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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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103 Squadron Crest
25/26.07.1943 No. 103 Squadron Lancaster III ED884 PM-L Fl/Lt. Harold F. Ewer DFC

Operation: Essen

Date: 25/26th July 1943 (Sunday/Monday)

Unit: 103 squadron

Type: Lancaster III

Serial No: ED884

Code: PM-L

Base: RAF Elsham Wolds, Lincolnshire.

Location: Borbeck near Essen - target area

Pilot: Fl/Lt. Harold Frederick Ewer DFC J/16328 RCAF Age 25. Killed

Fl/Eng: Sgt. Jack William George Wilson 576865 RAF Age 18. Killed

Nav: Sgt. Derek Williams DFM 149140 RAFVR Age ? Killed.

Air/Bmr: Sgt. Stanley Robson DFM 1049564 RAFVR Age 23. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Stanley Henry Welch 1291444 RAFVR Age 21. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. James Richard Fitch R/83848 RCAF Age 22. Killed

Air/Gnr rear: Fl/Sgt. Francis Ernest Juggins 1379544 RAFVR  Age 31. Killed

Reason for Loss:

Took off at 21.59 Hrs. from RAF Elsham Wolds. Crashed at Borbeck, midway between Oberhausen and Essen. All were initially taken to Dusseldorf for burial in the Nordfriedhof. 

     

It is thought that ED884 was shot down by either Uffz. Wolfgang  Knobloch (1) or Fw. Horst Heinstein (2) both of 5./JG Hermann. Combat taking place over Essen between 4,600 and 7,000 mtrs at around 01.15 hrs.

                                                 

Lancaster ED884 Wireless Operator, Sgt. Stanley Henry Welch (courtesy Terry and Owen Welch)

The DFM’s awarded to Sgt. Williams and Sgt. Robson were promulgated on 28th July 1944. At 18, Sgt. Wilson was amongst the youngest to die on bomber operations in 1943

(1) Uffz. Wolfgang  Knobloc, his first claim of the war. He was wounded following a bale out during air combat with U.S. fighters near Bremervörde on the 5th August 1943. No details following this.

(2) Fw. Horst Heinstein, also his first claim of the war and his last as he was killed on the 27/28 August 1943 in a crash near Schweinfurt. 

     

Burial details:

Since the ending of hostilities, their remains have been brought to the Reichswald Forest War Cemetery from their original burial place, the Dusseldorf Military Cemetery. 

Fl/Lt. Harold Frederick Ewer DFC. Reichswald War Cemetery. Grave 6.D.16. Son of Harold Banff and Effie Davis Ewer of Westbank, British Columbia, Canada

Sgt. Jack William George Wilson. Reichswald War Cemetery.Grave 6.D.17. Son of John and Nellie M Wilson and ward of C.K.Godwin of Keynsham, Somerset, England.

Sgt. Derek Williams DFM. Reichswald War Cemetery. Grave 6.E.4. NoK details currently not available - are you able to assist completion of these and any other information?

Sgt. Stanley Robson DFM. Reichswald War Cemetery. Grave 6.D.15. Son of Henry and Annie Robson of Newcastle-on-Tyne, England.

Sgt. Stanley Henry Welch. Reichswald War Cemetery. Grave 6.F.1. Son of Bertie and Dorothy and elder brother of Roy, Terry and Peter Welch of 23,Whitesmead Road, Stevenage, Hertfordshire, England. Further information: Stanley worked as a fitter for Stevenage Gas Works and enjoyed playing the Euphonium in his local Salvation Army band before enlisting in the RAF in January 1940. In 1943 after attending 1656 Conversion Unit he joined 103 Squadron flying on 29 operational missions before his death. Also remembered on the Stevenage war memorial.

Sgt. James Richard Fitch. Reichswald War Cemetery. Grave 6.E.1. Son of Richard Walter and Della Marie Fitch of Markdale, Ontario, Canada.

Fl/Sgt. Francis Ernest Juggins. Reichswald War Cemetery. Grave 6.D.18. Son of Ernest John and Lilian Rosena Juggins and husband of Lilian Juggins.

Researched by Aircrew Remembered, researcher and specialist genealogist Linda Ibrom for relatives of this crew. Special thanks to Terry and Owen Welch and Hertfordshire memories site.

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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