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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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158 Squadron Crest
03/04.11.1943 No. 158 Squadron Halifax II LW298 NP-L Sgt. Vincent E. Horn

Operation: Düsseldorf 

Date: 03/04th November 1943 (Wednesday/Thursday)

Unit: No. 158 Squadron

Type: Halifax II

Serial: LW298 

Code: NP-L

Base: RAF Lissett, East Riding of Yorkshire

Location: Vlijtingen, Limburg, Belgium

Pilot: Sgt. Vincent Eastwood Horn MiD.1238498 RAFVR Age 21. evaded capture (1)

Fl/Eng: Sgt. Frank Henry Andrews 1488414 RAFVR Age 22. PoW No. 826 Stalag VI-B Muhlberg (Elbe) (2)

Nav: F/O. Frank David Hill 132036 RAFVR Age 20. Evaded capture (3

Air/Bmr: Sgt. Robert Coats Graham 1393572 RAFVR Age 28. Killed (4)

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Leslie Bennett 1127022 RAFVR PoW No. 263565 Stalag Luft 3 Sagan and Belaria, Poland. (5)

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Barrie York Samuels AUS/420064 RAAF Age 22. PoW No. 261529 Stalag VI-B Muhlberg (Elbe) (6)

Air/Gnr: Sgt Richard John Gould 1520035 RAFVR PoW No. 263585 Stalag VI-B Muhlberg (Elbe) (7)


We would like to appeal for any relatives to contact us to provide possible further information and perhaps a crew photo.


REASON FOR LOSS:

Taking off at 16.46 hrs from RAF Lissett to bomb Düsseldorf 589 aircraft taking part. This aircraft was armed with 1 x 2000lb (MC TD 025), 10x90x4, 3x8x30 incendiary bombs. 

Route according to RAF loss card:
5215N - 0300 E - 5149N - 0353E
5103N - 0518E - 5100N - 0017E
Dusseldorf - 5122N - 0039E
5149N - 0353E - 5215N - 0300E

Bombing commenced at 19.42 continuing until 20.11 hrs causing extensive damage to housing and industrial premises. 

The allies lost some 24 aircraft - 18 to the Luftwaffe night fighters, 6 on either landing or take off. A further 13 returned with damage. 107 aircrew lost their lives, 5 were injured, 34 taken Pow with 7 evading capture.

Halifax LW298 was shot down by Oblt. Dietrich Schmidt (8) of 8./NJG1 with the aircraft coming down over Vlijtingen, Limburg, Belgium at 19.46 hrs.

The following reports can be followed using the small image of the map shown.

The escape report of Sgt.Vincent Eastwood Horn (SPG 3323/2369) recounts the circumstances of the loss of LW298, his landing in Belgium, evasion and subsequent escape to Switzerland.

15 km south of Antwerp (as estimated by Navigator Frank Hill) the aircraft became unresponsive to the controls before going into a spin and pilot Vincent Horn ordered the crew to bale out. Horn, navigator Frank Hill and engineer Frank Andrews managed to escape but Sgts Bennett, Gould and Samuels were arrested and sent to PoW camps. Sgt. Graham, buried initially at Sint Truiden, was later moved to Heverlee Cemetery near Leuven (cwgc grave number 7.G.5). Vincent Horn jumped about 20.00 hrs south east of Hasselt and after walking south reached Gossoncourt/Goetsenhoven in Flemish Brabant on 4 November. There he was helped by villagers who fed him and gave him overalls to wear before taking him in a truck to Sint Truiden where he met a farmer who prepared a meal before he went to spend the night in a field.

The next day (5th November) Horn walks west to Halle-Booienhoven near Zoutleeuw where he mets two men one of whom took him home and gave him clothes and fake ID. He remained with this man until 8th November when he was taken by car to a house in Leuven. 

On November 9th a woman came to take him to Brussels where he stayed until the 14th and then taken by a man to stay at the house of Eleuthere Thiryn at 328 Rue du Noyer in Schaerbeek. Thiryn’s contact in London however cannot confirm Horn’s identity and recommends that he should be liquidated. Fortunately for Horn, Thiryn requests a recheck whereupon London finally decides that the information given by Horn is in fact correct. During his stay here Horn is joined by Second Lieutenant Robert Hoke (USAAF) and Sgt William Poulton (RAF).

On 14 November he was moved to Ixelles, first to the house of Miss Mariette Gorlia at 2 Rue de la Longue Haie, then later to the home of Olof Halvar Wigren a Swedish tailor and his wife Marguerite Nicholls (born in Fulham of British parents) at 2 Avenue Brillat-Savarin in Ixelles. Marguerite was arrested 2 February 1944 for sheltering three airmen during January and later disappeared in Germany during 1944/45 age 33. On 5 January Horn was moved to a house in Brussels until 19 February when he was taken to a railway station where he joined five other escapees (Norman Michie, Henry Alan Lucas, Joseph Healey, Charles Higgins and Elmer Gilcrease) 

Plans for travelling to Spain had apparently had to be changed so Horn and four of the other five (for some reason Lucas did not go with them) travelled by train to Charleroi then on to Cerfontaine. From there they walked to Boussu-lez-Walc and after four days there moved on to the Bois du Seigneur where they were accommodated in a hut made out of straw bales and with a plate glass roof. A total of twelve escapees were hiding out in the hut sleeping in bunk beds, a sack of potatoes each week being their only food. 

On 5 March Horn with two of the others went by train to Le Mesnil (Viroinval). After sheltering overnight in an empty castle they took another train to Thilay where they stayed for two weeks before being taken to Montbeliard and on 22 March to Hericourt where they are told they will be helped later by smugglers. That evening they were taken by smugglers to the Swiss border where they were met by a farmer who took them to Fahy and handed them over to the Swiss Guard. After quarantine at Olten they were taken to Lostorf on 26 March until taken over by the British Legation and sent to the camp at Arosa where they remained until 17 April. 

Nothing more of Vincent Horn is known until his arrival in Saint-Tropez on 4 September 1944 and flight home to RAF Lyneham the following day. 

Back in the UK Vincent was put on a glider training course before being sent to Burma. 

After the war he returned to Brussels to find the families who had helped him during his escape.

F/O. Frank David Hill

The following additional information is taken from the escape report (3318/1755) of navigator F/O Frank David Hill. Frank Hill gives the time of his landing as 7.20 p.m. (Horn says 8 p.m. and though I think both of them would have had more to think about than the time, the mere nature of the navigator’s job would suggest his time would be nearer the mark) 

Hill landed in a field 25m off a major road. As it was still early (evening) many people were gathered along the road. He remained still for a moment then buried all unnecessary equipment. After removing his badges and insignia he pulled his trousers over his boots and set off in a south easterly direction. He reached a river (thought to have been Le Demer) but unable to cross returned to the road (thought to have been le Schulenseweg) and heads for Spalbeek between Herk-de-Stad and Hasselt then continues to Kosen using local roads. 

About 3 a.m. the following morning, whilst trying to take fruit from an orchard, he awakens some locals who, thinking he is a thief are quite hostile. Once they understand who he is however they invite him to eat. They fetched a man who spoke good English afterwards Hill went to bed and slept until midday. This man returned in the evening and explained to Frank that agents will come to take him through the village. He is given civilian clothes and during the morning of 5 November a truck arrives in which he is to make his escape. He is taken to St Truiden in the truck that collects animal carcasses to be made into food for livestock. The truck belongs to the company of Gebroeder Smettsouse whose factory is in Sint Truiden. The company is run by seven brothers two of whom speak English. Hill is kept there until 6 November when a Belgian policeman comes with a motor bike and sidecar and takes him to the chateau of a Mme Piercaut at Houtain L’Eveque (Walshoutem) between Sint Truduit and Hannut. 

On November 7 a priest takes him to the Hannut tram terminus where a young boy wearing scout insignia takes him by tram to Celles. There an electrician takes him in his van to his house. 

On the 13th the young scout picks him up and they take the tram to Liege. Whilst on the tram they hear that the Germans are searching all the houses in Hannut so they return and wait until the afternoon before going to Hannut. There, as the priest and new guide have both been arrested Hill is taken by a woman to the home of Andre Leonard at 107 Rue de Wasseiges at Accose (Ambresin) where he is sheltered until the evening of 20 November. That night he sleeps in a house of the Red Cross and the following day the electrician from Celles comes and takes him to his house again. 

The next day, the 22nd the electrician takes him in his van to Jehay-Bodegne where Hill meets Pilot Officer Fred Williams. He stays there with him until 13th December when they are separated. Hill goes to stay with Emile and Catherine Roiseux Ryckaert at 81Rue de Livourne at Ixelles.

On January 5th he meets up with Fred Williams again and they are both led to the French Border by Emile Roiseux. They cross into France with Francois Bourlard and Georgette Dieu both of Arquennes. 

After arriving in Paris, Hill remains with his hosts until 9th January whilst Williams leaves on the 7th. A man takes Hill by train from Paris to Bordeaux, then through Dax to Bayonne and finally to Saint Jean de Luz. Hill was then sheltered at the Restaurant Larre in the village of Sutar 5km from Bayonne. The proprietor of the restaurant was Jeanne Marthe Mendiara-Villenave who sheltered a great number of escapees heading for Spain on the Comete line. Escapees usually stayed here for one night only and Marthe Mendiara as she was known, ensured they were well fed before leaving, as it might several days before some them ate again. 

Frank Hill crossed the Pyrenees with five other escapees on the 90th crossing by the Comete line. They went via the small village of Souraide and Quito borda (the barn of the Gypsy) guided by Michel Echeveste and his brother Jose Marie having being entrusted to them by Juanito Bidegain. They reached Irun on the 12th January and were taken by Spanish Air-force bus to Saragossa where the group stayed in a hotel until until 27th January. They then went to Alama de Aragon until 2nd February when they were taken by diplomatic car to Madrid. Hill arrived in Gibralter on 4th February 1944 and the next day flew to England. 

After two weeks leave spent with his family Frank Hill joined 582 Pathfinder Squadron. On 23 September he was in the crew of Lancaster PB512 on a day training flight (fighter affiliation exercise) when the aircraft crashed into a hill west of Chipping Ongar in Essex. All seven crew were killed. F/O Frank David Hill was interred with three other crew members at Brookwood Cemetery, Surrey grave ref 21.D.11

Sgt Richard John Gould: Rear Air Gunner Sgt. Richard John Gould darted along the fuselage as I did so I clipped the chute on - one side was quite easy, the other I had a lot of trouble with, so much so that the chute opened in the aircraft - I wrenched the exit open then throwing out the chute, with me attached. I drifted slowly down. I landed sometime later in a tree in Belgium which was about 50’ high. I started to slide down, then fell about 20’ and crashed to the ground. Taken to the doctor who treated my ankle, which had fractured in two places.

Sgt. Frank Henry Williams: Flight Engineer Sgt. Frank Henry Andrews landed in the Tongeren Region. Though the details are not recorded he made his way to Liege and was sheltered there at the home of Mr and Mme Dewen-Morimont at 5 Place de la Vielle Montagne. On 20 November two young women Aline Dumon and Jeanne MacIntosh came for him. Taken by train to Brussels Andrews is sheltered at the home of Francois Hanssens and Angele de Laender at 14 Avenue des Tulipes/Tupenlaan at Hal/Halle. Francois Hanssens was later arrested, but survived the German camps. 

A few days later Jeanne MacIntosh came to collect Andrews and another escapee Ronald E Stokes (tail gunner of Halifax LK932 MP-X crashed 03/04 November, on the same raid as Andrews’ aircraft) and takes them to stay at her uncle Robert Goffaux’s house at 107 Chaussee de Mons/Bergensesteenweg a Lembeek (Halle). Jeanne MacIntosh had been born in England in 1921 the daughter of Robert Goffaux’s sister also called Jeanne and her Scottish husband Maurice MacIntosh. She lived in London but had come to visit her garage owner uncle Robert and his wife Marie just before the outbreak of hostilities. With the sudden invasion and rapid occupation of the country by the Germans, Jeanne had had no opportunity to return to England. Jeanne and her uncle both joined the Resistance and Jeanne was engaging in collecting military information but from 1942 began helping downed allied airmen to escape. 

Left: Oblt. Dietrich Schmidt (8) of 8./NJG1 (Kracker Archives)

On December 10th during a routine search of houses in the village Frank Andrews and Ronald Stokes are discovered with their hosts and arrested. Robert Goffaux and Jeanne MacIntosh are also arrested. Robert’s wife Marie, already ill, is so shocked by the incident that she died two weeks later. 

Frank Andrews and Ronald Stokes are taken to the Geheimefeldpolizei (Secret Military Police) headquarters at Rue Traversiere a Sint-Josse-ten-Noude Brussels. Robert Goffaux and his niece Jeanne MacIntosh are taken to the Prison de St. Gilles in Brussels where they are tortured before being sent to Breendonk near Malines/Mechelen and condemned to death. Robert Goffaux remained at Breendonk and was freed by allied troops in September 1944. Jeanne MacIntosh was deported to a camp in Germany from where she was freed by the Russians before the death sentence was carried out. Passed to the American authorities Jeanne is repatriated first to Belgium then to join her parents in England.

Frank Andrews and Ronald Stokes were sent to Stalag 4b at Muhlberg. The camp was liberated by the Russians in April1945 and within a few weeks Frank Andrews was back England. With the war in Europe over he was expecting to be posted to the Pacific but Japan’s surrender in August made such a transfer unnecessary. Frank rushed off to find Jeanne MacIntosh and when he did they were married in September 1945.

(1) Sgt. Vincent Eastwood Horn born Preston Lancashire 25 September 1921 died Preston Lancashire 25 December 2011. Lived at 245, North Road Preston Lancashire. (Posted in from 1652 HCU 5 September 1943) Mentioned in dispatches.
(2) Sgt. Frank Henry Andrews born Brisley East Dereham, Norfolk 19 January 1921, died 2October 1999 St. Peters, Ottershaw, Surrey. Lived at Square House, Brisley, East Dereham, Norfolk. (Posted in from 1652 HCU 7 October 1943) (Jeanne Andrews née MacIntosh died 1968 St Marylebone, London)
(3) F/O Frank David Hill born 1923 Leeds, died 23 September 1944 Chipping Ongar, Essex. Lived at 3 Ring Road, Leeds 6. (Posted in from 1652 HCU 5 September 1943)
(4) Sgt. Robert Coats Graham born Glasgow 1915, died 3 November 1943 in Belgium. Commemorated on the war memorial at Cathcart Baptist Church, 96, Merrylee Road, Glasgow G43 2RA. (Posted in from 1652 HCU 5 September 1943)
(5) Sgt. Leslie Bennett – (Posted in from 1652 HCU 5 September 1943)
(6) Sgt. Barrie York Samuels (from 102 Squadron 27-10-1943) born 27 January 1921 Sydney Australia, died 26 June 2001 Mosman Private Hospital, Mosman, Sydney, Australia. Lived at Spofforth Street, Cremorne, Sydney, Australia. Occupation: Sales Manager – Jewellery. 
(7) Sgt. Richard John Gould (Posted in from 1652 HCU 5 September 1943) Fractured his ankle in 2 places - treated by German doctors.
(8) This was the 6th abschüsse for the Luftwaffe ace, Oblt. Dietrich Schmidt. Born on 17th June 1919. Dietrich survived the war with 38 kills, died on the 6th March 2002.

Burial details:

Sgt. Robert Coats Graham. Heverlee War Cemetery. Grave 7.G.5. From Glasgow, Scotland. Next of kin details not available as yet, can you assist?

F/O. Frank David Hill. Brookwood Military Cemetery. Grave 21.D.11. Son of Frank and Augusta Letitia Hill, of West Park, Leeds, Yorkshire, England.

Researched and prepared by Roy Wilcock for Aircrew Remembered in December 2014. For further details our thanks to the following, Cometline for extensive research, 158 Squadron website, Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vol's. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', ‘Bomber Command Database’, Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vol's. 1 and 2', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries (Updated 2014 version), 'Paradie Archive'. Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Tom Kracker - 'Kracker Luftwaffe Archives'. Further information from these titles/organisations are available from us, just use the 'help' button on the main page above or 'add info' button also shown on this page. Marcel Rosvelds and Wertypop for grave photos.

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 and Fred Paradie - Paradie Archive (both on this site), 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', Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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