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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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44 Squadron Crest
14/15.06.1943 44 Squadron Lancaster I W4949 KM:H Sgt. Peter J. Shearman

Operation: Oberhausen

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

Unit: 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

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

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

Air Bmr: Fg.Off. Frank Mansell Richards 124113 RAFVR Age 36. Killed

WOp/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 claimed by Maj. Gunther Radusch, his 21st Abschussfrom Stab II./NJG3 (detached from 3./NJG1) 4 km, SE of Meijel, 20 km WSW of Venlo at 6.800 mtrs at 01:29 hrs. (Nachtjagd Combat Archive (1 January - 22 June) 1943 Part 1 - Theo Boiten).

Left: Major Günther Radusch (archives)

Oberst Radish survived the war having flown 140 sorties with 65 victories. He joined the post-war Bundes Luftwaffe. He died in Nordstrand, Schleswig-Holstein on 29th July 1988 of natural causes.

44 Squadron lost another crew on this operation:

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

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

Burial details:

Sgt. Peter James Shearman, Runnymede Memorial. Panel 133. Son of William Richard and Muriel Louise Shearman, of Hammersmith, London, England. Posthumously promoted to Plt.Off

Left: Flt.Sgt. Pugh: (Courtesy of Martin Barmby). Flt.Sgt. Edward Lockington Pugh. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 138. Son of Thomas Edward and Alice Maud Pugh, of Fulford, York, England.

Sgt. Norman Lewis Ballamy. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 130. Son of Frederick Lewis Ballamy and Maggie Elizabeth Ballamy, of Isleworth, Middlesex, England. Posthumously promoted to Plt.Off

Fg.Off. Frank Mansell Richards. Jonkerbos War Cemetery. Grave 16.E.8. Son of Joseph Henry Richards and of Annie Margaret Richards (née 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. Born in June 1917 in Beverley, Yorkshire. Son of John William and Jane (née Culley) Akeister and husband to Mabel (née Williamson) Akeister from Beverley, Yorkshire, East Riding, England.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to John McKew, nephew of Sgt. Gordon Zedy. Thanks to Martin Barmby for the image of Flt.Sgt. Edward L. Pugh which was passed to him through Edward's brother-in-law and Edward's grandchildren (Dec 2020).

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.

RS 23.12.2020 - Addition of image for Flt.Sgt. Pugh and narrative updates.

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, Michel Beckers, Major Fred Paradie (RCAF) and MWO François Dutil (RCAF) - Paradie Archive (on this site), Jean Schadskaje, Major Jack O'Connor USAF (Retd.), 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', Franek Grabowski, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of CWGC, UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, New Zealand National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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