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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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76 Squadron Crest
30/31.03.1944 76 Squadron Halifax III LW647 MP-W F/O. Gordon C.G. Greenacre

Operation: Nurnberg, Germany

Date: 30/31st March 1944 (Thursday/Friday)

Unit: No. 76 Squadron

Type: Halifax III

Serial: LW647

Code: MP-W

Base: RAF Home-on-Spalding Moor

Location: Nieder-Moos, 6 km NNW Freiensteinau, Germany

Pilot: F/O. Gordon Charles George Greenacre 156083 RAFVR Age 22. Killed

Fl/Eng: P/O. Anthony Monk RAFVR PoW No.? Camp: L1 - Stalag Luft Barth Vogelsang

Nav: F/O. Alfred Thorpe 155998 RAFVR Age 25. Killed

Air/Bmr: P/O. Adam Scott Arneil 173604 RAFVR Age 21. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Jack A. Henthorn RAFVR PoW No. 3430 Camp: L6/357 - Stalag Luft Heydekrug/Stalag Kopernikus

Air/Gnr: P/O. Arthur Douglas Maw J/19452 RCAF Age 21. Killed

Air/Gnr: P/O. Arthur Henry Death J/19181 RCAF Age 23. Killed


Local residents from the area erected a memorial to the crew, to be unveiled in June 2014. We are waiting for new photographs of the event. Relatives are encouraged to contact us for further details.


REASON FOR LOSS:

Leaving RAF Home-on-Spalding Moor at 22.11 hrs to join a further 795 aircraft, mainly Lancasters, a really enormous bomber force - sadly, also one of the costliest in the history of Bomber Command with 105 aircraft lost and over 500 aircrew killed!

Crew of LW647 (courtesy Richard Stinchcomb)

Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie in the latest editions of the Nightfighter War Diaries Vol's. 1 and  2', describe that it is ‘possible’ that the Luftwaffe ace Ofw. Rudolf Frank (1) of 3./NJG3’s claim at 00.01 hrs was Halifax LW647.

76 Squadron lost 4 aircraft on this operation. The others:

Halifax III LK795 MP-P Flown by Fl/Lt. H.D. Coverley, taken PoW along with 5 other crew. I killed.
Halifax III LW628 MP-J Flown by Fl/Lt. R.J. Bolt, crash landed back in England, after damaged by Me210 - all crew survived, uninjured. Many of this crew later decorated for actions.
Halifax III LW696 MP-X Flown by the young 21 year old Sq/Ldr. Kenneth Arthur Clack DFM 124623 RAFVR of Harrow Weald, Middlesex, killed with 6 other crew, his MUG, Sgt. Edwards, taken PoW.

The idea of the memorial (unveiled in June 2014) was initially proposed by Martin Oechler who personally chose the natural local stone on which the plaque, also designed and made by him, has been placed. His reason: "To show future generations that the war also created victims (of other nations) in our homeland".

Right: Ofw. Rudolf Frank of 3./NJG3 - killed the following month, on 26th April, 1944.

 (1) This was the 41st abschüsse for Ofw. Rudolf Frank. His last (46) claim was that of ND873 of 12 Squadron, debris from ND873 also hit the Bf110 G-4 D5+CL and Ofw. Frank crashed to his death near Heeze, Eindoven.

Durnbach War Cemetery (courtesy Jürgen Winkelbach)

Burial details:

Initially buried at Niede-Moos, reinterred after war end.

F/O. Gordon Charles George Greenacre. Durnbach War Cemetery. Grave 6.F.16. Son of Clifford Edward and Daisy May Greenacre, of Wroxham, Norfolk, England. Also commemorated on the Wroxham War Memorial, Norfolk, England - shown left. (courtesy Moominpappa)

F/O. Alfred Thorpe. Durnbach War Cemetery. Grave 6.F.15. Son of Lawrence and Mary Jane Thorpe, of Sutton-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire, England. Husband of Joan Louise Thorpe, of Sutton-in-Ashfield, England.

P/O. Adam Scott Arneil. Durnbach War Cemetery. Grave 6.F.17. Son of Robert A. B. Arneil, and of Agnes W. Arneil, of Barnton, Midlothian, Scotland.

P/O. Arthur Douglas Maw. Durnbach War Cemetery. Joint gave 6.F.18-19. From Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. bORN jUNE 27TH 1923. NoK details currently not available - are you able to assist completion of these and any other information?

P/O. Arthur Henry Death. Durnbach War Cemetery. Joint gave 6.F.18-19. Son of William H. Death and Lizzie Death, of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew by Kate Tame with thanks to Richard Stinchcomb, Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vol's. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', 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), Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Moomingpappa for Wroxham War Memorial photograph. Jürgen Winkelbach for cemetery photograph, Tom Kracker - 'Kracker Luftwaffe Archives'. Aircrew Remembered own Archives. Oliver Clutton-Brock - 'Footprints On The Sands Of Time'. Les Allison and Harry Hayward - 'They Shall Grow Not Old’.

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: 22 November 2014, 23:41

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