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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
24/25.03.1944 No. 625 Squadron Lancaster I ED317 CF-W Fl/Sgt. Ronald D.W. Jamieson

Operation: Berlin

Date: 24/25th March 1944 (Friday/Saturday)

Unit: No. 625 Squadron

Type: Lancaster I

Serial: ED317

Code: CF-W

Base: RAF Kelstern, Lincolnshire.

Location: Lagensalza, Germany.

Pilot: Fl/Sgt. Ronald David Whamond Jamieson 1551751 RAFVR Age 20. Killed (1)

Fl/Eng: Sgt. Eric Boynton Tones 1697423 RAFVR Age 19. Killed

Nav: F/O. Bartlett Leadbetter Rogers J/22911 RCAF Age 22. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. James Inglis Scott 1560052 RAFVR Age 21.Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Eric Gordon Waller 1320142 RAFVR Age 20. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. James Frederick Etheridge 1801712 RAFVR Age 21. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. John Richard Honey 1608258 RAFVR Age 19. Killed

REASON FOR LOSS:

Took off at 18:36 hrs from RAF Kelstern, Lincolnshire to attack the heart of Germany, Berlin. The Bomber force amounted to 811 aircraft (577 Lancasters, 216 Halifaxes and 18 Mosquitoes) - not a night to remember for Bomber Command with over 70 aircraft lost!

Above left and centre: Fl/Sgt. Ronald David Whamond Jamieson and grave at Berlin War Cemetery. Right: His brother Barrie. (courtesy Harry Jamieson)

This operation has become known as the "night of the strong winds" as a very strong wind took the bomber stream further south at every stage of the outbound flight. The bombers became very scattered in particular on the homeward bound stages, where the radar controlled flak batteries were able to score many successes. 

Berlin reported that 14 Aircraft were shot down by night fighters over the target area. Bombing was very scattered with over 100 towns and villages around Berlin being bombed and very little commercial damage done in Berlin itself. Civilians were hardest hit again with 20,000 made homeless and 150 people on the ground killed (A further 30 people killed in other areas bombed by the scattered force.) 

This was the last major bombing raid on Berlin of the war although it was of course attacked by many small raids using Mosquitoes. No major industrial targets were hit although some damage was done to 5 military establishments - including the Waffen SS depot in Lichterfield.


As explained previously over 70 aircraft were lost on this raid but the true horror being 220 aircrew killed and a further 133 made PoW.

Lancaster ED317 was engaged over Lagensalza, Germany by Oblt. Günther Rogge (2) of 2./NJG3 at 23:30 hrs and shot down.

RAF Kelstern Memorial to 625 Squadron.

(1) The family of Fl/Sgt. Ronald David Whamond Jamieson had already lost his older brother. Sgt. John Alexander Barrie Jamieson was piloting Whitley Z6811 MH-D when they were shot down by a night fighter over Malden, South of Nijmegen, Netherlands.

(2) Oblt. Günther Rogge this was his 4th confirmed victory during the war. He eventually claimed a further 2, making him an ace - Günther survived the war but we have no details on his history since then.

Burial details:

Fl/Sgt. Ronald David Whamond Jamieson. Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery. Collective grave 6.C.15-19. Further information: Born in Ceylon, son of Ronald Barrie and Barbara Low (Babs - nee Whamond) Jamieson. His father was a tea planter but died quite young in 1928. Babs then returned to Scotland and brought a Board and room property in Kirriemuir, Scotland. She sent her two boys, Ronald and John to boarding school from which they then both joined the RAF. Sadly his older brother John, known as Barrie, also a pilot, was killed earlier on the 19th August 1941. Flying with 51 Squadron, shot down in a Whitley Z6811 MH-D, all the crew losing their lives.

Sgt. Eric Boynton Tones. Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery. Collective grave 6.C.15-19. Son of Christopher Hoggett Tones and Monica Tones, of Kildale, Yorkshire, England.

F/O. Bartlett Leadbetter Rogers. Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery. Grave 6.C.14. Son of Brigadier Joseph Bartlett Rogers, CMG, DSO, MC and Mrs. Helen (née Leadbetter). Brother of Charles Brown Rogers. Husband of Mary Doris (née Spencer). Born 7th April 1921 in Toronto, enlisted 10th April 1942.

Sgt. James Inglis Scott. Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery. Collective grave 6.C.15-19. Son of James Inglis Scott and Jessie Duncan Scott, of Dundee.

Sgt. Eric Gordon Waller. Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery. Collective grave 6.C.15-19. Son of Bert Joseph and Una Maude Mary Waller, of Canterbury, England.

Sgt. James Frederick Etheridge. Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery. Collective grave 6.C.15-19. Son of Frederick Charles and Nellie Eliza Etheridge, of Hastings, Sussex, England.

Sgt. John Richard Honey. Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery. Grave 6.C.13. Son of John and Mable Honey, stepson of Edwin Payne of Ivybridge, Devon, England.

For Debra and Philip Jakes MBE, relative of Sgt. John Honey and for Harry Jamieson cousin of  Fl/Sgt. Ronald Jamieson and all the relatives of the crew. Uwe Jenrich for grave photographs.

KTY 21.07.2015 Map added

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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