23/24 June 1944 No.12 Sqn. Lancaster III ND528 F/O Frank Armstrong Jeffrey
Operation: Saintes, France
Date: 23/24 June 1944 (Friday/Saturday)
Unit: No.12 RAF Squadron
Type: Avro Lancaster III
Base: Wickenby, Lincolnshire
Location: Bay of Biscay off St.Nazaire, France
Pilot: F/O Frank Armstrong Jeffrey, J/27714 RCAF Age 33 Killed
Flt. Eng: Sgt. Reginald John West, 1819926 RAFVR Age 20 Killed
Navigator: F/O John Alan Tebbut, 158816 RAFVR Age 21 Killed
Air Bmr: P/O Conrad Cromer Evans, J/89839 RCAF Age 22 Killed
W. Op: Sgt. Donald Edward Lyne, 1386808 RAFVR Age 20 Killed
Air/Gnr: P/O Charles Thomas Wright, J/91173 RCAF Age 20 Killed
Air/Gnr: P/O Albert Lyle Pollock, J/91136 RCAF Age 21 Killed
REASON FOR LOSS
F/O Jeffrey and crew were relatively new to 12 Squadron having crewed – up while at 30 Operational Training Unit (OTU) Hixon, before being taken on strength at Wickenby on 8 June 1944.
Jeffrey’s first taste of actual operations over enemy territory was on the night of 9/10 June when he flew as a second pilot on a bombing raid against the airfield at Flers, in Normandy, France.
The crew first flew together on a successful daylight raid to bomb the V-Weapon site at Mimoyecques on the afternoon of 22 June 1944.
The following night taking off at 22:20 hours as part of a force of 203 Lancasters and 4 Mosquitoes, they set out to bomb the railway yards at Saintes.
As they approached the target area, a night fighter piloted by Ofw. Hermann Stähler of 2./NJG3 raked their Lancaster with canon fire sending it crashing into the sea off of St.Naizaire.
The Crew of Lancaster ND528
F/O Frank Armstrong Jeffrey
Born in North Bay, Ontario on 6 June 1911, Frank was the oldest member of the crew at 33. His father was a respected building
contractor in the community and Frank was self employed as an Accountant and Trustee in Bankrupcy until his enlistment on 7 April 1942.
After spending 12 weeks at No.1 Manning Depot in Toronto, he was selected for training as aircrew and posted to No.5 Service Flying Training School at Brantford. Here he took the basic courses in mathematics, navigation, aircraft recognition, morse code and rifle and revolver firing. It was noted in the remarks on his final examination results that Frank was, “a really excellent young man. Excellent officer material.”
From Brantford he was posted to No.1 Initial Training School at Toronto where the recruits would take further courses in mathematics, navigation, law, armament, meteorology, airmanship, aircraft recognition, theory of flight and signals. He would also be subjected to thorough medical fitness examinations and testing as well as a test in the Link trainer, an early form of a flight simulator to determine his suitability for further training as a pilot or as an observer. Upon succesful completion each candidate would appear before a board of superior officers who would then announce their decision, pilot or observer. Frank would be selected for pilot training and promoted to Leading Aircraftsman (LAC) on 6 November 1942.
No. 9 Elementary Flying Training School at St.Catherines, Ontario would be his next posting on 28 December 1942. Here he began his actual piloting of an aircraft flying de Havilland Tiger Moths. During the eight week course his record remarks that he had one small mishap, “On landing student overcontrolled on rudder. Applied brakes and nosed up.”
While he was stationed at St.Catherines, Frank was granted 14 days leave during which time he married his fiancée, Margaret Mary Corbett in Windsor, Ontario on the 24 February 1943.
Upon graduation in early March of 1943, Frank was posted to No.16 Service Flying Training School at Hagersville, Ontario, to complete his training flying the twin engine Avro Anson. On 25 June 1943 he was commissioned as a Pilot Officer and awarded his Pilot’s Flying Badge.
After the customary 14 days pre-embarkation leave, he arrived at No.1 Y Depot in Halifax, Nova Scotia on 10 July and set sail for the UK five days later.
After a month at No.3 PRC, Bournemouth, he was taken on strength at No.6 Pilot - Advanced Flying Unit (P) AFU, Little Rissington, Gloustershire on 24 August 1943. Here, pilots would hone their skills flying the Oxford and Anson aircraft and attend 1523 Beam Approach Training (BAT) to get used to flying at night and in poor weather conditions before being posted to an Operational Training Unit (OTU) of Bomber Command. On 21 December, Frank was posted to No.81 OTU at Tilstock, Shropshire and to begin training on heavy bombers in preparation for flying operational aircraft with a squadron.
From Tilstock, F/O Jeffrey moved to No.30 OTU at Hixon, Staffordshire on 31 December 1943 flying the Vickers Wellington bomber until the end of March 1944.
At Hixon it was customary that “crewing up” occurred where each pilot or captain would align themselves with the remainder of his crew. From this point on the crew would train as a unit. During April and May they were stationed at No.11 Base, Lindholme, South Yorkshire for conversion to the Avro Lancaster until their posting to 12 Squadron at Wickenby on 8 June 1944.
Sgt. Reginald John West
No further details are known other than his mothers address in 1945 was 33 Cecil Street, Newport, Lincoln. Please contact us if you can supply any additional information.
P/O John Alan Tebbut
No further details are known. Please contact us if you can supply any additional information.
P/O Conrad Cromer Evans
P/O Evans was working in the Records Office at Northern Electric Co., when he enlisted at Toronto on 21 August 1942. From No.1 Manning Depot he was posted to No.5 Initial Training School at Belleville, Ontario on 10 January 1943. On 4 April he was posted to No.1 Bombing & Gunnery School, Jarvis, Ontario and then to No.4 Air Observers School at London, Ontario where he gained his Air Bombers Badge on 6 August 1943. Arriving at No.1 Y Depot, Halifax on 21 August he embarked for the UK five days later where he landed on 1 September.
From No.3 PRC Bournemouth, Evans was posted to No.1 Observers Advanced Flying Unit, Wigtown, Scotland on 2 November until 31 December 1943 when he was taken on strength at No.30 OTU Hixon, and crewed up with F/O Jeffrey.
Sgt. Donald Edward Lyne
No further details are known. Please contact us if you can supply any additional information.
P/O Albert Lyle Pollock
Albert enlisted at Winninpeg on 18 May 1942 eager to follow in his two older brother’s footsteps that were already in training with the RCAF. Volunteering for flying duties and wanting to be a pilot he was sent to No.12 Service Flying Training School (SFTS) at Brandon on 19 July 1942 and then to No.2 Initial Training School, Regina on 29 August. Despite much early success at No.19 Elementary Flying Training School at Virden where he attended from 21 November 1942 to 23 January 1943, he washed out of No.10 SFTS Dauphin, Manitoba in May 1943. Re-mustering as an air gunner he was taken on strength at No.1 AGGTS and from there on to No.9 Bombing & Gunnery School, Mount Joli, Quebec where he gained his Air Gunners Badge on 15 October 1943. He was then posted to No.1 Y Depot, Halifax on 29 October to embark for the UK on 1 November 1943. Arriving at NO.3 PRC ten days later where he would spend six weeks before being posted to No.81 OTU on the 21 December and then at the end of the month to No.30 OTU where he crewed up with F/O Jeffrey to complete his training.
Albert Pollock’s brother, James, was also killed while serving with No.426 Squadron on 14 January 1943. His aircraft, Wellington BK165, was lost without trace during a raid on the U-Boat pens at Lorient.
Pollock Lake, Manitoba was named after P/O Pollock in 1974
P/O Charles Thomas Wright
Charles was working as a rivetter for Boeing Aircraft in Vancouver when he enlisted on 13 July 1942.
Joining No.3 Manning Depot at Edmonton on 29 September 1942, he was posted to No.3 Wireless School in Winnipeg on 28 December of that year. After six months at Winnipeg his Morse speed was insufficient to graduate and he re-mustered as an air gunner joining Albert Pollock at No.1 Air Gunners Ground Training School (AGGTS) at Quebec City on 9 July 1943 where he gained his Air Gunners Badge on 15 October 1943. At the end of October, he was posted to No.1 Y Depot to await embarkation to the UK on 24 November 1943. Disembarking on 1 December and stationed at 3PRC, he left for No.30 OTU on 18 January 1944 where he crewed up with Frank Jeffrey.
Luftwaffe Nachtjadg Pilot Ofw. Hermann Stähler 2./NJG3
Ofw Stähler was credited with bringing down Lancaster ND528 from a height of 2500 meters at 01.18 hours on 24 June 1944 N.N.W. of Saintes for his second victory. He would go on to claim two further allied aircraft brought down before he was injured in a crash on take off from Nordholtz airfield due to engine failure on 23 August 1944. No further details are known. Please contact us if you can supply any additional information.
F/O Frank Armstrong Jeffrey, Runnymede Memorial, Panel 246. Son of John Telfer Jeffrey and Jane Lightfoot Jeffrey, of North Bay, Ontario, Canada. Husband of Margaret Mary (nee Corbett) Jeffrey of Windsor, Ontario, Canada.
Sgt. Reginald John West, Runnymede Memorial, Panel 240.Next of kin unknown.
P/O John Alan Tebbut, Runnymede Memorial, Panel 209. Son of Frank James Henry and Dora Tebbut; husband of Betty Diana Tebbut, of Streatham, London.
P/O Conrad Cromer Evans, Runnymede Memorial, Panel 250. Son of Conrad Cromer Evans, and of Violet Marjorie (nee Yates) Evans of Leaside, Ontario, Canada.
Sgt. Donald Edward Lyne, Runnymede Memorial, Panel 233. Son of Edward Charles Lyne and Elsie (nee Page) Lyne of New Southgate, Middlesex
P/O Albert Lyle Pollock, Runnymede Memorial, Panel 252 Son of Andrew Theodore Pollock and Rose Annie (nee Armson) Pollock, of McConnell, Manitoba, Canada.
P/O Charles Thomas Wright, Runnymede Memorial, Panel 253. Son of George and Elizabeth Florence (nee Walker) Wright of Wilson Creek, British Columbia, Canada.
With thanks to Jean McDonald, 2nd. cousin of F/O Jeffrey, for her assistance in creating this Page of Remembrance.
Crew photographs courtesy Library and Archives Canada (LAC)
Researched and compiled by Colin Bamford for Aircrew Remembered and dedicated to all the families of the crew of Lancaster ND528.