10/11.12.1940 No. 117 Squadron Blenheim IV Z5794 P/O. Culling crew loss
Date: 10/11th December 1940 (Tuesday/Wednesday)
Unit: No. 107 Squadron
Type: Blenheim IV
Base: RAF Wattisham
Location: Not known.
Pilot: P/O. W. H. Culling 42698 RAFVR PoW No: 104. Camp:Stalag Luft Sagan
Obs: W/O. Arnold Brown 746717 RAFVR PoW No: 422. Camp: Stalag Kopernikus
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. E. T. Perry 935296 RAFVR PoW No: 445. Camp: Stalag Kopernikus
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.
Above: W/O. Arnold Brown (See credits) Arnold died of his injuries on Friday, 20th April 1945 in Boisenburg Krankenhaus Hospital.
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, England. Grave inscription reads: "A Beloved Husband, A Dearly Loved Son. Worthy Of Everlasting Remembrance".
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.