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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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429 Squadron Crest
24/25.05.1944 429 Squadron Halifax III LW137 AL-K Fl/Lt. Rawlinson

Operation: Aachen

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

Unit: No. 429 Squadron

Type: Halifax B. III

Serial: LW137

Code: AL-K

Base: RAF Leeming, Yorkshire

Location: Emilia Polder, Netherlands

Pilot: Fl/Lt. Thomas Rawlinson DFC. 168670 RAFVR Age ? Killed

Fl/Eng: P/O. Albert Bates 175422 RAFVR Age 28. Killed

Nav: P/O. G. Lee Caunt 174007 RAFVR PoW No: 5790 Camp: Stalag Luft Sagen and Bellaria L3

Air/Bmr: W/O 2. Arthur John Murphy J/86671 RCAF Age 21. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: P/O. Walter J. Bush 173860 RAFVR PoW No: 3686 Camp: Stalag Luft Sagen and Bellaria L3

Air/Gnr: P/O. A.C. Shierlaw J/19859 RCAF PoW No: 6392 Camp: Stalag Luft Sagen and Bellaria L3

Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. James Raymond Henry Cochrane J/86710 RCAF Age 23. Killed


Taking off from RAF Leeming in Yorkshire at 22:53 hrs together with over 440 aircraft from various squadrons and locations to bomb the railway yards at Aachen - an important target as they were the main route between France and Germany.

Intercepted by a night fighter flown by Ofw. Karl-Heinz Scherfling (1) of 12./NJG1 at 01:23 hrs whose fire started a fierce blaze. Abandoned at 8,000 feet and crashed into the EmiliaPolder 2km NW of Made (Noord-Brabant) itself some 6km NW of Oosterhout.

Those who died now rest in Jonkerbos War Cemetery, being brought here from the Roman Catholic Cemetery at Oosterhout after the end of the war.

Crew of LW137 Rear L-R: P/O. A.C. Shierlaw, P/O. Lee Caunt, Fl/Lt. Thomas Rawlinson DFC, Fl/Sgt. James Cochrane, P/O. Walter Bush. Front: P/O. Albert Bates, W/O 2. Arthur Murphy.

(1) This was the 30th claim for the Luftwaffe ‘Ace’ Ofw. Scherfling. He was killed after 31 confirmed night kills when on the 20/21st July 1944 he crashed following an interception by a Mosquito NT113 from 169 Squadron flown by 29 year old W/Cmd. Neil Ballingal Reid Bromley OBE. DFC. 33158 RAF and his navigator 33 year old Fl/Lt. Philip Vincent Truscott DFC 86235 RAFVR Both of whom were also killed on the 6th September 1944 after their Mosquito VI PZ230 exploded in the air – details not yet researched. (Information courtesy Kracker Archives on this website)

Burial details:

Fl/Lt. Thomas Rawlinson DFC. Jonkerbos War Cemetery. Grave 24.J.6. Son of Robert and Margaret Elizabeth Rawlinson and husband of Mary Rawlinson of Preston ,Lancashire, England. Grave inscription reads “In Memory Of A Dearly Loved Husband And Loving Father.Rip”

P/O. Albert Bates. Jonkerbos War Cemetery. Grave 24.J.7. Son of Albert and Lily Bates and husband of Iris M. Bates (née Trehearn) of Rhyl, Flintshire, Wales. Albert had been a mechanic before joining the RAF and married his wife, Iris in 1939. They had one daughter Anne Marie Trehearn Bates. Grave inscription reads “In The Evening And In The Morning We Will Remember Them”

W/O 2. Arthur John Murphy. Jonkerbos War Cemetery. Joint grave 24.J.1. Believed to be from Montreal, Quebec, Canada - next of kin details not available - are you able to assist?

Fl/Sgt. James Raymond Henry Cochrane. Jonkerbos War Cemetery. Joint grave 24.J.1. Son of Weldon and Mabel Cochrane of Chapleau, Ontario, Canada.

Researched for Aircrew Remembered by Linda Ibrom June 2017. With thanks to Peter Trehearn, nephew for information and photographs of P/O. Albert Bates and crew.

LI - 02.06.2017

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: 02 June 2017, 22:35

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