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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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207 Squadron badge
21/22.01.1943 No. 207 Squadron Lancaster I W4365 EM-B Sgt. Dangerfield

Operation: Essen

Date: 21/22nd January 1943 (Thursday/Friday)

Unit: No. 207 Squadron

Type: Lancaster I

Serial: W4365

Code: EM-B

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)

Burial details:

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.

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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, Michel Beckers, Major Fred Paradie (RCAF) and MWO François Dutil (RCAF) - Paradie Archive (on this site), Jean Schadskaje, Major Jack O'Connor USAF (Retd.), Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', Archiwum - Polish Air Force Archive (on this site), Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Franek Grabowski, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of CWGC, UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, New Zealand National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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