09/10.08.1944 No. 142 Squadron Wellington X LN857 QT-C Fl/Sgt. Marsh
Operation: Ploiesti Oil Refinery
Date: 09/10th August 1944 (Wednesday/Thursday)
Unit: No. 142 Squadron
Type: Wellington X
Serial: LN857 (1)
Base: RAF Regine, Italy
Location: Orac, Snagov, Romania
Pilot: Fl/Sgt. Reginald Thomas White Marsh R/168243 RCAF Age 23. Killed
Nav: Sgt. William Frederick Chambers 1583166 RAFVR Age 22. Killed
Air/Bmr: Fl/Sgt. Jack Watts 1440822 RAFVR Age 23. Killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. William Frederick Bullard 1890216 RAFVR Age ? Killed
Air/Gnr: Sgt. Michael John Watts 1586107 RAFVR Age 20. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Despite several attacks the Oil refinery was still in full production and so another operation was mounted. This time 81 aircraft made up with 50 Wellingtons, 23 Liberators and 8 Halifaxes.
The defence of the refinery had been strengthened even further with 11 aircraft not to return to Italy. 60 heavy guns assisted by 100 searchlights were in place with the obvious results. Many fighters from Krusevac were engaging the bombers.
Wellington LN857 was shot down (we think by flak) and crashed at a place called Orac, Snagov. The crew were initially buried in that area.
(1) The squadron's operation record book list the aircraft as MF851, which was lost later off the coast of Malta on the 2/3rd September 1944.
Grave photographs taken by webmaster 2014 - any relative/person who would like higher resolution copies we would be pleased to supply them.
Fl/Sgt. Reginald Thomas White Marsh. Bucharest War Cemetery. Grave 2.B.1. From Guelph, Ontario, Canada. Further information supplied by Mr. Dave Rawson November 2017: Reginal Marsh was my Great Uncle. Brother to Lena Orilla Marsh, who later became Lena Rawson. Uncle to my father (who was born on the day Reginald was killed in service), David Thomas Rawson DOB August 10, 1944. David Thomas Rawson had two children, Patricia Anne Rawson (Married surname now 'Walker') and myself David Ernest George Rawson. Interesting additional information my father was born healthy on the day (within minutes) of the sighting of Reginald's plane being shot down. This was very unlikely circumstances as Lena Marsh and Ernest Rawson (Mother and Father to David Thomas Rawson) had numerous miscarriages and still births prior to my fathers birth. Reginald's spirit lived on in my father and continues in me...
Sgt. William Frederick Chambers. Bucharest War Cemetery. Coll. Grave 1.D. 2-5. Son of Frederick William and Elsie Alice Chambers, of Selly Oak, Birmingham, England.
Fl/Sgt. Jack Watts. Bucharest War Cemetery. Coll. Grave 1.D. 2-5. Son of Herbert Charles and Beatrice Ethel Watts, of Norwich, Norfolk, England.
Sgt. William Frederick Bullard. Bucharest War Cemetery. Coll. Grave 1.D. 2-5. Next of Kin details are currently not available.
Sgt. Michael John Watts. Bucharest War Cemetery. Coll. Grave 1.D. 2-5. Son of Wilfred Leslie and Elsie Louise Watts, of Burpham, Guildford, Surrey, England.
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to Patrick Macdonald 'Through Darkness to Light', Les Allison and Harry Hayward - 'They Shall Grow Not Old', Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Tom Kracker - 'Kracker Luftwaffe Archives'. With thanks also to Dave Rawson who contacted us with further information on the pilot - November 2017.