27/28.07.1943 No. 156 Squadron Lancaster III JA709 F/O. L.R. Crampton
Date: 27/28th July 1943 (Tuesday/Wednesday)
Unit: No. 156 Squadron
Type: Lancaster III
Base: RAF Warboys, Cambridgeshire
Location: off Vollerwik, Germany
Pilot: F/O. Leonard Robert Crampton 124479 RAFVR Age 22. Killed
Fl/Eng: Sgt. James Lionel Leader 919585 RAFVR Age 23. Killed
Nav: F/O. John William Crowley J/11953 RCAF Age 27. Killed Age 22. Killed
Air/Bmr: P/O. Everett Victor Lee J/22569 RCAF Age 22. Killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. George Law Campbell 1366510 RAFVR Age 22. Killed
Air/Gnr: Sgt. Alexander Suttie Scott 948645 RAFVR Age 23. Killed
Air/Gnr: Sgt. Hugh William Woodsend 129042 RAFVR Age 20. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Took off from RAF Warboys in Cambridgeshire at 21:57 hours as part of a group of 787 aircraft - 53 Lancasters, 244 Halifaxes, 116 Stirlings and 74 Wellingtons - on one of the raids against Hamburg known as ‘Operation Gomorrah’. This was the night of the firestorm, which resulted from a combination of unusually dry and warm weather, the concentration of the bombing in one area and firefighting limitations.
A total of 2,326 tons of bombs were dropped. In the period following the raid, approximately 1,200,000 people fled the city in fear of further raids.
Left: Maj. Günther Radusch (Kracker Archives)
At 00:26 hrs the aircraft was shot down in the coastal waters of Vollerwick by the Luftwaffe nightfighter ace Maj. Günther Radusch (1) of Stab II./NJG3 - his 33rd claim of the war.
Another from 156 Squadron was lost: Lancaster III EE178 Flown by Fl/Sgt. G.W. Wilkins 1332786 RAFVR (the only crew member to survive). Shot down ‘probably’ by Ofw. Heinz Löschner of 9./NJG3 at 01:53 hrs.
(1) Major ‘Flips’ Günther Radusch survived the war with 66 claims. He passed away in Nordstrand, Schleswig-Holstein on the 29th July 1988, aged 75.
Initially buried at Tönning on the 30th July and later reinterred at the Ohlsdorf Cemetery.
F/O. Leonard Robert Crampton. Hamburg Cemetery (Ohlsdorf) Collective grave 4A.H.1-7. No further information - are you able to assist?
Sgt. James Lionel Leader. Hamburg Cemetery (Ohlsdorf) Grave 4A.H.9. Son of William John and Louisa Sophia Leader, of Lane End, Buckinghamshire, England.
F/O. John William Crowley. Hamburg Cemetery (Ohlsdorf) Collective grave 4A.H.1-7. Son of William Joseph and Anita Mosley Crowley, of Dundas, Ontario, Canada.
Air/Bmr: P/O. Everett Victor Lee. Hamburg Cemetery (Ohlsdorf) Collective grave 4A.H.1-7. Son of Edwin Cornelius and Molly (Née Helmer) Lee of Timmins, Cochrane district, Ontario, Canada.
Sgt. George Law Campbell. Hamburg Cemetery (Ohlsdorf) Collective grave 4A.H.1-7. Son of Mrs. J. Spiers, of Ayr, Scotland.
Sgt. Alexander Suttie Scott. Hamburg Cemetery (Ohlsdorf) Collective grave 4A.H.1-7. Son of David and Barbara Suttie Scott, of Lochgelly, Fife, Scotland.
Sgt. Hugh William Woodsend. Hamburg Cemetery (Ohlsdorf) Collective grave 4A.H.1-7. Son of Robert Noel and Griselda Sarah Woodsend, of Catterick, Yorkshire, England.
Researched by Marcus Kroll for Aircrew Remembered - April 2017 and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to sources as shown below.