27/28.08.1943 No. 207 Squadron Lancaster III ED627 EM-N P/O. Fitzgerald
Date: 27/28th August 1943 (Friday/Saturday)
Unit: No. 207 Squadron
Type: Lancaster III
Base: RAF Langar, Nottinghamshire
Location: Market Hohenberg, Wolpertshausen
Pilot: P/O. Arthur Marcus Fitzgerald 148128 RAFVR Age 20. Killed
Fl/Eng: Sgt. Sydney James Mitchell 1503006 RAFVR Age 38. Killed
Nav: Sgt. Cyril Herbert Pratt 1314020 RAFVR Age 20. Killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. William Walter George Addison 1313919 RAFVR Age 21. Killed
Air/Bmr: Sgt. Henry Albert Toomey 1383991 RAFVR Age 22. Killed
Air/Gnr/upper: Sgt. Stephen Preston 1541030 RAFVR Age 21. Killed
Air/Gnr/rear: Sgt John Goodwin 1603332 RAFVR Age 21. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Took off from RAF Langar, Nottinghamshire at 21.30 hrs on route to Nürnberg with another 673 bombers. 33 were lost on this attack. weather for the raid was clear with a starlit sky - not good as far as attacks from the German night fighter were concerned. However to assist the allied bombers as soon as the first wave hit Nürnbeg, "window" was dropped to jam the commentary by the German controllers on the ground.
In addition the RAF sent four PPF Mosquitoes to make a harassing raid on Duisberg. This was timed badly as the Mosquitoes dropped their bombs some two hours before the main force attacked. Most of the bombers that did not return were attacked during the run in and five were lost on the return trip. Ten German night fighters were shot down during a fierce battle over the bombing area which lasted over thirty minutes.
Oblt. Ludwig Meister of 1./NJG4, already a German ace, shot down ED627 at 01.35 hrs at a height of around 15.000 ft and the aircraft crashed at Market Hohenberg, Wolpertshausen with the loss of all on board.
We are indebted to Shaun McGuire who had studied this loss and also contributed some superb photographs and other documents to support his research. Shaun is also the cousin of the pilot P/O. Fitzgerald. Please have a look at his website (Via our links page) and sign his guest book. He has also researched other losses and we are pleased to confirm that he will contribute further to our website as we are also assisting with his.
Above: Crew of the Lancaster ED627 when they were flying Wellingtons. Left to right back row: William Addison, Henry Toomey, Cyril Pratt and in front Arthur Fitzgerald and John Goodwin
, later joined by Steve Preston shown above - we still seek details and photo of Sydney Mitchell .
The video above is by Steve Elsden, cousin of Stephen Preston, Mid Upper Gunner on Lancaster ED627 filmed on the 66th anniversary of three RAF Lancaster bomber crew deaths.
The video shows the graves of three Lancaster bomber crews killed on the same night of 28th August 1943, two shot down by the same German night fighter pilot, Hauptmann Ludwig Meister. (see Kracker Luftwaffe Archive on this site)
Shown left: Oblt. Ludwig Meister of 1./NJG4 the German night fighter ace who shot down ED627. With thanks to Shaun McGuire we have copies of the German recovery report of the crash inspection. Also touching letters sent by Ludwig Meister to Shaun in 2003.
P/O. Arthur Marcus Fitzgerald Durnbach War Cemetery. 9.J.22. Son of Gerald Fitzgerald, and Harriet McGuire.
Sgt. Sydney James Mitchell Durnbach War Cemetery. 9.J.23-28. Son of James H. Ruby A. M. Mitchell, of Higher Broughton, Salford, Lancashire, England.
Sgt. Cyril Herbert Pratt Durnbach War Cemetery. 9.J.23-28. Son of Charles William Payne and Maud Lily Pratt, of Caversham, Reading, Berkshire, England.
Sgt. William Walter George Addison Durnbach War Cemetery. 9.J.23-28. Son of William and Ellen May Addison, of Bitterne, Southampton, England.
Sgt. Henry Albert Toomey Durnbach War Cemetery. 9.J.23-28. Son of Henry Valentine and Edith Margaret, of Marble Arch, London, England. Husband of Beryl Elsie Toomey.
Sgt. Stephen Preston Durnbach War Cemetery. 9.J.23-28. Son of Stephen and Ellen Preston, of Lamberhead Green, Lancashire, England.
Sgt. John Goodwin Durnbach War Cemetery. 9.J.23-28. Son of John and Alice Lilian Goodwin, of Flackwell Heath, Buckinghamshire, England.
With thanks to the following: Shaun McGuire, David Franklin for the superb grave photographs, Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vol. 4', Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vol's. 1 and 2', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries'. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission.