12/13.03.1945 No. 21 Squadron Mosquito VI SZ923 W/Cdr. Victor R. Oats
Operation: Road and rail communications
Date: 12/13th March 1945 (Monday/Tuesday)
Unit: No. 21 Squadron
Type: De Havilland Mosquito VI
Base: B.87 ALG. Rosières-en-Santerre
Location: Linnerstraße, Bottendorf, Germany
Pilot: W/Cmd. Victor Rundle Oats 34246 RAF Age 29. Killed
Navigator: Fl/Sgt. Frederick Charles Gubbings 1800005 RAFVR Age 23. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off at 22:05 hrs from the Advanced Landing Ground at Rosières-en-Santerre east south east of Amiens in France.
From eyewitness accounts in Bottendorf, it is stated that Mosquito SZ963 attacked the Frankenberger Bahnhof (Railway station) and then the Thonet Werks, during this attack it was noted that the aircraft was on fire and flying very low.
The crew must have realised the danger and W/Cdr. Oats tried desperately to gain altitude so that they would have sufficient height to bale-out. Instead, the aircraft flew on a curved course towards Willesdorf but tragically crashed on the Linnerstraße, between Bottendorf and Willesdorf.
The crew were found the next day and laid to rest by an old Oak tree at the Linner Mill. The two crew members were later exhumed and re-buried at Hanover War Cemetery.
Right: Fl/Sgt. Frederick Charles Rubbings with his wife Olivia.
W/Cmd. Victor Rundle Oats. Hanover War Cemetery. Joint grave 4.J.13-14. Son of Francis and Dorothy Oats, husband of Elizabeth Jean Oats, of Oxted, Surrey, England. Grave inscription reads: "No Greater Love".
Fl/Sgt. Frederick Charles Gubbings. Hanover War Cemetery. Joint grave 4.J.13-14. Son of Albert and Alice Gubbings, husband of Olivia Ellizabeth Gubbings.Grave inscription reads: "At The Going Down Of The Sun And In The Morning We Shall Remember Him".
Information via Pete Joseph. With thanks to Bob B for taking the grave photographs for us in March 2019 - other sources as quoted below.