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Archive Report: Allied Forces

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44 Squadron Crest
14/15.06.1943 No. 44 Squadron Lancaster I W4949 KM-H Sgt. Peter J. Shearman

Operation: Oberhausen

Date: 14/15th June 1943 (Monday/Tuesday)

Unit: No. 44 Squadron (Rhodesia)

Type: Lancaster I

Serial: W4949

Code: KM-H

Base: RAF Dunholme Lodge, Lincolnshire

Location: Meijel, 20 km west south west Venlo

Pilot: Sgt. Peter James Shearman 146112 RAFVR Age 19. Missing

Fl/Eng: Fl/Sgt. Edward Lockington Pugh 678980 RAF Age 22. Missing

Nav: Sgt. Norman Lewis Ballamy 148012 RAFVR Age 21. Missing

Air/Bmr: F/O. Frank Mansell Richards 124113 RAFVR Age 36. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Benjamin William Card 1331878 RAFVR Age ? Missing

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Gordon Clifford Andrew Zedy 908724 RAFVR Age 23. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Clifford Walter Akeister 100751 RAFVR Age ? Killed


Taking off at 22.32 hrs from RAF Dunholme Lodge, Lincolnshire to bomb the Synthetic Oil Plants at Oberhausen, Germany. Bombing was planned between 01.13 and 01.46 hrs for the 197 Lancasters taking part. Weather conditions were good with bright moonlight and good visibility – not great  for protection against the Luftwaffe night fighters which claimed many of the 17 that were lost this night.

The weather was not so good over the target being cloud covered but the Oboe sky marking was very accurate. Reports from Oberhausen state that 267 buildings were destroyed with a further 584 suffering serious damage. 85 people on the ground were reported killed with 258 injured.

Lancaster W4949 was engaged by Maj. Gunther Radusch at 6.800 mtrs, his 21st abschüsse of the war at 01.29 hrs. 

He survived the war with 66 victories. He died in Nordstrand, Schleswig-Holstein on July 29th 1988 of natural causes.

44 Squadron lost another crew on this operation:

Lancaster W4936 KM-W Flown by 29 year old Sq/Ldr. Geoffrey B. Haywood 41408 RAF, killed with all 6 other crew.

Left: Major Günther Radusch (archives)


Graves at Jonkerbos War Cemetery (courtesy Des Philippet of the Netherlands)

Burial details:

Sgt. (Posth promoted to P/O.) Peter James Shearman, Runnymede Memorial. Panel 133. Son of William Richard and Muriel Louise Shearman, of Hammersmith, London, England.

Fl/Sgt. Edward Lockington Pugh. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 138. Son of Thomas Edward and Alice Maud Pugh, of Fulford, York, England.

Right: Panels at Runnymede Memorial (archives)

Sgt. (Posth promoted to P/O.)  Norman Lewis Ballamy. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 130. Son of Frederick Lewis Ballamy and Maggie Elizabeth Ballamy, of Isleworth, Middlesex, England.

F/O. Frank Mansell Richards. Jonkerbos War Cemetery. Grave 16.E.8. Son of Joseph Henry Richards and of Annie Margaret Richards (nee Beech), of Old Coulsdon, Surrey, husband of Eileen Elizabeth Richards, of Rathmines, Dublin, Irish Republic.

Sgt. Benjamin William Card. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 144. NoK details currently not available - are you able to assist completion of these and any other information?

Sgt. Gordon Clifford Andrew Zedy. Jonkerbos War Cemetery. Grave 16.E.9. Son of William and Winifred Alice Miriam Zedy, of Maidenhead, Berkshire.

Sgt. Clifford Walter Akeister. Jonkerbos War Cemetery. Grave 16.E.9. . NoK details currently not available - are you able to assist completion of these and any other information?

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to John McKew, nephew of Sgt. Gordon Zedy. 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', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries' (Updated 2014 version), Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Tom Kracker - 'Kracker Luftwaffe Archives'. Aircrew Remembered own Archives. 

Left: Medals belonging to Sgt. Norman Lewis Ballamy, including Aircrew Europe Star, 39-45 star and war medal - sold at auction in 2012 for about £400.

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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Last Modified: 06 August 2014, 23:04

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