09/10.08.1944 No. 37 Squadron Wellington X LP465 LF-S Sgt. Double
Operation: Ploesti oil Refinery
Date: 09/10th August 1944 (Wednesday/Thursday)
Unit: No. 37 Squadron
Base: R.A.F.Tortorella Italy
Location: Cotroceni, Bucharest, Romania
Pilot: Sgt. William Edwin Double 1800566 RAFVR Age 21. Killed
Nav: Sgt. Jack Ernest Cushing 1601593 RAFVR Age 22. Killed
Air/Bmr: Sgt. John Stewart Wilson 1564420 RAFVR Age 21. Killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Albert James Currin 1673413 RAFVR Age 22. Killed
Air/Gnr: Sgt. Brian Bell 1813062 RAFVR Age 21. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Despite many attacks the oil refinery east of Ploesti in Romania was still in full production.
It was then made a prime target and 'every effort' to be made to put it out of use. The Axis forces were obviously aware of this, and reinforced the defences - there were an estimated 100+ searchlight units and 60 heavy gun emplacements installed.
37 Squadron Wellington at Tortorella, Italy
This operation consisted of 50 Wellingtons, 23 Liberators and 8 Halifaxes sent to bomb the target. 11 aircraft were not to return.
Fighters were also active with persistent attacks made by Me 109s, Me110s Fw190s and some Ju88s according to the Unit Operation Record Books (ORB)
This Wellington is understood to have been hit by flak and crashed in a suburb of Bucharest, Cotroceni with the loss of all the crew.
Crew graves at Bucharest War Cemetery - available at a higher resolution to relatives / friends of the crew
Sgt. William Edwin Double. Bucharest War Cemetery. Coll. Grave I.C. 1-4. Son of William Stephen and Easther Mary Double, of New Southgate, Middlesex, England.
Sgt. Jack Ernest Cushing. Bucharest War Cemetery. Coll. Grave I.C. 1-4. Son of Henry E. Cushing and A. M. Cushing, of Thornton Heath, Surrey, England.
Sgt. John Stewart Wilson. Bucharest War Cemetery. Coll. Grave I.C. 1-4. Son of David and Elizabeth Stewart Wilson, of Thornton Hall, Lanarkshire, Scotland.
Sgt. Albert James Currin. Bucharest War Cemetery. Coll. Grave I.C. 1-4. Son of William and Alice Currin, of Wallasey, Cheshire, England.
Sgt. Brian Bell. Bucharest War Cemetery. Coll. Grave I.C. 1-4. Son of Francis Richard and Lucy Bell, brother of Marjorie, of Dorking, Surrey, England.
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to Commonwealth War Grave Commission, Patrick Macdonald 'Through Darkness to Light'. Tom Kracker - 'Kracker Luftwaffe Archives'.