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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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10 Squadron Crest
27/28.05.1943 No. 10 Squadron Halifax II JB960 ZA-N W/O. Howell W. Price

Operation: Essen, Germany

Date: 27/28th May 1943 (Thursday/Friday)

Unit: No. 10 Squadron

Type: Halifax II

Serial: JB960

Code: ZA-N

Base: RAF Melbourne, Yorkshire

Location: Exact location not known - see claims.

Pilot: W/O. Howell Ward Price 520838 RAF Age 27. Killed

Fl/Eng: Sgt. Frederick George Williams 613496 RAF Age ? Killed

Nav: Sgt. Ronald Leyland 1435154 RAFVR Age ? Killed

Air/Bmr: F/O. Edward Robert Curtis 128012 RAF Age 18. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: F/O. Emlyn Parry 137569 RAFVR Age 26. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Edward George Halston 1392507 RAFVR Age 23. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. William Emmerson Waggett 1581818 RAFVR Age 21. Killed

REASON FOR LOSS:

Taking off at 22:49 hrs. from RAF Melbourne, Yorkshire to bomb the German city of Essen, of particular interest was the Krupps works again.

518 aircraft made up from 274 Lancasters, 151 Halifaxes, 81 Wellingtons, 12 Mosquitoes made up the force which was undertaken in very cloudy conditions, with no moonlight. The results were that many aircraft undershot the target and bombing was scattered over a large area. Having said that, German reports state that 488 buildings were destroyed killing some 196 people on the ground and injuring 547.

The allies lost 23 aircraft, almost all due to night fighter intercepts over the Netherlands and Western Germany.

10 Squadron crews with F/O. Edward Curtis shown 3rd from left with the pilot, W/O. Howell Price in peak cap.

Two possible claims for Halifax JB960 have been established, that of Hptm. Gunther Frierich Stab NJG1 at 00.58 hrs North East Georgsdorf and Ufz. Emil Heinzelamann 8./NJG1 at 00:59 hrs North West of Ahaus.

Some reports from other sources also list this aircraft crashing as a result of a collision with Lancaster III ED504 PO-K from 467 Squadron. (24 year old Australian Fl/Lt. John M. Desmond RAAF killed with 6 other crew members)

Top left: Essen - fires during a raid, right Essen following the raid.

93 Air Gunners course Squad 18 15 November 1942 - Sgt. William Emmerson Waggett shown front row, 3rd from left. Are you able to identify any of the others?

Burial details:

W/O. Howell Ward Price. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. Coll. Grave 23.B.6-8. Son of John and Margaret Lewis Price; husband of Mary C. Price (nee Ferguson), of Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, Scotland.

Sgt. Frederick George Williams. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. Grave 23.B.3. N.o.K details currently not available - are you able to assist completion of these and any other information?

Sgt. Ronald Leyland. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. Grave 23.B.9. N.o.K details currently not available - are you able to assist completion of these and any other information?

F/O. Edward Robert Curtis. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. Coll. Grave 23.B.6-8. Son of Alfred and Edith Curtis of Norwich, Norfolk, England. Husband of Mary Curtis, of Rotherham, Yorkshire, England. Marriage taking place during December 1942.

F/O. Emlyn Parry. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. Coll. Grave 23.B.6-8. Son of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Parry, of Beaumaris, Anglesey, Wales. Joined the RAF in September 1939 as an aircraft-hand, later transferring on aircrew duties at Middle Walop on the 56th October 1940.

Sgt. Edward George Halston. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. Grave 23.B.5. Son of Richard John Charles and Alice Halston, husband of Sheila Halston, of Beckenham, Kent, England.

Sgt. William Emmerson Waggett. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. Grave 23.B.4. Also commemorated on the Leamington Spa War Memorial. Son of Emerson and Elizebeth Waggett, of Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, England. Worked as a polisher at the Lockheed Brake Company in Leamington prior to joint the RAF in 1942.

Researched and dedicated to Mr. David Curtis, brother of F/O. Edward Robert Curtis. The webmaster met David in December 2013. Thanks also to Shelagh Ashford who contacted us in January 2016 and supplied photographs of her Uncle, Sgt. Waggett. Also to the relatives of this crew with thanks to sources as quoted below.

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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