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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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408 Squadron Crest
25.04.1945 No 408 Squadron Halifax VII NP796 EQ-M Fl/Lt. Arthur B. Ely

Operation: Wangerooge (East Frisian Islands - see map)

Date: 25th April 1945 (Wednesday)

Unit: No. 408 Squadron

Type: Halifax VII

Serial: NP796

Code: EQ-M

Base: RAF Linton-on-Ouse

Location: Target area, Wangerooge

Pilot: Fl/Lt. Arthur Blevyn Ely J/22783 RCAF Age 23. Missing

Fl/Eng: Sgt. James Hughes 2206716 RAFVR Age 28. Missing

Nav: W/O.2 James Edwin Brambleby J/9524 RCAF Age 24. Missing

Air/Bmr: F/O. James Kent Stanley J/42259 RCAF Age 21. Missing

W/Op/Air/Gnr: F/O. Allan Bernard Boyd J/46747 RCAF Age 22. Missing

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Albert Leroy Rutter J/95260 R/274835 RCAF Age 20. Missing

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Vernon Earl Hovey J/95257 RCAF Age 20. Missing


Took off at 14:32 hrs from RAF Linton-on-Ouse to bomb various gun position on Wangerooge, East Frisian Islands.

The operation consisting of some 482 aircraft was intended to destroy the coastal batteries which controlled the approaches to Bremen and Wihelmshavaen. The weather for the attack was clear and the bombing was accurate until the target area became covered in smoke and dust.The guns were hardly damaged and were in operation within a few hours of the bombing.

Above left: Sgt. James Hughes. Right: F/O. Allan Bernard Boyd (see credits)

Sgt. James Hughes seen on front left escorting, who we understand, to be Princess Alice at Newquay (see credits)

Left: Sgt. James Hughes back right with 'friends' - do you recognise any? Right: letter from the RCAF.

Some 306 people died on the ground, including 59 civilians, 20 prisoners of war from Morocco and France.

Of the 7 aircraft that were lost on this operation no less than 6 were due to collisions!

Halifax NP796 EQ-M collided with Halifax NP820 OW-W from 426 squadron. All 14 crew from both aircraft lost their lives.

Photo taken January 1944. 'D' Flight No. 3 Squadron No. 8 ITW Newquay. Please note that this photo is available in a higher resolution if over relatives are able to recognise anyone, Please contact us.

Burial details:

Fl/Lt. Arthur Blevyn Ely. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 278. Further information: Born on 1st January 1922, son of Arthur Blevyn and Emmeline Elizabeth (nee Marshall) Ely of 3 Bowden Avenue, Toronto, Canada.

Sgt. James Hughes. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 275. Further information: Known as Jimmy, the son of Edwin and Annie Hughes and brother of Gertrude (Gertie), Alice and Mary (Molly) of 10, Mains Avenue, Bamfurlong, Near Wigan, Lancashire. He was a serving member of the police force prior to enlisting. and was engaged to be married.

W/O.2 James Edwin Brambleby. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 280. Further information: Born in 1920 in Barnet, England, the son of Arthur James and Gertrude Florence (nee Hull) Brambleby of Burnaby, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

F/O. James Kent Stanley. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 280. Son of Uriah F. and Edith M. Stanley of Lucan, Ontario, Canada.

F/O. Allan Bernard Boyd. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 278. Further information: Son of Mrs. Charlotte Boyd, 76 Howe Street, Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada. Born in Sydney, June 1923, received common school education. On leaving school employed at Macleod's bookstore before joining RCAF. Trained as wireless operator/air gunner.

Sgt. Albert Leroy Rutter. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 281. Further information: Born on the 20th of September 1925 at Picton, Ontario. Son of Albert Alexander and Thelma Pearl Rutter and brother of Nellie Mae and Ethel Myrtle Rutter of Milford, British Columbia, Canada.

Sgt. Vernon Earl Hovey. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 280. From Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada. No further information on next of kin details as yet.

Researched by Aircrew Remembered, researcher and specialist genealogist Linda Ibrom for relatives of this crew. Photographs and information of Sergeant Hughes from Sophie Bradley (great niece). Further information from sources shown below.

KTY/LI 11.07.2015 - New format

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: 11 July 2015, 21:07

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