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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.
Further data available at Allied Losses & Incidents database

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100 Squadron Crest
24/25.02.1944 100 Squadron Lancaster III ED815 HW-P Wg.Cdr. Dilworth
Claim by Albert Walter 1/NJG6 - 3km West of Bösingen: 4,000m at 22:38.

Operation: Schweinfurt, Germany

Date: 24/25th February 1944 (ThursdayFriday)

Unit: 100 Squadron

Type: Lancaster III

Serial: ED815

Code: HW-P

Base: RAF Grimsby, Lincolnshire

Location: Bösingen, Germany

Pilot: W/Cdr. John Frederick Dilworth DFC 40044 RAFVR Age 30. Killed

Pilot 2: Sgt. Arthur John Howard Merricks 1323482 RAFVR Age 20. Killed

Fl/Eng: Sgt. Ernest Hamilton Victor Smith 1865935 RAFVR Age 20. Killed

Nav: Fl/Sgt. Phillip Henry Savage 658651 RAFVR Age 24. Killed

Air/Bmr: W/O1. John Grenfell Trumpour R/115377 RCAF Age ? Pow No: 2352 Camp: Stalag Luft Heydekrug (1)

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. 'Jack' John Edward Tippleston 1575987 RAFVR Age ? Pow No: 2360 Camp: Stalag Kopernikus (1)

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Percy Roy Bourne 1315094 RAFVR Age ? Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. John Hamilton Hewitson 1565879 RAFVR Age 20. Killed

REASON FOR LOSS:

Taking off from RAF Grimsby at 18:22 hrs. 734 aircraft - 554 Lancasters, 169 Halifaxes, 11 Mosquitos - carried out the first Bomber Command raid on Schweinfurt, home of Germany's main ball-bearing factories. 266 American B-17s had raided the factories the previous day. 13 Lancasters from 100 Squadron were sent with three failing to return.

Lancaster ED815 was claimed by Albert Walter 1/NJG6 - 3km West of Bösingen: 4,000m at 22:38. The aircraft crashed near Bösingen NNW of Rottweil (BadenWürttemberg). (Nachtjagd Combat Archive (1 January - 15 March 1944) Part 1 - Theo Boiten)

The following photographs submitted by Emma Robertson of her Grandfather.

The others:

Lancaster III JB604 HW-S Flown by 22 year old, F/O. Vernon L.B. Jones 133632 RAFVR killed with 4 other crew, 2 taken PoW. Further details here.
Another Lancaster III ND593 HW-B also left on the operation but was forced to return due to the pilot 22 year old, Fl/Sgt. Francis Wadge 1318538 DFM RAFVR from Feltham, Middlesex taking ill. Prior to arrival the crew were ordered to jettison their bombs - they turned out to sea but sadly nothing further was heard from them and all 7 crew missing, believed killed. Just a few weeks earlier this pilot manage to fly his crew back from an operation with severe damage to his Lancaster. He was awarded an immediate DFM:

L/G. 14th March 1944: "One night in February, 1944, this airman was captain and pilot of an aircraft detailed to attack Stuttgart. Soon after leaving the target area the aircraft was heavily hit. Some 6 foot of the port wing was ripped away, both the port propellers were bent, the mid-upper turret was shattered and some other important parts of the bomber's structure were damaged. Considerable height was lost and Fl/Sgt. Wadge gave orders to prepare to abandon aircraft. He succeeded in regaining control, however, and promptly informed his crew that he intended to try to reach England. His efforts were successful and, in the face of great difficulty, Fl/Sgt. Wadge effected a masterly landing at an airfield near the coast. This airman displayed skill, courage and resolution of a high order".

Thus usual pilot Sgt. Merricks was accompanied by the Squadron Commanding Officer for this operation, 30 year, Australian born W/Cdr. Dilworth.

(1) John Grenfell Trumpour passed away in 1978 with John Edward Tippleston in June 1977.


Burial details:

W/Cdr. John Frederick Dilworth DFC. Durnbach War Cemetery. Grave 5.F.19. Born on the 14th October 1914 and enlisted on the 15th July 1936. Son of Joseph and Anne Louise Dilworth of Raflan Street, Turramurra, N.S.W. Australia and husband of Vera Dilworth, of Manor House, Barnoldby-le Beck, Lincolnshire. Grave inscription reads: "God Has You In His Keeping, We Have You In Our Hearts". This officer had completed 31 operational sorties for his first tour and into his 15th operation on the second tour. Previously served with 29 fighter squadron in 1937, 101 Squadron 1942, Commanding officer of 460 Squadron in October 1942, 576 Squadron 1943 finally taking command of 100 Squadron in January 1944.

Sgt. Arthur John Howard Merricks. Durnbach War Cemetery. Collective grave 4.B.25-28. Son of Arthur William and Alice Louisa Merricks, of Coulsdon, Surrey, England. Grave inscription reads: "A Tender Longing, A Silent Tear, A Loving Memory Of One We Loved So Dear".

Sgt. Ernest Hamilton Victor Smith. Durnbach War Cemetery. Collective grave 4.B.25-28. Son of Frederick Thomas Arthur and Kate Smith. Grave inscription reads: "To Live In The Hearts Of Those We Have Loved, Is Not To Die".

Fl/Sgt. Phillip Henry Savage. Durnbach War Cemetery. Grave 5.C.4. Son of Sidney Phillip and Evalin Savage and nephew of Mr. H.J. Savage, of Oulton Broad, Lowestoft. Suffolk, England.

Sgt. Percy Roy Bourne. Durnbach War Cemetery. Collective grave 4.B.25-28. No further details - are you able to assist?

Sgt. John Hewitson. Durnbach War Cemetery. Collective grave 4.B.25-28. Son of David and Jean R. Hewitson, of Dalmellington, Ayrshire, Scotland. Grave inscription reads: "God's Greatest Gift, Remembrance".

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to Emma Robertson, her Grandfather was W/Cdr. John Frederick Dilworth DFC. Thanks to Jonathon Robertson, the grandson of Wg.Cdr. Dilworth for the additional photographs. Thanks to John Jones for the German night fighter details. Others sources as shown below.

RS 20.01.2020 - Update with German Night Fighter claim

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', 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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