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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 crest
12/13.05.1943 No. 90 Squadron Stirling III BF523 WP-G P/O. Wesley Morey

Operation: Duisberg

Date: 12/13th May 1943 (Wednesday/Thursday)

Unit: No: 90 Squadron

Type: Stirling III

Serial: BF523

Code: WP-G

Base: RAF Ridgewell, Essex

Location: IJsselmeer, Holland

Pilot: P/O. Wesley Morey R/120226 RCAF

Fl/Eng: Sgt. Royce Selwyn Shaw 575244 RAF Age 19. Killed

Nav: Sgt. Basil Albert Bacon 1320220 RAFVR Age 20. Killed

Air/Bmr: Sgt. William Murray 658018 RAF Age 24. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Edward William Eke 1332191 RAFVR Age 20 Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Arthur John Buxton 785082 RAFVR Age 26. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Charles Green 614909 RAF Age ? Killed

REASON FOR LOSS:

Took off at 00.30 hrs from RAF Ridgewell, Essex to bomb the German city of Duisberg with 572 aircraft taking part (238 Lancasters, 142 Halifaxes, 112 Wellingtons, 70 Stirlings and 10 Mosquitoes). This was the fourth raid on the city so far, with the others being only partially successful. The marking on this raid was near perfect resulting in the bombing being well concentrated.

The centre of the city and the port area just off the river Rhine (the largest inland port area in Germany) suffered enormous damage.

1,596 buildings totally destroyed, 273 people on the ground killed, 4 steel factories were damaged. In the port area, 21 barges and 13 other ships (18,921 tons) were sunk with a further 60 ships (41,000 tons) damaged) Duisberg was considered not necessary to attack again for a while!

           

Stirling BF523 Rear under-carriage recovered (source unknown but believed to be taken at a Dutch Museum - if you know further please contact us and we will credit accordingly)

It didn't go all well though, with Bomber Command losing some 38 aircraft during this operation. A total of 214 aircrew were killed, with 32 more being made Prisoners of War,

During this operation another 90 Squadron Stirling was also lost, with all 7 crew. This was flown by P/O. Joseph I. Gedak RCAF. No bodies were recovered.

Stirling BF523 was shot down by Uffz. Emil Heinzelmann (1) of 8./NLG1 during combat taking place at 2,200 mtrs. with the aircraft crashing at 03.28 hrs.

(1) This was the third kill for Uffz. Emil Heinzelmann. He was killed later on the 13/14th December 1944 after a failed belly landing during a practice flight after an engine fire. Total kills for him at that time were 5.

During 1972/1973 during partial draining of the Polders in the South Flevoland area, the Royal Netherlands Airforce were called in to identify / salvage wreckage found. Identification led by the Salvage officer Mr. Gerrit J. Zwanenburg with his team, recovered items such as the twin tail wheels, engines and propellers as well as many pieces of alloy.

The remains of P/O. Morey, Sgt. Shaw, Sgt. Bacon and Sgt. Green were also recovered and buried. A film ‘Some Of Our Airman Are No Longer Missing’ was made, the recovery being part of it. (Directed by Douglas Stanley and narrated by Leo McKern)

                     

Some Of Our Airman Are No Longer Missing Video

                     

Burial details:

P/O. Wesley Morey. Jonkerbos War Cemetery Grave 23.J.4. Next of Kin details currently not available - are you able to assist completion of these and any other information?

Sgt. Royce Selwyn Shaw. Jonkerbos War Cemetery Grave 23.J.3. Son of John W and Livinia Shaw, of Doncaster, Yorkshire, England.

Sgt. Basil Albert Bacon. Jonkerbos War Cemetery Grave 23.J.2. Son of Ernest Herbert and May Gladys Bacon of Leytonstone, Essex, England.

Sgt. William Murray. Harderwick General Cemetery. British Plot 1. Grave 24. Son of William Venters Murray and Margaret Rollo Murray, of Kirkcaldy, Fife, Scotland.

Sgt. Edward William Eke. Amersfoort (Oud Leusden) General Cemetery. Plot 13. Row 7. Grave 131. Son of Edgar John and Mary Ann Eke.

Sgt. Arthur John Buxton. Amersfoort (Oud Leusden) General Cemetery. Plot 13. Row 7. Grave 132. Son of William Joseph and Lottie Elizebeth Buxton, of Walthamstow, Essex, England.

Sgt. Charles Green. Amsterdam New Eastern Cemetery Plot 69. Row C. Coll. Grave 14. Son of James and Sarah Ann Green (nee Atkins) Born in 1919. Of Ravensdale, Nr. Tunstall, Stoke-On-Trent, Staffordshire, England.

For Robert Brown (Sgt. William Murray) - Revd. Alan Brodie (Sgt Charles Green) and for all relatives of the crew. With thanks to the following: Mr. Gerrit J. Zwanenburg and the RDAF Recovery Team, 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.

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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