26/27.04.1944 No. 207 Squadron Lancaster III LM526 Fl/Lt. Muir crew loss
Operation: Schweinfurt, (Ball bearing production factories) Germany
Date: 26/27th April 1944 (Wednesday/Thursday)
Unit: No. 207 Squadron
Type: Lancaster III
Base: RAF Spilsby, Lincolnshire
Pilot: Fl/Lt. James Findlay Muir 135095 RAFVR Age 29. Killed
Fl/Eng: Sgt. David Arthur Loveday 1850343 RAFVR Age 19. Killed
Nav: F/O. Gordon Buxton 148028 RAFVR Age 28. Killed
Air/Bmr: Sgt. David Norman Collins 1603108 RAFVR Age 20. Killed
W/Op: Sgt. Selwyn Fawcett 1238637 RAFVR Age 22. Killed
Air/Gnr: Sgt. Walter Upsall 1622713 RAFVR Age 20. Killed
Air/Gnr: Sgt. George Stanley Longmate 1815829 RAFVR Age 20. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Took off from Spilsby, Lincolnshire at 21.25 hrs as part of a 206 Lancaster and 11 Mosquitoes from 5 group and 9 further Lancasters from 1 group to bomb the ball bearing production plant. Another huge failure with very light damage done on the ground due to strong head winds making the markers inaccurate from the Mosquito pathfinder force. It is reported that only 2 people were killed on the ground in the target area but a total of 21 Lancasters lost!
Left: F/O. Gordon Buxton (courtesy Wendy White) Left to right: P/O. Frederick Wooton Gallagher, W/O. Alfred Young, Fl/Sgt. Ronald Parson Scott, Sgt. Selwyn Fawcett, Fl/Sgt. Charles E.D. Stewart, Sgt. Kenneth Waddington, Sgt. Murray Sherman after an emergency crash landing on 14/15th January 1944. Right: F/O. Buxton with his wife Berta (courtesy Wendy White)
LM526 has been claimed to have been shot down by Uffz Bernhard Kratz 3./NJG6 flying a Bf-110 at a height of 5,300 m at 01.48hrs. The combat took place over Gausbach - north of Forbach. (Nachtjagd War Diaries - Vol 2: Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten) Right: Uffz Bernhard Kratz 3./NJG6 (courtesy Susan Robinson Peters via Wendy White)
Uffz Bernhard Kratz Became a nightfighter ace with a total of 6 kills but was wounded on the 25/26th March 1945 by ack ack during a strafing sortie near Oppenheimer bridge. It is now known that he survived the war, but passed away in June 2009 aged 90.
Durnbach War Cemetery - The quality of these photographs shown here can not be fully appreciated when the size is reduced for the web page. (courtesy David Franklin - David has kindly provided us with permission to release high definition copies to relatives)
Fl/Lt. James Findlay Muir. Durnbach War Cemetery. Grave. 1.B.14. Son of John Findlay Muir and Maude Louisa Muir, of Bombay, India.
Sgt. David Arthur Loveday. Durnbach War Cemetery. Collective grave 8. K. 18-21. Son of Alice E. Loveday, of Shrewton, Wiltshire, England.
F/O. Gordon Buxton. Durnbach War Cemetery. Collective grave 8. K. 18-21. Son of William and Lily Buxton of Kimberley, Nottinghamshire, England. Husband of Alberta. His stepmother was named Hilda.
Sgt. David Norman Collins. Durnbach War Cemetery. Collective grave 8. K. 18-21. Son of David and Edith Ellen Collins, of Brixton, London, England.
Sgt. Selwyn Fawcett. Durnbach War Cemetery. Collective grave 8. K. 18-21. Son of Walter and Agnes Fawcett, of Newstead, Yorkshire, England. Born 1921.
Sgt. Walter Upsall. Durnbach War Cemetery. Collective grave 8. K. 18-21. Son of W. H. Upsall and Susan Upsall, of Boston, Lincolnshire, England.
Sgt. George Stanley Longmate. Durnbach War Cemetery. Collective grave 8. K. 18-21. Next of Kin details currently not available - are you able to assist completion of these and any other information?
Researched for Wendy White and all the relatives of the crew. With thanks to Wendy White and Sandra Sainty - relatives of Gordon Buxton. Also thanks to Susan R. Peters for additional information supplied to Aircrew Remembered. Further information, Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - "Nightfighter War Diaries Vol's. 1 and 2", Bill Chorley - "Bomber Command Losses Vol. 5". Also thanks to Norbert Vollman from Denmark for pointing out an error on this page. Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Thanks to Sven Herb for pointing out that the map was incorrect.