25/26.08.1944 No. 419 Squadron RCAF Lancaster X KB708 VR-E F/O. William A. Milner
Operation: Russelsheim (Opel works)
Date: 25/26th August 1944 (Friday/Saturday)
Unit: No. 419 Squadron (Moose RCAF)
Type: Lancaster X
Base: RAF Middleton St George
Location: Winterbourne, Wiltshire
Pilot: F/O. William Arthur Milner J/86366 RCAF Age 20. Killed
Fl/Eng: Sgt. John Leonard Brunner Trotman 1868451 RAFVR Age 37. Killed
Nav: F/O. P.E. Gariepy RCAF Survived/injured
Air/Bmr: F/O. Irving Jack Kirschner J/28245 RCAF Age 21. Killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Howard Francis Anderson J/92358 RCAF Age 20. Killed
Air/Gnr: Sgt. L.J. Weston RCAF Survived/injured
Air/Gnr: Sgt. Peter Wiens RCAF Survived/injured
REASON FOR LOSS:
Took off at 19:34hrs. from RAF Middleton St George. On return the crew attempted to get into Boscombe Down, but the runway was shrouded in fog and landing lights were obscured. The pilot opened the throttles to go round again, but all four engines cut through lack of fuel.
The Lancaster crashed at 04:25 hrs. into trees at Winterbourne, Wiltshire near the airfield. Of those who died, three are buried in Brookwood Military Cemetery, while Sgt. Trotman was laid to rest at nearby Durrington cemetery. At 37 he was well above the average age of aircrew
F/O. William Arthur Milner. Brookwood Military Cemetery, Surrey. Grave 43.G.3. Son of Albert E and Agnes M Milner of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Sgt. John Leonard Brunner Trotman. Durrington Cemetery, Wiltshire. Grave 802. Further information: Eldest son of John William and Maria ElizabethTrotman (née Brunner) Sergeant Trotmans father lived in India, working in the family business of tea planters supply merchants, losing his first wife Annie Louise and youngest son, also called John in a typhus outbreak. (They had 3 other children, Ursula, Cuthbert and Winifred.) John Trotman senior returned to England with his remaining children and in 1904 married his second wife, Maria, a well-bred Swiss/German and devout Catholic who had been the children's nanny. They had John Leonard, Brunner, Mary Angela, Francis, Mary Magdalene, Thomas, Anna and Peter.
Sergeant Trotman was educated at Radcliffe School before going out to learn the family business in India. In 1926 we returned to England to train at the Ford Motor Company as a mechanic before enlisting in the airforce in 1939. A huge cricket fan and player, which is echoed on the inscription on his gravestone."Well played John"
F/O. Irving Jack Kirschner. Brookwood Military Cemetery, Surrey. Grave 43.G.4. Further information:
Son of George Louis and Bessie Kirschner of 2915 Ontario Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Employed as an agent for a publishing company, he enlisted in July 1942 and received his commission before embarking overseas.
Fl/Sgt. Howard Francis Anderson. Brookwood Military Cemetery, Surrey. Grave 43.G.3. Son of Walter J. and Laura May Anderson of Vancouver. British Columbia, Canada.
Researched by Aircrew Remembered, researcher and specialist genealogist Linda Ibrom for relatives of this crew. Photo credits and family information to Annelise Dolley - niece of Sgt. Trotman.