30/31.01.1944 No. 101 Squadron Lancaster I DV303 SE-U Fl/Sgt. Douglas W. Froggatt
Date: 30/31st January 1944 (Sunday/Monday)
Unit: No. 101 Squadron
Type: Lancaster I
Base: RAF Ludford Magna
Location: Teltow South West Berlin
Pilot: Fl/Sgt. Douglas William Froggatt 1320636 RAFVR Age ? Killed
Fl/Eng: Sgt. Louis Verdon Houlton 1582003 RAFVR Age 20? Killed
Nav: Sgt. A.F. Graves 1338616 RAFVR PoW No: 968 Camp: Stalag Luft Heydekrug (L6 - Now in Lithuania)
ABC/Op: F/O. Moie Marder J/27285 RCAF Age ? Killed
Sgt. P.E.J. Carmichael 1601085 RAFVR PoW No: 1172 Camp: Stalag Luft Heydekrug (L6 - Now in Lithuania)
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. E. Charnock 1337177 RAFVR PoW No: 976 Camp: Stalag Kopernikus (357 - Now in Ukraine)
Air/Gnr: Sgt. Ronald Charles Wilson 1804802 RAFVR Age 20. Killed
Air/Gnr: Sgt. Gilbert Thomas Heath 1443366 RAFVR Age 22. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Took off from Ludford Magna on ABC (1) duties. 534 aircraft took part in yet another concentrated raid on the German capital the third in as many days.
The bomber stream were not intercepted until they were well into the run to the target when they faced fierce opposition from the night fighters. Many were shot down over the target but also they suffered attacks after leaving the target area.
Bombing on the cloud covered City was described as another concentrated attack with over 1000 civilians being killed and a few industrial premises including Goebbels Propaganda Ministry.
The loss rate from Bomber Command amounted to some 35 aircraft lost. 189 aircrew killed with a further 56 made PoW.
Left: Fl/Sgt. Douglas William Froggatt (courtesy his niece, Mary McPherson)
Lancaster DV303 is understood to have been shot down by Luftwaffe night-fighters although no definitive claim can be established, it is thought "probable" Oblt. Josef Kraft (2) from 4./NJG5. With the aircraft crashing at around 20:00 hrs in the Teltow area south west of Berlin where the crew were buried prior to re-internment at the Berlin War Cemetery.
(1) ABC stood for Airborne Cigar and was a development of Ground Cigar, a barrage jamming site at Sizewell which denied German night fighters VHF RT frequencies from 30 Jul 1943. Ground Cigar's coverage was not widespread enough due to VHF line of sight. ABC was therefore fitted to 101 Squadron aircraft to protect the main stream bomber force. ABC-equipped bombers were placed at intervals among the bomber stream to protect the entire package during any raid.
ABC equipped Lancaster were equipped by an extra crew member, a Special Operator, whose job it was to identify and jam any VHF transmission presenting a threat to the bomber stream. The ABC equipment plus operator reduced the payload by 1000lbs. Aircraft were equipped with three antennae approximately 7 ft long, two dorsally mounted on the spine and one on the nose. The operators were not necessarily linguists but need only recognise the fact that German GCI were sending directions to Luftwaffe interceptors.
(2) Oblt. Josef Kraft survived the war with a total of 53 confirmed kills. (shown left)
Fl/Sgt. Douglas William Froggatt. Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery Collective grave 5.Z. 17-19. No further details as yet.
Sgt. Louis Verdon Houlton. Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery Grave 5.Z. 15. Son of William Percy and Alice Houlton, of Tirley, Gloucestershire, England.
F/O. Moie Marder. Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery Grave 5.Z. 16. Son of Mr and Mrs. I.D. Marder of 1352 Bay Avenue, Trail, British Columbia, Canada. Enlisted at Edmonton in July, 1942. (Shown right)
Sgt. Ronald Charles Wilson. Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery Collective grave 5.Z. 17-19. Son of Herbert Charles and Ethel May Wilson, of Holloway, London, England.
Sgt. Gilbert Thomas Heath. Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery Collective grave 5.Z. 17-19. Son of Thomas Alfred and Elizabeth Heath, of Wisbech St. Mary, Cambridgeshire; husband of Eva Joan Heath, of Wisbech St. Mary, England.
Researched for Mary McPherson, niece of the pilot Fl/Sgt. Froggatt and dedicated to all relatives of the crew lost.