03/04.09.1943 No. 7 Squadron Lancaster III JA713 MG-V F/O. Crockford
Date: 03/04th September 1943 (Friday/Saturday)
Unit: No. 7 Squadron
Type: Lancaster III
Base: RAF Oakington, Cambridgeshire.
Location: Kattegat, South of Tunø, Denmark
Pilot: F/O. Anthony Crockford 114241 RAFVR Age 22. Killed
Fl/Eng: Sgt. Henry Allen Eaton 1583178 RAFVR Age 21. Missing
Nav: Fl/Sgt. Edward Robinson 1530031 RAFVR Age 21. Killed
Air/Bmr: Sgt. Gordon Vardy 1438521 RAFVR Age 22. Missing
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Percy Barnsley 1370380 RAFVR Age 22. Killed
Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Leroy Anwyll Watson AUS/425560 RAAF Age 19. Missing
Air/Gnr: Sgt. William Charles Luke Wood 1271145 RAFVR Age ? Missing
Aircrew Remembered and our Danish friends are very keen to locate relatives of this crew.
They now have one of the Merlin engines, a propeller from Lancaster III JA713 MG-V as well as other items. It would be excellent if we can try and obtain as much information as possible, photographs, documents, log books etc to compile a complete picture for this loss.
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off from RAF Oakington, Cambridgeshire at 20:12 hrs. to bomb the heart of Germany, Berlin.
A total of 316 Lancasters and 4 Mosquitoes took part with the Mosquitoes used to drop spoof flares well away from the bombers route to attract Luftwaffe night fighters.
The raid proved costly with 22 Lancasters lost with the bombs falling mostly short of the target area. The bombers that did reach the target fell mainly in the residential areas of Charlottenburg and Moabit. Several factories however were hit and suffered serious loss of production. On the ground 422 people were listed as killed, 225 civilians, 24 servicemen, 18 men and 2 women from the air-raid services, 123 foreign workers made up from 92 women and 31 men. A further 170 civilians were classed as 'missing'. Records show that another soldier and 7 'criminal' assistants were also killed when the delayed action bombs they were working on exploded.
133 Aircrew were killed and many others injured, made PoW or interred in Sweden.
Also lost on this operation from 7 Squadron:
Lancaster III JA854 MG-X, Flown by 32 year old, Fl/Lt. Richard Otway French DFC NZ/415756 RNZAF, killed with 5 other crew members, one taken PoW.
Lancaster III JA929 MG-N, Flown by 31 year old, W/O. Thomas Harold Hatchard NZ/403515 RNZAF, killed with 6 other crew members.
Shown above pieces recovered from Lancaster JA713 - this is just part of the picture - to complete it we would like to contact all the relatives and would appreciate your assistance in this.
It is though 'possible' that JA713 was shot down by Uffz. Heinz Koppe from 10./NJG3 at 02.15 hrs. He survived the war with 9 abschüsse to his name. No further details are available as to his fate. It is known however, that he was injured along with his crew of Bf110G-4 Werk No. 730031 DS+CV when he was attacked by an Allied fighter on landing on the 22/23rd March 1944.
F/O. Anthony Crockford. Aarhus West Cemetery. Row G. Grave 310. Son of Maj. Frederick Russell Crockford and Alice Crockford, of Upper Holloway, London, England. A member of the Royal Society of Arts. Grave inscription: 'Greater Love Hath No Man Than This, That He Lay Down His Life For His Friends'.
Sgt. Henry Allen Eaton. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 148. Son of Henry and Winifred Eaton and husband of Betty Winifred Eaton, of South Yardley, Birmingham, England.
Fl/Sgt. Edward Robinson. Aarhus West Cemetery. Row G. Grave 309. Son of Mr. and Mrs. R. S. Robinson, of Spennymoor, Co. Durham, England. Grave inscription: 'Rest In Peace'.
Sgt. Gordon Vardy. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 168. Son of Eli and Annie Elizabeth Vardy, of Mastin Moor, Derbyshire, England.
Sgt. Percy Barnsley. Esbjerg (Fourfelt) Cemetery. Grave A.9.17. Son of Percy and Jane E. Barnsley, of Glasgow, Scotland. Grave inscription: 'God Called Him Home It Was His Will But In Our Hearts He Liveth Still'.
Fl/Sgt. Leroy Anwyll Watson. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 194. Son of Eric Bertram and Ada Lavinia Watson, of Wavell Heights, Queensland, Australia.
Sgt. William Charles Luke Wood. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 170. Next of kin details not currently available, can you assist?
Researched for relatives of the crew with thanks to our Danish historian friend Kristian Zouaoui, Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses' Vol. 4, Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vols. 1 and 2', The Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Tom Kracker - 'Kracker Luftwaffe Archives'.