23/24.05.1943 10 Squadron Halifax II DT789 ZA:B Sgt. John Rees
Operation: Dortmund, Germany
Date: 23rd/24th May 1943
Unit: 10 Squadron
Type: Halifax ll
Base: RAF Melbourne, Yorkshire
Location: North Sea, Texel
Pilot: Sgt. John Rees 1317618 RAFVR Age 19. Missing
Flt Eng: Sgt. William Edgar Oliver 1238185 RAFVR Age 20. Missing
Nav: Sgt. Frederick Charles Rose 1387015 RAFVR Age 23. Killed
Bomb Aimer: Sgt. Samuel James Gaywood 1393160 RAFVR Age 21. Missing
WOp/Air Gnr: Sgt. Denis Birkhead 1218839 RAFVR Age 21. Missing
Air Gnr: Sgt. Evan George David 1296897 RAFVR Age 21. Missing
Air Gnr: Sgt. Frank William Farnell 1038623 RAFVR Age 22. Missing
Above left to right: Sgt William E. Oliver; Sgt. Frank W. Farnell, as an airman under flight training, clipped from his wedding photograph after his marriage to Rosemary C. Webster. (Credit: Simon Oliver)
REASON FOR LOSS:
Took off at 22:34hrs. from RAF Melbourne, Yorkshire. After a 9-day break in major operations, Bomber Command dispatched 826 aircraft to Dortmund - a record number of aircraft in a "non-1,000" raid so far in the war and the largest raid of the Battle of the Ruhr. The force comprised of 343 Lancasters, 199 Halifaxes, 151 Wellingtons, 120 Stirlings and 13 Mosquitoes. 38 aircraft - 18 Halifaxes, 8 Lancasters, 6 Stirlings, 6 Wellingtons - were lost.
The Pathfinders marked the target accurately in clear weather conditions and the ensuing attack proceeded according to plan. It was a very successful raid. Many industrial premises were hit, particularly the large Hoesch steelworks, which ceased production.
At 02:27hrs. a W/T message was heard when the aircraft's position was 5328N 0238E and under attack by a night-fighter.
Above: Ofw. Karl-Heinz Scherfling and crew (Kracker archives)
DT789 was intercepted by Ofw. Karl-Heinz Scherfling of 10./NJG1 40 km. north west of Texel and crashed into the sea. The height of the attack is placed at 5,400 mtrs. and the time 02.36 hrs.
This was the 11th victory of his career (he had two confirmed kills on this raid alone, this Halifax DT789 and also a 214 Squadron Stirling BF478. He was killed after 31 confirmed night victories when on the 20th/21st July 1944 he crashed following an interception by a Mosquito NT113 from 169 Sqn flown by Wg Cdr. Bromley OBE DFC. and Flt Lt. Truscott DFC, both of whom were also killed on the 6th September 1944 after their Mosquito VI PZ230 exploded in the air, the aircraft crashed at Acuum near Wilhelnshaven.
Runnymede Memorial (Aircrew Remembered 2012)
Sgt. John Rees. Keil War Cemetery 1. H. 18. Son of Daniel and Margaret Jane Rees of Beaufort, Monmouthshire, Wales.
Sgt. William Edgar Oliver. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 160. Son of Edwin William and Ethel Oliver of Ashtead, Surrey, England.
Sgt. Frederick Charles Rose. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 163. Son of Bertie George and Rosina Maude Rose; husband of Nora Emily Rose of Northolt, Middlesex, England.
Sgt. Frederick Charles Rose’s body was recovered on the 8th July 1943 at Neufelderkoog and he was initially buried at Brunsbuttel, Germany. Now commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial as probably unable to positively identify the body post war during exhumation.
Sgt. Samuel James Gaywood. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 150. Son of Samuel George and Mary Elizabeth Gaywood, husband of Maud Patricia Gaywood of New Eltham, London, England.
Sgt. Denis Birkhead. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 142. Son of George and Alice Birkhead of Leeds, Yorkshire, England.
Sgt. Evan George David. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 147. Son of Ernest Job David and Isabel Annie David of Cyntwell, Glamorgan, Wales.
Sgt. Frank William Farnell. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 149. Born in September 1920 in Market Drayton, Shropshire. Son of Frank Robert and Edith Ann (née Langford) Farnell. Husband to Rosemary Clare (née Webster) Farnell from Birkenhead, Cheshire, England.
Researched by Aircrew Remembered, researcher and specialist genealogist Kate Tame for relatives of this crew. With thanks to the sources quoted below. Also to Jack broom for details on Mosquito PZ230 (5th September 2015). Thanks to Simon Oliver and family for the photograph of his cousin, twice removed, Sgt. Oliver and for the image of Sgt. Farnell courtesy of the family of his widow (Jun 2021). NoK details for Sgt. Farnell updated by Aircrew Remembered (Jun 2021).