04/05.07.1944 No. 61 Squadron Lancaster III EE186 QR-D P/O. W. North
Date: 04/05th July 1944 (Tuesday/Wednesday)
Unit: No. 61 Squadron
Type: Lancaster III
Base: RAF Skellingthorpe, Lincolnshire
Location: North of Harquency, France
Pilot: P/O. W. North 174326 RAFVR PoW No: 86438 Camp: Stalag Luft Barth Vogelsang (L1)
Fl/Eng: Sgt. D.J. Hatchett 1834626 RAFVR Evaded capture (1)
Nav: Fl/Sgt. H.E. Crowley 1422158 RAFVR Evaded capture (1)
Air/Bmr: Fl/Sgt. Norman Eldridge Jarvis AUS/410413 RAAF Age 24. PoW No: 86119 Camp: Stalag Luft Heydekrug (L6)
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. G.I.W. Monteith 1518174 RAFVR PoW No: 475 Camp: Stalag Luft Bankau (Bakow, Poland) (L7)
Air/Gnr: Sgt. D.A. Bartlet 1896762 RAFVR PoW No: 433 Camp: Stalag Luft Bankau (Bakow, Poland) (L7)
Air/Gnr: Sgt. P.E. O’Shea 1813944 RAFVR PoW No: 401 Camp: Stalag Luft Bankau (Bakow, Poland) (L7)
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off from RAF Skellingthorpe in Lincolnshire at 23:22 hrs to bomb the flying bomb site at Saint-Leu-d’Esserent. Part of a series of night bombing attacks on these facilities during the Normandy invasion period.
On this operation some 231 Lancasters with 5 Mosquitoes took part in what was described as a successful operation with accurate bombing. It came at a cost with 13 Lancaster failing to return.
It is thought that Lancaster EE186 was shot down by the night fighter crew of F/W. Blank of 8./NJG5 at 01:53 hrs coming down some 2 km. North of Harquency, France - his first and only claim of the war from which he survived. (See Kracker Luftwaffe Archive on this site)
(1) Sgt Hatchett evaded and returned to UK on the 29th August 1944 via Bayeux on B.14 airstrip at Banville. Fl/Sgt. Crowley returned later on the 09th September 1944.
None - all are survived.
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to sources as shown.