18/19.09.1942 No. 15 Squadron Stirling I N3759 LS-Q P/O. James E. Land
Date: 18/19th September 1942 (Friday/Saturday)
Unit: 15 Squadron
Type: Stirling I
Base: RAF Bourn, Lincolnshire
Location: Kattegat area
Pilot: P/O. James Edward Land J/85241 RCAF Age 22. Missing - believed killed
Fl/Eng: Sgt. Robert Frederick Lowrie 575843 RAF Age 19. Missing - believed killed
Nav: Sgt. George Hayes 1377993 RAFVR Age 32. Missing - believed killed
Air/Bmr: Fl/Sgt. William Douglas Probert R/74972 RCAF Age 24. Missing - believed killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Frank Edward Davidson R/62936 RCAF Age 21. Missing - believed killed
Air/Gnr: Sgt. Gordon Frederick Eldridge 911677 RAFVR Age 21. Missing - believed killed
Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Charles Frederick Bee R/98141 RCAF Age 22. Missing - believed killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off for a Gardening operation at 20:00 hrs from RAF Bourn in Lincolnshire to lay mines in the Undergrowth and Yew Tree areas (Kattegat) (code names for RAF Mine laying areas see here) 115 aircraft taking part in this operation dropping mines in various areas. 5 aircraft were lost, 2 Stirlings, 2 Lancasters and 1 Wellington.
The aircraft was reported to have been to hit by Marine Flak and 2/lei Flak Abt 844, II/1/lei Flak Abt 836 and Alarm Flak Battery 11/XI. The aircraft crashed into the sea 70km North West of Esbjerg at 0100 hours. (Nachtjagd Combat Archives The Early Years Part 3 - Theo Boiten).
Also lost from the Squadron on this operation:
Stirling I R9351 LS-R Flown by P/O. John miller Steel 126588 RAFVR taken PoW at Stalag Luft Sagan and Belaria with PoW number 720. He was knocked unconscious when the aircraft hit the water, quickly recovered and swam to the surface. Picked up by a passing ferry. Sadly the remaining 6 crew were posted as missing - believed killed.
P/O. James Edward Land. Runnymede Memorial, Surrey. Panel 100. Son of John Frank and Beulah Ellison Land, husband of Helen Louise Land, of Baldwyn, Mississippi, USA.
Sgt. Robert Frederick Lowrie. Runnymede Memorial, Surrey. Panel 88. Son of John Robert and Florence Gertrude Lowrie, of Halstead, Kent, England.
Sgt. George Hayes. Runnymede Memorial, Surrey. Panel 85. Son of George and Lilian Beatrice Hayes; husband of Lilian Mary Hayes, of Cheam, Surrey, England.
Fl/Sgt. William Douglas Probert. Runnymede Memorial, Surrey. Panel 106. Son of William and Elsie May Probert, of Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada.
Fl/Sgt. Frank Edward Davidson. Runnymede Memorial, Surrey. Panel 103. Son of James S. and Elsie Davidson, of Debert, Nova Scotia, Canada.
Sgt. Gordon Frederick Eldridge. Runnymede Memorial, Surrey. Panel 82. Son of Sidney Eldridge, and of Beatrice Eldridge, of Ewell, Surrey, England.
Fl/Sgt. Charles Frederick Bee. Runnymede Memorial, Surrey. Panel 102. Son of Earle R. and Dora L. Bee, of Leamington, Ontario, Canada.
Researched for Garrett Kalem. Thanks to John Jones for the Theo Boiten information. Sources as quoted below.