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Archive Report: Allied Forces

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75 Squadron Crest
27/28.05.1944 No. 75 Squadron Lancaster III ND802 AA-D Sgt. Scott

Operation: Aachen

Date: 27/28th May 1944 (Saturday/Sunday)

Unit: No. 75 Squadron

Type: Lancaster III

Serial: ND802 (The Flying Scotsman)

Code: AA-D

Base: RAF Mepal, Cambridgeshire

Location: Gilze-en-Rijen

Pilot: Sgt. Francis Alexander Jack Scott NZ/421105 RNZAF Age 28. Killed

Pilot 2: W/O. Ronald Thomas Clark NZ/422369 RNZAF PoW No 770 Camp: Stalag Luft VII

Fl/Eng: Sgt. F. Max Harris 1850150 RAFVR PoW No 300 Camp: Stalag Luft VII

Nav: Fl/Sgt. Leslie George Hill NZ/426997 RNZAF PoW No 170 Camp: Stalag Luft VII

Air/Bmr: Fl/Sgt. Stephen Astley Cook NZ/421142 RNZAF Age 21. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Ronald Edward Howson 1437112 RAFVR Age 21. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Alan Mantle 925315 RAFVR PoW No 469 Camp: Stalag Luft VII

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Reginald Dale 1818763 RAFVR PoW Camp: Stalag Luft VII


Taking off from RAF Mepal in Cambridgeshire at 00:45 hrs to bomb the Rothe Erde railway yards. 162 Lancasters with 8 Mosquitoes from 1,3 and 8 Group taking part (18 from 75 Squadron, 1 returning early with engine problems - others leaving at various other bases in England).

Above believed to be photo of the crew, identified are Sgt. Francis Alexander Jack Scott 3rd from left, Fl/Sgt. Stephen Astley Cook on extreme right, Fl/Sgt. Ronald Edward Howson on right in hatch (courtesy Jan Field-Hodgson)

This, the second attack within days on the target had dramatic effect with severe damage caused but also with some of the bombs hitting the suburbs of Aachen, including a hospital, an army barracks, army stores and various other industrial buildings. 167 people were killed on the ground with a further 164 injured - some 603 civilian homes were also hit. The raid from start to finish lasted just 12 minutes.

Above: Sgt. Francis Alexander Jack Scott rear left, Fl/Sgt. Stephen Astley Cook far right, Fl/Sgt. Ronald Edward Howson lower left (courtesy Jan Field-Hodgson)

Above: Left: Sgt. Francis Alexander Jack Scott. Centre: Sgt. Francis Alexander Jack Scott left with Fl/Sgt. Stephen Astley Cook, Right: Sgt. Francis Alexander Jack Scott, Fl/Sgt. Ronald Edward Howson, Fl/Sgt. Stephen Astley Cook (courtesy Jan Field-Hodgson)

The allies lost 13 aircraft - 77 crew members killed, 8 taken PoW with 2 evading capture. 7 other crew escaped injury after returning at crash landing their Lancaster.

It is understood that the aircraft was intercepted by Obstlt. Günther Radusch of Stab NGJ2 at 02:07 hrs. with the aircraft eventually breaking up and crashing at Gilze-en-Rijen. (shown right)

Another Lancaster from the Squadron was also lost:

Lancaster III ND908 AA-M Flown by 21 year old Fl/Lt. Spencer Francis Fauvel NX/414971 RNZAF - killed with all 7 other crew.

(1) This was the 60th claim by nightfighter ace Obstlt. Günther Radusch. He survived the war with a total of 66 claims. Died in Nordstrand, Schleswig-Holstein in 2000.

Above - 1 SFTS Wigram 1942 (possibly on award of Pilots Badges - they were all presented their badges on 28 November 1942) five of these seven men were killed!: Top three: Fl/Sgt. A.R. Young, Fl/Sgt. John Stuart Selby Fleming NZ/421038, F/O. Graham Braddock NZ/421012. Centre two: W/O. Neil Evan McLeod MacDonald NZ/42427, Sgt. Francis Alexander Jack Scott NZ/421105. Front (seated) Fl/Sgt D.B. Thomas, Fl/Sgt Harold Leslie Raymond Richards NZ/42457 (curtesy Jan Field-Hodgson)

(1) 27 year old, Fl/Sgt. John Stuart Selby Fleming NZ/421038 - Killed on the 19th November 1943 whilst with 90 Squadron. Buried at Rheinberg War Cemetery.
(2) 24 year old, Fl/Sgt. Graham Braddock NZ/421012 RNZAF - Killed on the 29th August 1943. Buried at Dyce Old Churchyard in Aberdeenshire, Scotland.
(3) 23 year old, W/O. Neil Evan McLeod MacDonald NZ/42427 RNZAF - Killed on the 28th December 1944 whilst with 33 Squadron. Buried at Bath Cemetery (Haycombe)
(4) 28 year old, Sgt. Francis Alexander Jack Scott NZ/421105 RNZAF - Killed on the 28th May 1944 whilst with 75 Squadron. Buried at Gilze-En-Rijen R.C Cemetery.
(5) 28 year old, Fl/Sgt. Harold Leslie Raymond Richards NZ/42457 RNZAF - Killed whilst serving with 622 Squadron on the 18th November 1943. Buried at Lachalade Churchyard, Meuse, France.

Burial details:

Sgt. Francis Alexander Jack Scott. Gilze-En-Rijen Roman Catholic Cemetery. Grave 3. Born on the 22nd February 1922 the son of Alexander Anderson Scott and Margaret Grace Scott, of Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand. He had 642 flying hours logged and on his 27 operation.

Fl/Sgt. Stephen Astley Cook. Gilze-En-Rijen Roman Catholic Cemetery. Grave 2. Son of David and Lillias McGregor Cook, of Invercargill, Southland, New Zealand. He had 724 flying hours logged and on his 27 operation.

Fl/Sgt. Ronald Edward Howson. Gilze-En-Rijen Roman Catholic Cemetery. Grave 1. Son of William Edward and Beatrice May Howson, of 147 Noble Street, Leicester. His brother, 19 year old Pte. Douglas William 14655542 also died on service. Killed just months later on the 26th August 1944 serving with the 1st Battalion, Leicestershire Regiment and buried in the Bayeux Cemetery, Normandy, France. Grave V.C.2.

Researched by Jan Field-Hodgson (relative of the pilot, Sgt. Francis Scott) for Aircrew Remembered and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to sources as quoted.

KTY 27.04.2017 Updated 10.07.2017

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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