AR banner
Search Tips Advanced Search
Back to Top

Info LogoAdd to or correct this story with a few clicks.
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.
Further data available at Allied Losses & Incidents database

.

We seek additional information and photographs. Please contact us via the Helpdesk.

419 Squadron Crest
09/10.08.1943 No. 419 Squadron Halifax II JD257 VR-F F/O. Michael T.R. Ludlow

Operation: Mannheim

Date: 9/10th August 1943 (Monday/Tuesday)

Unit:No.419 Squadron RCAF. (Moose)

Type: Halifax II

Serial: JD257

Code: VR-F

Base: RAF Middleton St. George, County Durham

Location: Ludwigshafen, Mannheim, Germany

Pilot: F/O. Michael Thomas Robert Ludlow J/22787 RCAF Age 21. Killed

Flt/Eng: Sgt. William Leslie Scott 1346099 RAFVR Age 20. Killed

Nav:F/O. Charles Austin Wright J/21828 RCAF Age 25. Killed

Bomb Aimer: Fl/Sgt. Alexander Stewart MacLaren R/127864 RCAF Age 25. Killed

W/Op/AirGnr: Fl/Sgt. Clarence Reginald Smyth R/116935 RCAF Age 24. Killed

Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Douglas Raymond See R/139715 RCAF Age 20. Killed

Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. William Daniel de Molitor R/88357 RCAF Age 21. Killed

REASON FOR LOSS:

Part of a large raid on the twin cities of Mannheim and Ludwigshafen on the banks of the Rhine, Halifax JD257, together with 170 other Halifaxes and 286 Lancasters, took off at 22:47 hours.

Reportedly, upon reaching the target area, it was cloud covered and not well marked by the Pathfinders which resulted in widely spread bombing of lesser important targets.

Although the flak and searchlight batteries surrounding Mannheim and Ludwigshafen were fairly ineffective, the night fighters managed to down nine aircraft including JD257 which crashed at Ludwigshafen killing all aboard.
It is thought "probable" that this Halifax was shot down by Ofw. Richard Launer (1) of 1./NJG6

However, although there was no reported witnesses to the cause of the crash, it is suggested in the record that during the MREU investigation after the war that JD257 was possibly involved in a mid air collision with Lancaster ED882 of 103 Squadron. The two aircraft crashed in close proximity of one another and it was discovered during the exhumation of the original German graves that the remains of the crew members of the two aircraft had been mixed up and in some cases misidentified.

F/O Ludlow flew on his first sortie against the enemy to Dortmund on the night of 23/24 May 1943, as the 2nd. pilot aboard Halifax BB376 captained by F/O W.N. Keddie to gain some experience of an actual operation.

Operational Record:
Captain Ludlow and the rest of his crew flew together on ten sorties before being lost on the Mannheim raid.
29/30 May 1943 Wupperthal - successful
11/12 June 1943 Dusseldorf - returned, intercom and turret unserviceable
12/13 June 1943 Bochum - returned, intercom unserviceable
24/25 June 1943 Wupperthal - successful
25/26 June 1943 Gelsenkirken - returned, port engine failure
28/29 June 1943 Cologne - successful
3/4 July 1943 Cologne - successful
9/10 July 1943 Gelsenkirken - successful
24/25 July 1943 Hamburg - successful
25/26 July 1943 Essen - successful
9/10 August 1943 Mannheim - did not return aircraft and crew lost.

The Crew

Details above of the pilot F/O. Michael Ludlow (courtesy Brantford Kinsmen Club, Ontario, Canada)

Promotion:

Aircraftsman II 4 July 1940; AircraftsmanI 16 November 1940; Leading Aircraftsman 1 April 1941. Re mustered for flying duties Aircraftsman II 7 December 1941; Leading Aircraftsman 30 January 1942. Commissioned Pilot Officer 14 August 1942; Flying Officer 14 February 1943.

Postings:

No.1 Manning Depot, Toronto 4 Ju;y 1940
Technical Training School, St.Thomas, Ontario 12 July 1940
No.6 Service Flying Training School, Dunnville, Ontario 21 November 1940
No.1 Initial Training School, Toronto 8 December 1941
No.10 Elementary Flying Training School, Mt. Hope, Ontario 15 February 1942
No.6 Serice Flying Training School, Dunnville, Ontario 26 April 1942
No. 1 'Y' Depot, Halifax, Nova Scotia 29 August 1942
Embarked Halifax 27 October 1942
Disembarked UK 5 November 1942
3 Personnel Reception Centre, Bournemouth 6 November 1942
No.14 Pilot Advanced Flying Unit RAF Ossington, Nottinghamshire, 8 December 1942
No. 23 Operational Training Unit, RAF Pershore, Worcestershire 9 February 1943

No. 1659 Heavy Conversion Unit, RAF Topcliffe, Yorkshire 1 May 1943

RCAF 419 Squadron RAF Middleton St. George, County Durham 16 May 1943



Ludlow Lake in northern Ontario is named after F/O. Ludlow.





Sgt. William L. Scott

No further details. can you help?

F/O Charles A. Wright

Charles was the eldest of three sons and a daughter of Charles and Jane Wright. Upon graduation from high school at Chatham Collegiate in 1936, Charles was enrolled at the University of Western Ontario where he graduated with an Honours Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business Administration in 1940. During his time at university both in London and Toronto he was very active in the Canadian Officers Training Corps. He was also a very keen sportsman and participated extensively in soccer, tennis and swimming. He must have been quite the player while at 419 Squadron for in a letter to his parents his commanding officer wrote, "indeed proving to be too much of an opponent on the tennis courts".
In June 1940 he moved to Toronto to take a position with the T. Eaton Company where he worked for three months until enlisting in the RCAF that September. Wanting to enlist for air crew duties he was selected to train as a navigator being awarded his Air Observers badge on 9 September 1942 in a ceremony at No.1 Air Observers School, Malton, Ontario.
Charles had completed nine operations against the enemy when he was lost.

Promotions:
Aircraftsman II 25 September 1941; Leading Aircraftsman 27 February 1942; Commissioned Pilot Officer 11 September 1942; Flying Officer 11 March 1943.

Postings:
Toronto Recruitment Centre 25 September 1941
No.1 Manning Depot, Toronto 20 October 1941
No.5 Service Flying Training School, Brantford, Ontario 11 November 1941
No.1 Initial Training School, Toronto 5 January 1942
No.1 Air Observers School, Malton, Ontario 23 May 1942
No. 1 'Y' Depot, Halifax, Nova Scotia 26 September 1942
Embarked Halifax 27 October 1942
Disembarked UK 5 November 1942
3 Personnel Reception Centre, Bournemouth 6 November 1942
No. 10 Observers Advanced Flying Unit, RAF Dumfries, Scotland 14 December 1942
No. 23 Operational Training Unit, RAF Pershore, Worcestershire 9 February 1943

No. 1659 Heavy Conversion Unit, RAF Topcliffe, Yorkshire 1 May 1943

RCAF 419 Squadron RAF Middleton St. George, County Durham 16 May 1943

F/S Alexander S. MacLaren

Alexander was the third eldest son of a family of four brothers and an older sister. He graduated High School in Georgetown with Honours Matriculation and went on to a Business School for a two year course in office work. Upon graduation he worked at Alliance Paper Mills as a clerk until he enlisted in the RCAF on 21 August 1941 at Toronto, Ontario choosing to train as a navigator. Awarded Air Observers badge 21 August 1942.

Promotions:
Aircraftsman II 21 August 1941; Leading Aircraftsman 22 January 1942; Sergeant 21 August 1942; Flight Sergeant 21 February 1943.

Postings:
Toronto Recruitment Centre 21 August 1941
No.1 Manning Depot, Toronto 10 September 1941
No.1 Service Flying Training School Camp Borden, Ontario 11 October 1941
No.1 Initial Training School, Toronto 24 November 1941
No.7 Air Observers School, Portage La Prairie 14 February 1942
No.3 Bombing and Gunnery School, MacDonald, Manitoba 24 May 1942
Central Navigation School, Rivers, Manitoba 19 July 1942
No. 1 'Y' Depot, Halifax, Nova Scotia 9 September 1942

Embarked Halifax 27 October 1942
Disembarked UK 5 November 1942
3 Personnel Reception Centre, Bournemouth 6 November 1942
No. 23 Operational Training Unit, RAF Pershore, Worcestershire 19 January 1943

No. 1659 Heavy Conversion Unit, RAF Topcliffe, Yorkshire 1 May 1943

RCAF 419 Squadron RAF Middleton St. George, County Durham 16 May 1943


F/S Clarence R. Smyth

Upon leaving school Clarence held several jobs many of them seasonal, from telegraph messenger, laboratory worker, truck driver and waiter. He joined the Army Reserve in 1941 and was still attached to the Advanced Training Centre at Camp Borden when he applied for re enlistment in the RCAF as an air gunner. Having some knowledge and interest in telegraphy he was recommended for training as a wireless operator/air gunner. Clarence was awarded his Wireless Operators badge on 29 September 1942 and Air Gunners badge on 26 October 1942.

Promotions:
Aircraftsman II 20 August 1941; Leading Aircraftsman 15 April 1942; Sergeant 26 October 1942; Flight Sergeant 26 April 1943

Postings:
No.5 A M D Valcartier, Quebec 20 August 1941
No.8 Service Flying Training School, Moncton, New Brunswick 7 November 1941
No.4 Wireless School Guelph, Ontario 15 March 1942
No.3 Bombing and Gunnery School, MacDonald, Manitoba 25 September 1942
No. 1 'Y' Depot, Halifax, Nova Scotia 28 October 1942
Embarked New York 23 November 1942
Disembarked UK 30 November 1942
3 Personnel Reception Centre, Bournemouth 1 December 1942
No.3 Observers Advanced Flying Unit (O)AFU RAF Halfpenny Green, Wolverhampton 22 December 1942
No. 23 Operational Training Unit, RAF Pershore, Worcestershire 9 February 1943
No. 1659 Heavy Conversion Unit, RAF Topcliffe, Yorkshire 1 May 1943

RCAF 419 Squadron RAF Middleton St. George, County Durham 16 May 1943


F/S Douglas R. See

Douglas had four older brother and a younger sister in his family where their father was employed as a building contractor. He completed his Grade XI at the Aylsham School in 1941 and listed his hobbies as model aircraft building and music. He was also extensively active in hockey, softball, tennis and swimming.
He enlisted in Saskatoon for air crew duties on 13 November 1941 wanting to train as a pilot. Unfortunately, during his training at Elementary Flying School, it was determined that due to inconsistent progress he was unsuitable for further training as a pilot and recommended for re mustering as an air bomber. However, the Re-selection Board felt after his interview that he was more suitable as an air gunner.

Promotions:
Aircraftsman II 13 November 1941; Leading Aircraftsman 19 June 1942; Sergeant 18 December 1942; Flight Sergeant 18 June 1943

Postings:
Saskatoon Recruitment Centre 13 November 1941
No. 2 Manning Depot, Brandon, Manitoba 9 December 1941
RCAF Technical Training School, St.Thomas, Ontario 13 February 1942
No.1 Initial Training School, Toronto 29 March 1942
No.20 Elementary Flying Training School, Oshawa, Ontario 2 August 1942
RCAF Composite Training School Trenton, Ontario 8 September 1942
No.9 Bombing and Gunnery School Mt. Joli, Quebec 26 September 1942
No. 1 'Y' Depot, Halifax, Nova Scotia 2 January 1943
Embarked Canada 26 January 1943
Disembarked UK 4 February 1943
3 Personnel Reception Centre, Bournemouth 5 February 1943
No. 23 Operational Training Unit, RAF Pershore, Worcestershire 9 March 1943
No. 1659 Heavy Conversion Unit, RAF Topcliffe, Yorkshire 1 May 1943
RCAF 419 Squadron RAF Middleton St. George, County Durham 16 May 1943

See Lake in Saskatchewan is named after F/S See





F/S William D. de Molitor

William came from a large family comprised of seven brothers and five sisters. Leaving school after completion of Grade VIII, he worked on the family farm and in forestry as a lumberman until he enlisted in the RCAF for ground crew duties on 29 April 1941.
William re mustered for air crew duties on 9 June 1942 and was trained as an air gunner. He was awarded his Air Gunners badge on completion of his course at Mt. Joli on 25 September 1942.
It was noted by his commanding officer in a letter to his mother that, "although he had only been with the squadron approximately two months during that time he had completed eight operations against the enemy, including six trips to the heavily defended Ruhr Valley, one trip to Cologne and one of the recent devastating raids on Hamburg".

Promotions:
Aircraftsman II 29 April 1941; Aircraftsman I 1 August 1941; Leading Aircraftsman 29 October 1941; Sergeant 25 September 1942; Flight Sergeant 25 March 1943

Postings:
No.4 Manning Depot Quebec City, Quebec 29 April 1941
No.1 Coastal Artillery Co-Operation Detachment, St. John, New Brunswick 2 June 1941
No.9 Bombing and Gunnery School Mt. Joli, Quebec 5 July 1942
No. 1 'Y' Depot, Halifax, Nova Scotia 27 September 1942
Embarked Canada 28 October 1942
Disembarked UK 5 November 1942
3 Personnel Reception Centre, Bournemouth 6 November 1942
No.7 Air Gunnery School, RAF Stormy Down, Wales 19 December 1942
No. 23 Operational Training Unit, RAF Pershore, Worcestershire 9 February 1943
No. 1659 Heavy Conversion Unit, RAF Topcliffe, Yorkshire 1 May 1943
RCAF 419 Squadron RAF Middleton St. George, County Durham 16 May 1943

Burial Details:

F/O. Michael Thomas Robert Ludlow. Durnbach War Cemetery, Germany. Grave 2 J 6. Son of Maj. Percy Howarth Ludlow formerly of the Royal Field Artillery, and Agnes Edith (nee Dent) Ludlow of Brantford, Ontario, Canada.

Sgt. William Leslie Scott. Durnbach War Cemetery, Germany. Collective Grave 2 J 7-14. Son of Alexander and Alice Scott of Broughty Ferry, Angus, Scotland.

F/O. Charles Austin Wright. Durnbach War Cemetery, Germany. Grave 2 J 4. Son of Charles Frederick Wright and Jane (nee Austin) Wright of Chatham, Ontario, Canada.

Fl/Sgt. Alexander Stewart MacLaren. Durnbach War Cemetery, Germany. Collective Grave 2 J 7-14. Son of Alexander and Minnie Stewart (nee Walker) MacLaren of Georgetown, Ontario, Canada.

Fl/Sgt. Clarence Reginald Smyth. Durnbach War Cemetery, Germany. Collective Grave 2 J 7-14. Son of Norman James Smyth and Annie Myrtle (nee McDougal) Smyth of Chatham, Ontario, Canada.

Fl/Sgt. Douglas Raymond See. Durnbach War Cemetery, Germany. Collective Grave 2 J 7-14. Son of Walter James and Elizabeth Myrtle (nee Lemon) See of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Fl/Sgt. William Daniel De Molitor. Durnbach War Cemetery, Germany. Grave 2 J 5. Son of Frederick Sebastian and Deborah Maud (nee Purney) de Molitor of Jordan Falls, Shelburne Co., Nova Scotia, Canada.

(1) The fifth victory for Ofw. Richard Launer - no details of the height and time for this combat. He survived the war with a total of eight kills.

Researched by Aircrew Remembered, researcher and RCAF specialist Colin Bamford for relatives of this crew. With information courtesy of Album of Honour for Brant County World War II 1939 – 1945. Published in 1946 by The Brantford Kinsmen Club, Ontario, Canada and kindly reproduced with their permission.

Crew photographs copied from and reproduced from Veteran Affairs Canada website
Other source information: Library and Archives Canada; Ottawa, Canada; Service Files of the Second World War - War Dead, 1939-1947; Series: RG 24; Volume: 25189

Further information courtesy of Les Allison and Harry Hayward - ‘They Shall Grow Not Old’ - a book of remembrance. Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vol's. 1 and 2', Tom Kracker - 'Kracker Luftwaffe Archives'. Fred Paradie - 'Paradie Archive'.

CHB 23.02.2020 Crew biographical content 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, Michel Beckers, Major Fred Paradie (RCAF) and MWO François Dutil (RCAF) - Paradie Archive (on this site), Jean Schadskaje, Major Jack O'Connor USAF (Retd.), 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', Franek Grabowski, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of CWGC, UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, New Zealand National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
Click any image to enlarge it

Click to add your info via ticket on Helpdesk •Click to let us know via ticket on Helpdesk• Click to buy research books from Amazon •Click to explore the entire site
If you would like to comment on this page, please do so via our Helpdesk. Use the Submit a Ticket option to send your comments. After review, our Editors will publish your comment below with your first name, but not your email address.

A word from the Editor: your contribution is important. We welcome your comments and information. Thanks in advance.

At the going down of the sun, and in the morning we will remember them. - Laurence Binyon
All site material (except as noted elsewhere) is owned or managed by Aircrew Remembered and should not be used without prior permission.
© Aircrew Remembered 2012 - 2021
Last Modified: 03 April 2021, 23:40

Monitor Additions/Changes?Click to be informed of changes to this page. Create account for first monitor only, thereafter very fast. Click to close without creating monitor