07/08.08.1944 No. 7 Squadron Lancaster III ND460 MG-W F/O. Leslie Kidd
Operation: Normandy Battle Area
Date: 07/08th August 1944 (Monday/Tuesday)
Unit: No. 7 Squadron (Pathfinders)
Type: Lancaster III
Base: RAF Oakington, Cambridgeshire
Location: Bolbec, France
Pilot: F/O. Leslie Kidd AUS/414698 RAAF Age 27. Killed
Fl/Eng: W/O. Dennis McGrevy DFM. 569429 RAF Age ? Killed
Nav: F/O. Philip Alan Ingrey MiD. 55287 RAF Age 27. Killed
Air/Bmr: P/O. Samuel McNabney 164928 RAFVR Age 20. Killed
Spec Op: W/O. James Francis Forbes 1348902 RAFVR Age 34. Killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Robert George Law 1246248 RAFVR Age 30. Killed
Air/Gnr: F/O. George Horsburgh DFM. 155866 RAFVR Age 30. Killed
Air/Gnr: W/O. William Aspey DFM. 1437583 RAFVR Age 22. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off from RAF Oakingington at 22:05 hrs.
Five positions were the target for 1,019 aircraft in the Normandy battle area in front of the allied ground troops. The operation was planned with the utmost care, resulting in 660 aircraft actually bombing the various targets. German strong points and roads were hit hard.
Lancaster ND460 was shot down by Luftwaffe night fighters between 23:39 hrs and 00:06 hrs. There are 3 pilots who all fit into this time scale having positive claims:
Hptm. Heinz Rökker (40th claim) and Lt. Johannes Nascent (3rd claim) of 2.NJG.2 or Uffz. Rolf Koch 1st claim) 4./NJG.4.
On the 06th February 1946 No. 2 M.R.E. Unit (1) visited the area in order to identify the crew of the aircraft and arrange proper headstones to be placed. The officer in charge Sq/Ldr. A.C.W. Clowes questioned various eye witnesses to the crash including a Mr. M. Revault. The witness confirmed that he had seen the 4 engined bomber sweeping low over Bolbec and on fire. The aircraft then partly disintegrated in the air with one engine falling from the machine. Sadly this engine hit a house killing a young French woman and her child.
The main part of the aircraft crashed onto a hill top in an area on the edge of the town where it then burnt out. Mr. Revault informed the officer that 6 bodies were recovered at the time from the wreckage but were not able to identify individual identification part from that of P/O. Samuel McNabney made possible by recovery of his ID discs. The wreckage covered an area of approximately 1000 square yards - the aircraft serial number was painted on a piece of the wreckage as were the painted rows of bombs denoting number of operation this aircraft had completed.
At the cemetery the officer was shown the graves - detailing names of the crew discovered from personal effects found at the time of the crash.
(1) MRESU - The Royal Air Force Missing Research and Enquiry Service (MRES) was set up in 1944 to trace the 42,000 personnel who were listed as 'missing, believed killed'. The demand was so great that the department was expanded in 1945.
These men had no special training, and did not have the benefits that modern technology offers; only a strong desire to bring home those who had not returned. Despite the obstacles caused by the lack of tools, the MRES was able to account for over two thirds of the missing personnel by a thorough combing of the globe. Those found were identified and reinterred in Commonwealth War Graves Commission plots. Without the commitment shown by the dedicated teams of the MRES, many families would go on not knowing what had happened to their loved one or of the location of their Final resting place. The MRES allowed families the dignity to finally grieve. Despite many protests, the unit was disbanded in 1952. The Runnymede Memorial was considered a suitable ‘alternative’.
The United States is committed to this day of repatriating its war dead as are some other nations including France.
F/O. Leslie Kidd. Bolbec Communal Cemetery. Military Plot. Row 1. Coll. grave 1-6. Born on the 20th October 1916 in Gympi, Queensland, the son of James Edward and Ellen Kidd, husband of Margaret Ann Kidd (née McNair), of Hooper Street, West Ipswich, Queensland, Australia. Perviously served in 27 OTU, 56 HCU,101, and 156 Squadrons. Note: His wife Margaret remarried and became Margaret A. Muller of 303 Brisbane Street, West Ipswich, Queensland, Australia.
W/O. Dennis McGrevy DFM. Bolbec Communal Cemetery. Military Plot. Row 1. Coll. grave 1-6. Next of kin details not available - are you able to assist?
F/O. Philip Alan Ingrey MiD. Bolbec Communal Cemetery. Military Plot. Row 1. Coll. grave 1-6. F/O. Philip Alan Ingrey. Bolbec Communal Cemetery. Military Plot. Row 1. Coll. grave 1-6. Son of Charles James A Ingrey (1868-1931) and Eliza Jane Ingrey (née Whittle) (1886-1935) - neither parents alive at time of his loss.
P/O. Samuel McNabney. Bolbec Communal Cemetery. Military Plot. Row 2. Grave 9. Son of Samuel and Agnes McNabney, of Ballymena, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland.
W/O. James Francis Forbes. Bolbec Communal Cemetery. Military Plot. Row 1. Coll. grave 1-6. Son of Francis W. Forbes, and of Annie Duguid Forbes, of Aberdeen, Scotland. Chartered Accountant.
Fl/Sgt. Robert George Law. Bolbec Communal Cemetery. Military Plot. Row 1. Coll. grave 1-6. Foster-son of William James Garrett, of Gloucester, England.
F/O. George Horsburgh DFM. Bolbec Communal Cemetery. Military Plot. Row 1. Coll. grave 1-6. Son of John and Alice Horsburgh.
W/O. William Aspey DFM. Bolbec Communal Cemetery. Military Plot. Row 1. Coll. grave 1-6. Son of Thomas and Mary Aspey, of Wigan, Lancashire, England.
Researched for Noela Nolan - relative of the pilot, with thanks to Caroline Cook for details on Sgt. Ingrey - September 2017 page dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to sources as quoted.