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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.


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429 Squadron Crest
28/29.12.1944 No. 429 Squadron Halifax III NR197 AL-Z F/O. Drewery

Operation: Gardening

Date: 28/29th December 1944 (Thursday/Friday)

Unit: No. 429 Squadron

Type: Halifax III

Serial: NR197

Code: AL-Z

Base: RAF Leeming, Yorkshire

Location: Sandefjord, Norway

Pilot: F/O. Bertram Ernest Drewery J/87449 RCAF Age 25. Killed

Fl/Eng: Sgt. John Daniel Richmond 1283210 RAFVR Age 23. Killed

Nav: F/O. Lloyd John Gordon Catheralle J/37534 Age 23. Killed

Air/Bmr: F/O. Joseph Patrick Leonard Cullen J/36888 RCAF Age 25. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: P/O. Adam Raeburn McDonald J/92473 RCAF Age 28. Killed

Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Karl Emerson Kelly R/200438 RCAF Age 20. Killed

Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. James Raymond Giblin R/136304 RCAF Age 27. Killed

REASON FOR LOSS:

Taking off at 16:00 hrs. from RAF Leeming in Yorkshire and set course for Sanderfjord on Norway's SE coast.

The aircraft was sent to drop mines (gardening: see list of codenames for areas) in the Oslo Fjord in an attempt to stop shiploads of German soldiers bound for the Eastern front. Three of the aircraft dropped their mines in the designated area. Halifax NR197 set course for Sandefjord on the South Eastern coast of Norway, carrying four mines, three which would detonate after a short time in the sea and the fourth after four days. The other aircraft witnessed it spin out of control and crash upon impact near the target area, all of the crew perished.

Above: Sgt. John Daniel Richmond (courtesy John Daniel Richmond)

An eye witness described how, after hearing the air raid warning signal, he saw a large bomber coming in from the North East at a low altitude. It’s lights were flashing alternatively red and green from the wing tips of the aircraft as it passed Framnes mechanical workshop and he later heard the German AA guns fire at the aircraft.

Shortly afterwards, he heard an explosion and was told that an aircraft had crashed into the Jahres Chemical factory where he worked. Another eye witness remembers the German soldiers cheering as the damaged bomber was hit by German AA guns from Sandefjord harbour.

Above left: parts from the Halifax discovered and right: memorial service to the crew 1994

Burial details:

F/O. Bertram Ernest Drewery. Sandefjord Churchyard. Collective Grave B.1.7-12. Born on the 28th December 1919 the son of Warner Percy and Violet Winnifred (née Bennett) Drewery of Charing Cross, Ontario, Canada. Grave inscription reads: "Sweet And Peaceful Be Thy Rest Forget You, We Can Never."

Sgt. John Daniel Richmond. Sandefjord Churchyard. Collective Grave B.1.7-12. Son of Alexander Buchan and Elizabeth Richmond of Gravesend, Kent, England and brother of Gordon and Thomas Richmond. Grave inscription reads: "He Died That Others May Live."

F/O. Lloyd John Gordon Catheralle. Sandefjord Churchyard. Collective Grave B.1.7-12. Born on the 20th April 1921 the son of George Henry and Kristjana Catheralle of New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada. Grave inscription reads: “Go, Blithe Spirit, Son And Brother, Peace Defended - Wanting World War Ii”.

F/O. Joseph Patrick Leonard Cullen. Sandefjord Churchyard. Collective Grave B.1.7-12. Born on the 30th March 1919 the son of of James Patrick and Abigail Mary Cullen of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Grave inscription reads: “May His Soul Rest In Peace”

P/O. Adam Raeburn McDonald. Sandefjord Churchyard. Collective Grave B.1.7-12. Born on the 18th January 1918 the son of Robert Scott and Marg Raeburn McDonald of McMasterville, Quebec, Canada. Grave inscription reads: “In Our Hearts A Memory Kept Of The One We Loved And Will Never Forget, Mother And Family.”

Fl/Sgt. Karl Emerson Kelly. Sandefjord Churchyard. Collective Grave B.1.7-12. Born on the 19th May 1924 the son of James and Florence of New Liskeard, Ontario, Canada. Grave inscription reads: “Jesus Said I Am The Resurrection And The Life.John X1.25.”

Fl/Sgt. James Raymond Giblin. Sandefjord Churchyard. Collective Grave B.1.7-12. Born on the 05th April 1917 the son Son of Jack and Mabel Giblin from Ontario, Canada. Grave inscription reads: “I Have Conquered Earth's Confining Sod And Willingly Gone Forth To Be With God”

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew by Linda Ibrom for Aircrew Remembered June 2017 with thanks to John Daniel Richmond (nephew of Sergeant Richmond). Information on crash from Finn A. Thorsen. Also to ‘Operation Picture Me’ for some of the crew photos. With thanks also to Kevin Drewery - nephew of the pilot who corrected the hometown details of the pilot - July 2017.

The crew:

LI - 04.06.2017

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 and Fred Paradie - Paradie Archive (both on this site), 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', Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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Last Modified: 19 July 2017, 22:58

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