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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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425 Squadron crest
03/04.03.1943 No. 425 Squadron Wellington B III BK334 KW-B P/O. Joseph V.L. Gauthier

Operation: Hamburg

Date: 03/04th March 1943 (Wednesday/Thursday)

Unit: No. 425 Squadron (RCAF - Alouette)

Type: Wellington B III

Serial: BK334

Code: KW-B

Base: RAF Dishforth, Yorkshire

Location: Schenefeld, Germany

Pilot: P/O. Joseph Victor Leo Gauthier J/17108 RCAF Age 22. Killed (1)

Nav: P/O. Jack Glassberg J/18551 RCAF Age 21. Killed

Air/Bmr: W/O. II Joseph Jean Baptist Albert Dugal R/79463 RCAF Age 29. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: W/O. II William Clyde Forbes R/83127 RCAF Age 20. Killed

Air/Gnr: W/O. II Joseph Wilfred Maurice Edmond Lanctin R/117657 RCAF Age 24. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Joseph Englelbert Audy R/120256 RCAF Age 20. Killed


A relative of the crew contacted us in December 2014 and is seeking further information / photographs of the crew / aircraft or crash site of this aircraft. If you are able to assist please use ‘add info’ button on top right of page.


REASON FOR LOSS:

Taking off from RAF Dishforth in North Yorkshire, joining some 416 aircraft detailed to bomb Hamburg between 21.10 - 22.38 hrs. The weather conditions over the target were good with clear visibility however a mistake by the pathfinders caused most of the bombers to bomb some 13 miles downstream from the target area of the city. Some did hit the target killing 27 people, with 95 others injured on the ground. 

W/O. II Joseph Dugal with his wife, Helen Patricia (courtesy Jacques Desjardins)

425 Squadron Wellington (archives)

Over 100 fires were started which stretched the fire brigade to the limit, before they could move on to the town of Wedel, the area the other bombers delivered their load. A large naval store was bunt out as well as several other important industrial buildings. in the harbour area.

10 of the allied bombers were lost during the operation 4 Lancasters, 2 Wellingtons, 2 Halifaxes and 2 Stirlings - 6 to night fighters with the remainder, including BK334 lost to anti-aircraft fire.

(1) The brother of P/O. Joseph Gauthier was also killed during service. 24 year old W/O.I Joseph Emil Armand Gauthier R/77463 RCAF was killed whilst flying as navigator on a Dakota III KG574 with 104 Squadron. Dropping supplies to the British 14th Army when they were shot down on the 10th October 1944. Buried at Imphal War Cemetetery, India.

Crew graves (courtesy PupDawg - see credits)

Burial details:

P/O. Joseph Victor Leo Gauthier. Hamburg Cemetery. Grave 5A.A1.4. Son of Henri and Geraldine Gauthier, of Montreal, Province of Quebec, Canada. Born on the 8th March 1916

P/O. Jack Glassberg. Hamburg Cemetery. Grave 5A.A1.7. Son of Abraham and Gertrude Glassberg, of Montreal, Province of Quebec, Canada. Born on the 7th August 1921.

W/O. II Joseph Jean Baptist Albert Dugal. Hamburg Cemetery. Grave 5A.A1.4. Son of Albert and Rose Anna Dugal, of Montreal, Province of Quebec, Canada, husband of Helen Patricia Dugal, of Montreal. Born on the 5th May 1913.

W/O. II William Clyde Forbes. Hamburg Cemetery. Grave 5A.A1.8. Next of kin details unavailable. From Amherstburg, Ontario, Canada. Born on the 19th July 1917 in Windsor, Canada..

W/O. II Joseph Wilfred Maurice Edmond Lanctin. Hamburg Cemetery. Grave 5A.A1.3. Stepson of Mr. H. Lanctin, of Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada.

Sgt. Joseph Englelbert Audy. Hamburg Cemetery. Grave 5A.A1.5. Next of kin details unavailable. From Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Researched for Jacques Desjardins who’s Uncle, W/O. II Joseph Dugal was killed on this Wellington. For further details our thanks to the following, Tracey Goodwin member 46990892 for Find a Grave, grave photographs used here with permission. Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vol's. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', ‘Bomber Command Database’, 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 (Updated 2014 version), 'Paradie Archive'. Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Tom Kracker - 'Kracker Luftwaffe Archives'. Further information from these titles/organisations are available from us, just use the 'help' button on the main page above or 'add info' button also shown on this page.

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: 24 December 2014, 23:17