05/06.09.1943 No. 101 Squadron Lancaster III JA926 SR-A F/O. Graham
Date: 05/06th September 1943 (Sunday/Monday)
Unit: No. 101 Squadron
Type: Lancaster III
Base: RAF Ludford Magna
Location: Birkenfeld, Germany
Pilot: F/O. J.W. Graham 133644 RAFVR PoW No: 2472 Camp: Stalag Luft Sagen and Belaria
Fl/Eng: Sgt. R.A. Greenwood 1608866 RAFVR PoW No: 222701 Camp: Stalag Muhlberg (Elbe) 4B
Nav: Sgt. Clifford Maundrell Harrison 1601591 RAFVR Age 21. Killed
Air/Bmr: Sgt. T.W.R. Jones 1150984 RAFVR PoW No: 222727 Camp: Stalag Muhlberg (Elbe) 4B
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. J.K. Forster 1556283 RAFVR PoW No: 222693 Camp: Stalag Luft Sagen and Belaria
Air/Gnr: Sgt. Gerald Parry 1316999 RAVFR PoW No: 222755 Camp: Stalag Muhlberg (Elbe) 4B
Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. C.A. Stocking 1330345 RAFVR PoW No: 222784 Camp: Stalag Muhlberg (Elbe) 4B
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off at 19:37 hrs from RAF Ludford Magna in Lincolnshire. The bomb load consisted of 1 x Blockbuster 4000 lb. HC, 1 x 500 lb. LD, 48 x 30 lb. and 690 x 4 lb. Incendiary bombs
605 aircraft (299 Lancasters, 195 Halifaxes and 111 Stirlings were sent to bomb both Mannheim and Ludwigshafen with a high degree of success. Large area of both targets were destroyed. Reports from Mannheim described it as a 'catastrophe' for the town.
The Royal Air Force lost some 13 Lancasters, 9 Stirlings and 13 Halifaxes most including JA926 were the victims of the Luftwaffe night fighters.
ken Ogilvie had just given a talk on the Bleasby Memorial when he was approached by an elderly Polish lady: "Take a look at the contents of this envelope as you are good at this sort of thing and can you tell me who was Gerry and what happened to him?" She gave him about 15 letters all written during a short period during November 1944. On the top right corner the address of the sender: 'G Parry Barrack 22A'.
It turned out that during his 'stay' at Stalag Muhlberg he had taken a fancy to a young Polish girl called Lili was was interred in the camp next door for a short period of 2 weeks before being relocated. They exchanged letters daily, written in their own language and translated by friends. The letters wee fixed to small stones and thrown over the security fence wire.
In one letter, Gerry responds to a question asking does he have any news about Warsaw? Of course he did not. This made me think laterally, and I found that the civilians who were fortunate enough to survive till the end of the Warsaw Uprising and who had surrendered, were taken prisoner and given PoW status (prior to that they had generally been shot under the orders of Hitler), so I concluded that Lili must have taken part in the Warsaw Uprising.
When I met up with the Polish lady again and explained my theory, she said that Lili was her aunt, and that she had indeed been a resistance fighter. So quite a tale, and some interesting and perhaps much forgotten piece of history which I have come to know quite a bit about. Alicya Juckiewicz died in 2001, in Nottingham.
I would have loved to interview her and to hear her story. Quite how she survived after the war, how she was moved from Warsaw to Stalag IVB - on foot which I think is c 360 miles in October, how she came to live in France for a while after the war (she had a child there in 1951), are all unanswered questions, and no doubt many more. She was awarded Polish war medals I am told.
In the letters, Gerald Parry (his real name) says that he will keep the letters always, and the coin which he said he would wear around his neck. He was 21 at the time, and came from Morriston near Swansea, South Wales. He gave his address as The Plough Inn, which I think looking at it today (on Google Maps) is a pub that has seen better times. Gerry married Mary, also from Morriston, in 1945. They had several children. Gerry was a steel worker and died in October 1986 at the age of 64 living at Clydach Road, Morriston.
So, Ken would very much like to return these letters to the relatives of Gerry, are you able to assist?
Sgt. Clifford Maundrell Harrison. Rheinberg War Cemetery. Grave 17.E.18. Son of Keith Marcus Harrison and Daisy Lilian Harrison, of Acton, Middlesex, England.
Researched by Ken Ogilvie for Aircrew Remembered and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to sources shown below.
For further details on the Bleasby Memorial which is due to be unveiled on the 01st September 2018 please contact us and we will place you in contact with Ken and his team.