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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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467 Squadron Crest
11/12.06.1943 No. 467 Squadron Lancaster III W4983 PO-Z Sq/Ldr. MacKenzie DFC

Operation: Düsseldorf

Date: 11/12th June 1943 (Friday/Saturday)

Unit: No. 467 Squadron (RAAF)

Type: Lancaster III

Serial: W4983

Code: PO-Z

Base: RAF Bottesford, Lincolnshire

Location: Rosenthal - Frenz, Germany (1)

Pilot: Sq/Ldr. Donald Carr MacKenzie DFC. 43706 RAF Age 21. Killed (2)

Pilot 2: Sq/Ldr. Benjamin South Ambrose 40040 RAFVR Age 27. Killed

Fl/Eng: Sgt. James Fraser McLuskey 990173 RAFVR Age 22. Killed

Nav: P/O. Denis Clarke Bovis 145177 RAFVR Age ? Killed

Air/Bmr: Sgt. Arthur Duncan Moore 657599 RAFVR Age 25. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: F/O. Leonard Pietsch AUS/408779 RAAF Age 27. Killed

Air/Gnr: Fl/Lt. Leslie Robert Betts 115097 RAFVR Age ? Killed

Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. James Blackman Donohoe AUS/420614 RAAF Age 32. Killed

REASON FOR LOSS:

Taking off at 22:25 hrs from RAF Bottesford in Lincolnshire joining a total of 782 other aircraft from various squadrons to bomb Düsseldorf.

Although initial marking was spot on for the first wave a backup marker Mosquito dropped target indicators 14 miles (23 km) off target to the north-east, with the effect that part of the bombing fell there. 130 acres (0.53 km2) of Düsseldorf claimed as destroyed.

The Squadron lost two crews during this operation, the other;

Lancaster III ED304 PO-C Flown by 28 year old, Fl/Sgt. Basil Frederick Wilmot AUS/401083 RAAF of 22 Upton Street, Hillside Crescent, Launceston, Tasmania - all 7 crew missing without trace and commemorated o the Runnymede Memorial.

It is understood that Lancaster III W4983 was hit by flak and came down in the Rosenthal (1) area of Germany.

(1) Two variations as to the crash area of the aircraft. Many publications list it as Frenz, however the No. 4 Missing Research and Recovery Unit report dated 14th March 1947 states as coming down near the Railway Station at Rosenthal - we therefore publish both maps.

(2) His older brother, 29 year old P/O. Angus Carr MacKenzie NZ/404491 RNZAF was lost without trace whilst serving with 35 Squadron. Halifax II W7699 lost over the North Sea during an operation to Essen, Germany. His fiancée, Jane Winstone was also killed whilst flying with the Air Transport Auxiliary. Flying Spitfire LF.IX MK616 from the Vickers Aircraft factory at Cosford when the engine cut out twice and then on the third time it failed totally. The aircraft spun in and crashed at Tong Lake, some 2 miles north of the airfield. The report stated that it was due to her inexperience on this type of aircraft (although having had 389 hours solo, only 3 on the Spitfire) They had both qualified as pilots whilst at the Wanganui Aero Club prior to the war. Jane was the first member of the club to fly solo and the youngest at 17. A rest home was named in her honour in 2005 based at St John's Hill, Wanganui, New Zealand.

Jane Winstone and rest home named after her at Wanganui, New Zealand.

Burial details:

Initially 6 of the crew were buried in a communal grave at Mönchengladbach, Sgt. Moore at Birgelen - south of the crash site at Rosenthal. Reinterred at the end of hostilities.

Sq/Ldr. Donald Carr MacKenzie DFC. Rheinberg War Cemetery. Collective grave 3.A.3-7. Born on the 26th August 1921 the son of John Gretton MacKenzie and Jeannie MacKenzie, of Wellington City, New Zealand. A total of 1,750 flying hours logged and completed 55 operational sorties.

Sq/Ldr. Benjamin South Ambrose. Rheinberg War Cemetery. Collective grave 3.A.3-7. Son of Arthur and Margaret Ambrose and husband of Kathleen Ambrose, of Tullyco, Co. Cavan, Irish Republic. Grave inscription reads: "In Loving Memory Of A Devoted Husband And Father. Kitty And Brenda. R.I.P".

Sgt. James Fraser McLuskey. Rheinberg War Cemetery. Collective grave 3.A.3-7. Son of Duncan Cameron McLuskey and Janet Elizabeth McLuskey, of Edinburgh, Scotland. Grave inscription reads: "In Loving Remembrance Of Our Dear Son. D.C.M. And J.E.M".

P/O. Denis Clarke Bovis. Rheinberg War Cemetery. Collective grave 3.A.3-7. No further details - are you able to assist?

Sgt. Arthur Duncan Moore. Rheinberg War Cemetery. Grave 5.D.22. Son of Harold Horatio and Lucy Maud Moore, of Brighton, Sussex, England. Grave inscription reads: "Abide With Me" In Loving Memory Of Dear Duncan. Mum, Dad, Sister, John And Joan".

F/O. Leonard Pietsch. Rheinberg War Cemetery. Grave 3.A.2. Foster-son of Gustav Adolph Heinrich Pietsch and Clara Elizabeth Pietsch, of Kervell, Victoria, Australia. Grave inscription reads: "His Duty Fearlessly And Nobly Done. Ever Remembered".

Fl/Lt. Leslie Robert Betts. Rheinberg War Cemetery. Collective grave 3.A.3-7. No further details - are you able to assist?

Fl/Sgt. James Blackman Donohoe. Rheinberg War Cemetery. Collective grave 3.A.3-7. Son of Frederick Francis and Elsie May Donohoe, of Gulargambone, New South Wales, Australia.

Others mentioned within this report:

P/O. Angus Carr MacKenzie. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 116. Born on the 03rd March 1913, the son of John Gretton MacKenzie and Jeannie MacKenzie, of Wellington City, New Zealand. A total of 494 flying hours logged.

2nd Officer. Jane Winstone. Maidenhead Cemetery. Sec. D. Row W. Grave 17. Born on the 24th September 1912 the daughter of Arthur George and Lina Storme Winstone, of Wanganui, Wellington, New Zealand. Fiancé of Angus Carr MacKenzie.

Fl/Sgt. Basil Frederick Wilmot. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 194. Son of William Frederick and Olive Theckla Wilmot.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to the research by Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3”, Auckland War Memorial Museum, Weekly News of New Zealand, also to the Wanganui Chronicle for details on Jane Winstone, other sources as quoted below:

KTY - 15.01.2018

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 (both 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', 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.
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