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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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103 crest
28.05.1940 103 Squadron Battle I L5515 Fg Off. Roy D. Max

Operation: Pontoon bridges

Date: 28th May 1940 (Tuesday)

Unit No: 103 Squadron (motto: Noli me tangere - 'Touch me not')

Type: Fairy Battle I

Serial: L5515

Code: PM:S

Base: Rheges/St-Lucien Ferme, France

Location: Chalons-en-Champagne Airfield, France

Pilot: Fg Off. Roy Douglas Max 36149 RAF Safe (1)

Obs: Sgt. Arthur George Allen 566894 RAF Safe (2)

WOp/Air Gnr: LAC. Basil Francis Dubois 619082 RAFVR Survived - injured (3)

REASON FOR LOSS:

Taking off from Rheges/St-Lucien Ferme at 10:00 hrs to attack a Chateau at Roumont. Intelligence had discovered that there was to be a meeting of 20 senior Luftwaffe officers at the Chateau that day. Hits were claimed on the target and again heavy flak was encountered.

Caught in a valley commanded by flak, the damage sustained by the engine and aircraft was considerable and precluded any possibility of climbing. The aircraft therefore ran through heavy close range fire and considerably damaged. The air gunner LAC Dubois was wounded and the aircraft landed at Chalons. LAC Dubois was visited in Hospital at Chalons by the Medical Officer (MO) who made arrangements made for his return to the unit.

(1) Fg Off. Max reached the rank of Wg Cdr. DSO, DFC, Croix de Guerre. Born on the 23rd November 1918. Transferred to RNZAF (2076) in 1943 and became CO of 75 squadron. Passed away on the 1st July 2007 in England, age 88. Son of Albert Edward (died 19th September 1958 age 80) and Clara Stanfiel Max (nee Haycock) (died 4th October 1958 age 78). Brother of Donald, Laurence, Keith and Lorna. Husband of Joan, father of Tony, Michael and Anne. Grandfather of 10 children. Remembered at the family plot in Saint Pauls Churchyard. Tasman, New Zealand.

Fg Off Max was awarded the DFC awarded whilst with 75 squadron. Promulgated in the London Gazette on the 14th July 1944. Citation reads: "This officer has displayed exceptional skill, great drive and outstanding devotion to duty, qualities which have contributed in a large measure to the high standard of operational efficiency of the squadron he commands. He has completed a very large number of sorties and his fine leadership, high courage and unbeatable determination have greatly inspired his crews. His example has been of a high order".

(2) Sgt. Allen was shot down on the 1st August 1942 whilst an instructor with 23 Operational Trains Unit (OTU) in Wellington Ic X9917 BY:N

(3) LAC Dubois was promoted to Flt Sgt. on the 20th August 1942. Survived the war, no further details.

Burial details:

None - all crew survived the war.

Researched by Kelvin Youngs (Webmaster) (Apr 2021) and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to Jenifer Lemaire and to the extensive research by Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3”. Narrative updated by Aircrew Remembered (May 2022).

Other sources quoted below:

RS 20.05.2022 - Updated narrative

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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 (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', Archiwum - Polish Air Force Archive (on this site), Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Franek Grabowski, 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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