21/22.01.1943 No. 207 Squadron Lancaster I W4365 EM-B Sgt. Dangerfield
Date: 21/22nd January 1943 (Thursday/Friday)
Unit: No. 207 Squadron
Type: Lancaster I
Base: RAF Langar, Nottinghamshire.
Location: Feldhausen near Dorsten
Pilot: Sgt John Charles Dangerfield AUS/407965 RAAF Age 28. Killed
Pilot 2: Sgt. John Thompson Howe 1149218 RAFVR Age 19. Killed
Nav: Fl/Sgt. Raymond De Champfleur Darken AUS/411096 RAAF Age 26. Killed
Air/Bmr: Sgt. Victor Jack Wood 1280220 RAFVR Age 27. Killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Francis Alexander Kevin Gallagher AUS/403464 RAAF Age 28. Killed
Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Joseph Roger Lawrence Sterrett R/140746 RCAF Age 23. Killed
Air/Gnr: Sgt. Alexander Robert Sutton 1324003 RAFVR Age 22. Killed
We are in contact with the relatives of the pilot and they would like to contact anyone who may have photographs of the crew as all the files that they had were destroyed in a house fire. Please contact us initially and we will forward your email.
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off at 17:29 hrs from RAF Langar, Nottinghamshire.
Very little recorded regarding this operation. 79 Lancasters and 3 Mosquitoes taking part but encountered total cloud and the bombers were forced to drop blindly (A total of 195.6 tons) on estimated positions.
W4365 were carryon 1 x 4000 lb, 12 x SBC's x 4 lb (Incendiary)
Four aircraft were lost - all it seems, due to flak because of the weather German night fighters unable to operate.
Lancaster crew positions: Flight Engineer, Navigator, Air Bomber (courtesy IWM)
Wireless Operator, Mid air gunner and rear air gunner (courtesy IWM)
Mechanics working on the 207 Squadron Lancaster engines (courtesy IWM)
The crew were originally buried at Kirchellen Cemetery prior to re-internment after war end and investigation by the MRES Teams. It is understood that the crew were provided a military funeral by the German Luftwaffe on the 25th January 1943.
Sgt John Charles Dangerfield. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. Grave 20.E.5. Son of Hurtle Charles and Ellen Dangerfield, of Port Pirie, South Australia. Born on the 28th March 1914.
Sgt. John Thompson Howe. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. Grave 20.E.8. Son of Frederick C. and Mary E. Howe, of Penrith, Cumberland, England.
Fl/Sgt. Raymond De Champfleur Darken. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. Grave 20.E.4. Son of Maj. Eujene Edward De Champfleur Darken and Catherine Beatrice Darken, of Pitt Street, Springwood, New South Wales, Australia. A former school teacher. First trained as an air gunner on the 21st July 1942 and then graduated to navigator on the 18th October 1942.
Sgt. Francis Alexander Kevin Gallagher. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. Grave 20.E.7. Son of George Patrick and Margaret Jane Gallagher, of Guyra, New South Wales, Australia.
Sgt. Victor Jack Wood. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. Grave 20.E.6. Son of Walter John and Edith Mary Wood, of West Dulwich, London, England.
Fl/Sgt. Joseph Roger Lawrence Sterrett. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. Grave 20.E.10. Son of Theodore and Elizabeth Sterrett, of Port Arthur, Ontario, Canada.
Sgt. Alexander Robert Sutton. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. Grave 20.E.9. Son of Mr. and Mrs. A. Sutton, of Twickenham, Middlesex, England.
Researched for all the relatives of the crew with thanks for further information to Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vol. 4', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries', Australian National Archives, I.W.M., The Commonwealth War Graves Commission.