20/21.01.1944 No. 76 Squadron Halifax V LK921 MP-R P/O. Victor Parrott
Date: 20/21st January 1944 (Thursday/Friday)
Unit: No. 76 Squadron
Type: Halifax V
Base: RAF Holme-on-Spalding-Moor, Yorkshire.
Location: Burgkemnitz, Germany
Pilot: P/O ‘Red’ Victor Parrott J/19584 RCAF Age 26. Killed
Fl/Eng: Sgt. ‘Jinx’ Cyril Claude Vicary 1628411 RAFVR Age ? Killed
Nav: Fl/Sgt. ‘Smiley’ Jack Leonard Miriams 658855 RAFVR Age ? Killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. ‘Hicky’ Frederick William Hickman 1331452 RAFVR Age 23. Killed
Air/Bmr: Fl/Sgt. ‘Slim’ Arthur Leach Patterson Gibson R/159358 RCAF Age 21. Killed
Air/Gnr: Sgt. James Thomas Hadland 1851439 RAFVR Age 19. Killed
Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. ‘Mac’ Leonard James McCarthy AUS/426371 RAAF Age 20. Killed
Update July 2017: A researcher, Mr. Graham Dutton contacted us he has carried out extensive research into this loss, in particular, Fl/Sgt. ‘Mac’ McCarthy who had been a close friend of his mother. We hope to have additional details soon.
REASON FOR LOSS:
Took off at 16:34hrs from Holme-on-Spalding-Moor to join 768 aircraft attacking Berlin. The target area of Berlin was completely cloud covered and the resulting bombing is a mystery. This is that despite using the pathfinders squadrons who's sky-marking appeared to go according to plan. Crews were scanning the ground with their H2S sets believed that the attack fell on the eastern parts of Berlin and despite the cloud coverage no navigational problems were experienced.
Various reports from different sources show a complete blank for this nights attack. No evidence can be found that they did in fact hit Berlin or the Germans concealed the extent of the damage.
The raid was to cost the allies huge losses with 35 aircraft lost. It is thought that Halifax LK921 had been shot down by flak fire and crashed open countryside North West of Burgkemnitz which is a village North of Muidestausee.
Drawing by Sgt. James Thomas Hadland (courtesy Gareth Campbell)
76 Squadron also lost 2 other aircraft on this raid:
Halifax V LK958 MP-Q Flown by 24 year old, P/O. George Corbett Ive AUS/415331 RAAF From South Perth, Western Australia - 5 crew members killed and 2 made PoW.
Halifax V LL116 MP-K Flown by F/O. Whitehead RAFVR - 1 Killed, 3 made PoW and 3 evading capture.
Brought down by a night fighter between 19:00 - 20:00 hrs although no name of the Luftwaffe pilot can, as yet be placed.
P/O Victor Parrott. Berlin 1939-45 War Cemetery 4.L.9. Son of Fleming and Elsie I. Parrott, of Redlake, Ontario, Canada. Grave inscription reads: “Greater Love Hath No Man Than This That He Lay Down His Life For His Friends.”
Sgt. Cyril Claude Vicary. Berlin 1939-45 War Cemetery 4.L.11. No further details as yet - are you able to assist?
Fl/Sgt. Jack Leonard Miriams. Berlin 1939-45 War Cemetery 4.L.13. Believed to be from the Dover area. No further details as yet - are you able to assist?
Fl/Sgt. Frederick Hickman. Berlin 1939-45 War Cemetery 4.L.10. Son of Mr. and Mrs. Albert Frederick Hickman, husband of Beryl Hickman, of Brighton, Sussex, England. Grave inscription reads: “The World May Forget You As Time Goes By. The Stars Will Remember, So Will I.”
Above: Fl/Sgt. Arthur Leach Patterson Gibson (courtesy Susan Gibson)
Fl/Sgt. Arthur Leach Patterson Gibson. Berlin 1939-45 War Cemetery 4.L.8. Further Information: Born on the 14th July 1921. From Rocky Mountain House, Alberta, Canada. Son of Arthur Leach Patterson Gibson Sr (died in 1945) and Margaret who had died prior to the loss of her son. His remaining 3 brothers were then brought up by his sister, Emily Ames who did an amazing job as she was very young at the time. Arthur Leach Patterson Gibson was the eldest son of Arthur Leach Patterson Gibson Sr and Margaret Ann Williams. His father served in World War 1. At the time of his enlistment, his Mother was deceased. (1934) His father, brothers, Wallace, Henry (Hank), Walter and his sister Emily were left to grieve his passing. Arthur graduated from High Scool and then worked as a farmhand, a butcher and a coal briquette engineer at the Brazeau Collieries in Nordegg, Alberta, prior to voluntarily enlisting. He loved all sports, especially baseball, football and track meets. He was known to be a young man of character, intelligence, willingness, clean living and honesty. As at 2017, his sister is the only survivor of his immediate family.
Sgt. James Thomas Hadland (courtesy Gareth Campbell)
Sgt. James Thomas Hadland. Berlin 1939-45 War Cemetery 4.L.12. Son of Mr. and Mrs. Frank L. Hadland, of Witney, Oxfordshire, England. Grave inscription reads: “At Rest.”
Fl/Sgt. Leonard James McCarthy. (shown left) Berlin 1939-45 War Cemetery 4.L.14. Born on the 03rd April 1923 at Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, the son of John Andrew and Thereza Elizabeth McCarthy, of Frith Street, South Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. Prior to service worked as a projectionist. Grave inscription reads: “The Fairest Youngster For Country’s Honour.”
Researched by Gareth Campbell nephew of Sgt. James T. Hadland with additional information by webmaster. Thanks also to Susan Gibson, relative of Fl/Sgt. Arthur Gibson who contacted us in December 2016. Graham Dutton who also contacted us - July 2017. Further information sourced as shown below.