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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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Bomber Command Badge
09/10.10.1944 No. 462 Squadron Halifax III MZ400 Z5-J F/O. Coleman

Operation: Bochum

Date: 09/10th October 1944 (Monday/Tuesday)

Unit: No. 462 Squadron (RAAF)

Type: Halifax III

Serial: MZ400

Code: Z5-J

Base: RAF Driffield, Yorkshire.

Location: Bredenscheid area

Pilot: F/O. Gerald Coleman 178780 RAF Age 24. Killed

Fl/Eng: Sgt. Ronald Charles Stopp 1892044 RAFVR Age 19. Killed

Nav: Fl/Sgt. Philip Hedley Malcolm Levey AUS/429588 RAAF Age 20. Killed

Air/Bmr: Sgt. Alan James Ward 1581798 RAFVR Age 21. Killed (1)

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. John Newton Tresidder AUS/424477 RAAF Age 20. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Archibald James Mouat 1378208 RAFVR Age ? Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Denis Roy Muxlow 1590607 RAFVR Age 19. Killed


We have been informed that a dedication of a memorial at the Bredenscheld Church may have taken place on the 9th October 2016 - we would appreciate any further information and or photographs of this occasion.


REASON FOR LOSS:

Took off at 17:30 hrs as part of a group of 435 aircraft – 375 Halifaxes, 40 Lancasters, and 20 Mosquitoes to bomb Bochum. The raid was not successful. The target area was covered by cloud and the bombing was scattered. The local report says that there was some damage in the southern districts of Bochum, with 140 houses destroyed or seriously damaged and approximately 150 people killed.

According to the MRES report the aircraft was hit by anti-aircraft fire between 20.00 hrs - 21.00 hrs, over the target area of Bochum. The aircraft caught fire and disintegrated with the main wreckage falling on Bredenscheid. All the crew’s bodies were recovered from the badly burned wreckage and taken to the cemetery at Niederstüter cemetery.

Another Halifax from 462 Squadron was also lost on this raid. LL604 Z5-D flown by F/O. W.S. Black who was made a PoW as were 3 others of his crew, the remainder managed to evade captivity when their aircraft crashed at Giesbeek in Holland.

MZ400 crew : Rear L-R: Fl/Sgt. Tresidder, Sgt. Muxlow, Sgt. Mouat, Sgt. Stopp. Front: Sgt. Ward, F/O. Coleman, Fl/Sgt. Levey (courtesy Catherine Sutton via Keith Townsend)

Moseley Grammar school and Memorial

(1) Sgt. Alan James Ward was a former pupil of Moseley Grammar school (Now secondary/grammar school). We are working very closely with the school's historians to remember all the ex pupils who died whilst serving with the RAF and recorded on the school memorial.

Reichswald Forest War Cemetery (courtesy MitchB, Hans van der Veen)

Burial details:

F/O. Gerald Coleman. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. Grave 28.G.7. Son of Alfred and Elizabeth Coleman, of Tooting, Surrey, England.

Sgt. Ronald Charles Stopp. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. Coll. Grave 28.G.8-13. Son of William Charles and Susan Hart Stopp, of Ponders End, Enfield, Middlesex, England.

Fl/Sgt. Philip Hedley Malcolm Levey. Reichswald Forest War. Cemetery Coll. Grave 28.G.8-13. Son of Francis Barnet Philip and Ruth Levey, of Eagle Junction, Queensland, Australia.

Sgt. Alan James Ward. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. Coll. Grave 28.G.8-13. Son of Mr and Mrs A.J. Ward, 27 Sherwood Avenue, Hall Green, Birmingham, England.

Fl/Sgt. John Newton Tresidder. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. Coll. Grave 28.G.8-13. Son of Frederic Harry and Vera Constance Tresidder, of Kanwal, New South Wales, Australia.

Sgt. Archibald James Mouat. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery Coll. Grave 28.G.8-13. No further details as yet - are you able to assist?

Sgt. Denis Roy Muxlow. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. Coll. Grave 28.G.8-13. Son of Maurice Stanley Muxlow and Edith Mary Muxlow, of Deeping High Bank, Lincolnshire, England.

Acknowledgments: With thanks to the following: Keith Townsend historian of Moseley Secondary/Grammar school memorial records, Catherine Sutton (relative of the flight engineer Sgt. Ronald Charles Stopp), other sources as quoted below.

KTY 04.05.2016 Info added

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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