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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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76 Squadron Crest
20/21.01.1944 No. 76 Squadron Halifax V LK921 MP-R P/O. Victor Parrott

Operation: Berlin

Date: 20/21st January 1944 (Thursday/Friday)

Unit: No. 76 Squadron

Type: Halifax V

Serial: LK921

Code: MP-R

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

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 easter parts of Berlin and despite the cloud coverage no navigational problems were experience.

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.

Sgt. James Thomas Hadland (courtesy Gareth Campbell)

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.

Burial details:

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.”

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. 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. Further information sourced as shown below.

KTY 16.01.2017 Further information added.

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: 16 January 2017, 00:23