10/11.04.1945 No. 630 Squadron Lancaster I RF122 LE-S F/O. Richard J. Sassoon
Date: 10/11th April 1945 (Tuesday/Wednesday)
Unit: No. 630 Squadron - Motto "Nocturna mors" ("Death by night").
Badge: On an ogress a Lancaster rose, fimbriated. The Lancaster rose refers to the aircraft used by the squadron. The ogress refers to night operations. The argent fimbriation is indicative of other duties executed in daylight. By the authority of King George VI, March 1945.
Type: Lancaster I
Base: RAF East Kirkby, Lincolnshire
Pilot: F/O. Richard Joseph Sassoon RAFVR 150614 Age 21. Killed (1)
Fl/Eng: Sgt. Stanley Charles Walton RAFVR 1819769 Age ? Killed (2)
Nav: F/O. John Hopwood RAFVR 162070 Age 32. Killed (3)
Air/Bmr: F/O. Patrick Francis Fleming 154251 RAFVR Age 22. PoW - Unknown Prison Hospital (4)
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Murray Swanson Munro RAFVR 1566757 Age 24. Killed (5)
Air/Gnr (Mid Upper): Sgt. William Howard Roger Jenkins RAFVR 1580231 Age 22. Killed (6)
Air/Gnr (Rear): Flt.Sgt. Ivor Lancelot Lynn 1300332 RAFVR Age 37. PoW - Unknown PoW Camp (7)
Plt.Off. Sassoon crew photograph (Courtesy: William Jenkins)
Standing L to R: Fg.Off. Hoopwood, Flt.Sgt. Lynn, Plt.Off. Sassoon
Seated L to R: Flt.Sgt. Morris, Fg.Off. Fleming, Flt.Sgt. Jenkins
We appeal to anyone with further information and/or photographs to please contact us via our HELPDESK
REASON FOR LOSS:
Took off at 18:23 hours from East Kirkby to bomb the Wahren railway yards. The circumstances of how RF122 was shot down over Leipzig has not been established. Fg.Off. Fleming and Flt.Sgt. Lynn survived after bailing out of the tail section which had detached from the aircraft after being hit. Flt.Sgt. Lynn became a member of the "Caterpillar Club" and was presented with his engraved caterpillar badge.
The aircraft's loss card records them as being "safe". It is believed that F/O. Fleming was held in a prison hospital until liberated and Fl/Sgt. Lynn sat out the last few weeks of the war as a PoW at an unknown camp.
Another 630 Squadron Lancaster was also lost on this raid:
ME739 LE-T. Flown by F/O. Cameron of the RAAF who along with 3 other crew became PoW, 2 others escaped capture. Sgt. John Dicken was tragically killed when his parachute caught fire after baling out.
The other Air crew remembered on this plaque are: Sgt Charles Thomas Rogers 1170921 RAFVR, air gunner with 75 Squadron. Killed on the 30th November 1942, age 20. Sgt. Richard George Steel 1818104 RAFVR, 103 Squadron, age 20. Tragically killed on "Operation Dodge", (movement of troops between the UK and overseas bases) On route to Italy on the 4th October 1945 with a crew of 6 and 19 female passengers when the Lancaster PA278 disappeared! No wreckage or bodies were ever found and neither the Air Ministry nor the War Office were forthcoming with any details. It was the largest loss of life of female service personnel of the war period! (1) Pte. John Fincher 14654256 of the 8th Battalion Royal Scots Regiment. Killed on the 29th June 1944 in France, age 19.
(1) F/O. Richard Joseph Sassoon was born in 1923 at Richmond, Surrey the son of Frederick Sassoon and Margaret Lucy Sassoon nee Franklin later of Roehampton, London, England. He had two brothers. 1802851 LAC. R.J. Sassoon was appointed to commission as a Pilot Officer on probation (war subs) on 1 October 1943 (London Gazette) 9 November 1943); his appointment confirmed and promotion to Flying officer on 1 April 1944 announced in the London Gazette of 28 April 1944. With thanks to Joanna Sassoon who contacted us in May 2018.
Joanna Sassoon has researched her family connection and details appear on this website
(2) Sgt. Stanley Charles Walton was the son of Mr and Mrs Charles Walton; husband of Elsie May Walton nee Walmsley of New Eastwood, Nottinghamshire and father of Christine S Walton.
(3) F/O. John Hopwood was born on 22 November 1912 at West Derby Lancashire son of James Alfred Hopwood (a Buyer/Manager) and Bertha Hopwood nee Brown later of 33 Florence Street West Bridgford, Nottingham. He entered Nottingham High School on 29 April 1921, left in August 1922, re-entered 2 February 1925 and finally left in December 1927 in the fourth form. (Courtesy Nottingham School Archives). He married Phyllis Irene Charks at Barton, Lancashire in 1937 and they later lived at Flanshaw, Wakefield. 1581621 LAC John Hopwood was appointed to commission as a Pilot Officer on probation (emergency) on 4 December 1943 (London Gazette 22 February 1944). Details of his promotion to Flying Officer are not known. He is commemorated on the Nottingham High School War Memorial
(4) Flt.Lt. Patrick Francis Fleming - 1603580 LAC P.F. Fleming was appointed to commission as a Pilot Officer on probation (emergency) on 17 November 1943 (London Gazette 8 February 1944); the appointment was confirmed and he was promoted to Flying Officer (war subs) on 17 May 1944 (London Gazette 16 June 1944) and on 17 November 1945 he was promoted to Flight Lieutenant (war subs) (London Gazette 14 December 1945). Patrick was born on the 10th July 1922. He was married with two children and passed away on the 24th May 2003 in Westminster.
(5) Fl/Sgt. Murray Swanson Munro was born in 1922 at Caithness, Scotland the son of David Munro and Elizabeth Munro; husband of Margaret Reid Munro nee McKay of Badcall, Sutherland, Scotland and father of David Munro. He is commemorated on the Scottish National War Memorial, Edinburgh Castle, Edinburgh, Scotland.
(6) Sgt. William Howard Roger Jenkins was born in 1922 at Droitwich, Worcestershire the son of William Jenkins and Annie Jenkins nee Gittus later of Sale Green, Worcestershire. Sgt. Jenkins is remembered on a plaque inside Crowle Church and on the War Memorial at Crowle, Worcestershire, England.
(7) Flt.Sgt. Ivor Lancelot Lynn - Was born on the 5th September 1908 in Newport, Monmouthshire, Wales. He was married to Gladys Ivy Gertrude Coomber (1916 -2003). They had a daughter named Shelia, who is the mother of Therese. Ivor passed away at home in Lamberhurst in Kent, in the 3rd quarter of 1974, surrounded by his family. (Thanks to Therese Jeffery, the granddaughter of Flt.Sgt. Lynn, for the updated NoK information)
The five crew members who were killed were originally buried at Glebitsch (Gemeinde Friedhof - Communal Cemetery) and reburied 2 October 1947 at the Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery in Collective Grave 4.Z. 2-6. They were:-
F/O. Richard Joseph Sassoon - No epitaph
Sgt. Stanley Charles Walton - No epitaph
F/O. John Hopwood - Epitaph reads:
He, too, gave his life for us
Fl/Sgt. Murray Swanson Munro - Epitaph reads:
Too dearly loved
Ever to be forgotten
By his sorrowing widow
And son David
Sgt. William Howard Roger Jenkins - Epitaph reads:
"In the midst of life
We are in death"
God's will be done
Researched by Aircrew Remembered, researcher and specialist genealogist Linda Ibrom for relatives of this crew. Further information added by webmaster reference the loss of Sgt. Steel. Special thanks to Sandra Taylor, Mark Rogers and Martin Edwards (Crowle Church War Memorial) for the photographs of Sergeant Jenkins and the Crowle Plaque. Thanks to Nicholas Fleming for the update to the reason for loss and to F/O Fleming and Fl/Sgt. Lynn survival. Thanks to Adrian Lissamore for additional detail for Flt.Sgt. Lynn and Flt.Lt. Fleming. Thanks to William Jenkins for the crew photograph.
(1) With thanks to Colin Cummings author of "The Price of Peace". for this information.