24/25.-8.1942 No. 83 Squadron Lancaster I R35610 OL-G Fl/Lt. Matheson DFC bar
Date: 24/25th August 1942 (Monday/Tuesday)
Unit: No. 83 Squadron (Pathfinder)
Type: Lancaster I
Base: RAF Wyton, Cambridgeshire
Location: Morkhoven, Belgium
Pilot: Fl/Lt Oliver Rayner Matheson DFC - Bar. 84010 RAFVR Age 26. Evaded capture (1)
Fl/Eng: Sgt. Peter Squires 1096448 RAFVR Age 20. Killed
Obs: Fl/Lt. Robert Murray Buchan DFC. 89769 RAFVR Age 22. Killed
Air/Bmr: Fl/Lt. John Wilfred Dicker AUS/402274 RAAF Age 21. PoW No: 641 Camp: Stalag Luft Sagan (L3)
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. W.R. Cubberley 624855 RAFVR PoW No: 27030 Camp: Stalag Lamsdorf (344)
Air/Gnr: Sgt. Edward Vincent Norman 962166 RAFVR Age 27. Killed
Air/Gnr: Sgt. Harold Denzil Quintrell 553387 RAF Age 20. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off from RAF Wyton in Cambridgeshire (then Hunts) at 20:51 hrs to bomb Frankfurt - 226 aircraft taking part - 104 Wellingtons, 61 Lancasters, 53 Stirlings, 8 Halifaxes taking part.
Above: area of loss, insert Fl/Lt. Matheson DFC -bar.
The Pathfinders experienced great difficulty with cloudy conditions with most of the bombing falling in open country north and west of the target.
Reports from the area report that 17 large and 53 small fires in the target area with moderate property damage. 5 people killed on the ground with a further 95 injured. The allies lost some 16 aircraft - including the C/O of 7 squadron.
Lancaster I R5610 was shot down by Oblt. Walter Barte of 4./NJG1 at 01:46 hrs 1 km south east of Morkhoven with interception at 4,700 mtrs. This was his 6th claim of the war of 17 night victories - he survived. No further details. (shown right - see Kracker archive)
Also lost from the squadron on the same operation:
Lancaster I R5623 OL-C Flown by 20 year old, W/O. II. Lloyd Truman Goodfellow R/75207 RCAF from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada killed with all his crew. (Goodfellow Lake, Saskatchewan named after the pilot)
(1) Born in Hampstead, London on the 02nd August 1916 - joining the RAF in September 1939. Evaded capture via France and Gibraltar - arriving back in England at Poole in Dorset on the 19th October 1942 via a Polish manned (some sources state that it was Moroccan) Felluca - the ‘Seawolf’ a converted sardine fishing boat. (sample shown left)
“One night in April, 1941, Pilot Officers Matheson and Fowler were captain and navigator respectively of an aircraft detailed to attack a target in Berlin. On the first run anti-aircraft fire inflicted severe damage on the aircraft causing it to lose height. Nevertheless, Pilot Officer Matheson regained height and, guided by Pilot Officer Fowler made a second run over the target, which was successfully bombed. Previously both officers had been concerned in a successful attack on Kiel. Pilot Officer Matheson and Pilot Officer Fowler have completed numerous operational missions and both have displayed persistent devotion to duty, great courage and outstanding skill”.
“In air operations, this officer has displayed courage and fortitude of a high order”.
Sgt. Peter Squires. Morkhoven Communal Cemetery. Grave 1. Son of William Squires, and of Rhoda Squires, of Low Row, Yorkshire, England. Grave inscription reads: “They Do Not Die That Can Bequeath Some Influence On The Land They Leave”.
Obs: Fl/Lt. Robert Murray Buchan DFC. Morkhoven Communal Cemetery. Grave 4. Son of Maj. Andrew Buchan and Jeanie M. Buchan, of Grangemouth, Stirlingshire, Scotland. Grave inscription reads: “With Proud And Loving Remembrance Of My Dear Son”.
Air/Gnr: Sgt. Edward Vincent Norman. Morkhoven Communal Cemetery. Grave 3. No further details - are you able assist? Grave inscription reads: “Years Pass By But Memories Stay As Near And Dear As Yesterday. Joan”.
Air/Gnr: Sgt. Harold Denzil Quintrell. Morkhoven Communal Cemetery. Grave 2. Son of Alexander Harold and Grace Annie Quintrell, of Penryn, Cornwall, England. Grave inscription reads: “At The Going Down Of The Sun And In The Morning We Will Remember”.
Researched for Charlie Matheson - relative of Fl/Lt. Matheson and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to sources as shown. Also to Michel Beckers for grave photographs. (WO 3311 927 National Archives - Kew)