11/12,03.1943 No. 405 Squadron Halifax II BB250 LQ-E P/O. Borden Dennison DFM
Date: 11/12th March 1943 (Thursday/Friday)
Unit: No. 405 Squadron (RCAF)
Type: Halifax II
Base: RAF Topcliffe, Yorkshire
Location: Mondrepuis, France
Pilot: P/O. Borden Carrrick Dennison DFC J/16008 RCAF Evaded capture
Pilot 2: Sq/Ldr. Emerson Lloyd Logan DFC Croix de Guerre with Silver Star C/1359 RCAF Evaded capture
Fl/Eng: Sgt. Emanual George Lacina R/107026 RCAF Age 24. Killed
Nav: Fl/Sgt. Elmer Leigh Bulman R/72937 RCAF Evaded capture
Air/Bmr: Fl/Sgt. Gordon L. Spencer R/91858 RCAF Evaded capture
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Harold Jack Jennings DFC R/85952 RCAF Evaded capture
Air/Gnr: Sgt. Robert Gray Macdonald R/124691 RCAF Age 26. Killed
Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Ronald Franck Kennett R/102033 RCAF PoW No: 904 Camp: Stalag Luft Heydekrug
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off at 19:00 hrs from RAF Topcliffe in North Yorkshire, a mixed force of some 314 Lancasters, Halifaxes and Stirlings were sent to bomb Stuttgart between 22:45 hrs - 23:51 hrs. One of a total of 53 raids that after the war left the centre of Stuttgart almost completely destroyed with 4,477 people dead.
This raid was not a success as far as damage was concerned with only a small packing store at the Bosch factory destroyed. Most of the bombing fell in open country but some fell on two small towns killing 112 people and injuring 386. Mostly houses were hit with 186 destroyed. The reason for the poor bombing is felt that although the pathfinders did drop accurate markers the main force arrived late and were also subject to German decoy markers in use for the first time.
It is understood that BB250 was intercepted at 4,500 mtrs. on the return trip home and shot down by Oblt. Heinz-Wilhelm Kornacker (1) of III./NJG4 at 00:45 hrs.
This operation cost 13 aircraft lost with the deaths of 42 aircrew, 25 being made PoW and 13 aircrew evading capture. 3 civilian maids were also killed when an abandoned severely damaged Halifax DT492 MP-H from 76 squadron crashed onto the residence of Colonel Loder at Slaugham, Horsham West Sussex.
The Squadron lost some 4 aircraft on this operation, the others:
Halifax II W7803 LQ-B Flown by 22 year old, Fl/Lt. Harold Gordon Shockley J/7979 RCAF from British Columbia, Canada - killed with all 7 crew other members.
Halifax II BB212 LQ-U Flown by Fl/Sgt. G.T. Chretien DFM J/16955 RCAF take PoW with 5 other crew, the tail gunner was killed.
Halifax DT745 LQ-V Flown by P/O. H.D. Rea J/16582 RCAF taken PoW No: 934, 5 others also made pow with 2 others evading capture.
(1) This was the 2nd and final claim by Oblt. Heinz-Wilhelm Kornacker who survived the war - Deceased 16 May, 1984.
Note: further information follows from Brent Dennison, the son of the pilot.
Sgt. Emanual George Lacina. London Cemetery And Extension, Longueval. Plot 13. Row E. Grave 31. Son of Peter Lacina, and of Martina Lacina, of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.
Sgt. Robert Gray Macdonald. London Cemetery And Extension, Longueval. Plot 13. Row E. Grave 30. Son of Douglas Duncan and Pearle Olive Macdonald, of Middleton, Nova Scotia, Canada.
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to Brent Dennison (son of the pilot) for information sent to us January 2017. Further sources as quoted.