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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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103 Squadron crest
28/29.07.1944 No. 103 Squadron Lancaster III PB147 PM-C F/O. Joseph B. Moss

Operation: Stuttgart

Date: 28/29th July 1944 (Friday/Saturday)

Unit: No. 103 Squadron

Type: Lancaster III

Serial: PB147 (To be confirmed - new evidence shows this as the incorrect number)

Code: PM-C

Base: RAF Elsham Wolds, Lincolnshire

Location: Charmes (Vosges - France)

Pilot: F/O. Joseph Barker Moss 159579 RAFVR Age 32. Killed

Fl/Eng: Sgt. Ronald Redfern Hardey 1402410 RAFVR Age 21. Killed

Nav: F/O. Michael Richard Frewin Oliver J/28500 RCAF Age 25. Killed

Air/Bmr: Fl/Sgt. Stanley James Honour 1319886 RAFVR Age 23. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Neville Bradshaw 1216161 RAFVR Age 21. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Clement Basil Osborne 1875824 RAFVR Age 19. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Arthur Woodrow Crooke 143915 RAFVR Age 20. Killed

REASON FOR LOSS:

Taking off at 21.10 hrs from RAF Elsham Wolds, Lincolnshire, joining 494 Lancasters and 2 Mosquitoes to bomb the German city of Stuttgart - the third of a series of bombing operations on the city. 

                 

Above left, pilot: F/O. Joseph Moss Right, air bomber: Fl/Sgt. Stanley Honour (courtesy Barry Honour)

The Luftwaffe night fighters numbering over 200, aided by a bright moon intercepted the bomber stream on the outward flight over France.

The city was devastated with these raids. Over 1,100 people killed on the ground, 1,6000 injured with most of the cites buildings destroyed.

40 Lancaster's were lost during the raid and 203 aircrew killed with a further 50 made P.O.W's. 24 evaded capture.

No certain details regarding the loss of Lancaster PB147 can be ascertained but it would seem that it was another victim of the German night-fighter force.

103 Squadron lost no less than 5 aircraft on this operation:

Lancaster I ME799 Flown by F/O. Robert Armstrong, killed with 2 other crew, 2 evaded capture and 2 made pow.
Lancaster III LM538 Flown by F/O. Arthur West, killed with all 6 other crew members.
Lancaster III NE117 Flown by Fl/Lt. Eric Broadbent, killed with all 7 other crew members.
Lancaster III PA985 Flown by F/O. L.J.L. Green all crew surviving a crash landing in England.

                             

             

Grave photographs kindly supplied by Benoit Howson - mouse over image

The memorial to Lancaster PB147 crew (courtesy Jean-Jacques Lignier)

Left: memorial inscription - mouse over image

Burial details:

F/O. Joseph Barker Moss. Charmes Military Cemetery. Plot 2. Row A. Coll. Grave 18-19. Son of Ernest and Annie Moss, of Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester, England. Grave inscription reads: ‘Deep in our hearts, Your memory we keep.’

Sgt. Ronald Redfern Hardey. Charmes Military Cemetery. Plot 2. Row A. Grave 17. Son of Francis Albert and Eva Lavinia Hardey, of Town Hill, Swansey, Wales. Grave inscription reads: - not visible

F/O. Michael Richard Frewin Oliver. Charmes Military Cemetery. Plot 2. Row A. Coll. Grave 18-19. Son of Sydney Milton Oliver and Edith Marion Oliver, of Langford, British Columbia, Canada. Grave inscription reads: ’The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.’

Right: newspaper article regarding memorial - mouse over image

Fl/Sgt. Stanley James Honour. Charmes Military Cemetery. Plot 2. Row A. Coll. Grave 18-19. Son of Percy Eli and Amy Elizabeth Honour, of Corfe Castle, Dorsetshire, England. Grave inscription reads: ’The Lord is my shepherd.’ Remainder not visible.

Sgt. Neville Bradshaw. Charmes Military Cemetery. Plot 2. Row A. Coll Grave 18-19. Son of Albert and Lizzie Bradshaw, of Bulwell, Nottingham, England.

Sgt. Clement Basil Osborne. Charmes Military Cemetery. Plot 2. Row A. Coll Grave 18-19. Son of Mrs. H. J. Pointer, of Murrow, Cambridgeshire, England. Grave inscription reads: - not visible

Sgt. Arthur Woodrow Crooke. Charmes Military Cemetery. Plot 2. Row A. Grave 16. Son of Thomas J. Crooke and Edith A. Crooke, of Belfast, Northern Ireland. Grave inscription reads: ‘Your memory will linger forever with us until we meet again.’

Researched for Barry Honour, nephew of Fl/Sgt. Stanley Honour and dedicated to all relatives of this crew. With thanks to information supplied by Benoit Howson, Les Allison and Harry Hayward - "They Shall Not Grow Old", 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', 'Kracker Luftwaffe Archives'. Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries (Updated 2014 version), 'Paradie Archive'. 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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