22.10.1943 No. 51 Squadron Halifax II JN920 LK-L Fl/Sgt. Hall
Mission: Kassel, Germany
Date: 22nd October 1943 (Friday)
Unit: No. 51 Squadron
Type: Halifax II
Base: RAF Snaith, Yorkshire
Location: Retie, South East of Turnhout, Belgium
Pilot: Fl/Sgt. Clowes Edwin Hall. R/73485. RCAF Age 25. Killed
Fl/Eng: Sgt. Melville Sidney Williams. 1654794. RAFVR Age 29. Killed
Nav: Sgt. George Herbert Bennett. 1474654. RAFVR Age 20. Killed
Air/Bmr: Sgt. Edward Parker. 1318622. RAFVR Age ? Killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Ronald Stephen Sitch. 1444720. RAFVR Age 21. Killed
Air/Gnr: Sgt. John Campbell Cowie. 1822254. RAF Age 20. Killed
Air/Gnr: Sgt. Thomas Vardare Lewis. 1337949.RAFVR Age 25. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Took of from RAF Snaith at 17:55 hrs for a bombing raid on Kassel. The aircraft may have been hit by flak or shot down by a night fighter and crashed at 20.01hrs near Retie. Halifax JN920 was part of a large force of some 569 aircraft to take part in this raid and much damage was caused to city and surrounding areas. 43 aircraft were lost from this mission
In 1999 a memorial and service of dedication took place in Belgium to honour these brave young men (Wings Museum)
Sgt. John Campbell Cowie. Halifax MkII aircraft
Trolleys with 500lb bombs are towed towards the awaiting Halifax aircraft of No. 51 Squadron, RAF Snaith. Kassel after the bombing raid on the 22nd October 1943.
Schoonselhof Cemetery, Antwerpen, Belgium
Fl/Sgt. Hall is remembered on the Fredericton War Memorial. Sgt. Cowie is remembered on the Lossiemouth War Memorial
Fl/Sgt. Clowes Edwin Hall. Schoonselhof Cemetery, Antwerpen, Belgium. Grave Ref. IVa. B. 2. Son of Harold E. and Gladys M. Hall of Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada. Clowes arrived in the U.K. from St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada on November 8th 1941. Fl/Sgt. Hall is remembered on the Frederiction War Memorial
Sgt. Melville Sidney Williams. Runnymede Memorial, Surrey. Panel 170. Son of Sidney and Edith Maud Williams. Husband of Eva Anne Williams of Newport, Monmouthshire, Wales.
Sgt. George Herbert Bennett. Schoonselhof Cemetery, Antwerpen, Belgium. Grave Ref. IVa. B. 4. Son of George Herbert and Hannah Bennett of Waterloo, Liverpool. At the time of his death George's address was 29 Middleton Road, Waterloo, Liverpool, England.
Sgt. Edward Parker. Runnymede Memorial, Surrey. Panel 161. Son of Edward and Catherine Parker of Bethnal Green, London, England.
Sgt. Ronald Stephen Sitch. Retie Communal Cemetery, Antwerpen, Belgium. Grave Ref. South-East Corner. Son of Stephen Henry and Nellie Clara Sitch of Mountnessing, Essex, England.
Sgt. John Campbell Cowie. Schoonselhof Cemetery, Antwerpen, Belgium. Grave Ref. IVa. B. 5. Son of William and Jane Cowie of Lossiemouth, Morayshire. Husband of Jeannie Cowie of Lossiemouth. Born in 1923 John had worked as a fisherman and had lived at 36 Great Western Road, Buckie and is remembered on the Lossiemouth War Memorial, Scotland.
Sgt. Thomas Vardare Lewis. Schoonselhof Cemetery, Antwerpen, Belgium. Grave Ref. IVa. B. 3. Son of William and Sara Ann Lewis. Husband of Emma Lewis of Ilfracombe, Devon, England.
Researched by: Kate Tame for Aircrew Remembered and for all the relatives and friends of the crew.