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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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425 Squadron Crest
05/06.03.1945 No 425 Squadron Halifax III MZ454 KW-S F/O. Arthur R. Lowe

Operation: Chemnitz

Date: 05/06th March 1945 (Wednesday/Thursday)

Unit: No. 425 Squadron

Type: Halifax III

Serial: MZ454

Code: KW-S

Base: RAF Tholthorpe, Yorkshire

Location: Little Ouseburn, Yorkshire

Pilot: F/O. Arthur Robert Lowe J/29556 RCAF Age 23. Killed

Fl/Eng: Sgt. James Luaurids Lynch R/201189 RCAF Age 20. Killed

Nav: F/O. E.S. Brabbins RCAF Survived - abandoned aircraft

Air/Bmr: F/O. J.F. Brownell RCAF Survived - abandoned aircraft

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. K.J.S. McCuaig RCAF Survived - abandoned aircraft

Air/Gnr: F/O. Paul John Hall J/43949 RCAF Age 20. Killed

Air/Gnr: P/O. John William Hyde J/95349 RCAF Age 35. Killed


Taking off from RAF Tholthorpe in Yorkshire at 16:40 hrs for an operation to Chemnitz.

The bomber force consisted of some 498 Lancasters, 256 Halifaxes with 6 Mosquitoes on operation Thunderclap - (the bombing of the eastern-most cities of Germany to disrupt the transport infrastructure behind what was becoming the Eastern front. Also to demonstrate to the German population, in even more devastating fashion, that the air defences of Germany were now of little substance and that the Nazi regime had failed them)

The operation started badly with no less than 9 aircraft crashing at their various bases due to icing up of the aircraft. Halifax MZ454 was one of these, crashing at 17:02 hrs with the exploding bombs damaging the church at Little Ouseburn, some of the crew managed to bale out of the aircraft at low level.

Above: L-R rear: F/O. Lowe, F/O. Brabbins, F/O. Brownell, Sgt. Lynch. Front: Sgt. Hyde, F/O. Hall, Fl/Sgt. McCuaig.

On the 50th anniversary of the crash a memorial window was placed in the church at Little Ouseburn, Yorkshire in 1995.

Burial details:

Pilot, F/O. Lowe was initially buried with his crew, but since war end the family elected to have his remains returned to Red Bank in New Jersey, USA.

F/O. Arthur Robert Lowe. Red Bank Fairview Cemetery. Plot J.J. Lot 2446. Grave 3. Son of Arthur Robert Acton and Charlotte Mary Lowe, of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Sgt. James Luaurids Lynch. Harrogate Cemetery (Stonefall). Sec. G. Row H. Grave 16. Son of James T. Lynch and Anna L. Lynch, of Windsor, Ontario, Canada.

F/O. Paul John Hall. Harrogate Cemetery (Stonefall). Sec. G. Row H. Grave 10. Son of John J. Hall and Catherine A. Hall, of St. George’s, Newfoundland, Canada.

P/O. John William Hyde. Harrogate Cemetery (Stonefall). Sec. G. Row H. Grave 9. Son of John Henry and Ethel May Hyde and husband of Gertrude Elizabeth Hyde, of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to sources shown below.

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: 14 December 2016, 19:19