04/05.04.1945 No. 166 Squadron Lancaster III ND707 AS-E F/O. James Day
Date: 04/05th April 1945 (Wednesday/Thursday)
Unit: No. 166 Squadron
Type: Lancaster III
Base: RAF Kirmington
Location: Not known
Pilot: F/O. James Day 190483 RAFVR Age 20. Killed
Fl/Eng: P/O. Frank Pilling 190896 RAFVR Age 19. Killed
Nav: Sgt. Allan Percy Poon-Tip 605619 RAFVR Age? Killed
Air/Bmr: Sgt. Robert Frederick Stanley Dunkley 1625326 RAFVR Age 33 Killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Laurence Felix McGuire 1670598 RAFVR Age 23. Killed
Air/Gnr: Sgt, Patrick Fitxpatrick 1901178 RAFVR Age 26. Killed
Air/Gnr: Sgt. James Dixon Whitelaw 1777435 RAFVR Age 21. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off from RAF Kirmington at 21:11 hrs to bomb the Wintershall synthetic oil plant near Merseberg with 258 Lancasters and 14 Mosquitoes of 1 and 8 Groups. The bombing commenced at around 01:30 hrs on the main target being Compressor Hall Bau 201, which was located in the centre of the fuel plant. Damage was described as moderate.
Area of operations
No details of this loss as many of the night fighter claim records for this period of the war were lost. It may have been brought down by anti-aircraft fire.
166 Squadron also lost another aircraft, but on return to England. F/O. R.A. Ayton RNZAF piloting Lancaster I LM289 AS-Y injured with 1 other crew member - 5 others killed when they crashed near Mill Farm, Barnaby Le Wold near the base.
Sherborne School, Dorset - Any further information that you are able to assist them with fallen former pupils from all wars, we would be pleased to pass onto them.
F/O. James Day. Berlin 1939-45 War Cemetery. Collective grave 6.G.13-19. Further information (courtesy Sherborne School archives): Son of John and Madeline Webb Day, of Stone House, East Pennard, Shepton Mallet, Somerset. Attended Sherborne School (The Green) 1938-1941. Grave inscription reads: “In Unfailing Memory Of A Very Brave Airman”.
P/O. Frank Pilling. Berlin 1939-45 War Cemetery. Collective grave 6.G.13-19. Son of Harold and Constance R. Pilling, of Bacup, Lancashire, England. Grave inscription reads: “I Bare You On Eagles' Wings, And Brought You Unto Myself" Exodus Xix.4”.
Sgt. Allan Percy Poon-Tip. Berlin 1939-45 War Cemetery. Collective grave 6.G.13-19. Next of kin details not available, from Trinidad, Caribbean.
Sgt. Robert Frederick Stanley Dunkley. Berlin 1939-45 War Cemetery. Collective grave 6.G.13-19. Son of Robert and Winifred Ann Dunkley, husband of Elizabeth Dunkley, of Cambridge, England. Grave inscription reads: “Treasured Memories Of A Beloved Husband, Father, Son And Brother”.
Sgt. Laurence Felix McGuire. Berlin 1939-45 War Cemetery. Collective grave 6.G.13-19. Son of Joseph and Elizabeth McGuire, of Glasgow, Scotland. Grave inscription reads: “Sweet Jesus, Have Mercy On His Soul”.
Sgt. Patrick Fitxpatrick. Berlin 1939-45 War Cemetery. Collective grave 6.G.13-19. Son of Patrick and Margaret Fitzpatrick, husband of Annie Fitzpatrick, of New Ross, Co. Wexford, Irish Republic. Grave inscription reads: "In Loving Memory Of My Dear Husband. Never Forgotten By Loving Wife And Child”.
Sgt. James Dixon Whitelaw. Berlin 1939-45 War Cemetery. Collective grave 6.G.13-19. Son of William and Sara Anne Whitelaw, husband of Mavis Whitelaw, of Newbiggin-by-Sea, Northumberland, England. Grave inscription reads: “Dearly Loved And Sadly Missed”.
For further details our thanks to the following Sherborne School Archives
for additional information. Other valuable sources shown below. Also thanks to James A. McCauley for photo of his cousin, Sgt. Laurence McGuire - October 2017. Ure for grave photographs.