11.09.1944 No. 156 Squadron Lancaster III ND534 GT-O Sq/Ldr. A.W. Raw
Date: 11th September 1944 (Monday)
Unit: No. 156 Squadron
Type: Lancaster III
Base: RAF Upwood
Location: 3 km west of Gelsenkirchen
Pilot: Sq/Ldr. Anthony William Raw DFC. AFC. 67624 RAFVR Age 22. Killed
Fl/Eng: P/O. John Alfred Brooks 182033 RAFVR Age 23. Killed
Nav: Fl/Lt. Charles William Reeves 172236 RAFVR Age 21. Killed
Air/Bmr: Sq/Ldr. Geoffrey Alan Ritchie Undrell DFC. 84710 RAFVR Age 24. Killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Lt. Alexander Millar 114578 RAFVR Age 28. Killed
Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Norman Warwick 1103095 RAFVR Age 30. Killed
Air/Gnr: P/O. Raymond Haines Leonard AUS/416436 RAAF Age 22. Killed
Some information submitted to Aircrew Remembered for publication in November 2017 by Simon Muggleton and Norman Franks.
REASON FOR LOSS:
For a mother to lose a son in wartime must be devastating, to lose three sons (two in one year) must be heartbreaking, and almost beyond imagination. This is exactly what happened to one mother, Irene Raw, during World War Two when three of her four sons, all RAF pilots were killed.
The second eldest son, Peter would become a fighter pilot flying the Typhoon, and would die in this aircraft on a low level sweep over Holland on the 21st March 1944. Another brother, John passed all his training with flying colours and became an instructor whilst waiting for a posting to a fighter squadron. Killed in a Miles Magister in April 1941 whilst at the Central Flying School at RAF Upavon. The loss of Sq/Ldr Anthony Raw is described briefly within this page.
Lancaster II ND534 took off at 16:54 hrs from RAF Upwood to bomb the synthetic oil plant at Gelsenkirchen. The bomber streams on this and the other two target were escorted by some 26 squadrons of allied fighters. No German fighters were encountered. Not at very successful operation as the target was obscured by a smoke screen. Thought to have been brought down by anti-aircraft fire.
The full story of the last operation by Fl/Lt. Peter Raw DFC 119259 and a postscript is on this website and does contain a great deal more information on the family of the brothers.
Further fuller information on Peter Raw’s RAF career and the Raw family, with numerous photographs can be found in the book 'Raw Courage' ISBN: 978-1908117137 Published by Grub Street 19th August 2011. 224 pages - hardback-English.
Sq/Ldr. Anthony William Raw DFC. AFC. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. Grave 30.D.1. Son of Frederic Edward and Alice Beatrice Raw and husband of Kathleen Agnes Raw, of 10 Mount Park Crescent, Ealing, Middlesex, England.
P/O. John Brooks. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. Grave 30.D.4. Son of Sam and Clara Brooks, of Harwood, Lancashire and husband of Marion Brooks, of Harwood, England.
Fl/Lt. Charles William Reeves. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. Grave 30.D.3. Son of Frederick and Winifred Lilian Reeves, of Bulwark, Chepstow, Monmouthshire and husband of Lilian Reeves, of Manchester, England.
Sq/Ldr. Geoffrey Alan Ritchie Undrell DFC. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. Grave 30.D.2. Son of Horace William and Alice Marguerite Undrell, of East Sheen, Surrey, England.
Fl/Lt. Alexander Millar. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. Grave 30.D.8. Son of Robert and Mary Millar and husband of Elsie Margaret Millar, of Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England.
Fl/Sgt. Norman Warwick. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. Grave 30.D.5. Son of Isaac William and Ann Warwick and husband of Norah Warwick, of Wetheral, Cumberland, England.
P/O. Raymond Haines Leonard. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. Grave 30.D.6. Son of Thomas Daniel and Phillis Jean Leonard, of Berri, South Australia.
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to Norman Franks - Simon Muggleton November 2017. With many thanks to Mitch Buiting who visited the cemetery on our behalf in December 2017 and took the fine photographs of the crew graves. Page dedicated to the relatives of all the family - further information is welcome from them and indeed others.