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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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102 Squadron Crest
16/17.06.1944 No. 102 Squadron Halifax III MZ301 DY-M Sq/Ldr. David R. Fisher DFM, DFC

Operation: Sterkrade

Date: 16/17th June 1944 (Friday/Saturday)

Unit: No. 102 Squadron (Ceylon)

Type: Halifax III

Serial: MZ301

Code: DY-M

Base: RAF Pocklington, Yorkshire

Location: North Sea, 100 km west of Amsterdam

Pilot: Sq/Ldr. David Roy Fisher DFC, DFM. 125430 RAFVR Age 21. Missing

Fl/Eng: Sgt. Kenneth Clough 1523112 RAFVR Age 20. Missing

Nav: F/O. Albert George Striowski J/21814 RCAF Age 24. Missing

Air/Bmr: P/O. Gilbert Clark Buglass 54592 RAF Age 25. Missing

W/Op/Air/Gnr: F/O. Leonard Arthur Watts DFC. 158130 RAFVR Age ? Missing

Air/Gnr: Fl/Lt. Ralph Edward Cook 139650 RAFVR Age ? Missing

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Peter James Northern Parker 2208900 RAFVR Age 20. Missing

REASON FOR LOSS:

Took off at 22.49 Hrs from RAF Pocklington, Yorkshire. Part of a 321 aircraft raid on Sterkrade synthetic-oil plant in Northern Germany. 162 Halifaxes, 147 Lancasters and 14 Mosquitoes left to find the target area covered by a thick cloud and the markers dropped by the pathfinders very quickly disappeared. The main bomber force could do very little but bomb the demising glow of the markers through the cloud.

102 Squadron Halifax at RAF Pocklington (courtesy IWM)

RAF photographic reconnaissance and the German reports agree that the bombing was scattered, although some bombs did hit the oil plant. This had little effect on production. 21 Germans were killed on the ground and a further 6 foreign workers. 18 Houses were destroyed.

The loss to the allies was huge with a total of 21 bombers shot down by the German night fighters and another 10 by flak. This amounted to 159 aircrew being killed, 53 being made PoW.

Left: Sq/Ldr. David Roy Fisher DFC, DFM. (courtesy Phillip Manchel)

Halifax MZ301 was reported as lost without trace. Although it is listed as a ‘possible’ claim by Hptm. Paul Förster (1) of Stab I./NJG1 flying a He219 over the North Sea, 100 km west of Amsterdam, shot down at 02.20 hrs.

Four other crews were lost from 102 Squadron:

Halifax III LW192 DY-H. Flown by 22 year old, Fl/Sgt. Eric F. Braddock 177675 RAFVR from Norwood, London. Killed with all 6 other crew.
Halifax III MZ292 DY-C. Flown by 23 year old, Fl/Sgt. James G.W. Kelso 1795060 RAFVR from Portrush, Northern Ireland. Killed with all 6 other crew.
Halifax III NZ642 DY-U. Flown by Sgt. Adam J.Mcd. Barr 177680 RAFVR. Killed with 4 other crew, 2 taken PoW.
Halifax III MZ652 DY-Z. Flown by F/O. Austin V. Maxwell J/25924 RCAF. Killed with all 6 other crew.

(1) This is recorded as the 8th abschüsse for Luftwaffe ace 42 year old Hptm. Paul Förster, a veteran of WW1. He was killed at Munster-Handorf airfield during a touch and go landing practice on the 1st October 1944.

Runnymede Memorial - unusual photo taken from the inside (Aircrew Remembered July 2013)

Burial details:

None - the aircraft and crew are still classed as missing.

Sq/Ldr. David Roy Fisher DFC, DFM. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 200. Son of Walter Henry and Elizabeth Fisher, of Tonbridge, Kent, England. One of the youngest Sq/Ldrs within Bomber Command. He gained his DFM whilst with 77 Squadron after serving a full tour with them. Published in the London Gazzette on the 15th of May 1942. The DFC had been awarded for his service with 1652 HCU. Also served with 466 Squadron before joining 102 Squadron.

Sgt. Kenneth Clough. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 227. Son of Arthur George and Nora Clough, of Heaton, Newcastle-on-Tyne, England.

F/O. Albert George Striowski. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 248. Son of Julius and Matilda Striowski, of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

P/O. Gilbert Clark Buglass. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 210. Son of Gilbert C. and Annie Buglass, husband of Irene M. Buglass, of Sleaford, Lincolnshire, England.

F/O. Leonard Arthur Watts DFC. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 209. NoK details currently not available - are you able to assist completion of these and any other information? DFC effective from 16th June 1944, published in the London Gazette on the 25th January 1946.

Fl/Lt. Ralph Edward Cook. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 201. NoK details currently not available - are you able to assist completion of these and any other information?

Sgt. Peter James Northern Parker. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 235. Son of Alfred James Parker and Muriel Dorothy Parker, of Crewe, Cheshire, England.

For further details our thanks to the following, Jean Hamilton, Robert Muzeen, relatives of F/O. Albert George Striowski. Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vol's. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', ‘Bomber Command Database’, Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vol's. 1 and  2', 'Kracker Luftwaffe Archives'. Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries (Updated 2014 version), 'Paradie Archive'. Commonwealth War Graves Commission. 'Runnymede Database', Tom Kracker - 'Kracker Luftwaffe Archives'. Further information from these titles/organisations are available from us, just use the 'help' button on the main page above or 'add info' button also shown on this page.

Note: Robert Muzeen kindly visited the Runnymede Memorial in September, 2014 taking the photographs of each crew member panel. Relatives of the crew who would like the original photo of these labels are invited to contact us.

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: 02 September 2014, 20:46