23/24.08.1943 No. 101 Squadron Lancaster I ED328 SR-S Fl/Sgt. Naffin
Date: 23/24th August 1943 (Monday/Tuesday)
Unit: No. 101 Squadron
Type: Lancaster I
Base: RAF Ludford Magna, Lincolnshire.
Location: Lanke, 6 k.m. West of Biesenthal
Pilot: Fl/Sgt. Robert Clarence Naffin AUS/416601 RAAF Age 23. Killed
Fl/Eng: Sgt. David Morgan Ellis 1031023 RAFVR Age 32. Killed
Nav: Fl/Sgt. Noel Joseph Bullen AUS/409503 RAAF Age 25. Killed
Air/Bmr: Fl/Sgt. Douglas John Tresidder AUS/415104 RAAF Age 20. Killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. John Armstrong Currey 1237454 RAFVR Age 21. Killed
Air/Gnr: Sgt. John Henry Phillips 1451351 RAFVR Age 19. Killed
Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Everard John Phillips AUS/415273 RAAF Age 23. Killed
We would very much like other relatives to contact us in order that they can be informed about this and the work of the Finowfurt Aviation Museum.
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off at 20.27 hrs from RAF Ludford Magna, Lincolnshire to attack Berlin as part of a force of 727 aircraft consisting of 335 Lancasters, 251 Halifaxes, 124 Stirlings and 17 Mosquitoes.
The Mosquitoes were used to mark various points on the route in order to keep the Main Force on the correct track. A total of 56 aircraft were lost – 23 Halifaxes, 17 Lancasters and 16 Stirlings, 7.9% of the force which was the greatest loss of aircraft in one night to date. The losses for the Stirlings were almost 13% of those despatched.
Left to right - Sgt. John Phillips, Fl/Sgt. Douglas Tresidder, Fl/Sgt. Robert Naffin and Sgt. David Morgan Ellis. (courtesy Ian Hill) - Fl/Sgt. Douglas John Tresidder - Sgt. John Armstrong Currey (Australian War Memorial)
It was reported that the raid was only partially successful as the Pathfinders were not able to identify the centre of Berlin by H2S.
The area which was marked was in the southern outskirts of the city but with the Main Force arriving late causing a number of aircraft to cut a corner and approach the target from the SW instead of the SSE, a number of bomb loads fell in open country.
However, Berlin suffered its most serious damage of the war to date with a wide range of industrial and residential properties being destroyed or severely damaged. Some bombs fell by chance in the centre of the city resulting in damage around the Wilhelmstrasse area.
Lancaster ED328 was intercepted by Oblt. Werner Husemann of Stab NJG1 at 00.50 hrs over Biesenthal with the aircraft coming down at Lanke.
It is understood that the aircraft exploded in mid-air killing all the crew with the debris scattered over a wide are.
A research group based at the Finowfurt Aviation Museum discovered the crash site, recovering many pieces of the Lancaster. Mr. Ian Hill travelled to the area in October 2013 to open an exhibition of some of the artefacts. We would very much like other relatives to contact us in order that they can be informed about this and the work of the Finowfurt Aviation Museum.
Left: Oblt. Werner Husemann (archives)
(1) This was the 9th abschüss for Oblt. Werner Husemann who was already classified as an 'ace at this time.
Born on the 10th November 1919 the holder of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross.
He went on to claim a total of 32 night abschüsse surviving the war. (See Kracker Luftwaffe Archive on this site)
Finowfurt Aviation Museum display of ED328 finds
Left: Graves of Sgt. Ellis and Fl/Sgt. Phillips at Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery
Fl/Sgt. Robert Clarence Naffin. Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery. Grave 1.H.12. Son of Clarence and Grace Naffin, husband of Diana Stephanie Naffin, of Kington, Herefordshire, England
Sgt. David Morgan Ellis. Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery. Joint Grave 1.H.16-17. Son of David and Jane Ellis, husband of Iris May Ellis, of Cwmgorse, Carmarthenshire, Wales.
Fl/Sgt. Noel Joseph Bullen. Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery. Grave 4.J.17. Son of Sydney Joseph and Minnie Bullen, of Thornbury, Victoria Australia.
Fl/Sgt. Douglas John Tresidder. Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery. Grave 1.H.9. Son of Ernest Victor and Dorrit Tresidder, of Crawley, Western Australia.
Sgt. John Armstrong Currey. Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery. Grave 4.G.8. Son of George and Emily Currey, of Scarborough, Yorkshire, England.
Sgt. John Henry Phillips. Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery. Joint Grave 1.H.16-17. Son of George Wilfred and Minnie Phillips, of Crewe, Cheshire, England.
Fl/Sgt. Everard John Phillips. Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery. Grave 1.H.10. Son of Thomas William and Edith Lila Phillips, of Wembley, Western Australia
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew including Mr. Ian Hill, nephew of Sgt. John Phillips, with thanks to Australian War Memorial, Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vol's. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vol's. 1 and 2', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries', Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Tom Kracker - 'Kracker Luftwaffe Archives'. Aircrew Remembered own Archives.