Date: 24th/25th April 1944 (Monday/Tuesday)
Unit: 49 Squadron
Type: Lancaster III
Base: RAF Fiskerton, Lincolnshire
Location: Pastetten, Germany
Pilot: Plt Off Frank Clark 168675 RAFVR Age 29. Killed
Flt Eng: Sgt. Frank Shaw 1672605 RAFVR Age 22. Killed
Nav: Sgt. Douglas Rolfe 1469579 RAFVR Age 21. Killed
Air Bmr: Flt Sgt Daniel Gilbert Adams RAFVR Age 27. Killed
WOp/Air Gnr: Flt.Sgt Terence Robert Connatty 1128106 RAFVR Age 23. Killed
Air Gnr: Sgt Frederick John Castle 1191283 RAFVR Age 23. Killed
Air Gnr: Flt Sgt Frank William Hubbard 1225889 RAFVR Age 35. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Took off at 21:03 hrs from RAF Fiskerton to take part in another night operation against the city of München. What is classed as a very successful raid in which 234 Lancasters and 16 Mosquitoes took part. The marking went well and the bombing very accurate with the hits concentrated in the centre of the city.
German reports state that 1,104 buildings were destroyed, 1,367 severely damaged. Mostly these were domestic homes but also included 48 public buildings, 30 schools, 24 police and air raid posts, 18 military buildings, 13 churches and 7 hospitals. Casualties on the ground amounted to 88 people killed, 2,945 injured and 30,000 civilians losings their homes. The very low loss of life on the ground is unexplained but the reports are from the München Bundesarchiv, Freiburg.
49 Squadron Lancasters at RAF Fiskerton
Allied losses totalled 11 Lancasters. ND537 was claimed by Oblt. Heinz Rökker, his 20th Abschuss, from 2./NJG2, 20-30 km NNE of München at 5.000m at 02:05 hrs.
The aircraft was coned by 1./Flakscheinw Abt.508, also claimed by Flak of 2., 3. & 6./schw. Flak Abt. 571, 5./schw. Flak Abt 384, 2./schw. Flak Abt. 457 ('Lancaster Reithofen at 01:53 hrs'). The victory for Oblt. Rökker on the 28.07.1944. (Nachtjagd Combat Archive (16 March 1944 - 11 May 1944) Part 2 - Theo Boiten)
Left: Oblt. Heinz Rökker was to survive the war with a total of 65 confirmed victories.
Crew graves at Durnbach War Cemetery (courtesy David Franklin - all are available at high resolution free of charge, please contact us)
The crew were first buried at München-Westenfriedhof cemetery and then reinterred after the war as shown below.
Plt Off Frank Clark. Durnbach War Cemetery. Collective grave 7E.14-17. Son of Charles and Margaret E. Clark, of Silsden, Yorkshire, England.
Sgt. Frank Shaw. Durnbach War Cemetery. Collective grave 7E.14-17. Son of Joseph and Alice Shaw, of Heworth Green, York, England.
Sgt. Douglas Rolfe. Durnbach War Cemetery. Collective grave 7E.14-17. Son of Joseph Thomas Rolfe and Mary Emma Rolfe, of Handsworth, Sheffield, England.
Left: The Rolfe family headstone which commemorates Sgt. Douglas Rolfe (Courtesy of Sally Jowitt)
Flt Sgt Daniel Gilbert Adams. Durnbach War Cemetery. Collective grave 7E.14-17. Son of Daniel and Henrietta Adams, husband of Eileen Ethel Maud Adams, of Stoke Newington, London, England.
Flt Sgt Terence Robert Connatty. Durnbach War Cemetery. Collective grave 7E.14-17. Son of Robert George and Isabella Magdalene Connatty, of Winton, Bournemouth, Hampshire, England.
Sgt Frederick John Castle. Durnbach War Cemetery. Collective grave 7E.14-17. Son of Ernest George and Emily Castle, of Stanstead Abbots, Hertfordshire, England.
Flt Sgt Frank William Hubbard. Durnbach War Cemetery. Collective grave 7E.14-17. Son of James William and Alice Marion Hubbard, of Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, husband of Audrey Lilian Elsie Hubbard, of Great Yarmouth, England.
Researched by Aircrew Remembered and dedicated to the relatives of this crew. Thanks to Sally Jowitt for the image of the Rolfe family headstone (Mar 2021).