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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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149 Squadron Crest
03/04.07.1943 No. 149 Squadron Stirling III BF530 OJ-B P/O. George A. Cozens

Operation: Köln Germany

Date: 3/4th July 1943 (Saturday/Sunday)

Unit: No. 149 Squadron

Type: Stirling MkIII

Serial: BF530

Code: OJ-B

Base: RAF Lakenheath

Location: Geetbets, Belgium

Pilot: P/O. George Arthur Cozens DFM. 148793 RAFVR Age 27. Killed

2nd Pilot: Sgt. Robert Froude Hathaway 1334032 RAFVR Age 20. Killed

Fl/Eng: Sgt. Patrick Hodgkinson 577048 RAF Age 19. Killed

Nav: F/O. Ernest George Redman DFC. 125567 RAFVR Age 26. Killed

Air/Bmr: F/O. John Joseph Needham J/13275 RCAF Age 20. PoW No: 1784 Camp: Stalag Luft Sagan and Belaria (1)

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Roy Alexander Hodge NZ/413756 RNZAF Age 25. Evaded (2)

Air/Gnr: P/O. Lewis William Curtis 149063 RAF Age 32. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. William John Williams 637252 RAF Age 24. Killed

REASON FOR LOSS:

Took off from RAF Lakenheath at 23:37 hrs on an operation to Köln, Germany. Joining 652 aircraft to bomb the part of the city based on the east bank of the Rhine as a great deal of industry was situated there.

The raid was considered a success with 20 industrial premises and 2,200 houses were completely destroyed with a loss of life on the ground placed at nearly 600 people killed, a further 1,000 injured and a massive 72,000 people bombed out of their homes.

The allies suffered the loss of 30 aircraft - the majority being claimed by the night fighters from the jagdgeschwader 300 using the "wild boar" technique and consequently all the claims were shared with the flak units based in the city.

This technique (new to the allies) were attacks made by (in this raid) single engine fighters and the German pilots used searchlights, target indicators and the glow of fires from the ground with the idea being that the local flak units limited the firing at a certain height allowing the Luftwaffe to attack the bombers over this height.

Stirling BF530 was attacked on its outbound flight at 14.000 ft. by Oblt Heinz-Wolfgang Schnaufer (3) of 11./NJG4, with the aircraft crashing at Geetbets in Belgium at 00:58 hrs. (shown right) See Kracker Archive on this site.

(1) F/O. John Joseph Needham was an American, from Menlo Par, San Mateo, California.
(2) Fl/Sgt. Roy Alexander Hodge - successfully evaded capture with the assistance from the Comète line and returned to England four months later. Shortly afterwards (in line with MOD rules regarding airman who had evaded capture in order that if they were caught again they could not reveal details of assistance received) he was posted to Canada as an instructor. Sadly, on the 17/18th March 1944 during a night navigation exercise with 32 Operational Training Unit. (Patricia Bay - Victoria - British Columbia) A member of a crew of three on Dakota III FL650 (Ex USAAF C-47A-1-DK, Serial No; 42-92294) Taking off at 19:40 hrs, last made contact at 21:58 hrs, despite an enormous search for aircraft and crew they were classed as missing believed killed. (At the time of his death Fl/Sgt. Hodge had 466 hours flying experience and completed 17 operations - see below for further information on crew).
(3) Lt. Heinz-Wolfgang Schnaufer (nicknamed the “Night Ghost of Trond”) went on to obtain a total of 121 to his credit. He survived the war, taking over his family wine business, but was killed in a car accident, France, on 13th July 1950.

Burial details:

P/O. George Arthur Cozens DFM. Heverlee War Cemetery. Leuven, Belgium. Grave 3.A.1. Son of Arthur William and Eleanor Elizabeth Cozens, husband of Leonora Mary Elizabeth Cozens, of Deal, Kent, England.

Sgt. Robert Froude Hathaway. Heverlee War Cemetery. Leuven, Belgium. Grave 3.A.2. Son of Robert George and Alice Kate Hathaway, of Feltham, Middlesex, England.

Sgt. Patrick Hodgkinson. Heverlee War Cemetery. Leuven, Belgium. Grave 3.A.3. Son of William and Ada H. Hodgkinson, of Ryde, Isle-of-Wight, England.

F/O. Ernest George Redman DFC. Heverlee War Cemetery. Leuven, Belgium. Coll. Grave 6.D. 1-20. Son of Harry Edward and Henrietta Emily Alice Redman and Miss W.F. Redman of 150 Rugby Avenue, Wembley. Middlesex, England.

P/O. Lewis William Curtis. Heverlee War Cemetery. Leuven, Belgium. Coll. Grave 6.D. 1-20. Son of Samuel Sidney Curtis and Jessie Curtis, husband of Louie Annie Curtis, of Oxhey, Watford, Hertfordshire, England.

Sgt. William John Williams. Heverlee War Cemetery. Leuven, Belgium. Grave 3.A.4. Son of John James Williams and Alice Williams, of Shepherd's Bush, London, England.

Notes regarding Dakota FL650 Crew loss in Canada:
Pilot: Sgt. Douglas Oliver 1565344 RAFVR. Ottawa Memorial. Panel 3. Column 3. Son of Tom Pattison Oliver and Mary Ethel Oliver, of Blackhill, Co. Durham, England.
Nav: P/O. john Benedict Murphy 55294 RAFVR. Ottawa Memorial. Panel 3. Column 2. Son of Michael and Sarah Murphy, of Erris, Co. Mayo, Irish Republic.
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Roy Alexander Hodge. Ottawa Memorial. Panel 3. Column 5. Son of Peter Frankland Hodge and Ella Hodge, of Wellington City, New Zealand, husband of Germaine Hodge, of St. Boniface, Manitoba, Canada.

Researched by Michel Beckers for Aircrew Remembered March 2015. Photographs from the collection of Michel Beckers, Grave photos; Marcel Rosvelds, Crew portraits; Mark de Wild, Crash site; Louis Drumers.


Left: The medals of F/O. Ernest George Redman DFC

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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