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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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433 Squadron Crest
16/17.08.1944 No. 433 Squadron Halifax III MZ808 BM-P F/O. John A.W. Morgan

Operation: Gardening - Kiel Bay    

Date: 16/17th  August 1944 (Wednesday/Thursday)

Unit: No. 433 Squadron (RCAF)

Type: Halifax III

Serial: MZ808 

Code: BM-P

Base: RAF Skipton-on-Swale

Location: Langøre island of Fyn

Pilot: F/O. John Archibald Wynn Morgan J/25000 RCAF Age 22. Killed. (1)

Fl/Eng: Sgt. Robert Faulkner Young 753314 RAFVR Age 32. Killed 

Nav: F/O. George H. Gill RCAF PoW No: 5284 Camp: Stalag Luft Barth Vogelsang

Air/Bmr: F/O Jacques Oliver Clerc J/28197 RCAF Age 27. Killed  (2)

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt Courtney Raymond Stewart J/88141 RCAF Age 25. Killed

Air/Gn: Fl/Sgt John Winning Moffat R/206348 RCAF Age 21. Killed 

Air/Gnr: F/O. Philippe. E. Marchildon RCAF PoW No: 7741 Camp: Stalag Luft Sagan and Belaria


Took off at 21:27 from RAF Skipton-on-Swale to lay mines in Kiel Bay (Quinces/Radishes Region)

When outbound flying at 4400 metres height, the Halifax was attacked by a night fighter piloted by Oblt. Herbert Koch (3) 1./ NJG 3. The crew managed to bail out of the stricken Halifax before it caught fire and exploded in the air and crashing at Langøre between the island of Fyn and Helnæs at 23:52 hours. 

Crew of MZ808 (courtesy of RCAF 6 Group) Back row in no certain order:  Sgt R. Young, Flight engineer-  Fl/Sgt. Stewart - Wireless Op, Fl/Sgt. Moffat - Mid upper gunner and on the far right is F/O. Marchildon - Rear Gunner. Front Row L to R: F/O. Clerc - Bomb aimer, Fl/Lt. Morgan - Pilot and F/O. Gill - Navigator. Right: Monument at crash site (courtesy of Airwar over Denmark, Søren Flensted)

Around 01:00 hours people living in the area of Sønderby Klint heard shouts for help from the sea and a motorboat was launched to try to rescue the crew. It found Navigator F/O. George H. Gill and Air/Gnr. F/O. Philippe R. Marchildon, 1 kilometre off the farm “Strandlyst” and took them to the hospital in Assens. 

They were examined and apart from being tired from the time in the water found to be otherwise all right. They were then taken to the German barracks in town. In the afternoon they were sent to Dulag Luft at Oberursel for questioning. After a few days Gill was sent to Stalag Luft I Barth and Marchildon was sent to Stalag Luft III Sagan.

In the morning two bodies was found washed ashore near Saltofte and two were found on the beach a little south of “Strandlyst” farm. They were all found to be wearing an inflated Mae West and three of them had managed to release their parachute after landing in the sea. The four bodies were during the afternoon taken to Sønderby cemetery and buried in a common grave without coffins by the Wehrmacht. 

They were Air Bomber F/O. Jacques Clerc RCAF, Fl/Eng. Sgt Robert Young RAF, Air/Gnr. Fl/Sgt John Moffat RCAF and Pilot Fl/Lt John Morgan RCAF. On the 24th August the body of P/O. Courtney Steward RCAF was found entangled in some wreckage in the sea and taken to Sønderby cemetery where it was laid to rest on following day.

(1) Morgan Island in Pikwitonei Lake was renamed after F/O. John Archibald Wynn Morgan in 1995.

(2) Cleric Lake in Ontario was renamed after F/O Jacques Oliver Clerc

(3) Oblt. Herbert Koch survived the war as an ace with 17 confirmed abschüsse. Lived in Waldbröl joining the new Luftwaffe in the 1950’s flying transport aircraft.

Burial Details:

Fl/Lt. John Archibald Wynn Morgan. Sønderby (Assens) Churchyard. Coll. grave 174. From Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. A student of the University of Manitoba at the time he enlisted.

Sgt. Robert Faulkner Young. Sønderby (Assens) Churchyard. Coll. grave 174. Son of John Faulkner Young, and of Edith Mary Young, of Colchester, Essex, England.

F/O. Jacques Oliver Clerc. Sønderby (Assens) Churchyard. Coll. grave 174. Son of Charly and Andree Clerc, of Zurich, Switzerland. Professor at University of Saskatchewan.

Fl/Sgt. Courtney Raymond Stewart. Sønderby (Assens) Churchyard. Coll. grave 174. Son of George and Alice Stewart, husband of Enda Stewart, of Goole, Yorkshire, England.

Fl/Sgt. John Winning Moffat. Sønderby (Assens) Churchyard. Coll. grave 174. From Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  

With thanks to sources already quoted and to those shown below.

KTY 01.08.2015 Page updated

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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