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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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218 Squadron crest
27/28.01.1943 No. 218 Squadron Stirling I N6077 HA-V P/O. Arthur E. Gough

Operation: Gardening

Date: 27/28th January 1943 (Wednesday/Thursday)

Unit: No. 218 Squadron

Type: Stirling I

Serial: N6077

Code: HA-V

Base: RAF Downham Market, Norfolk.

Location: Dassel, Germany

Pilot: P/O. Arthur Edward Gough 133219 RAFVR Age 20. Killed

Pilot 2: P/O. Kenneth Alsey Taylor 568299 RAFVR Age 23. Killed

Fl/Eng: Sgt. Edward John Forward 568299 RAF Age 24. Killed

Obs: Sgt. Geoffrey Charles Layley 137342 RAFVR Age 23. Killed (1)

Air/Bmr: Sgt. Norman Whitehead 1213624 RAFVR Age 20. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. George Leslie Banks 1113233 RAFVR Age 31. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Loreng Charles Ehrhart 964374 RAFVR Age 23. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. William E. Jackson 1281390 RAFVR PoW No: 27380 Camps 8B - Stalag Teschen, 344 - Stalag Lamsdorf) (2)

Relatives of Sgt. Banks contacted us in November 2013 and would like to be in contact with other crew families.


Left Downham Market at 17:03 hrs for mine laying duties in the Sweet Pea region (Rostock and Arcane) of the Baltic. Homebound at 400 feet, flew into high ground near Dassel, 21 km east north east of Hoxter.

Sgt. Bill Jackson was thrown out of the aircraft, through some trees and into snow during the crash.

Note - This Stirling was delivered to 218 Squadron ex-works on 8th March 1942 and according to the figures published in the Stirling File, it flew twenty-seven operational sorties. Battle damage in November 1942 is recorded on form AM78, but it was of a minor nature and repairs took place on site. When lost, N6077 had flown a total of 221.45 hours.

Above left: P/O. Taylor (Courtesy Colin and Brian Taylor and the sister of Kenneth Taylor, Marion Spores via Linda Ibrom) and Right: Sgt. Layley.

Sgt. George Leslie Banks shown on the left (courtesy Susan Henshall)

(1) His brother Ronald George was also in the RAF and was sadly killed on 14/15th of January 1944 in 7 Squadron.

(2) Bill Jackson wrote a comprehensive book on his time with 218 Squadron and contains further details of this loss. Titled 'Three Stripes and Four Brownings - A True Story of WWII by a Lone Survivor'. ISBN: 0-919899-14-5.

Left: 'Three Stripes and Four Brownings - A True Story of WWII by a Lone Survivor'.

Burial details:

P/O. Arthur Edward Gough. Hannover War Cemetery. Coll. Grave 3. A11-17. Son of George Henry and Elizabeth Jane Gough of Kenton, Middlesex, England.

P/O. Kenneth Alsey Taylor. Hannover War Cemetery. Coll. Grave 3. A11-17. Son of Thomas Alsey and Ethel Taylor of Streatham, London, England.

Sgt. Edward John Forward. Hannover War Cemetery. Coll. Grave 3. A11-17. Son of John Lee and Lily Forward of Trallwn, Glamorgan, Wales.

Sgt. Geoffrey Charles Layley. Hannover War Cemetery. Coll. Grave 3. A11-17. Further information: Son of Arthur Wilfred and Flora Victoria Layley of Highclere, Hampshire, England.

Press cutting shown right on the loss of the Layley brothers.

His brother Ronald George was also in the R.A.F. and was sadly killed on 14/15th of January 1944 in 7 Squadron. Geoffrey Layley attended St. Bartholemews School and is remembered a being a quiet person who took up farming after leaving school. At the outset of war he joined the Army, later transferring to the R.A.F.V.R.

Sgt. Norman Whitehead. Hannover War Cemetery. Coll. Grave 3. A11-17. Son of Norman and Martha Whitehead of Almondbury, Huddersfield, Yorkshire, England.

Sgt. George Leslie Banks. Hannover War Cemetery. Coll. Grave 3. A11-17. Son of George and Eva Banks of Northenden, Lancashire, England.

Sgt. Loreng Charles Ehrhart. Hannover War Cemetery. Coll. Grave 3. A11-17. Son of Carl and Leonie Marie (nee Vervenne) Ehrhart of London, England. Born Marylebone in the March 1920 Qtr.

Researched by Aircrew Remembered, researcher and specialist genealogist Linda Ibrom for relatives of this crew.

Thanks to Colin and Brian Taylor and P/O. Taylor’s sister Marion Spores for the uniformed photo. Also our thanks go to Katherine Garrett for the information and school magazine excerpt on the Layley brothers. Information and school magazine excerpt on the Layley brothers to Katherine Garrett. We hope to receive further information from the niece of Sgt Banks, Susan Henshall and Michael Long, nephew of the pilot P/O. Gough. Oliver Clutton-Brook "Footprints On The Sands Of Time" for Sgt. Jackson PoW information. Also to Dave Champion for details on Sgt. Ehrhart - March 2019.

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, Michel Beckers, Major Fred Paradie (RCAF) and MWO François Dutil (RCAF) - Paradie Archive (on this site), Jean Schadskaje, Major Jack O'Connor USAF (Retd.), 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', Franek Grabowski, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of CWGC, UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, New Zealand National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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