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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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44 Squadron Crest
02/03.02.1945 No. 44 Squadron Lancaster I SW251 KM-X Fl/Lt. Gallivan

Operation: Karlsruhe, Germany

Date: 02/03rd February 1945 (Friday/Saturday)

Unit: No. 44 Squadron

Type: Lancaster Mk I

Serial: SW251

Code: KM-X

Base: RAF Spilsby, Lincolnshire

Location: Between Staffort and Büchenau, Germany

Pilot: Fl/Lt. Thomas Edward Gallivan J/11351 RCAF Age 22. Killed

Fl/Eng: Sgt. Albert Balloch 710349 RAFVR Age 23. Killed

Nav: F/O. Oswald Walter Armstrong J/40427 RCAF Age 22. Killed

Air/Bmr: Fl/Sgt. Lawrence Herbert Beaumont R/148844 RCAF Age 21. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Stanley Jarvis Bowden 1458696 RAFVR Age 22. Killed

Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Edward Charles Dufresne R/262929 RCAF Age 18. Killed

Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Donald Wilfred Johnson R/274586 RCAF Age 19. Killed

REASON FOR LOSS:

Taking off from RAF Spilsby in Lincolnshire at 19:48 hrs to bomb Karlsruhre with 250 Lancasters and 11 Mosquitoes from 11 Group. Sadly, cloud cover over the target resulted in the operation being a complete failure on this, the last major operation to the city by the RAF of the war. 14 Lancasters were lost!

It is thought that they were shot down by Flak, although many claims by the Luftwaffe night fighters were unable to provide accurate claims.

The Squadron lost another crew during this operation:

Lancaster I PA195 KM-V Flown by 21 year old, F/O. Charles Worrall 160210 RAFVR from Salisbury, Southern Rhodesia - killed with all 6 other crew. All buried at Durnbach War Cemetery.

Burial details:

Families of at least 4 of the crew were not informed of their burial locations until 1946 when the graves were finally discovered in Karlsruhre, Germany. (Consequently some names also appear on the Runnymede Memorial - although not now listed by the CWGC) Later reinterred at Durnbach.

Fl/Lt. Thomas Edward Gallivan. Durnbach War Cemetery, Germany. Joint grave 1.D.22-23. Son of Thomas G. Gallivan and Elizabeth M. Gallivan, of Sydney, Nova Scotia. Canada

Sgt. Albert Balloch. Durnbach War Cemetery, Germany. Joint grave 1.D.22-23. Son of Robert Howie Balloch and May Balloch, of Broken Hill, Northern Rhodesia.

F/O. Oswald Walter Armstrong. Durnbach War Cemetery, Germany. Joint grave 1.D.24-25. Son of Walter and Mabel Armstrong (née Fisher), of Rossburn, Manitoba, Canada, one of 7 children. Further information: Previously employed with the Rossburn branch of the Bank of Toronto, Canada. Enlisted in 1942 and trained at No. 7 Air Observer School in Prairie - posted overseas in January 1943.

Armstrong Hill East of Tadoule Lake, Manitoba, Canada was named after him in 1995.

Fl/Sgt. Lawrence Herbert Beaumont. Durnbach War Cemetery, Germany. Coll. grave 4.A.28-30. Believed to be from Glen Williams, Ontario, Canada. No further details - are you able to assist?

Sgt. Stanley Jarvis Bowden. Durnbach War Cemetery, Germany. Coll. grave 4.A.28-30. Son of Richard and Rose Bowden, of Bootle, Lancashire, husband of Edna Florence Bowden.

Fl/Sgt. Edward Charles Dufresne. Durnbach War Cemetery, Germany. Coll. grave 4.A.28-30. Son of Mr. and Mrs. Fredrick Dufresne, of Lancaster, Ontario, Canada.

Fl/Sgt. Donald Wilfred Johnson. Durnbach War Cemetery, Germany. Joint grave 1.D.24-25. Son of Mr. and Mrs. W. B. Johnson, of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Researched - Michel Beckers for Aircrew Remembered, October 2016. Photographs from the Michel Beckers collection. For further details our thanks to the following:

MB - 23.10.2016

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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Last Modified: 23 October 2016, 09:16