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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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12/13.06.1943 No. 408 Squadron Halifax II JB790 EQ-V Fl/Lt. Large

Operation: Bochum

Date: 12/13th June 1943 (Saturday/Sunday)

Unit: 408 Squadron (Goose)

Type: Halifax II

Serial: JB790

Coded: EQ-V

Base: RAF Leeming, Yorkshire

Location: North West of Burgsteinfurt, Germany

Pilot: Fl/Lt. George Russell Large J/9688 RCAF Age 25. PoW No: 1502. Camp: Stalag Luft Sagan and Belaria (1)

Fl/Eng: Sgt. Thomas Leith-Ross 1487121 RAFVR Age 19. Killed

Nav: Sgt. Albert Frederick Rayment R/121901 RCAF PoW No: 230 Camp: Stalag Lemsdorf 

Air/Bmr: F/O. Francis Lloyd Milburn J/20816 RCAF Age 23. Killed (2)

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Norman Bainblatt R/133514 RCAF PoW No: 25 Camp: Stalag Lemsdorf

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Joseph Elland Forest R/96860 RCAF PoW No: 30 Camp: Stalag Luft Sagan and Belaria

Air/Gnr: Sgt. David Hester Hutchinson R/137936 RCAF PoW No: 174 Camp: Stalag Lemsdorf


Took off at 23.39hrs. from RAF Leeming, Yorkshire to join a massive attack of 503 aircraft on Bochum. Weather conditions were favourable (small amounts of cloud, moderate visibility and a half moon). Some 24 aircraft failed to return home.


                   Above L - R: Fl/Lt. Large, Sgt. Leith-Ross and F/O. Milburn (see credits)

Halifax JB790 was shot down by Hptm. Egmont Prinz zur Lippe Weissenfeld of III./NJG1 at 01.22 at 15,000 ft over Sellen, 3 km North West of Burgsteinfurt. He was killed later in the war on 12th March 1944 along with his crew in the Belgian Ardennes during a transit flight in bad weather. Credited with 49 kills. 

We have recently been contacted by the daughter of the pilot, Fl/Lt. Large, Mrs. Marilyn P. Tompkins. She wrote:

"Sadly my mother never told me any details having remarried when I was 3, but I did "find" lots of family members on a visit in the 80's and retain good contact with them. My 2 sons also have some contact.

I think he was born in Winnipeg and grew up in Makaroff, Manitoba, he had completed 2 years in the agriculture faculty at the university of Manitoba. He joined the R.C.A.F. arriving in england October 1942. My father met and married Isabelle Kathleen Primevere Page in Woodhall Spa, Lincolnshire, where his officer's mess was the Petwood Hotel, which is now much visited for it's connection with the Dambusters squadron. 

Canadians from Manitoba Canada, Fl/Lt. George Russell Large is shown on this remarkable photograph. middle row, far right. (courtesy Bill Anderson)

Qualified as a first pilot on 13th May 1943, Bochum was only his 4th operational flight. I have a wonderful copy of a diary which Sq/Ldr. John E. Mahoney R.C.A.F. kept while he was in Stalag Luft 3 alongside my father. He continued it during the march to Lubeck and up to such time as they arrived home. He describes how my father was taken by ambulance from the march to Hamburg with a suspected strangulated hernia, not to be seen again.

As you record, his grave is at Adagem and there is a lake named after him in Manitoba, for which I have a commemoration certificate. I was in Woodhall Spa today, living only 30 minutes away near Lincoln.  His surviving sister, Helen McGregor lives in Brandon, Manitoba, and his surviving brother John Large lives in Victoria."

Mrs. Marilyn P. Tompkins

It is likely that due to the recent visit of relatives to the crash site and the great assistance provided by German researchers further information may well be added to this and other articles.

(1) PoW - later killed by Allied fighter aircraft who strafed a prisoner of war column on the 16th. April 1945.





                   Amazing photographs recently supplied to relatives on a visit to the crash site. (courtesy Hazel Ross-Hughes)


                   Scene of the crash site 2010. (courtesy Hazel Ross-Hughes)


                   Hazel Ross-Hughes (left) with eye witness of the crash Herr Werdeling


Above left: Police report - translation shown below (courtesy Hazel Ross-Hughes) Right: Egmont Prinz zur Lippe Weissenfeld

Police report (Kindly translated by Rüdiger Kaufmann - a great researcher based in Germany):

Burgsteinfurt, the 13th of June 1943

Concerns: Shooting down of an enemy aircraft

'On 13.6.43, at about 13.30 hrs an enemy airplane was shot down over the city area. This plane crashed near the House side Werding at Stellen No. 101 and burned almost completely out. 

Our Fire fighters came immediately to the crash site and fought the fire. Also the Police, Gendamerie, Stadtwacht and Landwacht (Local organisations in City and Country like the Volkssturm in1945) were used for a barrier and searching for jumped out flyers. The airplane dropped their bombs shortly before the crash at farmland near Veltrup in the grounds of farmer Schulze-Veltrup. One of these bombs exploded near the high voltage power line (50000 and 10000 Volts) and cut them out of service. Apart from this there was a unexploded LB30 and other unexploded Bombs at the ground near the Power line. 

The VEW (Electricity Company) is still waiting with there until all bombs are eliminated. The bomb squad from Münster was informed immediately. The dangerous area is protected by a guard of the Stadtwacht and signs. 

Three enemy flyers were captured at the city area of Emsdetten. A further flyer landed with parachute at the Bauernschaft (area) Hollich near the House side of farmer Tetenborg. Some flyers still not captured. Additionally one flyer was burned in the plane. One dead flyer was found in the woods between Werdeling and Palstring at Stellen. 

There must be 7 flyers in this plane. Therefore two flyers are missing. The local Police stations at Borghorst, Neuenkirchen and Wettringen were asked for support. Alerts to the authorities were made by Police officer Husken from Sch. D. R. (Schutzpolizei des Reiches).

Sign Kühn'

Master of the Schutzpolizei


                       F/O. Milburn Commemorative headstone in Canada

(1) Large Lake in Manitoba is named after Fl/Lt. Large

(2) Milburn Lake in Manitoba is named after F/O Milburn



Burial Details:

Fl/Lt. Thomas Leith-Ross. Reichswald Forest Cemetery. 24.D.16. Son of James Alexander and Margaret, of Carclinty, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland.

F/O. Francis Lloyd Milburn. Reichswald Forest Cemetery. 24.D.15. Son of Frank and Bena Milburn, of St. Vital, Manitoba, Canada.

Fl/Lt. George Russell Large. Adegem War Cemetery. X1.H.4. Son of Alexander Russell Large, and of Florence Lillian Large, of Makaroff, Manitoba, Canada, husband of Isabelle Kathleen Large.

O.R.B. Copy and photo of Sgt. Thomas Leith-Ross kindly supplied to Aircrew Remembered by his niece, Hazel Ross-Hughes. Mrs. Marilyn Primevere Tompkins for the photo of her father, Fl/Lt. George Russell Large and other information. With thanks to the following for additional details, Bill Chorley - "Bomber Command Losses Vol 3", Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vol's. 1 and  2',  Martin Middlebrook "Bomber Command War Diaries". The Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Tom Kracker - 'Kracker Luftwaffe Archives'


From Top to bottom and left to right: The old Camphill Chief Mr Friedemann Liebeck his wife Lieselotte, Hermann Werdeling and Hazel Ross

Hermann und Irmgard Werdeling, Regina Hemker -Möllering -Deputy Mayor of Steinfurt

Mr. Reinhard Berger-chief of Camphill, Mrs . Leonie Frenkert-Ghazi - Organised the meeting on the Camphill Farm. Further details of the great 'Camphill' Organisation

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: 01 June 2014, 17:20

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