25.06.1945 No. 50 Squadron Lancaster I PB755 VN-Y P/O. Gordon Douglas
Operation: Operation Post Mortem
Date: 25th June 1945 (Monday)
Unit: No. 50 Squadron
Type: Lancaster I
Base: RAF Sturgate, Lincolnshire
Location: Satrup, Germany
Pilot: P/O. Gordon Douglas 198106 RAFVR Age 34. Killed
Crew details: Unknown.
REASON FOR LOSS:
Lancaster I PB 755 VN-Y, piloted by Pilot Officer Douglas left Sturgate on Operation “Post Mortem”, to assess the effectiveness of the captured German radar and defence systems, which were left behind after the end of the war. German Military personnel were held back to show the Allies how it worked before it was dismantled.
Above area of crash and right, the wedding of Douglas to Mary Violet (see credits)
The Lancaster was airborne for just over two and a half hours from base at Sturgate. The port inner engine oil pressure fell to 35lbs/sq.inch and then to zero, and after running for a while it over sped and would not feather. It then began to vibrate and caught fire. The Pilot ordered the crew to abandon the aircraft which they did safely, except for Pilot Douglas whose parachute failed to open.
The cause of the engine fire was unable to be detected as the Lancaster had burnt out. The Flight Engineer was criticised for his failure to shut down the engine when it started to cause problems, but it was also found that a special instruction about minimum oil pressure had not been included into the Squadron Flight Engineer’s order book.
P/O. Gordon Douglas. Kiel War Cemetery. Grave 6A.10. Son of Edward and Teresa Douglas and husband of Mary Violet of Grimsby, Lincolnshire. Worked for the family business in Grimsby before volunteering for the airforce.
Researched by Aircrew Remembered, researcher and specialist genealogist Linda Ibrom for relatives of P/O. Douglas. Thanks to Colin Cummings- “The Price of Peace” for the details of this crash. Photo credits and information to David Amos. Other sources as quoted below.