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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
27/28.09.1943 76 Squadron Halifax V LK891 MP:X Plt Off. David G. Griffiths

Operation: Hankover

Date: 27th/28th September 1943 (Monday/Tuesday)

Unit No: 76 Squadron

Type: Halifax V

Serial: LK891

Code: MP:X

Base: RAF Holme-on-Spalding-Moor, Yorkshire.

Location: Lost without trace.

Pilot: Plt Off. David George Griffiths 156084 RAFVR Age 23. Missing

2nd Pilot: Flt Sgt, Bertram Arthur Shortland 1178784 RAFVR Age 21. Missing

Flt Eng: Sgt. Charles Raymond Walker 1077177 RAFVR Age 29. Missing

Nav: Sgt. Anthoney Ernest Harry Holmes 1600328 RAFVR Age? Missing

Bomb Aimer: Fg Off. Kenneth Arthur Barber 134720 RAFVR Age? Missing

WOp/Air Gnr: Sgt. Reginald Clifford Herbert Freeman 1332204 RAFVR Age? Missing

Air Gnr (Mid Upp): Sgt. Lewis Glentworth 1379631 RAFVR Age 29. Missing

Air Gnr (Rear): Sgt. Dandan Mervyn Robert Bertin Entwisle 634999 RAFVR Age 20. Missing


Anyone who are able to identify people in these photographs are invited to contact us. Relatives would like any further information that you maybe able to provide.


REASON FOR LOSS:

Taking off from RAF Holme-on-Spalding-Moor, Yorkshire at 19.09 hrs.

Over the course of the Second World War the city of Hanover and the surrounding environs were targeted 88 times. The city itself, being an important road and rail logistical centre, received heavy damage and by the end of hostilities 90% had been destroyed and over 6,000 inhabitants killed.

Around the city were clustered numerous industries producing weaponry and other supporting materials for the war effort. At Stöcken to the north lay the AFA works producing batteries for submarines. On the east side a major oil refinery at Misburg and to the west the M.N.H. tank factory at Badenstedt, the Hanomag military vehicle plant at Linden and the Continental rubber factory at Limmer.

The attacking force of 678 aircraft was comprised of 312 Lancasters, 231 Halifaxes, 111 Stirlings, 24 Wellingtons and 5 B-17’s. In total 47 aircraft were lost, 38 over or en-route to or from the target and nine crash landing in England.

According to RAF reports after the raid, the Pathfinders had used incorrect wind forecasts which blew the target markers away from the city centre. Reconnaissance photographs taken after the raid showed that the majority of the bombs fell in a concentrated area consisting of villages and open country some five miles to the north.

21 Lancasters and 6 Mosquitoes of No 8 Group carried out a diversionary raid on Brunswick which was successful in drawing off some night fighters. 218 people were killed in Brunswick - 51 Germans and 167 foreigners. 1 Lancaster lost.

9 Mosquitoes on another diversion to Emden, 5 Mosquitoes on Oboe tests to Aachen (3 were successful), 19 aircraft minelaying in the Kattegat and the Frisian Islands, 4 OTU sorties. No losses.

LK891, 77 Sqn Halifax LW228, 158 Sqn Halifax JN905 or 622 Sqn Stirling EH991 was hit by Flak of 3./M. Flak Abt. 246 battery an Vlielan-West. The aircraft crashed and exploded in Waddensea 16 km SSE of Vlieland at 00:19 hrs. (Nachtjagd Combat Archive (23 September - 31 December) 1943 Part 3 - Theo Boiten)

The family of Plt Off. Griffiths would very much like to place names to the people shown in the series of photographs and indeed and further information on them would be appreciated. A copy of any photographs used can be sent to assist you further. Contact us via the help desk or add info button shown on top of the squadron crest on this page.

Above: This is a photograph of Jeanne Eileen (née Matthews) flanked by two Pilots, The airman on the right (Jeanne's left) is believed to be Sgt. Griffiths. Jeanne remarried Cratchley and her son Adrian Cratchley would very much like to confirm his identity.

Burial Details:

Above: Runnymede Memorial

Plt Off. David George Griffiths. Runnymede Memorial Panel 131. Son of George and May Griffiths, husband of Jeanne Eileen (née Matthews) Griffiths, of Tonbridge, Kent, England.

Living at RAF Station, Lulsgate Bottom, Somerset, England.

Flt Sgt, Bertram Arthur Shortland. Runnymede Memorial Panel 139. Son of Bert and Dorothy Kate Shortland. of Wolverhampton, England.

Sgt. Charles Raymond Walker. Runnymede Memorial Panel 168. Son of C. and Ada Walker, of York, husband of Edna Mary Walker, of 16 Philadelphia Terrace, Albemarle Road, York, England.

Sgt. Anthoney Ernest Harry Holmes. Runnymede Memorial Panel 153. Son of Mr E.H. Holmes of 29 Glebe Road, Cheam, Surrey, England.

Fg Off. Kenneth Arthur Barber. Runnymede Memorial Panel 123. Son of Arthur George and Eva Theresa Barber, of Jarvis Brooke, Springfield Road, Bexhill-on-Sea, Sussex, England.

Sgt. Reginald Clifford Herbert Freeman. Runnymede Memorial Panel 150. Son of Herbert James Freeman and Ada Beatrice Freeman, of Conway Stow Road, Purleigh, Chelmsford, Essex, England.

Sgt. Lewis Glentworth. Runnymede Memorial Panel 150. Son of Lewis and Emma Glentworth, of Hull, husband of Rhoda Ann Glentworth, of 138 Division Road, Hull, England.

Sgt. Dandan Mervyn Robert Bertin Entwisle. Runnymede Memorial Panel 148. Son of Robert George and Dulce Theona Muriel Entwisle, of Virginia Water, Surrey, husband of Joan Agnes of 'Odmenstead', Laleham-on-Thames, Middlesex, England.

Researched by Kelvin Youngs (Webmaster) for Vanessa Croucher, great niece of the pilot Plt Off. David George Griffiths. Thanks to Adrian Cratchley for the image of Jeanne Eileen Griffiths, remarried Cratchley. (Apr 2022)

Other sources as quoted below:

RS 09.04.2022 - Addition of new photograph and update to loss information

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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', Archiwum - Polish Air Force Archive (on this site), 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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