15/16.02.1944 No. 166 Squadron Lancaster III ED841 AS-L F/O. Raymond J. Robinson
Date: 15/16th February 1944 (Tuesday/Wednesday)
Unit: No. 166 Squadron
Type: Lancaster III
Base: RAF Kirmington
Location: Freudenberg, Germany
Pilot: F/O. Raymond John Robinson 135130 RAFVR Age ? Killed
Fl/Eng: Sgt. H.K. Harrison 955861 RAFVR Survived PoW No: 1605 Camp: Stalag Luft Heydekrug and Stalag Kopernikus
Nav: Sgt. George Frederick Clark 1335626 RAFVR Age 20. Killed
Air/Bmr: Fl/Sgt. Raymond Algernon Reeves Smith 1335530 RAFVR Age 22. Killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Donald Joseph Stokes 1284065 RAFVR Age 29. Killed
Air/Gnr: Sgt. Norman Owen Jones 1605143 RAFVR Age ? Killed
Air/Gnr: F/O. Basil Owen Wright 51875 RAFVR Age 28. Missing
REASON FOR LOSS:
Took off at 17:30 hrs to attack the heart of Germany, Berlin. 891 aircraft took part in the first raid on the city for more than 2 weeks.
This was the largest raid of the whole war on the German capital resulting in the greatest ever tonnage of bombs dropped on the city with 2,642 tons.
The city was covered in cloud for most of the raid but the raid still inflicted huge damage to the city with 599 large and 572 medium fires, 1,000 houses and a further 526 wooden barracks also destroyed. 320 people on the ground were killed. The small number of casualties is mainly due to the large scale evacuation which had taken place but a further 260 civilians were reported to have been buried alive - no reports how many of these survived. Some of Berlin's most important industries were also hit including the Siemensstadt area. 59 people were also killed in other area hit by scattered bombs.
The bombers suffered heavily with 48 aircraft being lost. A huge loss of aircrew with 266 killed and a further 54 made PoW.
Lancaster ED841 was intercepted by a night fighter, although no claims can be found for this loss - the aircraft crashed into a forest a short way north from Freudenberg. Another Lancaster from 166 Squadron was also shot down on this same raid. ME636 AS-E flown by P/O. George Arthur Woodcock-Stevens 171650 RAFVR killed with all other 6 crew members.
Sgt. George Frederick Clark with his sister Muriel 1942. Right: Joan, a sister of Sgt. Clark, visiting the crew graves in Berlin (courtesy Patricia Firman, John Barker and relatives of Sergeant George Clark)
F/O. Raymond John Robinson. Berlin War Cemetery. Grave 8.D.2. No further details - are you able to assist?
Sgt. George Frederick Clark. Berlin War Cemetery. Grave 8.K.34-36. Son of Frederick George & Ellen of Culford, Suffolk, England.
Fl/Sgt. Raymond Algernon Reeves Smith. Berlin War Cemetery. Grave 8.D.20. Son of Norman Leslie and Emma and husband of Elsie Agnes of Maidstone, Kent, England.
Fl/Sgt. Donald Joseph Stokes. Berlin War Cemetery. Grave 8.K.34-36. Son of Frederick William and Maud Harriet.
Sgt. Norman Owen Jones. Berlin War Cemetery. Grave 8.K.34-36. No further details - are you able to assist?
F/O. Basil Owen Wright. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 210. Son of Frederic and Gertrude Wright of Rottingdean, Sussex, England.
Researched by Aircrew Remembered, researcher and specialist genealogist Linda Ibrom for relatives of this crew and for relatives of Sgt. George Frederick Clark. With thanks to Uwe Enrich for grave photo of Sgt. Clark. Other sources as quoted below.