13/14.07.1943 No 102 Squadron Halifax II JD297 DY-Q W/C. Coventry DFC
Operation: Aachen, Germany
Date: 13/14th July 1943 (Tuesday/Wednesday)
Unit: No 102 (Ceylon) Squadron
Type: Handly Page Halifax II
Base: RAF Pocklington, Yorkshire
Location: Near Maubeuge, Nord, France
Pilot: W/C. Henry Reginald Coventry DFC 33133 RAF Age 27 Killed (1)
Fl/Eng: Sgt. Geoffrey Tristran Pine-Coffin 568487 RAF Age 24 Killed (2)
Nav: F/Lt. Frederick Edward King DFC 119303 RAFVR Age 21 Killed (3)
Air/Bmr: F/O. Crosby Frank Read 127125 RAFVR Age 24 Killed (4)
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Walter Brown 990520 RAFVR Age 23 Killed
Air/Gnr: Sgt. William Hardy 1738601 RAFVR Age 20 Killed
Air/Gnr: F/Lt. George Frank Hogg 76910 RAFVR Age 33 Killed (5)
REASON FOR LOSS:
Halifax JD297 DY-Q (Queenie) took off from RAF Pocklington at 23.34hrs for an operation on Aachen. One of 374 aircraft that took off that night on the same operation. The town was heavily bombed and much damage was caused. Many houses, public buildings, factories were raised to the ground leaving many people homeless. A total of 20 aircraft were lost that night. Halifax JD297 was shot down by Obit. Rudolf Altendorf of 2./NJG4 at 02.19hrs and crashed just South of Maubeuge, Nord, France. This was Obit. Rudolf Altendorf's 17th abschusse of the war. He survived the war with 21 night and 2 day kills
Handly Page Halifax II (courtesy IWM) City of Aachen on 13/14 July 1943 after the bombing operation (courtesy IWM)
All the crew were buried in Maubeuge Centre Cemetery on the 15th July 1943 (some individual grave photographs held)
W/C. Henry Reginald Coventry DFC. Maubeuge Centre Cemetery, Nord, France. Grave Ref: Row A. Grave 4. Son of The Hon. Thomas George Coventry and Alice Coventry of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada (1) Henry Reginald Coventry was born on the 10 February 1915 in Castor, Paintearth, Alberta. Henry arrived in the UK on the 6 December 1932 and was going to the Cadets Mess at RAF Cranwell. 15 December 1934 Flight Cadet Henry Reginald Coventry having successfully passed through the Royal Air Force College, Cranwell was granted permanent Commission as Pilot Officer with effect 15 December 1934 and was posted to No. 58 (B) Squadron, Worthy Down. P/O. Coventry was then posted to No. 2 Armoured Car Company, Ramleh, Palestine. Promoted to Flying Officer in June 15, 1936 and spent some time in Iraq during that year. Promoted to the rank of Flight Lieutenant on the 15 June 1937. Squadron Leader 1 June 1940, Wing Commander 1 December 1941 and awarded the DFC (Distinguished Flying Medal) while serving with No 102 Squadron was the Squadron Commander. Part of the citation for his DFC states - "has proved himself to be an outstanding and skilful captain and an inspiring leader"
Note: His brother Fl/Lt. Robert George Coventry was killed earlier in the war. Further details here.
Sgt. Geoffrey Tristran Pine-Coffin. Maubeuge Centre Cemetery, Nord, France. Grave Ref: Row A. Grave 5. Son of William and Emily Pine-Coffin. Husband of Bridget Pine-Coffin of Chelsea, London (2) Geoffrey Tristran Pine-Coffin is remembered on the Pangbourne College Roll of Honour, Berkshire.
F/Lt. Frederick Edward King DFC. Maubeuge Centre Cemetery, Nord, France. Grave Ref: Row A. Grave 7. Son of Herbert Edward and Rose May King of Willesden, Middlesex (3) Frederick Edward King promoted to Pilot Officer 11 January 1942 and to be Flying Officer 1 October 1942. August 13, 1943 London Gazette supplement. "The King has been graciously pleased to approve the following award. Distinguished Flying Cross to Acting Flight Lieutenant Frederick Edward King (119303) Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. No. 102 Squadron". F/Lt. King was the Squadron Navigation Officer.
F/O. Crosby Frank Read. Maubeuge Centre Cemetery, Nord, France. Grave Ref: Row A. Grave 9. Son of Crosby and Vera Read. Husband of Beryl Read of Clatford, Hampshire (4) Crosby Frank Read to be Pilot Officer on probation 8th August 1942 and to be Flying Officer 8 February 1943. Crosby is remembered on the Andover War Memorial.
Sgt. Walter Brown. Maubeuge Centre Cemetery, Nord, France. Grave Ref: Row A. Grave 6. Son of Leonard and Clara Brown. Husband of Jean Brown of Gilesgate, Durham.
Sgt. William Hardy. Maubeuge Centre Cemetery, Nord, France. Grave Ref: Row A. Grave 8. Son of William Henry and Florence Hardy of Hucknall, Nottinghamshire.
F/Lt. George Frank Hogg. Maubeuge Centre Cemetery, Nord, France. Grave Ref: Row A. Grave 3. Son of Charles Thomas Hogg and Matilda Hogg. Husband of Ellen May Hogg of Criccieth, Caernarvonshire (5) George Frank Hogg was granted a commission as Pilot Officer on probation on the 30th December 1939 and confirmed as P/O and promoted to Flying Officer 4th Febuary 1940. F/Lt. Hogg was the Squadron's gunnery leader. George Frank Hogg is remembered on the Criccieth War Memorial, Gwynedd.
Researched by: Kate Tame Aircrew Remembered and for all the relatives and friends of the crew.