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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. 9 Squadron
7/8.07.1944 No. 9 Squadron Lancaster III JB116 WS-T P/O. George Arthur Harry Langford

Operation: St. Leu d'Esserent, France

Date: 7/8/July 1944 (Friday/Saturday)

Unit: No. 9 Squadron

Type: Lancaster III

Serial: JB116

Code: WS-T

Base: RAF Bardney, Lincolnshire

Location: Near Millebosc, Seine-Maritime, France

Pilot: P/O. George Arthur Harry Langford 175102 RAFVR Age? PoW No. 4795. Camp: Stalag Luft I - Barth, Germany (1)

Fl/Eng: Sgt. C G Fenn 1645862 RAF Age? PoW No. 389. Camp: Stalag Luft VII - Bankau (Bakow) Poland

Nav: Fl/Sgt. John Llewellyn Wright 1466015 RAFVR Age 23 Killed (2)

Air/Bmr: Fl/Sgt. Stanley Michael (Mick) Mitchell 419197 RAAF Age? PoW No. 474. Camp: Stalag Luft VII - Bankau (Bakow) Poland (3)

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Israel Feldman 1214953 RAFVR Age 22 Killed

Air/Gnr: P/O. James Wright J/89895 RCAF Age 19 Killed (4)

Air/Gnr: F/O. Geoffrey Thomas Baseden 156340 RAFVR Age 38 Killed (5)

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 P/O. Gradwell and Lancaster JA957 F/O. Blackham

The crew were on their sixteenth operational flight together with No 9 Squadron when their aircraft was lost on this operation

Left: VI flying rocket (courtesy Kate Tame 2012) Right: 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

Burial details:

Fl/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" Right: Headstone picture of the four crew who lost their lives (both courtesy Kate Tame 2012)


The same picture of James Wright (courtesy Canadian Virtual War Memorial)

P/O. James Wright. Millebosc Communal Cemetery, Seine-Maritime, France. Son of Albert and Marion Wright of Toronto, Canada (4) James graduated from No 3 Bomber and Gunnery School, MacDonald, Manitoba in July 1943

F/O. 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) P/O. George Arthur Harry Langford was posted to No 9 Squadron 17 May 1944 and was promoted to Flight Lieutenant 1 October 1945


Card sent to Mr & Mrs Mitchell parents of Fl/Sgt. Stanley Michael (Mick) Mitchell who was a prisoner of war in Germany November 1944 (courtesy Canadian War Museum)

(3) Fl/Sgt. Stanley Michael (Mick) Mitchell. Stanley was born 16 October 1922 in South Melbourne and enlisted 17 July 1942. Mick was repatriated in May 1945 and was discharged from RCAF 18 January 1946.

Stanley Michael (Mick) Mitchell died 5 July 1997 in Frankston, Victoria, Australia

Researched by: Kate Tame Aircrew Remembered and for all the relatives and friends of the crew.

KT. 20.12.2015

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 and Fred Paradie - Paradie Archive (both on this site), 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', Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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Last Modified: 20 December 2015, 20:23