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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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106 Squadron Crest
08/09.07.1943 No. 106 Squadron Lancaster III ED720 ZN-R 1st.Lt. Eugene L. Rosner

Operation: Köln

Date: 08/09th July 1943 (Thursday/Friday

Unit: No. 106 Squadron

Type: Lancaster III

Serial: ED720

Code: ZN-R

Base: RAF Syerston, Nottinghamshire

Location: Quiévy, France

Pilot: 1st.Lt. Eugene Leon Rosner Purple Heart O-885994 USAAF Age 23. Killed

Pilot 2: P/O. Geoffrey Francis Disbury 149510 RAFVR Age 21. Killed (1)

Fl/Eng: Sgt. Edward William John Amor 752196 RAFVR Age 28. Killed

Nav: Sgt. Wilfred Bailey 1440585 RAFVR Age 21. Killed

Air/Bmr:  W/O. Frederick H. Smooker RAFVR Age 24. Survived PoW No: 263424 Camp: Stalag Mühleberg-Elbe (2)

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Jack Hougham 1271588 RAFVR Age 23. Killed

Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. James Reginald Calder R/99456 RCAF Age 21. Killed 

Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Dalton 'Arnie' Arnold Turner R/111837 RCAF Age 20. Killed

REASON FOR LOSS:

Leaving RAF Syerston at 22.30 hrs to join a total group of 282 Lancasters on a concentrated bombing operation to Köln. The visibility was described as thick layers of cloud with tops rising to 25.000 ft.  

106 Squadron crew leaving their aircraft (courtesy IWM)

106 Squadron lost three aircraft on this operation, the others:

Lancaster 1 R5573 ZN-B Flown by 20 year old Fl/Sgt. Kenneth H.W. McLean R/109281 RCAF from Alberta, Canada, killed with all 7 crew after being shot down by Oblt. Paul Zorner of 3./NJG3 at Harzé, south of Liege, France.
Lancaster I ED360, Flown by 23 year old Fl/Sgt. Arthur G. Bristow 1333752 RAFVR from Cippenham , Buckinghamshire was killed along with 4 other crew, 2 being injured when the aircraft crashed at 01.40 hrs near Wisbech, Cambridgeshire.

During the return trip Lancaster III ED720 was attacked by Oblt. Friedrich Graeff (3) of Stab I./NJG4 flying Bf110 G-2 3C+FB. Shortly after his engagement contact was lost due to the cloud - after a few minutes the Lancaster emerged from the cloud and collided with the BF110 - ED720 exploded in the impact, the Lancaster crashing at Quiévy. Oblt. Graeff was injured, but managed to bale out of his stricken aircraft. His two crew members, Uffz Heinrich Koehler and Ofw Paul Scheuermann were killed when their aircraft crashed at Wignehies.

Left: Mr Clive Smith (cousin of Sgt. Jack Hougham) has since carried out extensive research on this loss and published a book ‘Lancaster Bale Out’. We hope to be reviewing this in our updated book section in the near future.

(1) P/O. Geoffrey Francis Disbury was flying as 2nd pilot to gain operational experience prior to forming his own crew.
(2) W/O. Frederick Smooker managed to bale out. He landed only a few hundred yards from the lancaster. After evading capture for nearly two months he was captured and served time in Fresnes prison in Paris before being sent to Stalag Mühleberg-Elbe, in Brandenburg, Germany. Fred passed away in 2008 age 91.
(3)  This was the 6th abschusse for the Luftwaffe ace Oblt. Friedrich Graeff. It is not known if he survived this incident, or the war.

Cambrai (Route De Solesmes) Communal Cemetery (courtesy CWGC)

Burial details:

1st. Lt. Eugene Leon Rosner Purple Heart. (Shown left) Normandy American Cemetery, Plot A. Row 3. Grave 38. Further information: Son of Isidor H. and Esther (nee Markowitz) of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, USA. Born on 17th April 1920. Initially served with RCAF, transferred to USAAF in early July 1943 - joined 106 squadron in March 1943.

P/O. Geoffrey Francis Disbury. Cambrai (Route De Solesmes) Communal Cemetery. Plot 1. Row B. Joint Grave 10-11. Son of Robert and Frances Gertrude Disbury, of Whitby, Cheshire, England.

Sgt. Edward William John Amor. Cambrai (Route De Solesmes) Communal Cemetery. Plot 1. Row B. Grave 12. Son of William and Frances Julia Amor, of Palmers Green, Middlesex, England

Sgt. Wilfred Bailey. Cambrai (Route De Solesmes) Communal Cemetery. Plot 1. Row B. Grave 13. Son of Thomas William and Ada Clarrie Bailey, of Donisthorpe, Leicestershire, England.

Sgt. Jack Hougham. Cambrai (Route De Solesmes) Communal Cemetery. Plot 1. Row B. Joint Grave 10-11.  Son of Mr. and Mrs. J. E. Hougham, of Guilton, Kent, England.

Fl/Sgt. James Reginald Calder. Cambrai (Route De Solesmes) Communal Cemetery. Plot 1. Row B. Grave 9. Further information: Son of George Neil Calder and Nellie Odessa Calder (nee King), of Springhill, Nova Scotia, Canada. Born on 25th January 1922.

Fl/Sgt. Dalton Arnold Turner. Cambrai (Route De Solesmes) Communal Cemetery. Plot 1. Row B. Grave 14. Son of John Stephen and Zephyr Victoria Turner (nee Weir) came from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Born on 13th November 1920 at Carleton Place, Canada.

For further details our thanks to the following, Clive Smith, Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vol's. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', ‘Bomber Command Database’, Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vol's. 1 and  2', 'Kracker Luftwaffe Archives'. Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries (Updated 2014 version), 'Paradie Archive'. Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Tom Kracker - 'Kracker Luftwaffe Archives'. Further information from these titles/organisations are available from us, just use the 'help' button on the main page above or 'add info' button also shown on this page.

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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