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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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10 Squadron Crest
13/14.10.1942 No. 10 Squadron Halifax II W7870 ZA-G F/O. John D. Lindsay

Operation: Kiel

Date: 13/14th October 1942 (Tuesday/Wednesday)

Unit: No. 10 Squadron (4 Group)

Type: Halifax II 

Serial: W7870

Code: ZA-G

Base: RAF Melbourne, Yorkshire

Location: North Sea, 15 KM North of Schiermonnikoog, Netherlands

Pilot: F/O. John David Lindsay J/9555 RCAF Age 21. Missing

Fl/Eng: Sgt. Robert Gregg 902460 RAF Age 34. Missing (1)

Nav: Fl/Sgt. Francis Xavier Joseph Dunajski R/94590 RCAF Age 23. Missing (2)

Air/Bmr: Fl/Sgt. Francis Joseph Hogan R/111255 RCAF Age 24. Missing

W/Op/Air/Gnr: F/O. Raymond Sydney Braley J/10170 RCAF Age 22. Missing

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Alfred Charles Girdlestone 1383954 RAFVR Age 19. Missing

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Alan George Langton 927895 RAFVR Age 21. Missing


The niece of the Flight Engineer would very much like to contact other relatives of the crew and would really appreciate any photographs, in particular of course of Sgt. Robert Gregg - please contact us via the Add Info button or our Help Desk.


REASON FOR LOSS:

288 aircraft took place on a bombing operation on Kiel. Halifax W7870 took off at 18:34 hrs. Decoy fires were  lit to divert the bombers, some 50% of the bombing consequently fell in open countryside. However, the City was hit by the remainder of the bomber stream, with the majority of damage created by the use of blast bombs - some 250,000 sq/mtrs of roof tiling and 150,000 sq/mtrs of glass damage. 41 killed on the ground with 101 people injured. Some of the force also bombed Hamburg, thought to be a mistake but killing 8 people with 43 injured.

5 of the 8 aircraft lost were claimed by night fighters. Shot down by Oblt. Paul Gildner (3) of 11./NJG1 with interception taking place at 2,200 mrs over the North Sea some 15 kilometres north of Schiermonnikoog at 23:18 hrs. Neither the crew or aircraft were recovered.

Above: overview of general area and right Oblt. Paul Gildner (courtesy Kracker Archive)

Early version of a 10 Squadron Halifax - L9619 ZA-E (courtesy IWM - on the 16th February, 1942 this aircraft ran out of fuel and abandoned over Keld, Swaledale, Yorkshire Moors)

(1) The brother of Sgt. Robert Gregg also lost his life in conflict. 25 year old L/Cpl. Thomas Gregg 7012187 of the 2nd Battalion, Royal Ulster Rifles was lost on the 01st June 1940 at Dunkirk and is remembered on the Dunkirk Memorial, Column 129. Believed during the evacuation, on board HMS Skipjack (4), 1 of the 4 destroyers sunk by the Luftwaffe that day. 64,000 Allied troops were evacuated this day.

(2) Dunajski Lake in Saskatchewan was named after Fl/Sgt. Francis Xavier Joseph Dunajski. A memorial was placed by Doug Chisholm in 2001.

(3) This was the 40th kill for Oblt. Paul Gildner who went on to obtain an enormous score of 42 abschüsse, before he was killed on the 24/25th February 1943 in a forced landing near Gilze-Rijen airfield after engine failure.

(4) On 1st June HMS Skipjack (pictured right) was off Dunkirk (La Panne) and was subjected to repeated air attacks. Except when troops were boarding she circled at full speed to avoid the attacks. By 0800 only 12 rounds of 4" ammunition were left for each gun. By 0844, 275 troops had boarded when ten Ju88's attacked Skipjack and she was hit by two bombs. She lost way and developed a heavy list to port. Another three bombs hit the ship and at 0849 she turned turtle, remaining afloat for about 20 minutes. Survivors in the water were attacked by enemy aircraft. The majority of the troops were trapped in the hull. Nineteen crew and 275 troops were killed.

Above: Runnymede Memorial as photographed by Aircrew Remembered in 2014

Burial details:

F/O. John David Lindsay. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 99. From Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Next of kin details not available - can you assist?

Fl/Eng: Sgt. Robert Gregg. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 84. From County Antrim, Northern Ireland. 

Nav: Fl/Sgt. Francis Xavier Joseph Dunajski. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 103. Son of John and Johanna (née Hernig) Dunajski, of Dilke, Saskatchewan, Canada. Prior to enlisting in February 1941, had been a teacher.

Air/Bmr: Fl/Sgt. Francis Joseph Hogan. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 104. Son of Daniel and Anne Hogan, of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

W/Op/Air/Gnr: F/O. Raymond Sydney Braley. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 99. From Westmount, Quebec, Canada. Next of kin details not available - can you assist?

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Alfred Charles Girdlestone. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 83. Son of Frederick Walter and Jessie Louise Girdlestone, of Bromley, Kent, England.

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Alan George Langton. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 87. Son of Mr. and Mrs. Richard George Langton, of Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England.

Researched for Angela Wright, niece of Sgt. Robert Gregg. Dedicated to all the relatives of the crew. For further details our thanks to the sources shown below. Also to Halcyon-Class for details on HMS Skipjack.

KTY 16.09.2015.

KTY 17.09.2015 Further details added.

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: 17 September 2015, 22:20