07/08.07.1944 No. 9 Squadron Lancaster III JB116 WS-T Plt.Off. George Arthur Harry Langford
Operation: St. Leu d'Esserent, France
Date: 7/8th July 1944 (Friday/Saturday)
Unit: 9 Squadron
Type: Lancaster III
Base: RAF Bardney, Lincolnshire
Location: Near Millebosc, Seine-Maritime, France
Pilot: Plt.Off. George Arthur Harry Langford 175102 RAFVR Age 22. PoW No. 4795 * (1)
Flt.Eng: Sgt. C.G. Fenn 1645862 RAF Age? PoW No. 389 **
Nav: Flt.Sgt. John Llewellyn Wright 1466015 RAFVR Age 23 Killed (2)
Air Bmr: Flt.Sgt. Stanley Michael (Mick) Mitchell 419197 RAAF Age 21. PoW No. 474 ** (3)
W Op/Air Gnr: Sgt. Israel Feldman 1214953 RAFVR Age 22 Killed
Ai /Gnr: Sgt. James Wright J/89895 RCAF Age 19 Killed (4)
Air/Gnr: Fg.Off. Geoffrey Thomas Baseden 156340 RAFVR Age 38 Killed (5)
* Stalag Luft 1 Barth-Vogelsang, Prussia now Poland
** Stalag Luft 7, Bankau near Kreuzberg, Silesia, Germany. (Now Bąków, Opole Voivodeship, Poland)
JB116 crew photograph: Back row, left to right: Sgt. J. Wright, Sgt. Fenn, Flt.Sgt. J.L. Wright, Flt.Sgt. Mitchell; Front row, left to right: Fg.Off. Baseden, Plt.Off. Langford, Sgt. Feldman. (Courtesy Pat Langford)
Plt.Off. Langford: left: LAC aircrew trainee in Canada and right: qualified Sgt. Pilot ((Courtesy Pat Langford)
REASON FOR LOSS:
Lancaster JB116 took off from RAF Bardney at 22.42hrs for a bombing operation on the flying-bomb storage depot at St Leu d'Esserent. The bombers were attacked by German night fighters and Lancaster JB116 may have been hit by flak or shot down by one of the attacking enemy night fighters and crashed at 02.00 hrs near Millebosc, Seine-Maritime. One of 208 Lancasters and 13 Mosquitoes that took off that night to bomb a number of flying bomb storage tunnels at St. Leu d'Esserent. The bombing was very successful on the tunnels and the bombers managed to block the access roads. The total loss on this operation was 31 aircraft
One of three aircraft from the Squadron who failed to return from this operation. The two other aircraft were Lancaster JA690 Plt.Off. Gradwell and Lancaster JA957 Fg.Off. Blackham
The crew were on their sixteenth operational flight together with 9 Squadron when their aircraft was lost on this operation
Top: VI flying rocket (courtesy Kate Tame 2012). Bottom: The bomb damaged flying-bomb storage depot St. Leu d'Esserent after the bombing operation July 8, 1944
Map showing the area of the crash site of Lancaster JB116
Grave markers of the crew ((Courtesy Pat Langford)
Flt.Sgt. John Llewellyn Wright. Millebosc Communal Cemetery, Seine-Maritime, France. Son of John William Wright of Gorleston-on-Sea, Great Yarmouth (2) John is remembered on the March Grammar School Old Boys War Memorial and on the March War Memorial, Cambridgeshire
Sgt. Israel Feldman. Millebosc Communal Cemetery, Seine-Maritime, France. Son of Isaac and Annie Feldman of Southall, Middlesex.
Left: The photograph which was laying beside James Wright's headstone with the words "Off to war, never to return" (Courtesy Kate Tame 2012) The same picture of James Wright (courtesy Canadian Virtual War Memorial)
Plt.Off. James Wright. Millebosc Communal Cemetery, Seine-Maritime, France. Born 18th March 1925. Son of James Albert and Marion (née Bone) Wright (4) James graduated from No 3 Bomber and Gunnery School, MacDonald, Manitoba in July 1943. Posthumously promoted to Fg.Off. with a service No. of J/89895.
Fg.Off. Geoffrey Thomas Baseden. Millebosc Communal Cemetery, Seine-Maritime, France. Son of Thomas and Ellen Susanna Baseden. Husband of Vera Lucy Baseden of Blackheath, London. Chartered Accountant (5) Geoffrey is remembered on the ICAEW Roll of Honour, Chartered Accountants Hall, London
(1) Plt.Off. George Arthur Harry Langford was posted to 9 Squadron 17 May 1944 and was promoted to Flight Lieutenant on the 1st October 1945.
Card sent to Mr & Mrs Mitchell parents of Flt.Sgt. Stanley Michael (Mick) Mitchell who was a prisoner of war in Germany November 1944 (courtesy Canadian War Museum)
(3) Flt.Sgt. Stanley Michael (Mick) Mitchell. Stanley was born 16th October 1922 in South Melbourne and enlisted 17th July 1942. Mick was repatriated in May 1945 and was discharged from RAAF on the 18th January 1946.
Stanley Michael (Mick) Mitchell passed away aged 74 on the 5th July 1997 in Frankston, Victoria, Australia.
Researched by: Kate Tame Aircrew Remembered and for all the relatives and friends of the crew. Thanks to Pat Langford, the daughter of Plt.Off. Langford, for the crew photograph.