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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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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 (1)

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

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

Obs: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 (2)

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


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.


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

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 (3) of 1./NJG6

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

(2) This was the 11th operation for Fl/Sgt. Douglas Raymond See.

(3) 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.


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 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 F. Wright and Jane 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 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 Smyth of Chatham, Ontario, Canada.

Fl/Sgt. Douglas Raymond See. Durnbach War Cemetery, Germany. Collective Grave 2 J 7-14. Son of Mr. and Mrs. W.J. 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 de Molitor of Jordan Falls, Shelburne Co., Nova Scotia, Canada.

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.

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'.

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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