15/16.03.1944 No. 578 Squadron Halifax III LW495 LK-C P/O. Lerl
Date: 15/16th March 1944
Unit: No. 578 Squadron
Type: Halifax III
Base: RAF Burn, Yorkshire
Location: Selby, Yorkshire
Pilot: P/O. Frederick William Lerl J/19296 RCAF Age 23. Killed
Fl/Eng: Sgt. Stanley Hugh Jenkins 1262364 RAFVR Age 32. Killed
Nav: P/O. J. R. Coleman Injured
Air/Bmr: Fl/Sgt. Keith George Redford 656698 RAF Age 22. Killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. D. F. White Injured
Air/Gnr: Sgt. John Harry Davis 1606693 RAFVR Age 28. Killed (1)
Air/Gnr: P/O. Harold Copeland Bell J/86232 RCAF Age 22. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Halifax LM495 took off at 18:52hrs from RAF Burn for a night raid on Stuttgart. On returning from the raid this aircraft crashed at 03:35 into the brickworks at Selby, Yorkshire.
863 aircraft took part in this night raid 617 Lancasters, 230 Halifaxes and 16 Mosquitoes.
Clear weather with adverse winds caused the delayed opening of the attack and the same winds may have caused the Pathfinder marking falling well short of the target. Early bombing fell in the centre of Stuttgart, but most of the bombing fell in open ground south-west of the city. 37 aircraft were lost that night - 27 Lancasters and 10 Halifaxes
Frederick Lerl Wickham War Memorial Frederick Lerl
P/O. Lerl Sgt. Jenkins Fl/Sgt. Redford Sgt. Davis P/O. Bell
P/O. Frederick William Lerl. Harrogate (Stonefall) Cemetery, Yorkshire. Sec. F. Row C. Grave 20. Son of Joseph and Ketura B. Lerl. From Riley, Albert, Canada.
Sgt. Stanley Hugh Jenkins. Harrogate (Stonefall) Cemetery, Yorkshire. Sec. F. Row C. Grave 18. Son of Walter Hugh and Elizabeth Jane Jenkins of Plumbstead, London, England.
Fl/Sgt. Keith George Redford. Epson Cemetery, Surrey. Sec. N. Grave 257. Son of Osbert Henry and Amelia Redford of Ewell, Surrey, England.
Sgt. John Harry Davis. Wickham (St. Nicholas) Churchyard, Wickham, Hampshire. New part, N. E. of church. (1) John died of his injuries on the 17th March 1944. Son of Harry and Ada Elizabeth Davis of Wickham. Husband of Dolores Victoria Ruby Davis of Southsea, Portsmouth, England. His brother Robert Edgar also died in service on 14th October 1939 while serving on HMS Royal Oak.
P/O. Harold Copeland Bell. Harrogate (Stonefall) Cemetery, Yorkshire. Sec. F. Row C. Grave 19. Son of Norman and Mary Bell. Husband of Dorothy Rose Bell of Fort William, Ontario, Canada.
Researched by: Kate Tame for aircrewremembered and for all the relatives of the crew. With thanks to Andrew Milne for details on pilot - March 2018.