29/30.05.1943 No. 218 Squadron Stirling III BK688 HA-A Fl/Sgt. Davis
Date: 29-30th May 1943 (Saturday/Sunday)
Unit: No. 218 Squadron ' Gold Coast' (motto: 'In Time')
Type: Stirling III
Base: RAF Downham Market, Norfolk
Location: Diest Schaffen Airfield, Belgium (Later the RAF Advanced Landing Ground B-64)
Pilot: Fl/Sgt. William Arthur Mathias Davis AUS/408278 RAAF Age 31. Killed
Fl/Eng: Sgt. George Alan Ashley Grant 572554 RAF Age 22. Killed
Nav: Sgt. Thomas Wilkinson Dixon 1527169 RAFVR Age 22. Killed
Air/Bmr: Sgt. William Robert Howes 1284892 RAFVR Age 29. illed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Thomas Lloyd Portrey 1030622 RAFVR Age 30. Killed
Air/Gnr: Sgt. James Alfred Bramble 653941 RAFVR Age 21. Killed
Air/Gnr: Fl/Lt. Leslie William Abbiss 82184 RAFVR Age 41. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
719 aircraft attacked the town of Wuppertal, the home of the Goldschmitt firm which produced Tego-Film, a wood adhesive used in the production of the HE162 and TA154.
Around 1000 acres were destroyed in the firestorm that followed - 211 industrial buildings and nearly 4,000 houses were totally destroyed. A figure of 3,400 fatalities on the ground has been recorded.
Bomber Command did not escape lightly on this operation losing some 36 aircraft.
Stirling III BF565 was intercepted and shot down by the Luftwaffe ace Lt. Heinz-Wolfgang Schnaufer of Stab II.NJG1 whilst at 3,500 Mts, his 10th claim of the war. The aircraft came down at location shown at 00:48 hrs. He survived the war to be killed in a car accident in France, 1945. For further information, consult our Kracker Luftwaffe Archive.
Also lost from the Squadron by the same Luftwaffe pilot:
Stirling III BF565 HA-H Flown by 21 year old, P/O. Stanley Gordon Allan AUS/416404 RAAF killed along with all of the other six crew members.
Fl/Sgt. William Arthur Mathias Davis. Schaffen Communal Cemetery. Collective grave 12-14. Born on the 09th October at Moreland, the son of Arthur and Mary Elizabeth Davis and husband of Meryl Florence Davis, of 7 Beaver Street, Essendon, Victoria, Australia. A Pharmaceutical Chemist prior to service. Grave inscription reads: 'Sweet Memories'.
Sgt. George Alan Ashley Grant. Schaffen Communal Cemetery. Collective grave 12-14. Son of Leonard A. and Dorothy A. Grant, of Harringay, Middlesex, England. Grave inscription reads: 'The Dreams We Dreamed Were Not To Be: Now Only Perfect Memories'.
Sgt. Thomas Wilkinson Dixon. Schaffen Communal Cemetery. Collective grave 12-14. Son of Henry Leonard and Alvena Dixon, of Ashton-under-Lyne, Lancashire, England. Grave inscription reads: ''Beloved Only Son Of H.L. And A. Dixon, Ashton-Under-Lyne, Lancashire ''Until The Day Break'.
Sgt. William Robert Howes. Schaffen Communal Cemetery. Collective grave 12-14. Husband of Mrs M.M. Howes, of Sheringham, Norfolk, England. Grave inscription reads: 'Loved And Remembered'.
Sgt. Thomas Lloyd Portrey. Schaffen Communal Cemetery. Collective grave 12-14. Son of Albert and Margaret Elizabeth Portrey and husband of Agnes Portrey, of Rothwell, Yorkshire, England. Grave inscription reads: 'Memories. With Love. Wife Agnes, Daughter Judith, Mother, Dad And Family'.
Sgt. James Alfred Bramble. Schaffen Communal Cemetery. Collective grave 12-14. Son of James Alfred and Kate Kathleen Bramble and husband of Edna Lilian Maud Bramble, of Lowestoft, Suffolk, England. Grave inscription reads: 'At The Going Down Of The Sun And In The Morning We Will Remember Them. Edna'.
Fl/Lt. Leslie William Abbiss. Schaffen Communal Cemetery. Collective grave 12-14. Son of William Frederick and Elizabeth Abbiss. Grave inscription reads: 'In Proud And Glorious Memory'.
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to the son of the Air Bomber.