02/03.11.1944 No. 576 Squadron Lancaster I LM122 UL-X2 P/O. William H. Hepburn
Date: 02/03rd November 1944 (Thursday/Friday)
Unit: No. 576 Squadron
Type: Lancaster I
Base: RAF Fiskerton, Lincolnshire
Location: West of Rhine, Dusseldorf, Germany
Pilot: P/O. William Hendry Hepburn 182151 RAFVR Age 21. Killed
Fl/Eng: Sgt. T. Hughes 2210561 RAFVR Evaded capture
Nav: Sgt. Francis McWatt 1670355 RAFVR Age 21. Killed
Air/Bmr: Sgt. James Reavey 1692021 RAFVR Evaded capture
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. W. Noel Rees PoW No. 1258 Camp: Stalag Luft Bankau (Bakow, Poland), near Kreuzburg (Klucsbork, Poland) (L7)
Air/Gnr: Sgt. Thomas McKay Annand Murray 1348949 RAFVR Age 22. Killed
Air/Gnr: Sgt. Salvin Fielding 1620500 RAFVR Age 21. Killed
The Air Bomber from this crew, Mr. James Reavey is trying to make contact with Mr. David Rees, son of Sgt. Noel Rees - please contact us and your details will be forwarded.
REASON FOR LOSS:
Took off at 16:12 hrs from RAF Fiskerton, Lincolnshire to attack Düsseldorf, Germany. Massive raid (Last on Düsseldorf of the war by bomber command) with 992 aircraft taking part. (561 Lancasters, 400 Halifaxes and 31 Mosquitoes).
The raid resulted in 5,000 houses destroyed or badly damaged including steel manufacturers, 7 industrial firms were destroyed and a further 18 seriously damaged. Over 678 people on the ground were killed and another 1,000 were injured. 19 Aircraft were lost (11 Halifaxe, 8 Lancasters)
It is thought that LM122 was hit by bombs being dropped from other aircraft above - they crashed in the target area west of the Rhine.
Also lost from the Squadron on this operation was that of Lancaster I II NE115 UL-B2 Flown by F/O. J.J. Mulrooney 48587 RAFVR taken PoW, the only crew member of 7 to survive.
P/O. William Hendry Hepburn. Hotton War Cemetery. Grave 11.E.6. Son of James Low Hepburn and Jean Caldwell Hepburn, of Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland.
Sgt. Francis McWatt. Hotton War Cemetery. Grave 11.E.7. Son of Peter and Alice Elizabeth McWatt, of Dumbarton, Scotland.
Sgt. Thomas McKay Annand Murray. Hotton War Cemetery. Grave 11.E.4. Son of Robert and Elizabeth Murray, of Union Street, Aberdeen, Scotland.
Sgt. Salvin Fielding. Hotton War Cemetery. Grave 11.E.5. Son of Samuel Bennett Fielding and Beatrice Fielding, of Wyke, Yorkshire, England.
Researched for James Reavey - The Air Bomber from this crew, dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to sources quoted below. With thanks to Des Phillipart for grave photographs. Also thanks to James William Annand Tidy for correction in the name of Sgt. Thomas McKay Annand Murray - the CWGC has also listed him incorrectly as Arnand and James is trying to get them to change this.