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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
25/26.08.1944 No. 75 Squadron Lancaster III LM593 AA-N F/O. Fleming

Operation: Opel motor works, Russelsheim

Date: 25/26th August 1944 (Friday/Saturday)

Unit: No. 75 Squadron

Type: Lancaster III

Serial: LM593

Code: AA-N

Base: RAF Mepal, Cambridgeshire

Location: Nunkirchen, Germany

Pilot: F/O. James Allan Fleming NZ/422382 RNZAF Age 27. Killed

Fl/Eng: Sgt. Kenneth Eric Croxon 1893473 RAFVR Age ? Killed

Nav: F/O. James Atkinson Dale NZ/425562 RNZAF Age 27. Killed (1)

Air/Bmr: Fl/Sgt. Frank Arthur Vincent 395910 RAFVR Age 21. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Eric Garforth 2206796 RAFVR Age 21. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Edwin Slater 2210570 RAFVR Age 20. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Alan Raymond Bryce Stewart 1344346 RAFVR Age ? Killed

REASON FOR LOSS:

Taking off at 20:25 hrs. from RAF Mepal in Cambridgeshire.

A total of 412 Lancasters took part in this raid and over 17 were lost in fierce battles over the target area several German night fighters were also lost. The Pathfinder marking was accurate and the raid was successfully completed.

An official German report says that the forge and the gearbox assembly plant were put out of action for several weeks, but 90% of the machine tools in other departments escaped damage. The assembly line and part of the press works were able to re-commence work 2 days later and lorry assembly was not affected because of considerable stocks of ready made parts. 179 people were killed in the raid but their nationalities were not recorded.

Above left: Jim Mackay?, John Cecil Turner, Jim Pryde, Jim Ladd, Butch Fleming, ?Sgt. Francis Scott. The three squatting down - ? Braddock, Ross Pollock and Edgar Lawrence Burke. Above right: Russell Young, F/O. James Allan Fleming, Sgt. Francis Scott, Two in the centre front of back row from left: Bob Vancy? and F/O. Euan Wilfred McLachlan, two chaps each side of that row: Les Brown and ‘Bubs’ Richards. Two chaps at the front from left: Dave Thomas? Fl/Sgt John Cecil Turner. (courtesy Jan Field-Dodgson)

The Squadron were to lose another crew during this operation: Lancaster I LL866 AA-S Flown by 28 year old, P/O. Richard Stockdale Barker NZ/421345 RNZAF - Killed with all 6 other crew.


(1) The family of F/O. James Dale were also suffering the loss of another son. 25 year old, P/O. Thomas Wilson Dale NZ/428085 RNZAF went missing on the 17th June on an operation to provide bomber support for operations to Sterkgrade flying a 199 Squadron Stirling III LJ531 EX-N. All 8 crew members were listed as lost without trace.

Burial details:

F/O. James Allan Fleming. Rheinberg War Cemetery. Coll. grave 8.K.8-10. Son of Thomas and Eva Fleming, of Opotiki, Auckland, New Zealand. (544 flying hours logged - his 23rd operation)

Sgt. Kenneth Eric Croxon. Rheinberg War Cemetery. Coll. grave 8.K.8-10. No further details - are you able to assist?

F/O. James Atkinson Dale. Rheinberg War Cemetery. Coll. grave 8.K.8-10. Born on the 12th May 1919, the son of James Murray Dale and Maude Mary Dale, of Wellington City, New Zealand. (381 flying hours logged - his 22nd operation) His brother, P/O. Thomas Wilson Dale is remembered on the Runnymede Memorial. Panel 263. (484 flying hours logged)

Fl/Sgt. Frank Arthur Vincent. Rheinberg War Cemetery. Coll. grave 8.K.8-10. Son of Arthur Edward and Muriel Ada Vincent, of Felixstowe, Suffolk, England. Epitaph reads: “ To Our Darling Frank, Treasured Memories, Mum, Dad, Sister and Queenie.”

Sgt. Eric Garforth. Rheinberg War Cemetery. Coll. grave 8.K.8-10. Son of Percy and Mary Garforth, of Dewsbury, Yorkshire, England. Epitaph reads “Thy Will Be Done.”

Sgt. Edwin Slater. Rheinberg War Cemetery. Joint grave 8.K.6-7. Son of Margaret Alice Slater, of Hollinwood, Oldham, Lancashire, England.

Sgt. Alan Raymond Bryce Stewart. Rheinberg War Cemetery. Joint grave 8.K.6-7. No further details - are you able to assist?

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to Jan Field-Dodgson (relative of the pilot, Sgt. Francis Scott and whose album these photographs were scanned - April 2017) Auckland War Memorial Museum. Other sources as well as Errol Martyn - For Your Tomorrow Vol’s 1-3 shown below.

KTY - 30.04.2017

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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