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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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7 Squadron Crest
30/31.03.1944 No. 7 Squadron Lancaster III JB722 MG-Q Fl/Lt. Stanley Evans

Operation: Nürnberg

Date: 30/31st March 1944 (Thursday/Friday)

Unit: No. 7 Squadron

Type: Lancaster III

Serial: JB722

Code: MG-Q

Base: RAF Oakington, Cambridgeshire

Location: Kunreauth

Pilot: Fl/Lt. Stanley Evans 142213 RAFVR Age 30. Killed

Fl/Eng: Fl/Sgt. Rex Edward Greenfield 1321982 RAFVR Age 20. Killed

Nav: Fl/Lt. Albert Dickinson 143854 RAFVR Age 24. Killed

Air/Bmr: P/O. Kenneth Duncan Matheson NZ/425122 RNZAF Age 34. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: P/O. Daniel Sutcliffe Heys 173145 RAFVR Age 20. Killed

Air/Gnr: P/O. George William Brockway J/85535 RCAF Age 21. Killed

Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Thomas Johnson Hirst 1101877 RAFVR Age 22. Killed

REASON FOR LOSS:

Taking off from RAF Oakington, Cambridgeshire at 22:33 hrs on the city of Nuremberg.

Part of a huge raid of over 795 aircraft, mainly Lancasters, also one of the costliest in the history of Bomber Command in a single operation with 105 aircraft lost (including accidents on take off and landing) with over 500 aircrew killed. 3 lost from this squadron alone. They began their bombing run at around 01:28 hrs. on the morning of the 31st. March over Nuremberg.

The majority of the bomber stream were intercepted during the outbound flight (over 80 lost during this phase) Lt. Kurt Gabler (1) of 9./JG 300 in a Bf109 G-6 shot down JB722 at 01:25 hrs. However, during the engagement the crew of the Lancaster also managed to shoot down the Bf109 - the pilot escaped with his life after baling out over Gütenburg. (Information courtesy of the Kracker Archive also on this website)

The actual raid on Nürnberg was classed as a failure with many bombers missing the target area.

Left: A detailed account of this operation has been described in Martin Middlebrooks publication ‘The Nuremberg Raid’ ISBN-13: 978-1844158751 (Also available in softcover)

The others lost from the squadron:

Lancaster III ND443 MG-L Flown by Sq/Ldr. Colin Howard Wilson - all 7 crew killed.

Lancaster III ND350 MG-Z Flown by Fl/Lt. A.H. Macgillivray of the RCAF crashed on return to base - all crew surviving after the aircraft caught fire.

(1) Lt. Kurt Gabler survived the war with 11 day and 4 night claims to his credit. No further details of his post war career.

Burial details:

Originally buried at Fürth Cemetery on the outskirts if Nuremberg - reinterred after the end of the war in Dumbach.

Fl/Lt. Stanley Evans. Durnbach War Cemetery. Grave 8.B.6. Son of John Richard Williams Evans, and Sarah Jane Evans, of Leicester, husband of Cecilia Evans, of Humberstone, Leicester, England.

Fl/Sgt. Rex Edward Greenfield. Durnbach War Cemetery. Collective grave 8.B.20-25. Son of Frederick Henry Cecil Greenfield, and of Florence Roxana Greenfield, of Clacton-on-Sea, Essex, husband of Joan Eileen Greenfield, of St. Pancras, London, England.

Fl/Lt. Albert Dickinson. Durnbach War Cemetery. Grave 8.B.7. Son of John Henry and Emma Dickinson, of Washingborough, Lincolnshire, England.

P/O. Kenneth Duncan Matheson. Durnbach War Cemetery. Grave 8.B.8. Born on the 29th September 1909 the son of William Donald and Blanche Matheson (née Wilton), husband of Edna May Matheson (née Coulson), of Lower Hutt, Wellington, New Zealand. Service details: New Zealand Army, 15th Coastal Battery for 8 years, transferred to RNZAF as an Aircrafthand on the 30th May 1942 - Remastered as Air Observer on 9th July 1942 - embarked for Canada 02nd October 1942 and then attached to the RCAF on the 14th October 1942 - promoted to Sergeant 19th February 1943, remastered as Air Observer/Air Bomber - attached to RAF and travelled to New York to embark for England on 09th March 1943 - served at various training units receiving training on the Wellington, Halifax and Lancasters. Awarded the Pathfinder Badge 18th January 1944 - Commissioned on the 23rd February 1944. Completed some 25 operations.

P/O. Daniel Sutcliffe Heys. Durnbach War Cemetery. Collective grave 8.B.20-25. Son of Frank Sutcliffe Heys, and of Jane Isabelle Heys, of Harrow Weald, Middlesex, England.

P/O. George William Brockway. Durnbach War Cemetery. Collective grave 8.B.20-25. Son of George and Alice Hirst, of Weedon, Northamptonshire, England. Believed to have been from Ontario, Canada. This was his 26th operation.

Fl/Sgt. Thomas Johnson Hirst. Durnbach War Cemetery. Collective grave 8.B.20-25. Son of William and Annie Wilson, husband of Joyce H. Wilson, of Bowdon, Cheshire, England.

Researched for Mark Hampson-Tindale - relative of P/O. Matheson. With thanks to Erroll Martyn - author of the 'For Your Tomorrow Volumes'. Sources as quoted below. Also to the great people on the Wings Over New Zealand Forum.

KTY/SY 18-07-2016

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: 18 July 2016, 07:43