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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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RAF Crest
30/01.08.1942 No 14 OTU Hampden I P5322 GL-U3 F/O. Guthrie

Operation: Düsseldorf

Date: 31/01st August 1942 (Friday/Saturday)

Unit: No. 14 Operational Training Unit (motto: 'Keep With The Pack')

Type: Hampden I

Serial: P5322

Code: GL-U3

Base: RAF Cottesmore, West Sussex

Location: Burgmauer, Cologne

Pilot: F/O. Robert Edmund Guthrie AUS/406649 RAAF Age 29. Killed

Obs: Sgt. Charles Alexander Brian Mcmullin 1184109 RAFVR Age 27. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Elwin Thomas Hunking R/78903 RCAF Age 20. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. J.H. Morrison R/76278 RCAF Age ? PoW No: 25121 Camp: Stalag Lamsdorf

REASON FOR LOSS:

Took off from RAF Cottesmore in West Sussex at 00:01hrs. to bomb the German city of Düsseldorf. 630 aircraft taking part in the operation.

Many were made up with aircraft from the training units, which, resulted in very high losses. The OTU’s losing some 16 aircraft during the night.

The night was described as clear with a bright moon which assisted the Luftwaffe night fighters even though six sorties of Blenheim's from 2 Group attacking their bases over a two hour period were sent to assist the operation.

484 aircraft reported successful bombing, although photographic evidence showed that part of this force bombed open country. Over 900 tons of bombs were dropped during the raid, which attacked the city between 01:50 hrs and 03:03 hrs.

Records from Düsseldorf are very detailed with most of the city and the suburbs of Neuss being hit. 453 buildings were destroyed, a further 15,000 damaged. On the ground 279 people were killed, 1,018 were injured with 12,053 people bombed out of their homes.

Note: Aircrew killed: 118. Injured: 6. PoW: 34. Evading capture: 4.

Burial details:

F/O. Robert Edmund Guthrie. Rheinberg War Cemetery. Grave 1.G.6. Born on the 28th February 1913 at Claremont, the son of James Alexander and Mary Elizabeth Guthrie and husband of Irene Victoria Guthrie, of Bundeena Bay, New South Wales, Australia. Batchelor of Arts Degree. A school teacher prior to enlisting on the 3rd March 1941.

The family wee also to lose his younger brother. 27 year old, L/Cpl. Hugh Kitchener Guthrie WX19860 serving with the 2/28 Battalion Australian Infantry. Killed in action on New Guinea on the 20th October 1943. (shown right)

Sgt. Charles Alexander Brian Mcmullin. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 89. Son of Alexander Francis and Jane Beatrice McMullin, of Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, England.

Fl/Sgt. Elwin Thomas Hunking. Rheinberg War Cemetery. Grave 1.G.7. Son of Norman Hunking, and of Lillian Hunking, of Clinton, Ontario, Canada. Grave inscription: 'Safe In The Arms Of Jesus'.

Other:

L/Cpl. Hugh Kitchener Guthrie. Lae War Cemetery. Grave DD.A.11. Born on the 08th July 1916, husband of Jean Irene Guthrie, of Bundeena, New South Wales, Australia. Grave inscription: 'Treasured Memories Always "Pets" Of My Darling Husband And Pal'.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to sources as quoted below:

KTY 07.11.2019

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', 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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