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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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576 Squadron Lancaster I NN750 UL-M2 Information sought on survivor?

Operation: Bonn

Date: 28/29th December 1944 (Thursday/Friday)

Unit: No. 576 Squadron

Type: Lancaster I

Serial: NN750

Code: UL-M2

Base: RAF Fiskerton, Lincolnshire.

Location: Manston, Kent

Pilot: F/O. Derrick Fletcher 179580 RAFVR Age ? Killed

Fl/Eng: Sgt. P.D. Lake RAFVR Survived.

Nav: Fl/Sgt. Charles Gerrard Campbell 1565575 RAFVR Age 22. Killed

Air/Bmr: Fl/Sgt. Kenneth Angus 1581067 RAFVR Age 22. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Leonard James Bull 1606722 RAFVR Age 20. Killed

Air/Gnr: P/O. Gordon Warren J/93781 RCAF Age 20. Killed (1)

Air/Gnr: Sgt. James Norris 1900179 RAFVR Age ? Killed

REASON FOR LOSS:

Took off from RAF Fiskerton at 15:17 hrs on an operation to bomb the railway yards in Bonn. Reports made by the Bomber Command differ than that of the German authorities - they state that considerable damage was caused, the German police state that the only damage was that done to the Victoria road bridge across the main line from Cologne to Koblenz however a great deal of damage was done generally with many buildings hit along with the University and 2 public shelters received direct hits. 486 people on the ground were killed.

Two aircraft were lost on this raid. 101 Squadron lost Lancaster PB634 SR-U flown by Fl/Lt William Parke RCAF who was killed along with 7 other crew members, when it was shot down by Fw. Richard Richter of 8./NJG2. This Lancaster NN750 was also attacked and damaged severely by a Luftwaffe night fighter.

 



Fl/Sgt. Leonard Bull (courtesy of Stephen Bull)









P/O. Fletcher and his crew did a superb job of controlling the aircraft to bring it back across the English Channel. Both elevators are understood to have been damaged and could not be used. The only way that the aircraft could be controlled was by using the trim (this was reported by the W/Op at the time). They tried to land at Manston but this was not successful so the pilot decided to open the throttles and to go around again. 

Unfortunately, while doing so, the aircraft lost too much speed, stalled and then crashed. It is reported that one crew member survived but we have no further information on Sgt. Lake. We do know that it seems he survived the war.




The superb Fiskerton Memorial dedicated to the lost crews. (origin unknown) 

The poem written by Cedric Roberts and dedicated to 57 Squadron





Graves of some of the crew (courtesy Stephen Farnell Find A Grave)






Burial details:

F/O. Derrick Fletcher. Mexborough Cemetery. Sec A. Uncons. Grave 188. No further details as yet - are you able to assist?

Fl/Sgt. Charles Gerrard Campbell. Glasgow (St. Kentigern's) Roman Catholic Cemetery. Sec. 5. Grave 175. Son of Patrick Campbell, and of Ellen Campbell (née Callaghan), of Glasgow. Scotland.

Fl/Sgt. Kenneth Angus. Cardington (St. Mary) Church Cemetery. Row H. Grave 15. Son of William Young Angus and Violette Angus, husband of Kathleen Mary Angus, of Tranmere, Birkenhead, England.

Fl/Sgt. Leonard James Bull. Dilton Marsh (Holy Trinity) Churchyard. Grave 188. Son of Charles James Bull and Beatrice Ellen Bull, of Westbury, husband of Phyllis May Bull, of Westbury, England.

P/O. Gordon Warren. Brookwood Military Cemetery. Grave 56.C.7. Son of William Shirley Warren and Edna Pearl Warren, of St. James, Manitoba, Canada.

Sgt. James Norris. Ferrybank Catholic Churchyard. Grave 71. No further details as yet - are you able to assist?

Researched for Mr Lewis Bull (via his son Stephen E. Bull) cousin of Fl/Sgt. Bull and dedicated to the relatives of this crew. With thanks to: Bill Chorley - "Bomber Command Losses Vol. 5", 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 C.W.G.C. Stephen Farnell contributor at "Find A Grave". "A Place of Honour - Manitoba War Dead"

                                            

                                       (1) Warren Lake in Manitoba is named after P/O. Warren

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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