06/07.12.1942 No. 101 Squadron Lancaster I ED322 SR-T P.O. Howard Earl Dabbs DFC
Date: 6/7th December 1942 (Sunday/Monday)
Unit: No.101 Squadron (Special Duties)
Type: Lancaster I
Base: RAF Holme-on-Spalding Moor
Location: Carmarthen Bay, Tenby.
Pilot: P/O. Howard Earl Dabbs DFC. J/15608 RCAF Age 20. Killed (1)
Fl/Eng: Sgt. James Hughes 997105 RAFVR Age 24. Killed
Nav: Fl/Sgt. Leonard Roy Anderson R/91822 RCAF Age 24. Killed (2)
Air/Bmr: Fl/Sgt. Robert Gordon Smith R/93318 RCAF Age 24. Killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Robert John Middleton R/91294 RCAF Age 25. Killed
Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Stefan Franchuk R/86255 RCAF Age 31. Killed
Air/Gnr: Sgt. William Thomas Warren 1318039 RAFVR Age 19. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Took off from Holme-on-Spalding Moor late afternoon. Part of a force of 272 aircraft to attack the city of Mannheim. But a dismal failure with 12 aircraft lost and a further 3 lost after crashing in England.
The full facts regarding the loss of ED322 are currently not known. 4 bodies were recovered when they were washed ashore - the remainder (see below) are commemorated on the Runnymede War Memorial. On the 9th December 1942 the body of Howard Dabbs was washed ashore at Amroth Beach, South Wales. The medical officer together with an ambulance from RAF Carew Cheriton recovered his body and declared that the cause of death was by drowning.
The target area was completely covered in cloud and only 500 incendiary bombs and some leaflets were dropped. The only damage done to the city was the destruction by fire of an old wooden building, subsequently a local farmer lost 25 sheep, 4 lambs, some turnips and some hay. A local canoe clubhouse was also set on fire but soon extinguished. No casualties in Mannheim but a total of 55 aircrew were killed, 3 more made P.O.W, a further 10 aircrew injured.
P/O. Howard Dabbs D.F.C. (Shown here as a Sgt) and his splendid memorial at the lake in Alberta named after him thanks to the tremendous efforts of the Airman's Memorial Cairns Committee, Royal Canadian Legion.
P/O. Howard Earl Dabbs DFC. Carew (St Mary) New Churchyard Row B, Grave 4. Son of William L. Dabbs and Florence D. Dabbs, of Daysland, Alberta, Canada.
Sgt. James Hughes. Bolton (Heaton) Cemetery Div.3. Sec. X.1. Nonconformist Grave 3. Son of Mr. and Mrs. J. A. Hughes, of Bolton, England.
Fl/Sgt. Leonard Roy Anderson. Runnymede Memorial Panel 102. Son of Otto and Anna Anderson, of Kildonan, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, husband of Louise Anderson, of Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Fl/Sgt. Robert Gordon Smith. Carew (St Mary) New Churchyard Row B, Grave 5. Son of Robert Young Smith and Mary Helen Smith, husband of Isabelle Smith of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Fl/Sgt. Robert John Middleton. Carew (St Mary) New Churchyard Row D, Grave 1. Son of Nicoll and Mary Middleton, of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Fl/Sgt. Stefan Franchuk. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 103. Survived by his wife Mrs. S. Franchuk of Kenora, Ontario, Canada.
Sgt. William Thomas Warren. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 96. Son of Winifred E. Warren, and stepson of Edward J. Carpenter, of Maidenhead, Berkshire, England.
Researched by Colin Bamford and Mike Harrison and dedicated to relatives of the crew.
(1) Dabbs Lake in Alberta Canada has been named after P/O. Dabbs
(2) Anderson Hill south west of Shannon Lake, Manitoba is named after Fl/Sgt. Anderson