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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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No.207 Squadron Badge
15/16.07.1944 207 Squadron Lancaster I ME807 EM-S Flt.Lt. Jones

Operation: Nevers

Date: 15/16th July 1944 (Saturday/Sunday)

Unit: 207 Squadron

Type: Lancaster I

Serial: ME807

Code: EM-S

Base: RAF Spilsby, Lincolnshire.

Location: Marnay near Lignieres-de-Touraine, Indre et Loire, France.

Pilot: Flt.Lt. George Leeson Jones, 127237 RAFVR Age 30. Killed

2nd. Pilot: Fg.Off. Edward Dalgleish, 177620 RAFVR Age 25. Killed

Flt.Eng: Plt.Off. Barrington St. John Woollard, 179243 RAFVR Age 23. Killed

Nav: Fg.Off. Frank Reginald Tickle, 409772 RAAF Age 34. Killed

Air/Bmr: Plt.Off. Frederick George Graham, J/88399 RCAF Age 21. Killed (1)

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Joseph Harold Fellows, 1581317 RAFVR Age 21. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Richard Arthur Gaut, 2220609 RAFVR Age 19. Killed

Air/Gnr: Plt.Off.. Michael James Wallace Cantwell, J/90372 RCAF Age 18. Killed

REASON FOR LOSS

Bomber Commands operational plan called for simultaneous raids on railway marshalling yards in France. The raiding force, which was comprised of 222 Lancasters and 7 Mosquitoes, would split once over the French coast, one half headed for Nevers 130 miles to the south of Paris and the other to Châlons sur Marne 90 miles to the east.

Flt.Lt. Jones and crew took off from their base at Spilsby at 22:14 hours. Five minutes later, Flt.Lt. William Murphy piloting Lancaster ME851 of RAAF 467 Sqn, took off from RAF Waddington - both destined for Nevers.

The Squadron Operational Record Book notes: ‘Fine: 13 aircraft detailed for operations later reduced to 6 and one reserve, 6 took off to attack Nevers, one (Flt.Lt. Jones with Plt.Off. Dalglish) failed to return. Other crews report seeing what appeared to be a collision over the target, aircraft seen to disintegrate.’ Later reports confirmed that Jones’ aircraft had collided with a 467 Sqn Lancaster at 0300 hours over the target area. Both aircraft disintegrated and all crew members were killed. The aircraft crashed and exploded in flames at Marnay in the Commune of Lignieres.

L to R: Fg.Off. Edward Dalgleish, Sgt. Joseph Fellows, Sgt. Richard Gault
Photos of Dalgleish and Gault courtesy of Alison Dalgleish and Pierre Vandervelden


(1) Graham Lake east of Nejanilini Lake, Manitoba is named after P/O Graham.


Burial Details:

Flt.Lt. George Leeson Jones, Lignieres de Touraine Communal Cemetery, Row B Grave 1. Born on 24th August 1913, the Son of William James Jones and Mildred Elizabeth Ann Jones, of Swansea, Wales.

He joined the West Sussex Constabulary on the 25th March1939 where he served in Shoreham. PC Jones then joined the RAF. He became a Lancaster Pilot flying at least 21 operational sorties

Memorial at the Chichester Police Station remembering Police Constables from the West Sussex Constabulary, five of whom were killed in action servicing with the Royal Air Force in Bomber Command. (Courtesy Jonathan Ford from the Sussex Constabulary)

Of the eight remembered on the right hand panel are Fg.Off. Lewis Walter Castle Austin, Plt.Off. Frank William Cosens DFC, Flt.Lt. George Leeson Jones (this report), Sgt. Richard Edwards and Plt.Off. William Charles Sutton.

Fg.Off. Edward Dalgleish, Lignieres de Touraine Communal Cemetery, Row B Grave 5. Son of Edward and Catherine Agnes Webster (nee Hanley) Dalgleish, husband of Margaret Emily Maude (nee Moore) Dalgleish of Leith, Midlothian, Scotland.

Plt.Off. Barrington St.John Woollard, Lignieres de Touraine Communal Cemetery, Row B Joint Grave 2. Son of William Robert and Editha Agnes Woollard of Norbury, London, England.

Fg.Off. Frank Reginald Tickle, Lignieres de Touraine Communal Cemetery, Row A Grave 6. Son of Ephraim John Gerrard Tickle and Esther Tickle; husband of Phyllis Margaret Tickle of South Yarra, Victoria, Australia.

Plt.Off. Frederick George Graham, Lignieres de Touraine Communal Cemetery, Row A Grave 5. Son of Joseph Frederick and Amy (nee Thorley) Graham of Oak Lake, Manitoba, Canada. Further details: Born and educated in Oak Lake, Plt.Off Graham enlisted in the RCAF on January 15, 1942. After graduating from Central Navigation School, Rivers, Manitoba on April 13 1943, he was posted overseas completing 20 operations over enemy territory.

Sgt. Joseph Harold Fellows, Lignieres de Touraine Communal Cemetery Row B Joint Grave 2. Son of Joseph and Ethel May (nee Croome) Fellows of Stourport-on-Severn, Worcestershire, England.

Sgt. Richard Arthur Gaut, Lignieres de Touraine Communal Cemetery Row A Grave 2. Son of Abraham and Emily Gaut of Donnington, Shropshire, England.

Plt.Off. Michael James Wallace Cantwell, Lignieres de Touraine Communal Cemetery, Row A Grave 8. Son of James W. Cantwell and Mary Ellen Cantwell of Campbelltown, New Brunswick, Canada.

The crew members of ME807 and ME851 are buried side by side at Lignieres de Touraine.
(Photo courtesy Pierre Vandervelden, IN MEMORY)

Researched and written for Aircrew Remembered by Colin Bamford and dedicated to Alison Dalgleish, niece of Fg.Off. Dalgleish and her daughter Corinne and all the families of the crew of Lancaster ME807. Thanks to Jonathan Ford from the Sussex Constabulary for the images of the memorial.

RS 12.02.2020 - Addition of Chichester Police memorial

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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