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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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57 Squadron Crest
26/27.08.1944 No 57 Squadron Lancaster III LM232 DX-F F/O. Russell

Operation: Konigsberg

Date: 26/27th August 1944 (Saturday/Sunday)

Unit: No. 57 Squadron. 5 Group (motto: Corpus non animum muto - 'I change my body not my spirit")

Type: Lancaster I

Serial: LM232

Code: DX-F

Base: RAF East Kirkby, Lincolnshire

Location: Kattegat, Denmark

Pilot: F/O. Alfred Gordon Russell NZ/424524 RNZAF Age 28. Missing - believed killed

Fl/Eng: Sgt. Peter William Lewis Moore 1235401 RAFVR Age 22. Missing - believed killed

Nav: F/O. Gavin Keith Henry Christensen NZ/425027 RNZAF Age 21. Missing - believed killed

Air/Bmr: F/O. James Gordon Cahir NZ/427479 RNZAF Age 24. Missing - believed killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Poraumati O'Callaghan NZ/425403 RNZAF Age 20. Missing - believed killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. David Young 1825411 RAFVFR Age ? Missing - believed killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Arthur Watton 2220664 RAFVR Age 19. Missing - believed killed

REASON FOR LOSS:

Taking off at 20:13 hrs from RAF East Kirkby in Lincolnshire carrying a 2000 High capacity bomb and incendiaries.

174 Lancasters of No 5 Group to Königsberg, which was an important supply port for the German Eastern Front. The route to the target was 950 miles from the No 5 Group bases.

Photographic reconnaissance showed that the bombing fell in the eastern part of the town but no report is available from the target, now Kaliningrad in Lithuania. 4 Lancasters lost.

There are two claims from the night fighters fo this loss. Oblt. Arnold Brinkmann of 8./NJG3 (at 03:09 hrs) and Fw. Otto Hiller of 12./NJG5 (02:56 hrs). At first the night fighters thought the target to be Stettin or perhaps even Berlin so a large number were sent to the Ringsted area as a precaution. This enabled the bomber stream to reach the target unhindered. It was only after they had dropped their bomb loads that the night fighters finally caught up with them.

Oblt. Arnold Brinkmann claimed three shot down, two in the Samsø Bælt area, his third over Hörnum - bringing his tally of the war to 11. He survived the war with a total of 16 claims.

Fw. Otto Hiller claimed just the one this night - bringing his tally to 3. Also serving the war with 6 claims.

(Luftwaffe Information courtesy Kracker archive on this site)

Burial details:

F/O. Alfred Gordon Russell. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 263. Born on the 11th October 1915 at Pahialua the son of Richard William and Alice Russell (née Taylor), of Hastings, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand and husband of Joan Margaret Russell (née Horton - later Godberth), of Hastings. A farmer for W. Crombe prior to service. A total of 542 flying hours logged and completed 3 operational sorties.

Sgt. Peter William Lewis Moore. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 234. Son of William Robert Moore and of Eryl Eva Mary Moore (née Lewis), of Hove, Sussex, England. Thought to have completed at least 11 operational sorties.

F/O. Gavin Keith Henry Christensen. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 262. Born on the 06th March 1923 at Te Kuiti, the son of Hans Henry and Ada Christensen (née Norman), of Brooklyn, Wellington, New Zealand. Worked for the Wellington City Corporation as an electrician before joining. A total of 311 flying hours logged and completed 3 operational sorties.

F/O. James Gordon Cahir. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 262. Born on the 01st January 1920 at Hamilton, the son of Francis Reginald and Edna May Cahir ((nee Winter), of Rotorua, Auckland, New Zealand. Prior to service worked as a carpenter for Boon, Sullivan and Luke Ltd. A total of 358 flying hours logged and thought to have completed 3 operational sorties.

Fl/Sgt. Poraumati O'Callaghan. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 264. Born on the 04th February 1924 at Te Puke, the son of Tai and Wikitoria O'Callaghan (née Poraumati), of Bay of Plenty, Auckland, New Zealand. Worked on his father's farm before joining. A total of 317 flying hours logged and completed 5 operational sorties.

Sgt. David Young. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 241. No further details - are you able to assist?

Sgt. Arthur Watton. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 240. Son of Charles Henry and Elizabeth Watton, of Lower Gornal, Staffordshire, England.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to the research by Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3”, Auckland War Memorial Museum, Weekly News of New Zealand, other sources as quoted below:

KTY 11.08.2019

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, Michel Beckers, Major Fred Paradie (RCAF) and MWO François Dutil (RCAF) - Paradie Archive (on this site), Jean Schadskaje, Major Jack O'Connor USAF (Retd.), Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', Archiwum - Polish Air Force Archive (on this site), Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Franek Grabowski, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of CWGC, UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, New Zealand National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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