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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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207 squadron crest
04/05.09.1942 No. 207 Squadron Lancaster I R5755 EM-N P/O. Richard Rowlands

Operation: Bremen

Date: 04/05th September 1942

Unit: No. 207 Squadron Syerston

Type: Lancaster I

Serial No: R5755

Coded: EM-N 

Base: Syerston

Location: Zuider-Zee Holland

Pilot: P/O Richard Gerald Rowlands AUS/407728 RAAF Age 25. Killed

Fl/Eng: Sgt. George Fleck 532066 RAF Age 25. Missing

Nav: P/O. Adam Byers Hastings 120038 RAFVR Age 24. Killed

W/Op: Sgt John Campbell Luton AUS/403411 RAAF Age 20. Killed

Air/Bmr: Sgt. Frederick John Charles Barnes 655006 RAF Age 23. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. John Wilfred Atkinson 1105186 RAFVR Age 31. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Cecil Vivian Pattison 778001 RAFVR Age ? Missing

Reason For Loss:

Lancaster R5755 took off at at 00:30 hours from RAF Station Syerston on the 5th September 1942.The aircraft was carrying a bomb load consisting of 5 X 1900 Lb. G.P. Bombs and it was detailed to bomb Bremen. There were no wireless communications received from R5755 from the time of take off. The aircraft failed to return to base. 

Reports from other crews of squadron aircraft stated, that the visibility over the target was good and there was no cloud with fairly light winds. One crew reported no enemy opposition of any form.

It is thought that R5755 had been shot down by Oberfeldwebel Heinz Vinke of 11./NJG2 at 02:50 hrs and had ditched in the Ijsselmeer. 

On the 12th September Flying Officer Rowland body was washed ashore on a beach near Staveren Holland and soon after the body of Sgt. Luton was also found. 

Both crew members were laid to rest on the 24th September 1942.

Left: Oberfeldwebel Heinz Vinke of 11./NJG2

Burial Details:

P/O Richard Gerald Rowlands. Hemelumer Oldeferd (Scharl) General Cemetery, Holland. Grave 26. (shown right) Son of Robert William and Kathleen Rowlands, of Brooklyn Park, South Australia. Born on the 15th July 1917 at Mile End, South Australia. Mother Mrs Kathleen Rowlands was registered blind. Enlisted into the Royal Australian Air Force at No 5 recruitment Centre on the 4th January 1941. Embarked to Canada on the 16th March 1941 on route for the UK.

Sgt. John Wilfred Atkinson. Bergen General Cemetery, Holland. Plot 1. Row A. Grave 7. Son of Thomas and Barbara Atkinson, of Darlington, Co. Durham, England.

Sgt. Frederick John Charles Barnes. Bergen General Cemetery, Holland. Plot 1. Row A. Grave 8. Son of Frederick and Nelly Barnes, of Firth Park, Sheffield,Yorkshire, England.

Sgt. George Fleck. Runnymede Memorial, Egham, Surrey. Panel 83. Son of William and Elizabeth Fleck, of Glengormley, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland.

P/O. Adam Byers Hastings. Lemsterland (Lemmer) General Cemetery, Holland. Plot C. Row 9. Grave 247. Son of David and Polly Hastings of Bradford, Yorkshire, England. Born June 1918 and named after his Uncle (born 17th August 1885 at Kelton, Kirkcudbrightshire) who was killed at Passchendaele, Belgium on the 23rd September 1917.

Sgt John Campbell Luton. Staveren General Cemetery, Holland. Row I. Grave 31. Son of William Wheeler Luton and Priscilla Judith Luton, of Cameray, New South Wales, Australia. Further information: Born on the 26th May 1922 at North Sydney, Australia. Father William.W. Luton was a bank manager. After leaving school at the beginning of June 1938 employed as an Insurance clerk at the Liverpool and London Globe Insurance Company. After some time working for them he changed his occupation to a driver. Joined the Royal Australian Air Force at No 2 Recruiting Centre at Sydney on the 6th January 1941 and listed his father as next of kin. After enlistment posted to No 2 Initial Training school at Bradfield Park,Lindfield, New South Wales. After training embarked for Canada on the 22nd February 1941, trained at the R.C.A.F.No 3 Wireless School, at Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

Sgt. Cecil Vivian Pattison. Runnymede Memorial, Egham, Surrey. Panel 91. N.o.K details currently not available - are you able to assist completion of these and any other information?

Researched by Bob Wilton. With thanks to the following: Peter Hastings for information on P/O. Hastings. Australian National Archives, Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vol's. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', the CWGC.

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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