24/25.07.1944 No. 50 Squadron Lancaster I LL842 VN-F F/O. Gordon H. Parker
Operation: Stuttgart, Germany
Date: 24/25th July 1944
Unit: No. 50 Squadron
Type: Lancaster I
Base: RAF Skellingthorpe
Location: 2 km south south west Nogent-le-Rotróu, France
Pilot: F/O. Gordon Howard Parker J/25943 RCAF Age 22. Killed
Fl/Eng: Sgt. Thomas William Thompson 966222 RAFVR Age 27. Killed
Nav: F/O. John Mason Neal J/27480 RCAF Age 21. Killed (1)
Air/Bmr: Fl/Sgt. J. H. Spencer 658681 RAFVR PoW No: 630 Camp: L7
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Leslie Salway 1587294 RAFVR Age 21. Killed
Air/Gnr: Sgt. R. Hampton 2211459 RAFVR Evaded capture. PRO Kew list - File No: 3321. Report:2115 (2)
Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. David Sinclair Campbell J/90306 RCAF Age 31. Killed.
REASON FOR LOSS:
Took off from Skellingthorpe, (Nicknamed "Skelly" by aircrews) Lincolnshire at 21.51 hrs as part of a 412 Lancaster and 138 Halifax force to attack Stuttgart. During this operation some 23 bombers were lost.
Lancaster I LL842 VN-F crew (courtesy Michel Beckers)
This raid was the first in a series of 3 such attacks on this city and this, for the first time used masses of long window (1.8 metres long and 7 cm wide) effectively jamming the German night fighter A/1 radar. Stuttgart was extremely badly damaged during this raid.
Lancaster LL842 Ground crew (courtesy of J. Phillips)
LL842 Lancaster was claimed to have been shot down by Ofw. Wilhelm Glitz of Stab NJG2 at a height of 2.500m over Dreux-Llliers very early during the raid at 23.56hrs. Ofw. Glitz survived the war with a total of 12 kills to his score.
(1) Neal Island in Kitchi Lake, Manitoba was named after F/O. Neal in 1995.
(2) Sgt. Hampton arrived back in Northolt, England on the 18th August 1944 - leaving from B14 Airstrip Bayeux, France.
F/O. Gordon Howard Parker. Nogent-LeRotrou Communal Cemetery, France. Plot 33. Coll grave 4-7. Son of Arthur W. Parker, Toronto, Canada.
Sgt. Thomas William Thompson. Nogent-LeRotrou Communal Cemetery, France. Plot 33. Coll grave 4-7. Son of Peter and Polly Thompson, of Atherton, Lancashire, England.
F/O. John Mason Neal. Nogent-LeRotrou Communal Cemetery, France. Plot 33. Coll grave 4-7. Husband of Norma Neal (née Finch) of Manitoba, Canada.
Sgt. Leslie Salway. Nogent-LeRotrou Communal Cemetery, France. Plot 33. Coll grave 4-7. Son of Charles and Carrie Dorothy Salway, of Bristol, England.
Fl/Sgt. David Sinclair Campbell. Nogent-LeRotrou Communal Cemetery, France. Plot 33. Grave 2. Son of Andrew and Cecelia Campbell, of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
With thanks to Christine Head for details on pilot - January 2017. For further details our thanks to the following, Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vol's. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', ‘Bomber Command Database’, Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vol's. 1 and 2', 'Kracker Luftwaffe Archives'. Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries (Updated 2014 version), 'Paradie Archive'. Oliver Clutton-Brock 'RAF Evaders’. Commonwealth War Graves Commission.