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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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158 Squadron Crest
24/25.05.1944 No 158 Squadron Halifax III LW118 NP-X F/O. Charles C. Price

Operation: Aachen

Date: 24/25th May 1944 (Wednesday/Thursday)

Unit: No. 158 Squadron

Type: Halifax III

Serial: LW118

Code: NP-X

Base: RAF Lissett, Yorkshire

Location: Oosterschelde, Holland

Pilot: F/O. Charles Cleveland Price 130644 RAFVR Age ? Missing - believed killed

Fl/Eng: P/O. Bernard Oliver Baldwin 176493 RAFVR Age 22. Missing - believed killed

Nav: P/O. Eric Thome Heard 54037 RAF Age 25. Missing - believed killed

Air/Bmr: F/O. James Eric Sidnell 53845 RAF Age 31. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. William Steane 1195607 RAFVR Age 22. Missing - believed killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Sidney Jackson 1035003 RAFVR Age 22. Missing - believed killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Horace John Walker 1873691 RAFVR Age ? Killed

REASON FOR LOSS:

Taking off from RAF Lissett, Yorkshire at 23:02 hrs together with over 440 aircraft to bomb the railway yards at Aachen - an important target as they were the main route between France and Germany.

Reports from Aachen state that the targets were hit, one being very badly damaged, however because of the unusually large formation for this type of target many bombs fell in the villages with 14,880 people bombed out of their homes. 259 people on the ground were killed with 120 seriously injured.

It is reported that the Luftwaffe pilot who claimed this was that of the German ace, Oblt. Alfons Köstler (1) of Stab III./NJG2 at 01:36 hrs with the combat taking place at a reported 4,200 mtrs. over Tholen-OverFlakkee. Understood to have come down in the Oosterschelde.

Also lost from the Squadron:

Halifax III LW118 NP-A Flown by P/O. M.V. Lawrence who was taken PoW with all other 6 crew members.
Halifax III LV918 NP-O Flown by 27 year old, Fl/Lt. Ralph Reavill 122816 RAFVR, killed with all 6 other crew. (Understood to be the pilot shown on the crew photo shown)
Halifax III LW653 NP-T Flown by 25 year old, Fl/Sgt. John Seymour Macleod Clarke 177011 RAF, killed with all 6 other crew.
Halifax III LW720 NP-W Flown by 22 year old, Fl/Sgt. John Meredith Roberts 176514 RAFVR, killed with 3 other crew, 4 taken PoW.

(1) This was the 19 claim for the Luftwaffe ace, Oblt. Alfons Köstler who went on to claim a total of 21 night and 1 day claim of the war. He was killed on the 06/07th January 1945 during landing in fog when his aircraft crashed into a farmhouse at Varel-Obenstrohe airfield.

Burial details:

F/O. Charles Cleveland Price. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 208. No further details - are you able to assist?

P/O. Bernard Oliver Baldwin. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 210. Son of Frank and Olive Helena Baldwin, brother to Harold, of Apsley End, Hertfordshire, England.

Left: Bernard Baldwin, understood to have been taken in 1940 with the mother of Peter Farthing, who contributed such a great deal to this page.

P/O. Eric Thome Heard. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 211. Son of Mr. and Mrs. C. J. Heard, of West Mersea, Essex, England.

F/O. James Eric Sidnell. Kamperland General Cemetery. Row VR. Grave 1. Son of Thomas William and Jessie Sidnell, of Torquay, Devon, England.

Fl/Sgt. William Steane. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 222. Son of Herbert and Elizabeth Steane, of Leicester., England.

Sgt. Sidney Jackson. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 232. Son of Sidney and Ellen Irene Jackson, husband of Dorothy Jackson, of St. Helier, Jersey, Channel Islands.

Sgt. Horace John Walker. Bergen-op-Zoom War Cemetery. Grave 14.B.2. No further details - are you able to assist?

Researched for relatives of the crew with thanks for great additional information and photographs to Peter Farthing - relative of P/O. Baldwin. Other sources as quoted.

KTY - 10.08.2016

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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