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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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12 Squadron Crest
30/31.03.1944 12 Squadron Lancaster ND562 Flt Lt. Alistair J. Cook

Operation: Nürnberg

Date: 30th/31st March 1944 (Thursday/Friday)

Unit: 12 Squadron

Type: Lancaster III

Serial: ND562

Code: PH:D

Base: RAF Wickenby

Location: 1 km North of Holzeim, Germany

Pilot: Flt Lt. Alistair John Cook 87071 RAFVR Age 32. Killed

Pilot 2 (U/T): Plt Off. Christopher Humphrey Cotton-Minchin 172470 RAFVR Age 23. Killed (1)

Flt Eng: Sgt. Kenneth Launcelot Summerscale 1862419 RAFVR Age? Killed

Nav: WO2. Maurice Rene Nicolas Mouchet R152681 RCAF Age 26. Killed (2)

Bomb Aimer: WO. Robert Timperley 751155 RAFVR Age 26. Killed

WOp/Air Gnr: WO. Bernard Salt 650445 RAF Age 23. Killed (3)

Air Gnr: Sgt. Jack Ernest McInnes R179691 RCAF Age 20. Killed

Air Gnr: Flt Sgt. Richard Frederick Bayley 658573 RAF Age 25. Killed


The family of Plt Off. Bernard Salt would very much like to hear from other relatives in particular during his time at RAF Wickenby - contact us and your details will be forward.


REASON FOR LOSS:

Taking off from RAF Wickenby at 21:55 hrs to bomb Nuremberg - the greatest loss of the second world war to Bomber Command with 101 claims by the Luftwaffe night fighters, a further 6 probables. 545 allied airmen lost their lives during this operation - more than all their losses during the Battle of Britain in 1940!

Above Left to Right: Sid, Plt Off. Bernard Salt and Francis (courtesy Martin Brown)

ND562 was claimed by by Hptm Gerhard Raht, his 27 Abschuss, from 4./NJG3, SW of Bonn at 5.000m at 00:26 hrs and also Fw. Wolfram Möckel, his 2nd Abschuss, from 6./NJG2, 20-40 km west of "Light Beacon" west of Bonn at 6.300 m at 00:25 hrs.

Both claims were confirmed on the the 19th June 1944 and 26th June 1944 respectively. (Nachtjagd Combat Archive (16 March 1944 - 11 May 1944) Part 2 - Theo Boiten)

(Above) Gerhardt Raht survived the war - died on the 11th January 1977, age just 56.Left: Hptm. Gerhardt Raht with his Bordfunker, Ofw. Anton Heinemann (courtesy Kracker Archive)

Also lost on this operation from the squadron:

Lancaster III ND441 PH:Z Flown by 22 year old, Flt Lt. Douglas Mintie Carey DFC J16480 RCAF of Brandon, Manitoba, Canada, was killed along with his crew.

Operations undertaken by Plt Off. Bernard Salt with his fellow crew members:

15th March 1944: Stuttgart ND572 PH:D Flt Lt. Cook A. J., Sgt Farman K 2nd Pilot, Sgt. Summerscale R. L. WO Mouchet, M. R. RCAF, WO Timperley R., WO Salt B., Sgt. McInnes J. E., Flt Sgt. Bailey R. F.
18th March1944: Frankfurt ND562 PH:D Flt Lt. Cook A. J., Sgt. Summerscale K. L., WO Mouchet M. R. RCAF, WO Timperley R., WO Salt B., Sgt. McInnes J. E., Sgt. Bayley R. F.
22nd March 1944: Frankfurt ND562 PH:D Flt Lt. Cook A. J., Sgt.Summerscale K. L., WO Mouchet M. R. RCAF, WO Timperley R., WO Salt B., Sgt. McInnes J. E., Sgt. Bayley R. F.
24th March 1944: Berlin ND562 PH:D Flt Lt. Cook A. J., Sgt.Summerscale K. L., WO Mouchet M. R. RCAF, WO Timperley R., WO Salt B., Sgt. McInnes J. E., Sgt. Bayley R. F.
26th March 1944: Essen ND562 PH:D Flt Lt. Cook A. J., Sgt.Summerscale K. L., WO Mouchet M. R. RCAF, WO Timperley R., WO Salt B., Sgt. McInnes J. E., Sgt. Bayley R. F.
30th March 1944: Nürenburg ND562 PH:D Flt Lt. Cook A. J., Plt Off Cotton-Minchin C. H., Sgt. Summerscale K. L., WO Mouchet M. R. N. RCAF, WO Timperly R., WO Salt B., Sgt. McInnes J. E. RCAF, Flt Sgt. Bayley R. F.

(1) The story of Plt Off. Christoper H. Cotton Minchin can be found in a book written by James Day titled "A Buckland Memorial". Christopher’s story can be found in Chapter 22. (Courtesy of James Day).

(2) Mouchet Lake east of Nueltin Lake was renamed after Plt Off. Maurice Rene Nicolas Mouchet in 1975.

(3) The family also lost another of the 3 sons that served in the RAF. Flt Lt. Francis C. Salt was killed when 156 Sqn Lancaster III ME366 was lost on a mission to Bottrop.

Burial Details

Originally all the crew were buried on the 1st April 1944 at the Municipal Cemetery Holzeim - reinterred after war end at Rheinberg War Cemetery.

Flt Lt. Alistair John Cook. Rheinberg War Cemetery. Grave 14.D.17. Son of David and Nettie Cook, husband of Winifrede Isobel Helene Cook, of Edinburgh, Scotland. Total 20 operations with 12 Squadron.

Plt Off. Christopher Humphrey Cotton-Minchin. Rheinberg War Cemetery. Grave 14.D.14. Son of James Humphrey and Violet Ada Cotton Minchin, of Kansas City, Missouri, USA. First operation, prior to taking his own command.

Sgt. Kenneth Launcelot Summerscale. Rheinberg War Cemetery. Grave 14.D.16. No next of kin details - are you able to assist? Total 12 operations with 12 Squadron.

Plt Off. Maurice Rene Nicolas Mouchet. Rheinberg War Cemetery. Grave 14.D.18. Son of Suzanne Jacques, of St. Boniface, Manitoba, Canada.

First operation with 12 Squadron. Posthumously commissioned and promoted to Plt Off (J88856) with effect 29th March 1944

Plt Off. Robert Timperley. Rheinberg War Cemetery. Grave 14.D.15. Born on the 17th January 1918 in Giroux, Manitoba. Son of George and Agnes Rose Timperley, husband of Edith Edna Haynes Timperley, of Whalley, Blackburn, Lancashire, England.

Total 6 operations with 12 Squadron. Commissioned and promoted to Plt Off (173558) with effect 3rd March 1944, promulgated in the London gazette 2nd May 1944

Plt Off. Bernard Salt. Rheinberg War Cemetery. Grave 14.D.21. Son of Thomas and Gertrude Ellen Salt of Littleover. Derby, England.

Total 6 operations with 12 Squadron. Commissioned and promoted to Plt Off (54522) with effect 21st March 1944, promulgated in the London gazette 28th April 1944

Plt Off. Jack Ernest McInnes. Rheinberg War Cemetery. Grave 14.D.20. Born on the 30th June 1920 in Uxbridge, England. Son of Arthur and Hettie E. (née Mariner) McInnes, of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Total 5 operations with 12 Squadron (23 in total). Enlisted July 1942. Posthumously commissioned and promoted to Plt Off (J88856) with effect 29th March 1944

Flt Sgt. Richard Frederick Bayley. Rheinberg War Cemetery. Grave 14.D.19.Born in July 1918 in Camberwell, Surrey. Son of Richard Frederick and Lily Eliza (née Hemmings) Bayley from Beckenham, Kent, England. Total 6 operations with 12 Squadron.


Above: Flt Lt. Douglas Mintie Carey DFC

Flt Lt. Douglas Mintie Carey DFC. Hanover War Cemetery. Grave 15.K.8. Son of William Lawson Carey and Myrtle Eva Carey, of Brandon, Manitoba, Canada.

Carey Lake southeast of Churchill was renamed after Flt Lt. Douglas Mintie Carey DFC. in 1948


Researched by Martin Brown for Aircrew Remembered, July 2015, further details added July 2018. For further details our thanks to the sources shown below. Also to the curator of the RAF Wickenby, Anne Law, for her help with assisting Martin. Many thanks to James Day for the link to his book (Jun 2021). Additional research and updates by Aircrew Remembered (Jun 2021).

RS 16.06.2021 - addition of book link and additional updates

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', 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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