09/10.04.1945 622 Squadron Lancaster I NG447 GI-U Flt.Lt. Lionel A.S. Hodge
Date: 9th/10th April 1945 (Monday/Tuesday)
Unit: 622 Squadron
Type: Lancaster I
Base: RAF Mildenhall, Suffolk
Location: 1km south of Karby, Germany
Pilot: Flt.Lt. Lionel Arthur Sydney Hodge 131036 RAFVR Age 21. Killed
Flt.Eng: Flt.Sgt. Samuel George Taylor 1459586 RAFVR Age 20. Killed
Nav: Flt.Sgt. William Munro Leckie Green R/186454 RCAF Age 32. Killed
Air Bmr: Fg.Off. George William Gell J/40435 RCAF Age 34. Killed
WOp/Air Gnr: Fg.Off. Alexander Sidney Seymour 16446 RAFVR Age ? Killed
Mid Upp. Gnr: Sgt. W.E. Lewis RAFVR Survived - injured.
Rear Gnr: Sgt. William Alfred Parsons 1025607 RAFVR Age 25. Killed
Six of the Hodge crew, Lancaster NG447. Standing L to R: Unknown, Flt.Lt. Hodge, Unknown, Fg.Off. Gell. Kneeling L to R: Flt.Sgt. Green, Unknown. (Credit: Martin Lewis)
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off at 19:34 hrs from RAF Mildenhall, Suffolk to bomb the U- boat yards in Kiel. The resulting operation caused severe damage to the yards and also sank the battleship Admiral Scheer.
Admiral Scheer - sunk on this operation
The Nachtjagd War Diaries Volume 2 (April 1944 - May 1945) - Dr Theo E.W. Boiten & Roderick J. Mackenzie records three Nachtjagd crews each claimed an Abschuss against the Kiel attackers but it appears that only one, possibly two, could relate to heavies lost that night. Unfortunately, no reports have been found that detail the total number of Nachtjagd sorties, claims, or losses on this night.
The following unconfirmed claims are by three German night-fighters for two possible Lancasters, NG447 and 170 Sqn PB704 with no location or time for the claim.
Hptm. Heinz Ferger from III./NJG2; Lt. Arnold Döring from 10./NJG3 and Hptm. Franz-August Von Tesmar from 11./NJG3
The loss card for Sgt Lewis describes him as being 'safe' and receiving hospital treatment. No further details.
The following is an extract from the Crash investigation Report conducted by Flt.Lt. Hordel from 21 Section, No. 4 MREU dated 3rd July 1946:
A local eye-witness to the events that night reported that at between 23:00 and 23:59 hrs a British four engined aircraft was shot down by flak. The aircraft was burning when it struck the ground. The eye-witness arrived at the scene immediately after and found the aircraft burning and pieces scattered over a fairly wide area.
Five bodies were found in the aircraft but their identification was not possible. The bodies were removed to Karby. The next day a sixth body was found in the rear turret of the aircraft. The body was identified by the German army as that of Sgt. William Alfred Parsons. All six bodies were buried in the Karby Cemetery on the 12th April 1945, the five unidentified bodies in a communal grave and Sgt. parsons in a single grave. They were buried with a ceremony but without military honours.
Collective markers for the crew at the Kiel War Cemetery, Germany (Courtesy Martin Lewis)
Flt.Lt. Lionel Arthur Sydney Hodge. Kiel War Cemetery. Grave 4.G.6. Son of Arthur Sydney and Amy Eleanor Hodge of Harpenden, Herts, England.
Flt.Sgt. Samuel George Taylor. Kiel War Cemetery. Joint Grave 4.G.9-10. Son of Samuel George and Annie Elizabeth Taylor of Droylsden, Manchester, England.
WOII. William Munro Leckie Green. Kiel War Cemetery. Joint Grave 4.G.9-10. Born on the 7th April 1913 in Hamilton, Ontario. Son to Alexander and Isobel Green of North Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Grave markers for Flt.Lt. Hodge, Flt.Sgt. Taylor and WOII. Green. (Courtesy Martin Lewis)
Fg.Off. George William Gell. Kiel War Cemetery. Grave 4.G.7. Husband of Florence Gell of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Fg.Off. Alexander Sidney Seymour. Kiel War Cemetery. Grave 4.G.8. Son of Sydney William and Mildred Clara Seymour.
Sgt. William Alfred Parsons. Kiel War Cemetery. Grave 4.G.5. Son of John Walter and Evelyn Parsons of Thornbury, Bradford, Yorkshire, England.
Grave markers for Fg.Off Gell, Fg.Off. Seymour and Sgt. Parsons (Courtesy Martin Lewis)
Researched by Aircrew Remembered, researcher and specialist genealogist Linda Ibrom for relatives of this crew. Additional sources as quoted bellow. With thanks to Jack Brook for correction of serial number - January 2016. With thanks to Martin Lewis for the update to Flt.Sgt. Green's details, crew photograph, his rank update for his burial details and the images of the grave markers.