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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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75 Squadron Crest
20/21.07.1944 No. 75 Squadron Lancaster I HK569 AA-Q P/O. Neil D. Davidson

Operation: Homberg

Date: 20/21st July 1944 (Thursday/Friday)

Unit: No: 75 Squadron New Zealand

Type: Lancaster I

Serial: HK569

Code: AA-Q

Base: RAF Mepal, Cambridgeshire.

Location: Kessel

Pilot: Fl/Sgt. Neil Douglas Davidson NZ/422057 RNZAF Age 21. Killed

Fl/Eng: Sgt. Robert Gerald Sloman 914220 RAFVR Age 24. Killed

Nav: Sgt. Arthur Ernest John Goddard 1323141 RAFVR Age 22. Killed

Air/Bmr: Sgt. Thomas Gilbert Little 1459875 RAF Age 21. PoW No: 52469 Camp: (9C) Muhlhausen, Nurnberg (1)

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Douglas Corris 1501099 RAFVR Age 22. Killed

Air/Gnr (mid upper): Sgt. Raymond Stanley Lang 1896528 RAFVR Age 32. Killed

Air/Gnr (rear): Fl/Sgt. Henry John Hiscox 928092 RAFVR Age 35. Killed

REASON FOR LOSS:

Lancaster took off from RAF Mepal, Cambridgeshire, England at 23:28 hrs on its way to bomb the Fischer Tropsch oil refinery/aviation fuel producer in Homberg, Germany.

It was attacked by a German night-fighter flown by Oblt. Dietrich Schmidt of 8./NJG1 (2) over Heibloem, Limburg, Netherlands on its way to the target. It crashed into a river bank at 01:25 hrs. near Kessel after the pilot avoided a village called Reuver.

Above left to right: Fl/Sgt. Davidson, Sgt. Sloman, Sgt. Goddard and Sgt. Corris (courtesy Dee Boneham via the families)

Above: Sef Willems - a former Dutch resistance fighter who discovered the body of Sgt. Hiscox with Tiny Claessen who has looked after the grave ever since (courtesy Dee Boneham)

Sgt. Little and Fl/Sgt. Hiscox survived the crash however Fl/Sgt. Hiscox died on the river bank and is buried in the village of Beesel. Sgt Little became a PoW and survived the war. No bodies were found for the rest of the crew, they are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.

Left: Oblt. Dietrich Schmidt

Every year in May on Dutch Remembrance Day there is a memorial ceremony at Fl/Sgt. Hiscox's grave. The children from the local school in Beesel where he is buried, all take part reading the story about the crew and reciting poems. Above photo shows the ceremony in May 2011.

Above left to right: Barrie Davis, Tiny Claessen and her son Ton. (courtesy Dee Boneham)

Barrie Davies from the Netherlands, also goes into the local school and talks to the children. The local schools regard it as part of their heritage.

Location of the new memorial - on the wall below the cafe

A new memorial had been planned on the 21st July 2011 at 13:00hrs, hoping that a new photograph will be forwarded to us in the future.
(1) Thomas Little sadly died in 1991 - he suffered from cancer. Thomas originated from Bradford, England and at the time of his death he was single.
(2) This was the 29th of 38 kills for the Luftwaffe ace Oblt. Dietrich Schmidt who survived the war (No further details available)

Burial details:

P/O. Neil Douglas Davidson. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 263. Son of J. D. and Margaret Davidson, of Porangahau, Hawke's Bay, New Zealand. Total of 479 hours flying time.

Sgt. Robert Gerald Sloman. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 237. Son of Frederick George and Edith Emily Sloman, of Snodland, Kent, England.

Sgt. Arthur Ernest John Goddard. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 230. Son of Mr. and Mrs. W. A. Goddard, of North End, Portsmouth, England.

Sgt. Douglas Corris. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 227. He was the second son of Stephen and Margaret (née Griffiths) Corris. He was born in 1922 and the birth was registered at Chester in the Wirral Peninsular, Cheshire UK. His father died in 1940 in Liverpool, Lancashire age 58, and his mother died in 1973 in Illawarra, New South Wales, Australia. Douglas had an older brother called Stephen (born 1920 at Chester, Wirral Peninsular, Cheshire) who served in WWII (at this stage not sure what arm of the services he was with). At the end of the war Stephen went to Australia as part of the Ex servicemen’s Free Passage Scheme. He settled in Sydney New South Wales. Stephen died May 1995 at Illawarra, NSW. This was were his mother and the youngest son Robert (born 1925 Liverpool, Lancashire) emigrated to in 1949. Robert died in Illawarra in July 1995.

Sgt. Raymond Stanley Lang. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 233. Son of Thomas William and Esther Lang, husband of Edith Lang, of Streatham, London, England.

Fl/Sgt. Henry John Hiscox. Beesel R/C. Cemetery Row 2, Grave 1. Son of Mr. and Mrs. W. P. Hiscox, of Newport, Monmouthshire, husband of E. I. M. Hiscox, of Newport, Wales.

Researched by Dee Boneham with assistance from Barrie Davies and Sgt. Glen Turner for Aircrew Remembered. Also to Heather Price for details on Sgt. Corris. (Although not a blood relative the Corris family they are part of the family of her late step grandfather. Page dedicated to all the crew.

KTY 13.03.2016 - Additional information entered on Sgt. Corris with thanks to Heather Price.

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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