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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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75 Squadron Crest
27/28.05.1944 No. 75 Squadron Lancaster III ND908 AA-M Fl/Lt. S.F. Fauvel

Operation: Aachen

Date: 27/28th May 1944 (Saturday/Sunday)

Unit: No. 75 Squadron

Type: Lancaster III

Serial: ND908

Code: AA-M

Base: RAF Mepal, Cambridgeshire

Location: Poelkapelle, Belgium

Pilot: Fl/Lt. Spencer Francis Fauvel NZ/414971 RNZAF Age 21. Killed

Pilot 2: F/O. Francis Henry Clark Lukey NZ/42990 RNZAF Age 23. Killed

Fl/Eng: Sgt. Kenneth Clinch 1288144 RAFVR Age ? Killed

Nav: F/O. Frederick William Clare 144607 RAFVR Age 25. Killed

Air/Bmr: P/O. Maurice Isidore Joseph Fitzgerald 176576 RAFVR Age 20. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: P/O. Douglas William Marvin DFC. 176037 RAFVR Age 21. Killed

Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Kenneth Wilfred Gower NZ/421272 RNZAF Age 28. Killed

Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. James Rooker Mason NZ/421307 RNZAF Age 27. Killed

REASON FOR LOSS:

Taking off from RAF Mepal in Cambridgeshire at 00:48 hrs to bomb the Rothe Erde railway yards. 162 Lancaster with 8 Mosquitoes from 1,3 and 8 Group taking part.

This, the second attack within days on the target had dramatic effect with severe damage caused but also with some of the bombs hitting the suburbs of Aachen, including a hospital, an army barracks, army stores and various other industrial buildings. 167 people were killed on the ground with a further 164 injured - some 603 civilian homes were also hit. The raid from start to finish lasted just 12 minutes.

The allies lost 13 aircraft - 77 crew members killed, 8 taken PoW with 2 evading capture. 7 other crew escaped injury after returning at crash landing their Lancaster.

No night fighter claims for this aircraft so it is possible that it was hi by the many ant-aircraft batteries in the area. The aircraft crashed at Poelkapelle in Belgium - none of the crew survived.The squadron lost another crew on this operation:

Lancaster III ND802 AA-D Flown by 28 year old, Sgt. Francis Alexander Jack Scott NZ/421105 RNZAF on his 27th operation with 642 flying hours logged, from Canterbury, New Zealand. Killed with 2 other crew, 5 others take PoW.

Burial details:

Fl/Lt. Spencer Francis Fauvel. Wevelgem Communal Cemetery. Collective grave E. 473-474. Son of Francis Enoch Fauvel, and of Violet Annie Fauvel, of Wellington City, New Zealand. 775 flying hours logged on his 31st operation.

F/O. Francis Henry Clark Lukey. Wevelgem Communal Cemetery. Collective grave E. 473-474. Son of Frederick Clark Lukey and of Ruby May Lukey (née Gaston), of Waikari, Canterbury, New Zealand. 457 flying hours logged on his 1st operation.

Sgt. Kenneth Clinch. Wevelgem Communal Cemetery. Collective grave E. 473-474.

F/O. Frederick William Clare. Wevelgem Communal Cemetery. Collective grave E. 473-474. Son of James Thomas Clare and Theresa Clare, husband of Roma Evelyn Clare, of Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex, England.

P/O. Maurice Isidore Joseph Fitzgerald. Wevelgem Communal Cemetery. Collective grave E. 473-474. Son of Maurice and Mary Fitzgerald, of Bitterne, Southampton, England.

P/O. Douglas William Marvin. DFC. Wevelgem Communal Cemetery. Collective grave E. 473-474. Son of Horace James Marvin and Lily Mary Marvin, of Leicester, England.

Fl/Sgt. Kenneth Wilfred Gower. Wevelgem Communal Cemetery. Collective grave E. 473-474. Son of Algernon Carlyle Gower and Mary Bayly Gower, of Tututawa, Taranaki, New Zealand. 406 flying hours logged on his 30th operation.

Fl/Sgt. James Rooker Mason. Wevelgem Communal Cemetery. Collective grave E. 473-474. Son of Samuel Rooker Mason, and of Ada Henrietta Mason, of Wellsford, North Auckland, New Zealand. 403 flying hours logged on his 31st operation.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to Frank Mahieu who visited and took photographs of the graves for Aircrew Remembered in 2016. Any relative who would like a higher resolution of these Frank has given his permission for us to email them free of charge. Our thanks also the the Auckland Museum and the Weekly News of New Zealand.

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, Michel Beckers, Major Fred Paradie (RCAF) and MWO François Dutil (RCAF) - Paradie Archive (on this site), Jean Schadskaje, Major Jack O'Connor USAF (Retd.), 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', Franek Grabowski, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of CWGC, UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, New Zealand National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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