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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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106 Squadron Crest
08/09.07.1943 No. 106 Squadron Lancaster I R5573 ZN-B Fl/Sgt. Kenneth H.W. McLean

Operation: Köln

Date: 08/09th July 1943 (Thursday/Friday)

Unit: No. 106 Squadron

Type: Lancaster 1

Serial: R5573 (nicknamed: ‘Admiral-Foo-Banc V’)

Code: ZN-B

Base: RAF Syerston, Nottinghamshire

Location: Harzé, Belgium

Pilot: Fl/Sgt. Kenneth Hector Wally McLean R/109281 RCAF Age 20. Killed

Fl/Eng: Sgt. Samuel Leigh 616090 RAF Age 23. Killed

Nav: Fl/Sgt. Donald Hugh McLeod R/128853 RCAF Age 20. Killed

Air/Bmr: Sgt. Reginald William Lingfield Muir 1388470 RAFVR Age 20. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Ronald Charles Barrett 1164249 RAFVR Age 21. Killed

Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Leslie Ronald Johnson AUS/412967 RAAF Age 27. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Edward Hannell 1388875 RAFVR Age 22. Killed

REASON FOR LOSS:

Taking off from RAF Syerston in Nottinghamshire at 22.30 hrs - joining some 281 Lancasters and 6 Mosquitoes to bomb the German city of Cologne. Bombing took place between 01.10 - 01.32 hrs with very accurate marking made by the Mosquitoes.

The crew of R5573 - images digitally enhanced b Aircrew Remembered from poor quality copies (courtesy Pierre Ninane - see credits)

106 Squadron Syerston Lancaster ZN-B October 1942 (courtesy IWM)

19 Industrial buildings along with 2,381 domestic dwellings were destroyed - 502 civilians killed during the attack but many others are understood to have been killed at a prisoner of war camp and artillery barracks - figures for these are not known.

48,000 people were bombed out of their homes, making a total of 350,000 in the 3 raids within a week on the city.

R5573 Crash site July 1943 (courtesy Pierre Ninane - see credits)

The allies lost 7 aircraft, with 3 from 106 Squadron:
Lancaster I ED720 Flown by 23 year old American 1st.Lt. Eugene L. Rosner from Pennsylvania, USA killed with 6 other crew, 1 survived as a PoW.
Lancaster I ED360 Flown by 23 year old Fl/Sgt. Arthur G. Bristow from Cippenham, Buckinghamshire, killed with 4 crew when they crash landed in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire on return.

Above: Oblt. Paul Anton Guido Zorner (Kracker Archive)

Lancaster R5573 is understood to have been shot down at 01.53 hrs by Oblt. Paul Zorner (1) of 3./NJG3 on detachment from I./NJG1. This was the 9th abschüsse for the Luftwaffe ace Oblt. Zorner and his wireless operator, Heinrich Wilke, in a Me BF-110. The Lancaster crashed at Harzé, Belgium at about 02.00 hrs.

(1) Oblt. Paul Anton Guido Zorner, already a night fighter ace at this time went on to claim a total of 59 night victories. He survived the war - imprisoned by the Soviets until 1949 he went on to work for Hoechst as their Chief Engineer before retiring in 1981. He died in Hamburg on the 27th January 2014 age 93.

In 1981 locals in the village of Harzé erected a memorial to the crew.

Memorial to the crew, placed in 1981 (courtesy Pierre Ninane - see credits)

Burial details:

6 of the crew were initially buried at St-Truiden on the 10th July. Another, understood to have been the rear gunner, Sgt. Hannell was discovered on the 2nd of August in a field close by. All the crew were reburied at Heverlee after war end.

Fl/Sgt. Kenneth Hector Wally McLean. Heverlee War Cemetery. Coll. Grave 5.A.19-21. Son of Kenneth A. and Lillian May McLean, of Vulcan, Alberta, Ontario, Canada.

Sgt. Samuel Leigh. Heverlee War Cemetery. Grave 5.A.15. Son of Samuel and Ethel Leigh, of Warrington, Lancashire, England.

Fl/Sgt. Donald Hugh McLeod. Heverlee War Cemetery. Coll. Grave 5.A.19-21. Next of kin details not available. From Alliance, Alberta, Canada.

Sgt. Reginald William Lingfield Muir. Heverlee War Cemetery. Coll. Grave 5.A.19-21. Son of George Frederick and Doris Elizabeth Muir, of South Hackney, London, England.

Sgt. Ronald Charles Barrett. Heverlee War Cemetery. Grave 5.A.16. Son of Charles and Gertrude Barrett, of Aldbourne, Wiltshire, England.

Fl/Sgt. Leslie Ronald Johnson. Heverlee War Cemetery. Grave 5.A.17. Son of August and Gladys May Johnson, husband of Dorothy Isabel Johnson, of Bowral, New South Wales, Australia.

Sgt. Edward Hannell. Heverlee War Cemetery. Grave 5.A.18. Son of John and Emma Hannell, husband of Muriel Ethel Hannell, of Hook, Surbiton, Surrey, England.

Researched for Melissa Burrows - great niece of Fl/Sgt. Leslie Ronald Johnson. For further details our thanks to the following, Pierre Nanane, who's family witnessed the aircraft crash. Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vol's. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', ‘Bomber Command Database’, Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vol's. 1 and 2', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries (Updated 2014 version), 'Paradie Archive'. Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Tom Kracker - 'Kracker Luftwaffe Archives'. Further information from these titles/organisations are available from us, just use the 'help' button on the main page above or 'add info' button also shown on this page.

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 and Fred Paradie - Paradie Archive (both on this site), 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', Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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Last Modified: 24 December 2016, 18:01