10/11.04.1943 No. 7 Squadron Stirling III BK760 MG-X Sq/Ldr. Humphrey W.A. Chesterman AFC
Date: 10/11th April 1943 (Saturday/Sunday)
Unit: No. 7 Squadron
Type: Stirling III
Base: RAF Oakington, Cambridgeshire
Location: Tongerlo near Bree, Belgium
Pilot: Sq/Ldr. Humphrey William Albert Chesterman AFC. 26198 RAF Age 32. Killed
Fl/Eng: Sgt. D. Ferguson RAFVR Evaded capture
Nav: Sgt. Stan J. Moore RAFVR Evaded capture
Air/Bmr: Sgt. Ernest Tolson 1378392 RAFVR Age 22. Killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Leslie Ellis 1313959 RAFVR Age 21. Killed
Air/Gnr: Sgt. Bernard Stanley George Bugg 1396272 RAFVR Age 20. Killed
Air/Gnr: Sgt. Walter Moore 1235122 RAFVR Age 24. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off from RAF Oakington, Cambridgeshire at 23.27 hrs to attack the city of Frankfurt with 501 other aircraft. 144 Wellingtons, 136 Lancasters, 124 Halifaxes and 98 Stirlings.
The bombing was classed as a failure with the target totally covered in cloud - every photograph taken during the operation had been obscured so intelligence had no idea what damage had been done.Reports from the city state that few bombs fell in the suburbs with 0 casualties in the city but 18 killed in other areas.
Left: Sq/Ldr. Chesterman AFC (courtesy Michel Beckers via Judy Osman)
21 aircraft were lost from Bomber Command on this night.
7 Squadron lost another Stirling on this operation:
Stirling I R9275 MG-Y Flown by 20 year old P/O. Frank A. Terry 139509 RAFVR from Strood, Kent, killed with all of his 6 other crew with the aircraft crashing at Koerich near Luxembourg.
Stirling III BK760 had arrived 15 minutes early over the target and was immediately hit several times by flak. But tbe crew continued withe their attack and bombed the target from 17,000 ft. Returning home they were then hit by machine gun fire over the village of Bree when a night fighter then closed in fro the kill. Maj. Walter Ehle (1) of stab II./NJG1 claimed this, his 19th abschüsse of the war when the Stirling crashed at 03.45 hrs 1 km. south west of Tongerlo.
Log book final entry of Sgt. Bernard Stanley George Bugg (courtesy Michel Beckers)
Maj. Walter Ehle (1) of stab II./NJG1 (courtesy Kracker Archive)
(1) He was killed on the 19/20th November 1943 on final approach to St-Trond airfield. (A total of 31 night and 3 day claims).
Crew graves at Heverlee War cemetery (courtesy Michel Beckers)
Initially buried by the Germans at the airfield at St. Trond - reburied at Heverlee in 1948.
Sq/Ldr. Humphrey William Albert Chesterman AFC. Heverlee War Cemetery. Grave 8.G.4. Born on 22nd October 1911 from Hodsock, Worksop, Nottinghamshire, England. Engaged to Yvonne Collins who died in Grenoble, France whilst attending University at the young age of 19 from a ruptured appendix. Further details: Awarded a Permanent Commission as a Pilot Officer in the General Duties Branch of the Royal Air Force:- 25 Jul 1931 - Promoted to Flying Officer:- 25 Jan 1933 Flight Lieutenant:- 1 Apr 1936 - Permanent commission resigned:- 15 Aug 1936 - Commissioned as a Flight Lieutenant in the Reserve of Air Force - Officers:- 2 Feb 1937 - Promoted to Squadron Leader (War Substantive):- 3 Apr 1942 - Air Force Cross:- 20 Oct 1942"
Right: Memorial to the crew lost (courtesy Michel Beckers via J.P. Jegers)
Sgt. Ernest Tolson. Heverlee War Cemetery. Grave 8.G.1. Son of Sam and Jane Tolson, of Sheepridge, Huddersfield, England. His grave inscription reads: ‘At the going down of the sun and in the morning we will remember them’.
Sgt. Leslie Ellis. Heverlee War Cemetery. Grave 8.G.5. Son of Fredrick and Lucy Ellis, of Pontygwaith, Glamorgan, Wales. His grave inscription reads: ‘ Gone is his face we loved so dear, silent his voice we loved so well Mother’.
Sgt. Bernard Stanley George Bugg. Heverlee War Cemetery. Grave 8.G.3. Son of Bertie Bugg, and of Helen Georgina Bugg, of South Tottenham, Middlesex, England. His grave inscription reads: For his country’s sake his dear life he gee and he rests in a hero’s grave’. Further information: Born on the 5th November 1922 and worked as a stock keeper prior to enlisting on the 25th September.
Sgt. Walter Moore. Heverlee War Cemetery. Grave 8.G.2. Son of Thomas and Jessie Moore, husband of Edna May Moore, of Hednesford, Staffordshire, England. His grave inscription reads: ‘Resting, where no shadows fall and worthy of everlasting remembrance’.
For further details our thanks to the following, Michel Beckers, Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vol's. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', ‘Bomber Command Database’, 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 (Updated 2014 version), Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Tom Kracker - 'Kracker Luftwaffe Archives'. Further information from these titles/organisations are available from us, just use the 'help' button on the main page above or 'add info' button also shown on this page.