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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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625 Squadron Crest
15/16.03.1944 No. 625 Squadron Lancaster III DV194 CF-F Fl/Sgt. Frank G. Hodgkins

Operation: Stuttgart

Date: 15/16th March 1944

Unit: No. 625 Squadron

Type: Lancaster III

Serial: DV194

Code: CF-F

Base: RAF Kelstern, Lincolnshire.

Location: Obereschach, Germany

Pilot: Fl/Sgt. Frank Grafton Hodgkins 574399 RAF Age ? Killed

Fl/Eng: Sgt. Norman Sinclair Allan 9066502 RAFVR Age ? Killed

Nav: W/O II. Arthur John Dennis Fox R/15142 RCAF Age 24. Killed

Air/Bmr: Sgt. Allen Edward Roy Ward 1509409 RAFVR Age 28. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Arthur Smith 1527311 RAFVR Age ? Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. John McDougal McIntyre 1568125 RAFVR Age ? Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Harold Edward Chapman 1876520 RAFVR Age 19. Killed


Took off at 19:08 hrs from RAF Kelstern inLincolnshire to attack the city of Stuttgart. A total of 863 aircraft - made up from 617 Lancasters, 230 Halifaxes and 16 Mosquitos took part in this raid.

The German night fighters split the force into two parts. The bombers flew over France nearly as far as the Swiss border before turning North east to approach Stuttgart. This resulted in delaying the Luftwaffe making contact with the bomber force. When the German fighters did arrive just before Stuttgart was reached, a fierce combat followed. A total of 37 aircraft were lost (27 Lancasters and 10 Halifaxes - 2 other Lancasters force landed in Switzerland) Adverse winds delayed the opening of the attack and the same winds may have caused the pathfinder marking to fall back well short of the target area - despite the clear weather conditions.

Some of the bombing fell in the city centre but most were ineffective and fell into open country south - west of the city. The bombing destroyed some housing and a college. A total of 88 people on the ground were killed and a further 203 injured.

DV194 is understood to have been shot down by a night fighter from 1./JG301 between 23:00 hrs. and 23:59 hrs. but no confirmed claim from Luftwaffe records. The aircraft exploded and scattered debris near the village of Obereschach, north, north east of Villingen, Germany. (see map)

Aircrew losses on this operation: Killed - 218, Injured - 3, PoW - 47, Interned - 1, Evaded - 17.

Original Crew grave marker (courtesy Nick Smith)

Durnbach War Cemetery - The quality of these photographs shown here can not be fully appreciated when the size is reduced for the web page. (courtesy David Franklin - David has kindly provided us with permission to release high definition copies to relatives)

Burial details:

Fl/Sgt. Frank Grafton Hodgkins. Durnbach War Cemetery Coll. Grave 11.E.15-18. Son of Alfred Grafton Hodgkins and Theodora Hodgkins, nephew of Mr. R. Lerry, of Worcester, England.

Sgt. Norman Sinclair Allan. Durnbach War Cemetery Coll. Grave 11.E.15-18. No further details as yet - are you able to assist?

W/O II. Arthur John Dennis Fox. Durnbach War Cemetery Grave 11.E.14. Son of Arthur E. Fox and Lena M. Fox, of Springford, Ontario, Canada.

Sgt. Allen Edward Roy Ward. Durnbach War Cemetery Coll. Grave 11.E.15-18. Son of Roy McGreggor Ward, and of Jean Ward (née Holding), husband of Margaret Ward (née Arbury), of Blackpool, Lancashire, England.

Sgt. Arthur Smith and his grave at Durnbach (courtesy Nick Smith)

Sgt. Arthur Smith. Durnbach War Cemetery Coll. Grave 11.E.15-18. Son of N.H. Smith of 77 Shadsworth Road, Blackburn, Lancashire, England.

Sgt. John McDougal McIntyre. Durnbach War Cemetery Coll. Grave 11.E.15-18. No further details as yet - are you able to assist?

Sgt. Harold Edward Chapman. Durnbach War Cemetery Coll. Grave 11.E.15-18. Son of Albert Victor and Maud Violet Chapman, of East Greenwich, London, England.

Researched for the son of Sgt. Arthur Smith Mr Peter Smith and for all the relatives of the crew.

Sgt. Arthur Smith during training (courtesy Nick Smith)

KTY 01.07.2015

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', 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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