14/15.06.1943 No. 460 Squadron Lancaster III EE167 AR-R Fl/Sgt. George R. Cope
Operation: Oberhausen, Germany
Date: 14/15th June 1943 (Monday/Tuesday)
Unit: No. 460 Squadron (RAAF)
Type: Lancaster III
Base: RAF Binbrooke, Lincolnshire
Location: Schinveld, East South East of Sittard, Netherlands.
Pilot: Fl/Sgt. George Robert Cope AUS/411680 RAAF Age 23. Killed
Fl/Eng: Sgt. Ernest Booth 1135252 RAFVR PoW No: 75 Camp: L6 - Stalag Luft Heydekrug
Nav: F/O. Hugh Lyons Gordon AUS/409472 RAAF Age 34. Killed
Air/Bmr: Fl/Sgt. Douglas Douds AUS/405842 RAAF Age 21. Killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Douglas Henry Crouch AUS/415021 RAAF Age 32. Killed
Air/Gnr: Sgt. W.R. Matheson R/144124 RCAF PoW No: 43285 Camp: L6 - Stalag Luft Heydekrug
Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Donald Scott Finlason AUS/408907 RAAF Age 21. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
The target for tonight - Synthetic Oil Plants at Oberhausen, Germany. Take off time for EE167 - 22:35 hrs. Bombing was planned between 01:13 and 01:46 hrs for the 197 Lancasters taking part. Weather conditions were good with bright moonlight and good visibility - not great for protection against the Luftwaffe night fighters though they claimed many of the 17 that were lost this night.
The weather was not so good over the target being cloud covered but the Oboe sky marking was very accurate. Reports from Oberhausen state that 267 buildings were destroyed with a further 584 suffering serious damage. 85 people on the ground were reported killed with 258 injured.
Left to right: Fl/Sgt. Donald Finlason, Fl/Sgt. George Cope, Fl/Sgt. Douglas Douds, Fl/Sgt. Douglas Crouch and F/O. Hugh Gordon with their mascot ‘ Brownie’. (courtesy Judy Bradley and Elva Scholz)
Lancaster EE167 was one of the claims made by 3.NJG1. Shot down by the German ace Hptm. Manfred Meurer, his 43rd abschusse of the war. EE167 was shot down at 01:11 hrs over Schinveld, East South East of Sittard.
Three 460 Squadron Lancasters were also shot down during this operation, the other two:
Lancaster III DV160 Flown by 20 year old Sgt. Roger E. Crook 1320902 RAFVR from Reading, Berkshire, killed with 5 other crew with 1 taken PoW.
Lancaster III LM324 Flown by 31 year old F/O. William J. Dennett AUS/413178 RAAF from Bondi Beach, NSW Australia, killed with all 7 other crew.
(1) Hptm. Manfred Meurer went on to claim a total of 63 night abschusse before he was killed with his Funker Ofw. Gerhard Scheibe flying a Heinkel 219 A-O G9+BB during a collision with a Lancaster on the 21/22nd January 1944 over Magdeburg.
(Right) A Simple memorial erected at crash site of Lancaster EE167. The white tags represent the five crew members who lost their lives. It is maintained by a witness to the crash and aftermath who lived nearby. The photograph was taken in June 2018 on the 75th anniversary of the crash. It was a special occasion attended by the Mayor of Schinveld and the King’s Commissioner as well as the Australian Ambassador. (Credit: Marcel Healey)
Fl/Sgt. Douglas Douds pictured on right during training - are you able to recognise the others? (courtesy Judy Bradley and Elva Scholz)
Fl/Sgt. Douglas Douds on parade (courtesy Judy Bradley and Elva Scholz)
Burial Details: All the crew killed were initially buried at Venlo Cemetery - later re-interred at the CWGC Cemetery at Jonkerbos, Gelderland, Netherlands.
(Left) Fl/Sgt. George Robert Cope. Jonkerbos War Cemetery. Grave 7.H.5. Son of George Eugene and Ruby Elizabeth Cope, husband of Zena Garland Cope, father to Bobbie, of Maroubra, New South Wales, Australia.
(Right) F/O. Hugh Lyons Gordon. Jonkerbos War Cemetery. Grave 11.H.6. Son of David Ferguson Gordon and Mary Gordon, husband of Elspeth Campbell Gordon, of Ulonga, New South Wales, Australia. (Barrister and Solicitor.)
(Left) Fl/Sgt. Douglas Douds. Jonkerbos War Cemetery. Grave 11.H.5. Son of Alexander and Winifred Annie Douds, of South Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, His father, Alexander, served in the First World War and has his left arm amputated as a result of active service in France. He also lost fingers on his right hand and some of his toes.
(Right) Fl/Sgt. Douglas Henry Crouch. Jonkerbos War Cemetery. Grave 11.H.3. Son of Henry and Edith Sarah Ann Crouch, of Mount Lawley, Western Australia.
(Left) Fl/Sgt. Donald Scott Finlason. Jonkerbos War Cemetery. Grave 11.H.4. Son of Walton Scott Finlason and Constance Helen Vincent Finlason, of Brighton, Victoria, Australia.
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to Judy Bradley and Elva Scholz - relatives of Fl/Sgt. Douds, Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vol's. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', 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. Tom Kracker - 'Kracker Luftwaffe Archives'. Aircrew Remembered own Archives. Des Philippet for the grave photographs and Marcel Healey for the memorial image.