12/13.08.1944 No. 514 Squadron Lancaster I LM180 JI-G P/O. Lawrie loss
Operation: Russelsheim, Frankfurt (Flying Bomb sites)
Date: 12/13th August 1944
Unit: No. 514 Squadron
Type: Lancaster I
Code: JI-G (replacing JI-U - "The Swoose")
Base: RAF Waterbeach, Cambridgeshire.
Location: Bavegem near Gent, Belgium.
Pilot: Fl/Sgt (P/O.) John Lawrie N/Z428001 RNZAF Age 21. Killed
Fl/Eng: Sgt. "Tommy" D. Young RAFVR Evaded
Nav: Fl/Sgt. Denison "Reg" Orth RAAF Evaded
Air/Bmr: Sgt. Martin J. Carter RAFVR Evaded
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. E. George Durland RAFVR Evaded
Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Sam Lindsay R. Burford RAAF Evaded
Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt Robert ("Bob") Charles Chester-Master 434592 RAAF Age 20. Evaded
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off at 21.44 hrs from RAF Waterbeach, Cambridgeshire to bomb the Opel works at Russelsheim which was thought to be manufacturing the wings for the V1 flying bombs.
The crew left to right Rear: Sgt. E. George Durland, Sgt. "Tommy" D. Young, Fl/Sgt. John Lawrie, Fl/Sgt. Denison "Reg" Orth and Sgt. Martin J. Carter. Front: Fl/Sgt. Sam Lindsay R. Burford and Fl/Sgt Robert ("Bob") Charles Chester-Master (courtesy Bob Chester-Master)
514 Squadron Lancasters over France, 1944
LM180 was probably attacked by a Ju88 flown by Uffz. Hermann Möckel (1) of 2.NJG4 over Havelange at 2,000 mtrs.
(1) This abscúss (the first and only for this Luftwaffe pilot of the war) is classed as a "probable". Uffz. Hermann Möckel survived the war after being shot down by an allied night fighter near Lesse, Belgium on the 29/30th December 1944. No further details are known as to his fate.
We are in contact with Bob Chester-Master who will shortly be updating this page of remembrance.
John Lawrie was originally buried in the garden of a local shoe maker (Nestor van der Heyden) in his garden at Bavegem prior to Schoonselhof Cemetery.
It is understood that Bob Chester-Master is the only surviving member of this crew - January 2013.
Fl/Sgt (P/O.) John Lawrie. Schoonselhof Cemetery, Antwerp. Grave IV.D.15. Son of Andrew Reid Lawrie and of Annie Lawrie (nee Anderson), of Otakeho, Taranaki, New Zealand.
The war diaries of 514 Squadron. Written by Simon Hepworth and Andrew Porelli. ISBN: 978-1495440489 546 Pages.
Formed on 1st September 1943 as part of the expansion of Bomber Command's No. 3 Group, 514 Squadron specialised in blind bombing techniques in the drawn out and bloody campaign against Nazi Germany. For the vast majority of its war, 514 Squadron was stationed at RAF Waterbeach, Cambridgeshire, operating Lancaster bombers. Aircrew members were drawn not just from Britain but also Canada, Australia and New Zealand amongst others. Over four hundred members of the squadron were to lose their lives in the two years of the squadron's existence, which saw the loss on operations of 66 aircraft, with another 14 being written off in accidents. Thrown into the Battle of Berlin in the winter of 1943/4, 514 Squadron also played a pivotal role in supporting the Allied bridgehead in Normandy after D-Day, before reverting to attacks on German infrastructure, including transport facilities and oil production plants. Drawing on the squadron's Operational Record Book, previously only available as microfiche or poor quality print, Simon Hepworth and Andrew Porrelli have produced the first comprehensive record of 514 Squadron's war.
Researched for Bob Chester-Master and dedicated to all the relatives of this crew. With additional information supplied by Bob Chester-Master, New Zealand Herald 12 August 2004, Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - "Nightfighter War Diaries Vol's. 1 and 2", Bill Chorley - "Bomber Command Losses Vol. 5", Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - "Bomber Command War Diaries". Guy at Find a grave and the 12 o'clock high Forum.