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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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75 Squadron Crest
23/24.08.1943 No. 75 Squadron Stirling III BF564 LN-W P/O. Alan J.L. Sedunary DFC

Operation: Berlin

Date: 23/24th August 1943 (Monday/Tuesday)

Unit: No. 75 Squadron

Type: Stirling III

Serial: BF564

Code: LN-W

Base: RAF Mepal, Cambridgeshire.

Location: Märtensmühle

Pilot: P/O. Alan Joseph Lyall Sedunary DFC AUS/416619 RAAF Age 20. Killed (1)

Pilot 2: Fl/Sgt. Francis Patrick Lundon NZ/404718 RNZAF Age 25. Killed

Fl/Eng: Sgt. Frank Kitchener Alcock MiD 532245 RAF Age 28. Killed

Nav: P/O. Aubrey Lens 149672 RAF Age 22. Killed

Air/Bmr: Sgt. Cecil Reginald Parish 1332576 RAFVR Age 22. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: P/O. Douglas Hamilton Moss NZ/404653 RNZAF Age 23. Killed

Air/Gnr(Mid. Upper): Sgt. Jack Ernest Nicholson 1800467 RAFVR Age 22. Killed

Air/Gnr (Rear): Sgt. John James Gratton 1351568 RAFVR Age ? Killed

REASON FOR LOSS:

Took off from Mepal at 20.51 hrs. Part of a huge raid on Berlin on which 710 Lancaster's, Halifax's and Stirlings took part plus a further 17 Mosquito's. A total of 56 Aircraft failed to return, 31 came down over the target area. 4 claimed by German Flak and 51 claimed by the German night fighters. BF564 was shot down by one of these night fighters all of the crew were killed.

A great crew photo sent by the son of Sgt. Cecil Reginald Parish (courtesy Roger Parish) Rear left to right: P/O. Sedunary DFC, Sgt. Nicholson, Sgt. Parish. Front: Sgt. Gratton, P/O. Moss, Sgt. Alcock MiD and P/O. Lens


Left: pilot P/O. Alan Joseph Lyall Sedunary DFC. and right P/O. Douglas Hamilton Moss (courtesy Lesley Avery and the family of P/O. Sedunary DFC, Mike Harrison for P/O. Moss photo)

Stirling BF564 is thought to have been shot down by Oblt. Heinz Ferger of 3./NJG3 - combat taking place at 3,000 mtrs. South West of Berlin at 00.51 hrs. Oblt. Ferger went on to become a night fighter ace with over 23 claims (23 confirmed - 3 probables) but was killed on the 13/14th April 1945, shot down by a Mosquito on finals to Lübeck airfield. (see Kracker Archive on this site)

75 Squadron Stirling III

(1) DFC Citation:

Pilot Officer Sedunary has taken part in many successful operational sorties including attacks on heavily defended targets in the Ruhr Valley and Hamburg. An outstanding Captain of aircraft, he has invariably displayed determination of the highest order.

On one occasion when detailed for an attack on Dortmund, his aircraft was attacked by an enemy night fighter while on the way to the target, but this officer skilfully manoeuvred his aircraft and enabled his gunner to shoot the attacker down in flames. On another occasion, Pilot Officer Sedunary displayed superb airmanship in flying his bomber safely back to base after it had been seriously damaged by anti-aircraft fire whilst attacking the target.

Details of BF564 bomb load for this operation:

1 X 1,000Lb.
1 X 500 Lb.
270 X 4 Lb Incendiary.
24 X 30 Lb Incendiary.

Crew original grave marker (courtesy Marilyn deMamiel - daughter of Sgt Alcock)

Berlin War Cemetery (archives)

Burial details:

Buried initially in a collective grave in Wiesenhagen Neundorf Cemetery, 4km NE of Martensmuhle, but later reinterred in Berlin.

P/O. Alan Joseph Lyall Sedunary DFC. Berlin War Cemetery Collective grave 6.E. 12-19. Son of Alfred Lyall Sedunary and Caroline Agnes Sedunary, of Victor Harbour, South Australia.

Fl/Sgt. Francis Patrick Lundon. Berlin War Cemetery Collective grave 6.E. 12-19. Son of David James Lundon and Catherine Lundon, of Pareora, Canterbury, New Zealand, husband of Winifred E. Lundon of Suva, Fiji, Pacific Islands.

Sgt. Frank Kitchener Alcock MiD. Berlin War Cemetery Collective grave 6.E. 12-19. Son of John Henry and Alice Kate Alcock, husband of Dora Beatrice Ethel Alcock, of Kellerberrin, Western Australia. Note: On the date of this loss the family were then living in Ipswich, Suffolk, England. Not migrating to Australia until 1950.

P/O. Aubrey Lens. Berlin War Cemetery Collective grave 6.E. 12-19. Son of John and Hetty Lens, of Brixton Hill, London, England.

Sgt. Cecil Reginald Parish. Berlin War Cemetery Collective grave 6.E. 12-19. Son of Robert James Parish and Alice Parish, of Norwich, husband of Olive Edith Parish, of Norwich, Norfolk, England.

P/O. Douglas Hamilton Moss. Berlin War Cemetery Collective grave 6.E. 12-19. Son of Brian and Mabel Moss, husband of Joan Florence Moss, of Auckland City, New Zealand.

Sgt. Jack Ernest Nicholson. Berlin War Cemetery Collective grave 6.E. 12-19. Son of Herbert Leggatt Nicholson and Alice Nicholson, of North Cheam, Surrey, England.

Sgt. John James Gratton. Berlin War Cemetery Collective grave 6.E. 12-19. N.o.K details currently not available - are you able to assist completion of these and any other information?

Researched for relatives of the crew including Marilyn deMamiel (daughter of Sgt. Alcock M.i.D, Lesley Avery who's husband is third cousin to the pilot P/O. Sedunary D.F.C. and Roger Parish, son of Sgt. Parish. With thanks to the following, Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vol's. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vol's. 1 and 2', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries', Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

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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