23/24.09.1944 No. 9 Squadron Lancaster I LL901 WS-V Fl/Lt. Charles B. Scott
Date: 23/24th September 1944 (Saturday/Sunday)
Unit: No. 9 Squadron
Type: Lancaster I
Base: RAF Bardney, Lincolnshire
Location: Populierendijk approx. 20 km east of Deventer, Holland
Pilot: Fl/Lt. Charles Berrie Scott 176377 RAFVR Age 22. Killed (1)
Fl/Eng: Sgt. Jack Edward Simkin 1448546 RAFVR Age 23. Killed
Nav: Fl/Sgt. Louis Arthur Harding 574518 RAF Age 22. Killed (2)
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Maurice Edward Hayward 1602875 RAFVR Age 21. Killed
Air/Bmr: Sgt. Leslie W. Langley No further service details available. Evaded (3)
Air/Gnr: Sgt. Frank Alfred Saunders 1803522 RAFVR Age 30. Killed (4)
Air/Gnr: Sgt. Leslie Joseph Hambly 3010857 RAFVR Age 19. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Took off at 19:02 hrs. from RAF Bardney, Lincolnshire to bomb the German Night fighter airfields in Münster.
The two 9 Squadron aircraft were carrying the ‘tallboy’ bombs. 113 aircraft took part in this supporting raid with 617 Squadron bombing the canals in Dortmund (Using the 12,000 lb. ‘Tallboy’ bombs.) Some 100 HE. bombs from the 107 Lancasters fell on the town itself but no fatalities were recorded. The bombing force was not so lucky with 4 Lancasters lost.
2 aircraft from 9 Squadron lost, the other: LL914 Piloted by F/O. Begg (All 7 crew members killed) another Lancaster from 61 Squadron ED470 with F/O. Albert Hornibrook RAAF as pilot (6 crew killed and another made PoW) and PD318 from 207 Squadron, F/O. Ray Kerwin RAAF (All 7 crew members killed).
It is understood that LL901 was shot down by Hptm. Heinz Wolfgang Schnauzer (centre) from Stab IV./NJG1 (Night fighter ace with already 97 to his credit at this stage, 121 by the end of the war from which he survived) Interception took place at 23.25hrs at 4,100 metres. See Kracker Archive and Luftwaffe Victories by Name/Date database, both on this site.
(1) His brother Lt. John Simon Scott age 26, was also killed serving with the 19 Battery, 25th Mountain Regiment Royal Indian Artillery on 16th August 1944.
(2) Fl/Sgt. Louis Harding is the father of the famous English folk singer/comedian Mike Harding.
(3) Sgt. Leslie W. Langley: Although listed as a PoW in some publications, we understand that he in fact evaded capture, assisted by the Dutch resistance until liberated by the Canadian Army on the 6th April 1945. Understood to have passed away in 1982. We have heard from the nephew of Sgt. Saunders that he did evade capture. In fact Lance Saunders has visited the farm house where it is understood he remained until liberation. He also visited the actual crash site.
Philip Cross recalls a trip he made to Holton with Sgt. Langley’s son, Richard, back in 2003 for a moving and interesting weekend. They visited the crash site and the two farms where Leslie was hidden before being liberated. They had the honour of meeting the lady (aged 7 in 1944) who had played chess with Leslie for many hours during his time hidden at the farms.
(4) Sgt. Saunders was a serving officer in the London Metropolitan police, B Division, before joining the RAF. His brother, Andrew Thomas Saunders, served in the Royal Artillery and took part in the escape at Dunkirk on the beaches of Bray Dunes. He sadly died in 1985 and his wishes was that his ashes would be scattered on his brothers grave - these were carried out.
Gordon Thorburn has written a great book of events 'Bombers, First and Last'
(432 pages - with illustrations) with 9 Squadron during WW2. ISBN No: 978-1861059468
M.J.G. Hols with H.J. Steunenberg published ‘Holten in Ooorlogstijd' - Holten during WW2 (472 pages - with illustrations and tables) ISBN No: 90-9000-657-5
Fl/Lt. Charles Berrie Scott. Holten General Cemetery, Holland, Plot 15. Grave 15. Son of John Moffat Scott and Helen McCredie Berrie Scott, of Glasgow, Scotland.
Sgt. Jack Edward Simkin. Holten General Cemetery, Holland, Plot 15. Grave 14. Son of Charles Frederick and Mary Simkin, of Seaford, Sussex, England.
Fl/Sgt. Louis Arthur Harding. Holten General Cemetery, Holland, Plot 15. Joint Grave 13. From Ottery St Mary in Devon, England. Father of Mike Harding, renowned folk singer and comedian, who wrote the song Bombers' Moon
, featured in our Poetry section.
Sgt. Maurice Edward Hayward. Holten General Cemetery, Holland, Plot 15. Joint Grave 13. Son of Maurice and Edith Hayward, of Ludgershall, Wiltshire, England.
Sgt. Frank Alfred Saunders. Holten General Cemetery, Holland, Plot 15. Grave 10. Son of Andrew and Mary Ann Saunders, husband of Ellen Smith Edwards Saunders,of West Kensington, London, England.
Sgt. Leslie Joseph Hambly. Holten General Cemetery, Holland, Plot 15. Grave 12. Son of John C. and Ruth Hambly, of Millom, Cumberland, England. (1) Lt John Simon Scott 240750 R/A Kohima War Cemetery 4.C.3.
Researched for relatives of the crew. Thank you to Lance Saunders who contacted us in November 2016 with further information on Sgt. Saunders and Sgt. Langley. Thanks to Philip Cross for adding to the story of Sgt. Langley. Thanks to Colette Jones for the update to NoK details for Flt.Sgt. Harding. Also to Gordon Thorburn - "Bombers. first and last", Herman J. Steunenberg - ‘Holten in Ooorlogstijd'. With thanks also to Lance Saunders (nephew of Sgt. Frank Saunders) who contacted us in November 2016 and advise correct aircraft code. 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), Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Jan Armstrong for the grave pictures in Holten, Holland.