27/28.09.1943 No. 10 Squadron Halifax II JD272 ZA-F Sgt. Alfred Rostron
Date: 27/28th September 1943 (Monday/Tuesday)
Unit: No. 10 Squadron
Type: Halifax II
Base: RAF Melbourne, Yorkshire
Pilot: Sgt. Alfred Rostron 1499353 RAFVR Age 21. Killed
Fl/Eng: Sgt. Thomas Henry Greest 1388948 RAFVR Age 21. Killed
Nav: Sgt. William Alfred Brown 1496924 RAFVR Age 22. Killed
Air/Bmr: Sgt. Ernest James Emrys Jarman 1419269 RAFVR Age 21. Killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Jack George Cavie 1330185 RAFVR Age 20. Killed
Air/Gnr: Sgt. Arthur Richard John Parsons 1807286 RAFVR Age 19. Killed
Air/Gnr: Sgt. Fernley Graham Chilcott 1303121 RAFVR Age 22. Killed
Relatives of the pilot would very much like to hear from other relatives of the crew and are very keen to obtain further photographs of the crew or aircraft - please contact us in the first instance.
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off from RAF Melbourne in Yorkshire at 19:17 hrs together with 18 others from the squadron to join 678 aircraft comprising of 312 Lancasters, 231 Halifaxes, 111 Stirlings, 24 Wellingtons and 5 B-17’s. In total - 47 aircraft were lost, 38 over en-route to or from the target with a further nine crash landing in England.
Over the course of the Second World War the city of Hanover and environs were targeted 88 times. The city itself, being an important road and rail logistical centre, received heavy damage and by the end of hostilities 90% had been destroyed and over 6,000 inhabitants killed.
Around the city were clustered numerous industries producing weaponry and other supporting materials for the war effort.
Left: Pilot, Sgt. Alfred Rostron (courtesy Tracy Jones)
At Stöcken to the north lay the AFA works producing batteries for submarines. On the east side a major oil refinery at Misburg and to the west the MNH tank factory at Badenstedt, the Hanomag military vehicle plant at Linden and the Continental rubber factory at Limmer.
According to RAF reports after the raid, the Pathfinders had used incorrect wind forecasts which blew the target markers away from the city centre. Reconnaissance photographs taken after the raid showed that the majority of the bombs fell in a concentrated area consisting of villages and open country some five miles to the north.
21 Lancasters and 6 Mosquitoes of No 8 Group carried out a diversionary raid on Brunswick which was successful in drawing off some night fighters. 218 people were killed in Brunswick - 51 Germans and 167 foreigners. 1 Lancaster lost.
9 Mosquitoes on another diversion to Emden, 5 Mosquitoes on Oboe tests to Aachen (3 were successful), 19 aircraft minelaying in the Kattegat and the Frisian Islands, 4 OTU sorties. No losses.
No details as to how this aircraft was lost - although thought to have been a victim of the Luftwaffe night fighters, no positive claims have been discovered. Understood to have crashed in the area of Wippingen, where the crew were initially buried.
Also lost from the squadron on this operation:
Halifax II HR922 ZA-P - Flown by P/O. Norman Percy Wardman 157829 RAF from Bradford, Yorkshire - killed with 5 other crew, 1 taken PoW.
Halifax II HX159 ZA-L - Flown by 25 year old, P/O. Harry William George Cockrem AUS/414001 RAAF from Queensland, Australia - killed with 4 other crew, 2 taken PoW.
Crew graves at Reichswald Forest War Cemetery (courtesy Mitch Buiting)
Sgt. Alfred Rostron. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. Collective grave 14.B. 14-16. Son of David and Annie Rostron, of Kirkham, Lancashire, England.
Sgt. Thomas Henry Greest. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. Collective grave 14.B. 14-16. Son of Harry Horace and Ethel Greest, of Petworth, Sussex, England.
Sgt. William Alfred Brown. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. Grave 14.B. 17. Son of William and Margaret Keith McGill Brown, of Manchester, England.
Sgt. Ernest James Emrys Jarman. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. Grave 14.B. 18. Son of James Jones Jarman and Mary Hannah Jarman, of Watton, Brecon, Wales.
Sgt. Jack George Cavie. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. Grave 14.C. 1. Son of George and Lilian Eliza Cavie, of Penbury, Kent, England.
Sgt. Arthur Richard John Parsons. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. Collective grave 14.B. 14-16. Son of Mr. and Mrs. A.A. Parsons, stepson of J.N. Morris, of Willesden, Middlesex, England.
Sgt. Fernley Graham Chilcott. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. Grave 14.C. 2. Son of Harry and Florence Chilcott, of Cheriton Fitzpaine, Devon, England.
With many thanks to Tracy Jones and the family of Sgt. Alfred Rostron for photograph and also to Mitch Buiting for grave photographs. For further details our thanks to the sources shown below.