20/21.10.1943 No. 619 Squadron Lancaster III EE114 PG-P P/O. C. Firth
Date: 20/21st October 1943 (Wednesday/Thursday)
Unit: No. 619 Squadron
Type: Lancaster III
Base: RAF Woodhall Spa, Lincolnshire.
Location: Between Orrel and Langwedel, 7 km South West Rotenburg
Pilot: P/O. Christopher Firth 146984 RAFVR Age 22. Killed
Fl/Eng: Sgt. George Myron Weighell 567856 RAF Age 24. Killed
Nav: Fl/Sgt. Charles Notley Dawson Wright R/131827 RCAF Age 21. Killed
Air/Bmr: Sgt. Douglas Demaine 157592 RAFVR Age 20. Killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. George Walter Dillnutt 1078529 RAFVR Age 32. Killed
Air/Gnr: Sgt. Myrddin Jones 1602070 RAFVR Age 21. Killed
Air/Gnr: Sgt. Alfred George Osborne 1613719 RAFVR Age 20. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
The crew left RAF Woodhall Spa at 17.18 hrs. to attack the very distant German city of Leipzig. This was the first serious raid with 358 Lancasters taking part.
Possible crew of Lancaster EE114 with Sgt. Douglas Demaine rear row right and probably Sgt. George Walter Dillnutt front row right - Understood to have been taken in the summer of 1943, just months before they were lost. (courtesy Keith Evetts)
The weather conditions at the time were described as ‘appalling’ which resulted in very scattered bombing.
Right: Wireless Operator/Air Gunner for EE114 Sgt. George Walter Dillnutt (courtesy Dorothy Baker)
No reports were available form Leipzig regarding damage done but the cost to the allied was huge with 16 Lancaster's lost - regarded as an acceptable figure for this amount of aircraft!
A further 5 crashed or were damaged during landing on return.
EE114 crashed at Langwedel, 7 km South West Rotenburg, no nightfighter claims were made for this loss.
Following information sent by a relative of Sgt. Douglas Demaine Mr. Keith Evetts, in the way of a communique from the Air Ministry dated 6th December 1945 we now have additional details:
The Germans reported that the aircraft dropped incendiaries at Wittingen and that they understood that the crew were in the process of jettisoning other gear to lighten the aircraft. The Lancaster crashed very suddenly between Orrel and Langwedel. They reported that death must have been instantaneous as the steepness of the decent is clear by the undamaged pine trees behind the point of impact.
Above and left: Hanover War Cemetery (courtesy BobP)
The crew were initially buried at a civil cemetery in Langwedel prior to re-internment at Hanover after war end.
P/O. Christopher Firth. Hanover War Cemetery. Grave 6.G.14. Son of Stephen and Elizabeth Firth and husband of Audrey Firth of Dunston, Gateshead, Co.Durham, England. Audrey was pregnant and when the baby girl was born she was christened Christine after the father who never saw her. Chris' brother Tom married Audrey and brought Christine up as his own.
Sgt. George Myron Weighell. Hanover War Cemetery. Coll. Grave 6.G.10-12. Son of George and Julie Weighell, husband of Margaret Joan Weighell of Lavenham, Suffolk, England.
Fl/Sgt. Charles Notley Dawson Wright. Hanover War Cemetery. Coll. Grave 6.G.10-12. Son of John Lord and Anne Margaret Wright of Alberta, Canada.
Sgt. Douglas Demaine. Hanover War Cemetery. Coll. Grave 6.G.10-12. Son of Charles Clayton and Alice Demaine of Birmingham, grandson of Mrs F. Demaine of Hall Green, Birmingham, England.
Sgt. George Walter Dillnutt. Hanover War Cemetery. Grave 6.G.13. Son of William Charles and Emma Jane Dillnutt of East Moss Side, Manchester, England.
Sgt. Myrddin Jones. Hanover War Cemetery. Grave 6.G.9. Son of John and Mary Jones of Bowstreet, Cardiganshire, Wales.
Sgt. Alfred George Osborne. Hanover War Cemetery. Grave 6.G.8. Son of Robert George and Grace Kathleen Osborne of Ipswich, Suffolk, England.
Researched by Aircrew Remembered, researcher and specialist genealogist Linda Ibrom for relatives of this crew. Photo credit of Sergeant George Dillnutt to Dorothy Baker (Niece). Also thanks to Keith Evetts, relative of Sgt. Douglas Demaine for crash details (copy of this report is held in our records) BobP from Find a Grave for photo of graves. Thanks to the nephew of Plt.Off. Firth for the additional NoK information.