23/24.08.1943 15 Squadron Stirling III EH875 LS:S Plt Off. Eric R.I. Cornell
Date: 23rd/24th August 1943 (Monday/Tuesday)
Unit: 15 Squadron
Type: Stirling III
Serial: EH875 (Thornaby-on-Tees)
Base: RAF Mildenhall, Suffolk
Location: Döberitz Suburb of Berlin, Germany.
Pilot: Plt Off. Eric Raymond Ivan Cornell 149530 RAFVR. Age 21. Missing
Flt Eng: Sgt. Frederick Thomas Morris 578187 RAF Age 19. Killed
Nav: Sgt. Norman Pine Collins 1333918 RAFVR Age? Missing
Bomb Aimer: Sgt. William Steel Frame 1392756 RAFVR Age 29. Missing
WOp/Air Gnr: Flt Sgt. Edward Gorbert 1028923 RAFVR Age 21. Missing
Air Gnr: Sgt. Handel Bottomley 1256133 RAFVR Age 29. Killed
Air Gnr: Sgt. John Charles Thomson 1710027 RAFVR Age 19. Killed
We would like to invite any relative of the crew to contact us and perhaps supply further personal details - we have placed appeals such as this on other pages of remembrance, at times have managed to place all the relatives in contact with one another.
REASON FOR LOSS:
Took off from RAF Mildenhall, Suffolk. Part of a huge raid on Berlin on which 710 Lancasters, Halifaxes and Stirlings took part plus a further 17 Mosquitoes. A total of 56 Aircraft failed to return, 31 came down over the target area. 4 claimed by German Flak and 51 claimed by the German night fighters.
Pilot of Stirling EH875, Plt Off. Eric Raymond Ivan Cornell (courtesy Sandy Tarling)
EH875 was claimed by Oblt Wilhelm Johnen 5./NJG5 - North West of Berlin: 4,200m at 01:02.
Also claimed by Flak of 1./schw. Flak Abt. 516 and 1.-5./schw. Flak Abt. 605 (“Stirling Berlin-Buch 01:03”) Claim by Oblt Johnen not listed in OKL/RLM. Confirmed Abschussubersicht 5./NJG5 (Nachtjagd Combat Archive (13 July 1941 - 29 May 1942) The Early Years Part 2 - Theo Boiten).
All the crew were buried at first in the crash area of Döberitz when after the war the three crew that could be identified were moved to the Berlin War Cemetery.
Friends of Plt Off. Eric Cornell - are you able to recognise any? (courtesy Sandy Tarling)
Left: Newspaper report on Sgt. Handel Bottomley and right: The Wings to victory Campaign poster (Andrew Bottomley)
This aircraft was also named "Thornaby-on-Tees" as in the Wings for Victory campaign during this year the residents of this district raised a huge amount of £100,920 which in this case, used to buy this Stirling and seven Spitfires.
British Flying Training School Course No: 3 at Miami, Oklahoma, USA. Plt Off. Cornell shown centre row, extreme left. This is available in a higher resolution if relatives of other pilots shown would like a copy, please contact us. (courtesy Sandy Tarling)
"C" Flight, 1 Squadron 4th Initial Training Wing. 15th October 1941 Paignton, Devon. Are you able to place names to these? (courtesy Sandy Tarling)
18/7 Flight Stockley Park. Can you assist to name any of these lads? (courtesy Sandy Tarling)
Plt Off. Eric Raymond Ivan Cornell. Runnymede Memorial Panel 131. Son of Richard William Cornell, and of Hilda Rose Cornell, of Clacton-on-Sea, Essex, England.
Sgt. Frederick Thomas Morris. Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery. 4.E.8. Son of Thomas and Daisy Margaret Morris, of Portsmouth; husband of Peggy Doreen Emily Morris, of Milton, Portsmouth, England.
Initially buried in Doereritz Standort Friedhof Plot 5 Row 12 Grave 8. Reinterred 1st November 1946
Sgt. Norman Pine Collins. Runnymede Memorial Panel 145. Husband to Joyce Enid (née Light) Collins of Hampton, Wick, Middlesex, England.
Sgt. William Steel Frame. Runnymede Memorial Panel 150. Son of Daniel and Agnes Frame, of Carluke, Lanarkshire, England.
Flt Sgt. Edward Gorbert. Runnymede Memorial Panel 136. Son of John and Annie Elizabeth Gorbert, of Hull, England.
Sgt. Handel Bottomley. Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery. 4.F.7. Son of Mr and Mrs John Handel Bottomley of 21, Pickford Road, Bexley Heath, England. Born at Walney Island, Barrow-In-Furness.
Educated at Bexley Heath Central School, worked at Vickers Armstrong as a clerk - Joined the RAFVR in 1940. This was his 21st Operation.
Sgt. John Charles Thomson. Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery. 4.E.10. Son of Frederick James Thomson and Dorothy Thomson, of Kilburn, Middlesex, England.
His brother, Peter Frederick Thomson 1254913, RAFVR. Age 22 was also killed serving with 353 Squadron on 16th December 1942 - buried at the Madras War Cemetery, Chennai, India.
Researched for Sandy Tarling, Andrew Bottomley and all relatives of the crew. Thanks to John Jones for the German night fighter claim information (Dec 2021). Update to NoK details for Sgt. Collins by Aircrew Remembered (Dec 2021).
15 Squadron (courtesy Sandy Tarling)