27/28.01.1943 218 Squadron Stirling I N6077 HA:V Plt Off. Arthur E. Gough
Date: 27th/28th January 1943 (Wednesday/Thursday)
Unit: 218 Squadron
Type: Stirling I
Base: RAF Downham Market, Norfolk.
Location: Dassel, Germany
Pilot: Plt Off. Arthur Edward Gough 133219 RAFVR Age 20. Killed
2n Pilot: Plt Off. Kenneth Alsey Taylor 568299 RAFVR Age 23. Killed
Flt Eng: Sgt. Edward John Forward 568299 RAF Age 24. Killed
Navigator: Sgt. Geoffrey Charles Layley 137342 RAFVR Age 23. Killed
Bomb Aimer: Sgt. Norman Whitehead 1213624 RAFVR Age 20. Killed
WOp/Air Gnr: Sgt. George Leslie Banks 1113233 RAFVR Age 31. Killed
WOp/Air Gnr: Sgt. Loreng Charles Ehrhart 964374 RAFVR Age 23. Killed
Air Gnr (Rear): Sgt. William Ewart Jackson 1281390 RAFVR PoW No: 27380. Stalag 8B,Teschen; Stalag 344, Lamsdorf. (1)
Relatives of Sgt. Banks contacted us in November 2013 and would like to be in contact with other crew families.
REASON FOR LOSS:
Left Downham Market at 17:03 hrs for mine laying duties in the Sweet Pea region (Rostock and Arcane) of the Baltic. Homebound N6077 was hit by heavy Flak of 1., 3. & 6./Schw Flak Abt 801(o). The aircraft crashed near Dassel-Relliehausen at 22:05 hrs. (Nachtjagd Combat Archive (1 January - 22 June) 1943 Part 1 - Theo Boiten)
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: Plt Off. 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)
Above: Press cutting reporting on the loss of the Layley brothers.
Plt Off. Arthur Edward Gough. Hannover War Cemetery. Coll. Grave 3. A11-17. Son of George Henry and Elizabeth Jane Gough of Kenton, Middlesex, England.
Plt Off. 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.
His brother Ronald George was also in the RAF and was sadly killed on 14th/15th of January 1944 in 7 Sqn Lancaster III JA935. 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 RAFVR.
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 Plt Off. 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 Plt Off. Gough. Oliver Clutton-Brook "Footprints On The Sands Of Time" for Sgt. Jackson PoW information. Also to Dave Champion for details on Sgt. Ehrhart (Mar 2019). Thanks to John Jones for the flak claim (Nov 2021).
(1) 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'.