07/08.06.1944 115 Squadron Lancaster I LL864 A4:H Plt.Off. Ronald P. Maude
Operation: Chevreusse (communications)
Date: 7th/8th June 1944 (Wednesday/Thursday)
Unit: 115 Squadron
Type: Lancaster I
Base: RAF Witchford
Location: Giverny, France
Pilot: Plt.Off. Ronald Peter Maude 174531 RAFVR Age 21. Killed.
Flt Eng: Sgt. Alan Herbert Anderson 1590890 RAFVR Age ? Killed.
Nav: Fg.Off. Ronald William Tovey 55041 RAF Age? Killed.
Air Bmr: Plt.Off. Harold Arthur Foster 177401 RAF Age 31. Killed.
WOp/Air Gnr: Sgt. Jack Leslie Fyfe 1340922 RAFVR Age 22. Killed.
Air Gnr: Sgt. Robert Donald John Sutherland 1567609 RAFVR Age 20. Killed.
Air Gnr: Sgt. Kenneth Penton 1607978 RAFVR Age 20. Killed.
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off at 00:27 hrs from RAF Witchford to bomb communications. LL864 was claimed by Maj Walter Borchers from Stab NJG5, 30km West of Pari at 1,300m at 02:21 hrs. (Nachtjagd Combat Archives 1944 Part 3 - Theo Boiten) . The aircraft crashed some 150 to 200 metres off the Giverny to Vernon road in France.
This was the 22nd Abschuss for Hptm. Walter Borchers (Total of 27-28 night victories and 13-17 day victories) before he was shot down and killed on the 5th/6th March 1945 between Salditz and Osgau by a 239 Sqn Mosquito NT361, flown by Wg.Cdr. Gibb DSO, DFC and Fg.Off. Kendall DFC.
Walter Borchers (courtesy Kracker Archive)
Right: Crew of LL864 seen here with another 115 Sqdn Lancaster LL695, on return from another operation. (Back row) Maude, Anderson, Tovey, Foster. (Front row) Fyfe, Sutherland, Penton.
This aircraft was just one of six lost by 115 Squadron this night on the operation to Chevreusse, the others:
Lancaster I HK548 KO:W Flown by Plt.Off. Law - evaded capture with 4 other crew, 2 others killed.
Lancaster I HK552 KO:J Flown by 28 year old, Flt.Sgt. John Edward Todd AUS/41889 RAAF - From Victoria, Australia - Killed with 5 other crew, 1 PoW.
Lancaster III ND760 A4:K Flown by 28 year old, Plt.Off. Charles Henry Quinton 175619 RAFVR - From Longton, Staffordshire - killed with all 6 other crew.
Lancaster III ND761 A4:C Flown by Flt.Lt. Peter Wingate Norbury 87027 RAF - killed with all 6 other crew.
Lancaster III ND790 KO:H Flown by Plt.Off. Sydney Frederick Francis 54718 RAF - killed with all 6 other crew.
Note: LL695 (shown on the crew photo) was a Lancaster Mk II which was fitted with Bristol Hercules engines. This aircraft served with 115 Squadron but was later transferred to 514 Squadron. It was lost on a raid to Duisburg 22nd May 1944, the aircraft crashed at Geldrop, 6km east south east from Eindhoven, shot down by the Night-fighter of III/NJG1 Ace, Hptm. Martin Drewes. 3 of the crew were killed, 2 became PoW, and 2 evaded capture.
The crews collective grave and memorial at Giverny Churchyard (courtesy Amanda Perkins)
Giverny is a village about 3 kilometres south-east of Vernon. The church is north of the village. In the north-western part of the churchyard, a few yards from the western wall and 20 yards from the northern wall which divides it from its extension, is the collective grave of the seven aircrew from Lancaster LL864.
Plt.Off. Ronald Peter Maude. Giverny Churchyard. Collective grave. Son of Edgar Ringrose Maude and Elsie Boyfield Maude, of Gloucester, England.
Sgt. Alan Herbert Anderson. Giverny Churchyard. Collective grave. Son of Herbert and Florence Hilda Anderson, of North Shields, Northumberland, England.
Fg.Off. Ronald William Tovey. Giverny Churchyard. Collective grave. Headstone inscription: "My Beloved Husband Ron Loved Ones Pass Beyond Our Sight, God Called Him And He Could Not Stay". His wife may have been may have been Olive C. Smith from Evesham, Worcestershire. No further information - are you able to assist?
Plt.Off. Harold Arthur Foster. Giverny Churchyard. Collective grave. Son of Arthur and Alice Lily Foster, husband of Joan Rosamund Foster, of Coventry, England.
Sgt. Jack Leslie Fyfe. Giverny Churchyard. Collective grave. Son of William and Isabella Leslie Fyfe, of Tillicoultry, Clackmannanshire, Scotland.
Sgt. Robert Donald John Sutherland. Giverny Churchyard. Collective grave. Son of John Macpherson Sutherland and Helen Sutherland, of Golspie, Sutherland, Scotland.
Sgt. Kenneth Penton. Giverny Churchyard. Collective grave. Son of Charles and Evelyn Penton, of Southampton, England.
Researched for relatives of the crew. Thanks to John Jones for the night fighter claim information and additional information for Fg.Off. Tovey (Mar 2021). Sources as quoted below.