13/14.05.1943 No. 149 Squadron Stirling III BK726 OJ-Z P/O. Forsyth
Operation: Bochum Germany
Date: 13/14th May 1943 (Thursday/Friday)
Unit: No. 149 Squadron
Type: Stirling III
Base: RAF Lakenheath, Suffolk
Location: 1/2 Miles S.W of Immerath Germany
Pilot: P/O. Harold Earl Forsyth J/17672 RCAF Age 20. Killed
Fl/Eng: Sgt. James Joseph Ryan 614624 RAF Age 22. Killed
Nav: Fl/Sgt. Donald Francis McDonald R/93881 RCAF Age 25. Killed
Air/Bmr: W/O.II Yvon Jean Baptiste Guepin R/108356 RCAF Age 21. Killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: P/O. Donald Ernest Sharpe 144690 RAFVR Age 21. Killed
Air/Gnr: Sgt. Laurence Philip Barnett 1319840 RAFVR Age 21. Killed
Air/Gnr: Sgt. William McCall 651839 RAF Age 21. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off at 00.05 hrs to join 441 aircraft made up from 135 Halifaxes, 104 Wellingtons, 95 Stirlings and 10 Mosquitoes.
The raid did start well but the bombers were drawn away by decoy markers made by the Germans. It is reported that 394 buildings were destroyed, a further 716 seriously damaged with 302 people killed on the ground.
29 allied aircraft were lost on this raid with total crew killed - 102, PoW - 54. Just a single Crew member evading capture.
149 Squadron lost another aircraft and crew on this operation.
Stirling III BF479 OJ-E Flown by F/O. Leslie Cyril Martin 124513 RAFVR, killed with all other 7 crew.
Shot down by German Nightfighter Ofr. Fritz Schellwat of 5/NJG1 with his Bordfunker (radio/op) Ofr. Lüdecke at 02:02 hrs - his 9th claim of the war. He went on to survive the war with 17 claims, despite being shot down and wounded on the 15th June 1943 in his Bf110.
P/O. Harold Earl Forsyth. Rheinberg War Cemetery, Germany. Grave 2.F.20. Son of J. H. Forsyth and Edith S. Forsyth, of Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada.
Sgt. James Joseph Ryan. Rheinberg War Cemetery, Germany Collective grave 2.G.1-12. Son of Leonard and Mary Agnes Ryan, of Birch Vale, Derbyshire, England.
Fl/Sgt. Donald Francis McDonald. Rheinberg War Cemetery, Germany Collective grave 2.G.1-12. Son of George E. McDonald and Julia E. McDonald, of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
W/O.II Yvon Jean Baptiste Guepin. Rheinberg War Cemetery, Germany. Grave 2.F.21. Son of Francis and Anne Guepin, of Montreal, Province of Quebec, Canada.
P/O. Donald Ernest Sharpe. Rheinberg War Cemetery, Germany. Grave 2.F.22. Son of Ernest William and Florence Mary Sharpe, of Hinckley, Leicestershire, England.
Sgt. Laurence Philip Barnett. Rheinberg War Cemetery, Germany. Grave 2.F.23. Son of Maurice and Julia Barnett. No further details - are you able to assist?
Sgt. William McCall. Rheinberg War Cemetery, Germany Collective grave 2.G.1-12. Son of Ogilvie and Georgina McCall, of New Hartley, Northumberland, England.
Researcher: Michel Beckers for Aircrew Remembered April 2017. With thanks to Des Philippet for grave photographs, James Marlen for photograph of Sgt. McCall, others the collection of Michel Beckers.