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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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90 squadron badge
20/21.07.1944 90 Squadron Lancaster I LM189 WP:U Fg.Off. Frank McGlone

Operation: Homberg

Date: 20/21st July 1944 (Thursday/Friday)

Unit: 90 Squadron

Type: Lancaster I *

Serial: LM189

Code: WP:U

Base: RAF Tuddenham, Suffolk

Location: Baerl 6 km. North North East Moers, Germany

Pilot: Fg.Off. Frank McGlone 176028 RAFVR Age 21. Killed

Flt.Eng: Sgt. Derek Alfred Bassett 2203637 RAFVR Age 19. Missing

Nav: Flt.Sgt. Joseph Arthur McKim R172089 RCAF Age 33. Killed

Air Bmr: Flt.Sgt. Gordon Deane Williams 1542376 RAFVR Age 21. Killed

WOp/Air Gnr: Sgt. John William Simpson 1557625 RAFVR Age 23. Missing

Air Gnr: Sgt. John Edward William Dickinson 1624199 RAFVR Age 19. Killed

Air Gnr: Sgt. Cornelius Charles Cannon 1880283 RAFVR Age 21. Killed

* The 'Loss Card' and the 90 Squadron ORB information for this Lancaster differ and the report records the 'Loss Card' detail that this Lancaster was a Mk I and not a Mk III.

REASON FOR LOSS:

Taking off from RAF Tuddenham, Suffolk at 23:16 hrs. as part of a group of 147 Lancasters and 11 Mosquitoes to attack the oil plant situated in the town of Homberg. German night fighters caught the Lancasters by surprise - 20 were lost.

Two German night-fighter pilots claimed LM189 or 514 Sqn Lancaster LM181 with the aircraft crashing at Baerl 6 km. North North East Moers, Germany:

Fw. Hubert Allemeier: his 1st Abschuss, from 8./NJG2 , 30 km NW of Duisburg: at 4.500 m. at 01.20 hrs;

Ofw. Heinrich Schmidt from 2./NJG6, NW of Homberg at 01.34 hrs.

Note: LM189 was also claimed by Flak of 1., 2. & 5./schw. Flak Abt. 447, 3. & 5./schw. Flak Abt. 472, 3./schw. Flak Abt. 389 and 2./schw. Flak Abt. 446 (Eisb.) (‘Lancaster Repelen 01.25 hrs’), and LM181 also claimed by Flak of 3. & 4./schw. Flak Abt. 447, 6./schw. Flak Abt. 401, 6. & 7./schw. Flak Abt. 389 and Flak Battr. z.b.V. 10410 (‘Lancaster Donk-Neukirchen 01.23 hrs’).

The victory for Fw. Allemeier was confirmed on 30.10.1944. The claim by Ofw. Schmidt was only listed in KTB Stab NJG6, not listed by OKL, nor in OKL/RLM 2./NJG6 Confirmed Abschussuibersicht. (Nachtjagd Combat Archive (12 May 1944 - 23 July 1944) Part 3 - Theo Boiten).

Crew photograph - although no names were supplied with this photo, we have established that they are possibly: Rear: Flt.Sgt. Gordon Deane Williams, Sgt. John William Simpson, Sgt. Derek Alfred Bassett, Plt.Off. Joseph Arthur McKim. Front: Sgt. Cornelius Charles Cannon, Fg.Off. Frank McGlone, Sgt. John Edward William Dickinson (courtesy Diane Cass)

Note:
Two other Lancasters from 90 Squadron were also lost on this raid:

LM183 WP:L piloted by Flt.Lt. Philp John Rossington 85791 RAFVR - all the crew of 7 were killed (buried at Eindhoven General Cemetery - Woensel).

LM185 WP:D flown by 23 year old Flt.Sgt. William Lane 613629 RAF - all the crew of 7 were killed. (buried at Boxtel R.C. Churchyard - Heilig Hart Van Jesus)



Newspaper appeal for news of a few lost sons. (courtesy of Jennifer Allan and family)

We have a little information on the others:

20 year old Plt.Off. 159717 Henry Charles Hoyne, serving with 77 Squadron on an operation to Milano. The complete crew of Halifax JD125 KN:A were killed. We hope to create a page for him and his crew soon.


'15' year old Deck Boy Anthony Evans serving with the Merchant Navy on S.S. Hobbema (pictured above) which was transferred to the Dutch government on the 18th May 1942 from Britain. At the time it was carrying 7,000 tons of general cargo and ammunitions she was torpedoed on the 4th November 1942 by U-132 sinking some 500 miles South East of Cape Farewell. From the crew of 44 some 28 crew were lost. Interesting in that the U-boat was also sunk during this operation by an explosion from another ship.

28 year old Pte. 14307691 Wilfred Hargraves served with the 1st Battalion, Yorks and Lancaster Regiment. Missing, during the fierce battles at Monte Cassino, Italy.

Above left- right: Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Rheinberg War Cemetery and Runnymede Memorial


Burial details:

Fg.Off. Frank McGlone. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. Grave 25.G.2. Son of Thomas and Georgina McGlone, of Carlisle, England.

Sgt. Derek Alfred Bassett. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 224. Son of James Alfred and Edna Winifred Bassett, of Devonport, Stockport, Cheshire, England.

Plt.Off. Joseph Arthur McKim. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. Grave 25.G.1. Born on the 26th July 1911 in Unity, Saskatchewan. Son of Arthur Melville and Annie Belle (née Smythe) McKim of Vancouver, British Columbia and husband to Evelyn Agnes McKim of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Promoted to Plt.Off. on the 19th July 1944 with a Service No. of J88558.

Flt.Sgt. Gordon Deane Williams. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. Grave 31.F.17. Son of William Henry and Alice Lilian Williams, of Lower Walton, Warrington, Lancashire, England.

Sgt. John William Simpson. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 237. Son of John William and Lydia Simpson, husband of Elsie Simpson, of Ryhope, Co. Durham, England.

Sgt. John Edward William Dickinson. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. Grave 31.F.16. Son of John Edward and Elsie Jean Dickinson of Crosby, Liverpool, England.

Sgt. Cornelius Charles Cannon. Rheinberg War Cemetery. Joint Grave 7.E.6. Son of James Michael and Alice Ellen Cannon, of Stanmore, Middlesex, England, husband of S. D. Cannon.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives (Jennifer Allan) of Fg.Off. Frank Mcglone who supplied these great photographs and newspaper cuttings, also many thanks to Michel Beckers for some of the crew photos and medals photo. To Diane Cass for crew photo and photo of Sgt. Dickinson. This page of remembrance is dedicated to all the crew with thanks to sources as shown below. Information on the loss of deck boy Evans courtesy of the west "Wrecksites". Thanks to Darren Barrett for the correction to the aircraft code.(Nov 2020).

Burial details for the chaps from the newspaper:

Plt.Off. Henry Charles Hoyne. Commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial. Panel 132. Son of Martin Henry and Margaret Hoyne, of Longsight, Manchester, Lancashire, England.

Derek Hand Anthony Evans. Commemorated on the Tower Hill Memorial. Pane 51. Son of James and Letitia Evans, of Fazakerley, Liverpool, England.

Pte. Wilfred Hargraves. Commemorated on the Cassino Memorial. Panel 10. Son of Mr and Mrs. Hargraves of Lily Lane, Moston, Manchester, England.

09.11.2020 - Correction to aircraft code and night-fighter claim

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', 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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