25/26.08.1944 No. 7 Squadron Lancaster III NE123 MG-J Sq/Ldr. Ralph C. Chopping
Date: 25/26th August 1944 (Friday/Saturday)
Unit: No. 7 Squadron
Type: Lancaster III
Base: RAF Oakington, Cambridgeshire
Location: Exact location unknown, English Channel/Celtic Sea
Pilot: Sq/Ldr. Ralph Campbell Chopping DFC 70126 RAFVR Age 29. Missing - believed killed
Fl/Eng: Sgt. Arthur John Cherry 1852728 RAFVR Age 19. Missing - believed killed
Nav: F/O. William Thomas Bolt 155377 RAFVR Age ? Missing - believed killed
Air/Bmr: F/O. Roy Hensman Munsey 153903 RAFVR Age 24. Missing - believed killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. William Ross 1354012 RAFVR Age 24. Missing - believed killed
Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Hugh Stenhouse AUS/430067 RAAF Age 31. Missing - believed killed
Air/Gnr: F/O. Chester Joseph Francis Marchand 158046 RAFVR Age ? Missing - believed killed
Page republished on the 25th August 2016 at the request of relatives - this being the 72nd anniversary of the loss of this crew.
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off from RAF Oakington, Cambridgeshire at 22:24 hrs to illuminate 2 of 8 coastal battery positions at Brest assisting an attack by American bombers. It is understood that they succeeded in their tasks.
334 aircraft (4 from 7 Squadron) taking part with most of the bombing reported to be very accurate.
Two aircraft were lost on this operation the other, Halifax III MZ658 SE-E from 431 Squadron flown by F/O. Harrison of the RCAF ran out of fuel and abandoned in Northumberland on return. All the crew survived baling out.
Lancaster III NE123 was lost without trace over the English Channel/Celtic Sea, no nightfighter claims for this aircraft so it could be assumed that it was lost due to anti-aircraft fire from the ground..
Note: NE123 was delivered to 7 Squadron on the 7th May 1944.
Right: Sq/Ldr. Chopping DFC (courtesy John Chopping)
Above: Runnymede Memorial panels (archives)
Sq/Ldr. Ralph Campbell Chopping. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 200. Son of Wasey and Amy Mina Chopping, of Colchester, Essex, England.
Sgt. Arthur John Cherry. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 227. Son of William Arthur and Edith Caroline Cherry, of Crediton, Devon, England.
F/O. William Thomas Bolt. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 204. N.o.K details currently not available - are you able to assist completion of these and any other information?
F/O. Roy Hensman Munsey. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 208. Son of Ernest Hensman Munsey and Amy Louisa Munsey, of New Barnet, Hertfordshire, husband of Margaret Sonneva M. Munsey.
Fl/Sgt. William Ross. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 222. Born in 1920. Son of William and Helen Ross, of Surbiton, Surrey. Brother to Malcolm Scott and Alexander Richard Ross.
Plt.Off. Alexander Richard Ross 84922 RAFVR, flying Spitfire IIa, P7684 from 610 Sqn failed to return from patrol and combat with Ju88 off the Isle of Wight on the 15th April 1941. Buried in Surbiton Cemetery Section 9, Grave 2675.
Fl/Sgt. Hugh Stenhouse. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 261. Son of Alexander Fisher Stenhouse and Lucy Stenhouse, husband of Christina McInnes Stenhouse, of Camberwell, Victoria, Australia.
F/O. Chester Joseph Francis Marchand. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 207. From British Honduras. N.o.K details currently not available - are you able to assist completion of these and any other information?
Left: F/O. Marchand (courtesy Carribean Aircrew)
Researched and dedicated to John Chopping and the relatives of this crew, with thanks to Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vol's. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', Caribbean Aircrew of WW2
, 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', Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Aircrew Remembered own Archives. Thanks to Caroline Cook for the NoK details for Flt.Sgt. Ross.
Left: Some sources used to compile information - Bomber Command Losses and Nightfighter War Diaries - available from Amazon and all good book sellers.