30/31.01.1944 100 Squadron Lancaster III ND398 HW-B Plt.Off. Crabtree
Mission: Berlin, Germany
Date: 30/31st January 1944 (Sunday/Monday)
Unit: 100 Squadron
Type: Lancaster III
Base: RAF Grimsby, Lincolnshire
Location: Karwe, NNE of Karstadt, Germany
Pilot: Plt.Off. John Athelstan Crabtree. 171003. RAFVR Age 22. Killed
Flt.Eng: Sgt. Robert Thomas Davies. 1515730. RAFVR Age 22. Killed
Nav: Fg.Off. Maurice Owen Rees. 135877. RAFVR Age ? Killed
Air/Bmr: Sgt. J. W. Knight. RAFVR PoW No. 1169. Camp 357 Stalag Kopernikus
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Francis Helm. 1437898. RAFVR Age 21. Killed
Air/Gnr: Flt.Sgt. George Walter Box. DFM. 1578935. RAFVR Age 22. Killed (1)
Air/Gnr: Sgt. John Joseph Whelan. 1796208. RAFVR Age 19. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Took off at 1713hrs for a night raid on Berlin. It is thought that the aircraft crashed at Karwe, 8km NNE from Karstadt. This aircraft may have been shot down by a night fighter or hit by flak. On the 4th February burials were reported from Karwe.
Probable claim by Fw Joseph Schratter 7/NJG5 at 2025 hrs
A further two aircraft from 100 Squadron were lost that evening Lancaster JB673, Fg.Off. Parker and Lancaster ND360 WO. Ives with a loss of 14 lives. 534 aircraft - 440 Lancasters, 82 Halifaxes and 12 Mosquitoes took part in this raid with a loss of 33 aircraft - 32 Lancaster's and 1 Halifax.
(1) Flt.Sgt. Box's DFM was gazetted on the 15th October 1943.
A Lancaster Mk III
Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery. F/O. Maurice Owen Rees is remembered on the Mayfield School War Memorial, Portsmouth
Plt.Off. John Athelstan Crabtree. Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery. Grave Ref. 7. A. 21. Son of Harold George Athelstan Crabtree and Edith Crabtree of Linthorpe, Middlesbrough, Yorkshire. At the time of his death John's address was 17 Queens Road, Linthorpe, Middlesbrough
Sgt. Robert Thomas Davies. Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery. Grave Ref. 7. A. 19. Son of George Ernest and Evelyn May Davies of Quatford, Shropshire
Fg.Off. Maurice Owen Rees. Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery. Grave Ref. 7. A. 18. At the time of his death Maurice's address was 2 Jasmond Road, Cosham, Portsmouth. Maurice is also remembered on the Mayfield School War Memorial. No further information as yet
Flt.Sgt. Francis Helm. Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery. Grave Ref. 7. A. 22. Son of James and Elizabeth Helm of Preston, Lancashire. Francis was born on the 11th March 1922 and attended Preston Grammar School from 1933-1938 and is remembered on the school War Memorial
Flt.Sgt. George Walter Box. D.F.M. Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery. Grave Ref. 7. A. 20. Son of Walter and Charlotte Ellen Box of Alvaston, Derby. Fl/Sgt. Box was on his second tour and had previously served with No. 50 Squadron. His D.F.M. was Gazetted on October 15th 1943
Sgt. John Joseph Whelan. Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery. Grave Ref. 7. A. 17. Foster-son of Mrs M. Kenny of Glasnevin, Co. Dublin, Irish Republic
Researched by: Kate Tame for aircrewremembered and for all the relatives and friends of the crew
Acknowledgements: Commonwealth War Graves Commission, W. R. Chorley Bomber Command Losses 1944, M Middlebrook and C Everitt Bomber Command War Diaries, Preston Grammar School Association, Banstead War Memorial. Thanks to John Jones for the fighter claim information.