber was diverted to land at Kelstern. 21/22nd May 1944 Target - Duisberg Aircraft - ND993. Up 22:50, down 04:01. Bombed markers from 20,000 feet at 01:15 hrs. 
(2) This was the 8th victory for the Luftwaffe ace Oblt. Wilhelm Henseler. It is understood that he survived the war with a total of 9/10 abschüsse. No further details.

Burial details:

P/O. William James Donald Charles. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. Grave 23.C.16. Son of John Wilson Charles and Violet Ann Charles, of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Sgt. Augustus Ernest Lee. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. Coll. Grave 23.C.12-14. No further information, are you able to assist?

F/O. Owen Wright. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. Coll. Grave 23.C.12-14. Son of Tiberius J. and Violet A. Wright. No further information, are you able to assist?

F/O. Lancelot Stanley Kennedy. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. Grave 23.C.15. Son of Stanley (1892-1961) and Alice Mary Kennedy (1892-1963), of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, husband of Margaret B. Kennedy, understood to be from Toronto, Canada.

F/O. Derek Abraham Wiener. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. Coll. Grave 23.C.12-14. Son of Solomon David and Bernice Wiener, of Cleveleys, Lancashire, England.

Sgt. Vaughan Davies. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. Coll. Grave 23.C.12-14. No further information, are you able to assist?

Sgt. Henry Alfred Shephard. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. Coll. Grave 23.C.12-14. Son of Henry and Louisa Susan Shephard, of Sidmouth, Devon, husband of Joan Shephard, of Stoke Gabriel, Devon, England.

For further details our thanks to William Ballantine who is a relative of F/O. Lancelot S. Kennedy. Other sources as quoted below. Cemetery photo courtesy of Dilwyn P. Lloyd.

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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