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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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10/11.12.1940 No. 117 Squadron Blenheim IV Z5794 P/O. Culling crew loss

Operation: Köln

Date: 10/11th December 1940 (Tuesday/Wednesday)

Unit: No. 107 Squadron

Type: Blenheim IV

Serial: Z5794

Code: OM-?

Base: R.A.F. Wattisham

Location: Not known.

Pilot: P/O. W. H. Culling R.A.F.V.R. P.O.W. No: 104. Camp: L3.

Obs: W/O. Arnold Brown 746717 R.A.F.V.R. P.O.W. No: 422. Camp: L1, L6, 357.

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. E. T. Perry R.A.F.V.R. P.O.W. No: 445. Camp:  L1, L6, 357.

REASON FOR LOSS:

Took off on a night operation to bomb the German city of Köln. The bomber force of 62 aircraft left to bomb various targets. With only 6 making their primaries. Object to bomb various German ports and to lay mines in the river Gronde.

2 aircraft were lost on the port bombing, the other a 50 squadron Hampden I X3117, flown by F/O. Eric B.S. Liddell from Rutland, England was killed along with his 3 other crew members.

After liberation, Arnold and his fellow pow’s were moved from the camp during the coldest winter months of the twentieth century with blizzards and sub zero temperatures and force-marched. 

Already weak from the years in the camp on meagre prison rations and suffering from frostbite and hunger, many succumbed to disease and starvation along the route. 

On reaching the village of Gresse, 15 kilometres north-east of Lauenburg, on the 19th April 1945, six Royal Air Force Typhoons opened fire with rockets and bombs on the p.o.w column as they walked along a narrow country road amidst open fields, accidentally mistaking them for retreating columns of German troops. Sixty allied pow’s were killed and many including Arnold were wounded. 

Right: W/O. Arnold Brown (See credits) Arnold died of his injuries on Friday, 20th April 1945 in Boisenburg Krankenhaus Hospital.

Camp descriptions:-

L1: Stalag Luft Barth Vogelsang

L3: Stalag Luft Sagan and Belaria

L6: Stalag Luft Heydekrug

357: Stalag Kpernikus

Burial details:

W/O. Arnold Brown. Berlin 11939-1945 War Cemetery. Grave 11.N.6.

Son of Cyril and Edith Brown, of Northampton; husband of Miriam Doris Brown, of Northampton

Researched by Aircrew Remembered, researcher and specialist genealogist Linda Ibrom for relatives of this crew.

Photo credit and information on Warrant Officer Brown to Eric and Kathleen Brown and Jenny Maguire also thanks to Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - "Bomber Command War Diaries", Oliver Clutton-Brock "Footprints On The Sands Of Time" and the Commonwealth Graves Commission.


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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Last Modified: 27 May 2014, 12:16