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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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150 Squadron Crest
22.03.1945 No. 150 Squadron Lancaster I ME451 IQ-D F/O. Ian H.S. Philcox

Operation: Hildesheim

Date: 22nd March 1945

Unit: No. 150 Squadron

Type: Lancaster I

Serial: ME451

Code: IQ-D

Base: RAF Hemswell

Location: Petershagen, Germany

Pilot: F/O. Ian Hamilton Stuart Philcox 185299 RAFVR Age 20. Killed

Fl/Eng: Sgt. Denis Smith Fielding 2219056 RAFVR Age 20. Killed

Nav: Fl/Sgt. Gordon Brain 1684863 RAFVR Age 22. Killed

Air/Bmr: Fl/Sgt. Victor Jasper Lawrence 1586885 RAFVR Age ? Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Noel Frank Scaife 1590809 RAFVR Age 20. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Alexander Moore 798812 RAFVR Age ? Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Thomes Bertram Cook 1852747 RAFVR Age 20. PoW No: Not known Camp: Barth Vogelsang (1)


The brother of Gordon Brain is anxious to find a photo of the crew - are you able to assist?


REASON FOR LOSS:

227 Lancasters with 8 Mosquitoes of 1 and 8 Group took part in this daytime operation to bomb the railway yards at Hildesheim. The operation was a success with much damage caused to the target. However, in this the only operation on this area of the war 70% of the town was also destroyed - the Cathedral, churches and many historic buildings were totally destroyed with 3,302 blocks of flats with more than 10,000 apartments were hit, killing some 1,645 people.

Lancaster ME451 had been 1 of 5 Lancasters lost - one from 434 squadron Lancaster X KB832 WL-F flown by F/O. Payne of the RCAF was collided on take off (all crew safe) with the bomb load eventually exploding closing RAF Craft for most of the day.

No details as to how this Lancaster was lost, but thought to be from anti-aircraft fire from a flak train. We are in contact with the son of the sole survivor from this crew and hope further information may follow.

2219056 Sgt. Fielding D.S.
No. 1 Sergeants Mess
Royal Air force Station
Hemswell
Gainsborough
Lincolnshire
"Wednesday 21st March
Dear George
Just a few lines to let you know that by the time you get this I shall be home on leave. I am hoping to be home on Friday about ten time so perhaps we can have a bit of a session at the M.A. as in the old days. The last time I flew was last Friday night and hope I won’t be on again until after my leave. Have you heard from Bob lately? I wrote to him about a month ago and haven’t heard from him since.
Well Joe, I am going down to Gainsboro tonight to have a dance so I will have to start getting ready.
So until Friday I will say cheerio
Dennis"

Other aircraft lost on this operation:

166 Squadron Lancaster PD365 AS-X Flown by 29 year old, Fl/Sgt. Richard Ernest Moore 911578 RAFVR from Thornton Heath, Surrey, killed with all 6 other crew.
428 Squadron Lancaster X KB777 NA-V Flown by Fl/Lt. James Ffrederick Hadley J/10986 RCAF, killed with 2 other crew, 4 taken PoW.
431 Squadron Lancaster X KB808 SE-Y Flown by Fl/Lt. John Philip Duggan DFC. J/35871 RCAF, killed with all 7 other crew.

(1) Above left: Sgt. Thomes Bertram Cook taken we understand in late 1944, who sadly passed away in 2010. Born Ste. Sault Marie, Canada on 25th June 1925. (courtesy David B. Cooke) Right Fl/Sgt. Gordon Brain (courtesy Helen McGill - August 2016)

Burial details:

F/O. Ian Hamilton Stuart Philcox. Hanover War Cemetery. Collective Grave 11.E.13-18. Son of William Stuart Philcox and Nora Angela Rose Philcox, of Chelsea, London, England.

Sgt. Denis Smith Fielding. Hanover War Cemetery. Collective Grave 11.E.13-18. Son of Frank and Jane Fielding, of Brinnington, Cheshire, England.

Fl/Sgt. Gordon Brain. Hanover War Cemetery. Collective Grave 11.E.13-18. Born on the 28th March 1923, the son of Joseph E. and Emma Brain, of Harrogate, Yorkshire, England.

Fl/Sgt. Victor Jasper Lawrence. Hanover War Cemetery. Collective Grave 11.E.13-18. No further details - are you able to assist?

Sgt. Noel Frank Scaife. Hanover War Cemetery. Collective Grave 11.E.13-18. Son of Frank Scaife, and of Maude Scaife, of Listerhills, Bradford, Yorkshire, England.

Sgt. Alexander Moore. Hanover War Cemetery. Collective Grave 11.E.13-18. From Newfoundland, Canada. No further details - are you able to assist?

Page placed for the family of Sgt. Cook who passed away in 2010. David Cook (son of Sgt. Thomes Bertram Cook) also sent the letter as shown - November 2016 - via his friend Chris Mort who's family was a close friend of Dennis Fielding). Thanks also to Helen McGill - her father is the brother of Sgt. Gordon Brain - contacted us in June / August 2016. For further details our thanks to the sources shown below.

KTY - 26.06.2016 details added on Sgt. Brain

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: 23 November 2016, 22:14