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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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RAF BOMBER COMMAND
10/11.09.1942 No. 22 O.T.U. Wellington IC X9932 Fl/Sgt. Daniel Pablo

Operation: Düsseldorf

Date: 10/11th September 1942 (Thursday/Friday)

Unit: No. 22 OTU (Operational Training Unit)

Type: Wellington IC

Serial: X9932

Base: RAF Stratford-Upon-Avon

Location: Osterwick, Germany

Pilot: Fl/Sgt. Daniel Lawrence Pablo R/109023 RCAF Age 22. Killed

Obs 1: Sgt. Charles Edward Pollard R/123260 RCAF Age 20. Killed

Obs 2: P/O. Clifford Roy Sullivan J/85162 RCAF Age 19. Killed (1)

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Wallace Hayden Johnson R/82881 RCAF Age 22. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Edward Stanley Joseph McCasky R/110750 RCAF Age 20. Killed (2)

REASON FOR LOSS:

Took off from RAF Stratford-Upon-Avon at 20.30 hrs to bomb Düsseldorf. A huge force took off - a total of 479 aircraft made up with 242 Wellingtons, 89 Lancasters, 59 Halifaxes, 47 Stirlings, 28 Hampdens and 14 Whitleys. 

The pathfinders marked the target area successfully using "Pink Pansies" (3) in converted 4,000 lb. bomb casings. The city was hit in all areas apart from the north, also hit was the neighbouring town of Neuss. 

Reports are that 39 industrial firms in Düsseldorf and a further 13 in Neuss were damaged to the extent that no production could take place for various periods, 8 public buildings were destroyed and 67 damaged. 911 houses were also destroyed, 1,506 seriously damaged and another 8,340 lightly damaged.

On the ground 132 people were killed, made up of 120 in Düsseldorf and 12 in Neuss. A further 11 people were classed as "missing" 2 days after the raid. 19,427 people were made homeless.

The raid took it's toll on the RAF though with 33 aircraft lost. (20 Wellingtons, 5 Lancasters, 4 Stirlings, 3 Halifaxes and 1 Hampden) 60 crewmen were killed, 1 injured and 13 made PoW.

Above left: Sgt. Edward Stanley Joseph McCasky. Right: Sgt. Charles Edward Pollard (courtesy Thomas Pollard)

Above: P/O. Clifford Roy Sullivan

Wellington IC X9932 was shot down by Lt. August Geiger from 8./NJG1 at a height of 4,000 meters 1 km East of Osterwick at 00.02hrs. Hptm. Geiger (49 kills) was later shot down by W/Cmr. Bob Braham DSO. DFC. from 141 Beaufighter squadron over Ljsselmeer on September 29/30th 1943.


Left: (1) A wonderful poem, written by Clara Bernhardt, was sent home by P/O. Sullivan. Reproduced in our poetry section.


(3) "Pink Pansies" an incendiary bomb - 2,800 lb's. - used as a target marker made up from Benzol, rubber and phosphorous.


Above left: Lt August Geiger with Hptm. Lutje

    

Crew graves at Reichswald (courtesy Mitch Buiting from Germany who kindly took these photographs for relatives of the crew and for inclusion on our page of remembrance - any relative who would like a full resolution of these images are invited to contact us)

Burial Details:

The crew were originally buried in the Parish Cemetery, Osterwick, Germany then exhumed at the end of hostilities and buried as shown:

Fl/Sgt. Daniel Lawrence Pablo. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. Coll grave 12. D. 8-11. Son of Lawrence Edward and Ada Pearl (nee Rollins) Pablo, of Elmo, Montana, USA.

Sgt. Charles Edward Pollard. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. Coll grave 12. D. 8-11. Son of Charles Edward  and Laura (nee Hole) Pollard , husband of Reta May Titus, of 271 Harvie Avenue, Toronto, Canada.

P/O. Clifford Roy Sullivan. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. Coll grave 12. D. 8-11. Son of Bernard and Frances Sullivan, of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Fl/Sgt. Wallace Hayden Johnson. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. Coll grave 12. D. 8-11. Son of William Clifford  and Mabel (nee Gethin) Johnson, of Brockville, Ontario, Canada.

Sgt. Edward Stanley Joseph McCasky. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. Coll grave 12. D. 8-11. Son of Mr. & Mrs. William McCasky of  99 Hart Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.


(2) McCasky Lake in Manitoba is named after Sgt. McCasky

Researched by Aircrew Remembered, researcher and RCAF specialist Colin Bamford for relatives of this crew. With thanks to Thomas Pollard, nephew of Sgt. Charles Pollard for photographs. Also to Jessica Cheesman, who's grandmother, age 97 in 2013, is the sister of P/O. Clifford Sullivan. Mitch Buiting from Germany for the grave photographs.

With thanks to the following, 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’, the CWGC.

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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Last Modified: 06 December 2014, 00:00