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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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419 Squadron Crest
28/29.06.1943 No. 419 Squadron Halifax II JD215 VR-B F/O. Harry W. Fowler AFM

Operation: Cologne, Germany

Date: 28/29th June 1943

Unit: No. 419 Squadron

Type: Halifax Mk II

Serial: JD215

Code: VR-B

Base: RAF Middleton St.George

Location: Aalst-Waalre, just south of Eindhoven, Holland

Pilot: F/O. Harry Wilfred Fowler AFM C/14078  RCAF Age 21. Killed

Flt/Eng: Sgt. John Edwin Dickson 1368890 RAFVR Age ? Killed

Nav: F/O. Warren Bretall Mayes J/14770 RCAF Age 22. Killed

Air/Bmr: F/O. David Renwick Agnew J/21038 RCAF Age 20. Killed (1) 

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Flt/Lt. Almer Clement Raine J/5901 RCAF Age 24. Killed

Air/Gnr: Flt.Sgt. William George Otterholm R/113091 RCAF Age 28. Killed

Air/Gnr: Flt.Sgt. William Andrew Hood R/104231 RCAF Age 20. Killed


We would like to place an appeal on behalf of Raimondo Bogaars for further information and or photographs. Raimondo is hoping to place a memorial at the crash site in the future. Please contact us and your information will be forwarded.


REASON FOR LOSS:


This raid on Cologne was carried out by the largest force of Allied aircraft since the 1000 bomber raid one year earlier in May of 1942. In total 608 aircraft participated comprised of 267 Lancasters, 169 Halifaxes, 85 Wellingtons, 75 Stirlings and 12 Mosquitos. 

Despite cloud over the target and only six of the seven Pathfinder Mosquitos reaching Cologne dropping skymarkers, the raid was determined as a success. 25 aircraft failed to return from this mission.

Right: Oberst Günther Radusch

Among those lost was Halifax JD215 flown by F/O. Harry Fowler. At 02:15 hours, June 29, the Halifax was intercepted and shot down by Luftwaffe night fighter ace Oberst Günther Radusch near Eindhoven. 

Obst. Radusch was a formidable opponent who claimed three other Halifaxes that night and finished the war with a total of 65 victories, 57 of them being four engined bombers.

F/O. Fowler was awarded the Air Force Medal in recognition of his services as an instructor at No.2 Bombing and Gunnery School, Mossbank, Saskatchewan.

Left: F/O. Harry Wilfred Fowler A.F.M. (courtesy St.Thomas Times Journal / Elgin Military Museum Collection via Colin Bamford)

His citation reads:

"Sergeant Fowler is employed as a Staff Pilot in Bombing Flight. This pilot has flown 600 hours in Battle aircraft. Since joining the Air Force he has flown 1,300 hours in the air. He has shown himself to be a hard working, reliable and conscientious pilot, and has displayed exceptional keenness and devotion to duty."

The award, effective January 1, 1943, was presented to F/O Fowler at Buckingham Palace on February 23, 1943.

Fl/Lt Raine RCAF was the Squadron Signals Leader and was on his second tour of bomber operations. 

(1) Agnew Bay in Saskatchewan is named after F/O. Agnew

     

Above L-R: F/O. Fowler A.F.M. Flt/Sgt. Otterholm and F/O. Mayes.

Burial Details:

F/O. Harry Wilfred Fowler. Mierlo War Cemetery, Noord-Brabant, Netherlands. Grave VII.B.1. Son of Mr. and Mrs. H. P. Fowler, of St.Thomas, Ontario, Canada

Sgt. John Edwin Dickson. Eindhoven (Woensel) General Cemetery, Eindhoven, Netherlands. Grave Plot EE Joint Grave 74-75. N.o.K details currently not available - are you able to assist completion of these and any other information?

F/O. Warren Bretall Mayes. Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery, Grave XV.F.2. Son of Arthur H. and Vera H. Mayes, of Maywood, Illinois, USA.

F/O. David Renwick Agnew. Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery, Grave XV.F.3. Son of John Howard Agnew and Gertrude Lucy Agnew, of Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada.

Fl/Lt. Almer Clement Raine. Eindhoven (Woensel) General Cemetery, Eindhoven, Netherlands. Grave Plot EE Joint Grave 74-75. Son of Ralph T. and Edith E. Raine, of Brampton, Ontario, Canada.

Fl/Sgt. William George Otterholm. Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery, Grave XVI.B.15. Son of C. and Frances A. Otterholm, of Dixonville, Alberta, Canada.

Fl/Sgt. William Andrew Hood. Eindhoven (Woensel) General Cemetery, Eindhoven, Netherlands. Grave Plot EE Grave 36. Son of Mr. and Mrs. Wilson Hood, Bras d’Or, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Researched by Aircrew Remembered, researcher and RCAF specialist Colin Bamford for relatives of this crew. With thanks to The Elgin Military Museum, St. Thomas, Ontario for their assistance in the preparation of this article.

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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