30/31.03.1944 424 Squadron Halifax III LV879 QB-A Fg.Off. John Doig
Date: 30/31st March 1944 (Thursday/Friday)
Unit: 424 Squadron
Type: Halifax III
Base: RAF Skipton-on-Swale, Yorkshire
Pilot: Fg.Off. John Doig J/16112 RCAF Age 31. Killed
Flt.Eng: Sgt. John Stanley Bolton 1581788 RAFVR Age? Killed
Nav: Fg.Off. John Ross Mason J/20714 RCAF Age 28. PoW (1)
Air Bmr: Flt.Sgt. Alfred Hirst Crosland R/161229 RCAF Age 22. Killed
WOp/Air Gnr: Sgt. Donald Stewart 1387541 RAFVR Age 20. Killed
Air Gnr: Sgt. Robert James Atkins R/191525 RCAF Age 27. Killed
Air Gnr: Sgt. Thomas James Rogers 1852120 RAFVR Age ? Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
On 30th March 1944 Halifax III LV879 QB-A left RAF Skipton-on-Swale at 21:35 hrs. On the outbound journey it was attacked by a night-fighter.
Claimed by Lt. Klaus Bretschneider, his 4th claim, from 6./JG300 in the Glessen area at 5,800m at 00:35 hrs. The aircraft exploded and crashed on Hangelstein, 1km west of Alten-Buseck. (Nachtjagd Combat Archive (16 March 1944 - 11 May 1944) Part 2 - Theo Boiten).
Above: Left Fg.Off. Doig and right, Sgt. Atkins. Both images from their service files.
Above: Sgt. Donald Stewart and on his wedding day to Joan (see credits)
(1) Fg.Off. Mason bailed out and sustained leg injuries. He was taken into custody by a policeman named Hahn based in Lollar and was handed over to the guardroom at Giessen. It is believed that he had been taken to Giessen hospital for treatment. His PoW camp is unknown.
This was only the second operation for Flt.Sgt. Crosland.
The crew were initially buried in the Alten Busek Cemetery, Germany in the east corner. They were buried in separate graves. but later exhumed and moved to Hanover War Cemetery.
Fg.Off. John Doig. Hanover War Cemetery. Grave 6.D. 13. Born 14th May 1912, Winnipeg, Manitoba. Son of George and Isabella Doig of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
Sgt. John Stanley Bolton. Hanover War Cemetery. Grave 6.D. 14. No further details as yet are you able to assist?
WO2. Alfred Hirst Crosland. Hanover War Cemetery. Grave 6.D. 15. Born 4th March 1922, Homeferth, England. Son Herbert and Alice Crosland of Pickering, Ontario, Canada.
Sgt. Donald Stewart. Hanover War Cemetery. Grave 6.D. 18. Further information: Son of William and Lillian Stewart and husband of Joan Celia Helen Stewart of Finsbury Park, Middlesex, England. They had married just two weeks prior to his death - he had been promised leave for a honeymoon - if he volunteered as a replacement wireless operator and air gunner.
Plt.Off. Robert James Atkins. Hanover War Cemetery. Grave 6.D. 17. Born 28th February 1917, Petrolia, Ontario. Son of George Alfred and Roxie Mary Atkins of Petrolia, Ontario, Canada. Posthumously promoted to Plt.Off. with the Service No. J/88345
Sgt. Thomas James Rogers. Hanover War Cemetery. Grave 6.D. 16. Son of Thomas and Mary Rogers of Kidwelly, Carmarthenshire, Wales
Researched by Aircrew Remembered, researcher and specialist genealogist Linda Ibrom for relatives of this crew. With special thanks to Marion Eley (née Stewart) for the photographs of Sgt. Stewart. Thanks to Vince Munro for the correction to the name of the navigator which should be Fg.Off. John Ross Mason and not Marsh.