AR banner
Search Tips Advanced Search
Back to Top

Info LogoAdd to or correct this story with a few clicks.
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.


We seek additional information and photographs. Please contact us via the Helpdesk.
Our only wish is to honour and respect sacrifices made and to record historical facts: but if in so doing any of our content is inadvertently inappropriate, please contact us via Helpdesk and we will correct the matter.

428 Squadron crest
27/28.09.1943 428 (Ghost) Squadron RCAF Halifax II JB968 NA:R Flt.Lt. Ronald H. Sherback

Operation: Hanover

Date: 27/28th September 1943 (Monday/Tuesday)

Unit: 428 (Ghost) Squadron RCAF

Type: Halifax II

Serial: JB968

Code: NA:R

Base: RAF Middleton St. George, County Durham

Location: Kalischacht, south of Ronnenberg, Germany

Pilot: Flt.Lt. Ronald Hubert Sherback J6181 RCAF Age 24. Killed

Flt.Eng: Sgt. Douglas Bryant Stone R59411 RCAF Age 28. Killed (1)

Nav: Fg.Off. Frank Thorburn Manners J14239 RCAF Age 23. Killed

Air Bmr: Fg.Off. Edward Douglas MacMurchy J20833 RCAF Age 26. Killed

WOp/Air Gnr: Sgt. James Kirby 1237264 RAFVR Age? Killed

Air Gnr: Sgt. Donald Willis Matthews R193148 RCAF Age 23. Killed

Air Gnr: Sgt. William Ellis McKee R94589 RCAF Age 24. Killed

Above left to right: Flt.Lt. Sherback, Sgt. Stone, Fg.Off. Manners.

Above left to right: Fg.Off. MacMurchy, Sgt. Matthews, Sgt. McKee.

REASON FOR LOSS:

Took off at 19:21 hrs. from RAF Middleton St. George on an operation to Hanover. 678 aircraft - 312 Lancasters, 231 Halifaxes, 111 Stirlings, 24 Wellingtons. 5 B-17s also took part. 38 Bomber Command aircraft - 17 Halifaxes, 10 Lancasters, 10 Stirlings, 1 Wellington - lost, 5.6 per cent of the force, and 1 B-17 also lost.

The use by the Pathfinders of faulty forecast winds again saved the centre of Hannover. The bombing was very concentrated but fell on an area 5 miles north of the city centre. No details are available from Germany but RAF photographic evidence showed that most of the bombs fell in open country or villages north of the city.

Above: The Flight Engineer Sgt. Stone, with him his Uncle Percy and his wife, Ruth. Percy Bryant was wounded in the knee by shrapnel in November 1918 at Valenciennes, France. (courtesy Robert Brown)

21 Lancasters and 6 Mosquitoes of No 8 Group carried out a diversionary raid on Brunswick which was successful in drawing off some night fighters. 218 people were killed in Brunswick - 51 Germans and 167 foreigners. 1 Lancaster lost.

9 Mosquitoes on another diversion to Emden, 5 Mosquitoes on Oboe tests to Aachen (3 were successful), 19 aircraft minelaying in the Kattegat and the Frisian Islands, 4 OTU sorties. No losses.

JB968 joined the squadron from 429 (Bison) Sqn RCAF just three weeks earlier on the 3rd September. This is reported to be the first Halifax II lost from the squadron.

JB968 was claimed by Lt. Josef Kraft, his 2nd Abschuss, from Stab II./NJG5 10km south west of Hannover at 5.750 m at 23:26 hrs. The aircraft was also coned by 1./Flakscheinw Abt. 619 (Wrefer 119), also claimed by Flak of 4. & 5./schw. Flak Abt. 461 (o) and 4. & 5./schw. Flak Abt. 521 90) ('Halifax Kaliwerk Ronnenberg 5000-3000 m at 23.26 hrs')

The Flak claims were rejected by the OKL (Luftwaffe High Command) on the 18.8.1944 and the victory credited to Flak searchlight and Lt. Kraft on the 17.6.1944. (Nachtjagd Combat Archive (23 September - 31 December) 1943 Part 3 - Theo Boiten)

Left: Lt. Joseph Kraft born in Vienna, Austria on the 8th February 1921. Survived the war with 56 victories. No further details, but understood to have died in 1994.


A tragic night for 428 (Ghost) squadron RCAF losing 5 aircraft this night:

Halifax V DK252 NA:O Flown by Plt.Off. Kogan RCAF. Crash landed after returning with severe icing problems. All crew survived.
Halifax V DK270 NA:U Flown by Sgt. R. Wilson. Injured along with another crew member, 4 other crew members being killed when they overshot and crashed at Saxmundham, Norfolk on return.
Halifax V EB215 NA:T. Flown by 21 year old, Sgt. John Ernest Farmer 1338093 RAFVR from Balham, London. Killed with 5 other crew members after being hit by flak and crashing near Vaassen, Holland. Another crew member survived as a PoW.
Halifax V LK915 NA:V. Flown by Fg.Off. M.G. Walley RCAF Understood to have been shot down by a night fighter. 2 crew members made PoW's and the remaining 5 killed.

Burial details:

German records intimate that this crew together with the crew of 15 Sqn Stirling III EE940 were initially buried in the Ronnenburg Cemetery. It reported by Casualty Enquiry No. G.1121 that caskets 7 & 8 that were exhumed contained the remains of the 14 crew members of EE940 and JB968.

Flt.Lt. Ronald Hubert Sherback. Hannover War Cemetery. Collective grave 3. D.7-10. Born 16th May 1919 in Killam, Alberta. Son of Hubert Philip and Norma May (née Chettick) Sherback, of Gleichen, Alberta. Husband to Jennette Louise (née Sales) Sherback. They were married on 9th August 1942 in Calgary, Alberta. Grave inscription reads: "REST IN PEACE".

Sgt. Douglas Bryant Stone. Hannover War Cemetery. Collective grave 3. D.7-10. Born 21st June 1915 in Brandon, Manitoba. Son of William and Gertrude Annie (née Bryant) Stone, husband of Lydia Stone, of Shoal Lake, Manitoba, Canada. Grave inscription reads: "FATHER, IN THY KEEPING LEAVE WE THY SERVANT SLEEPING."LYDIA AND DOUGIE".

Stone Island in Karsakuwigamak Lake, Manitoba was named after Sgt. Douglas Bryant Stone in 1995.

Fg.Off. Frank Thorburn Manners. Hannover War Cemetery. Collective grave 3. D.7-10. Born 15th June 1920 in Edmonton, Alberta. Son of Joseph Dawson and Emma Victoria (née Marshall) Manners from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Fg.Off. Edward Douglas MacMurchy. Hannover War Cemetery. Collective grave 3. D.7-10. Born 17th December 1917 in Pilot Mound, Manitoba. Son of Cameron and Cicely Thornton (née Nicholson) MacMurchy remarried as Bowen. (His father predeceased him) from Viscount, Saskatchewan, Canada.

Sgt. James Kirby. Hannover War Cemetery. Collective grave 3. D.7-10. NoK details currently not available - are you able to assist completion of these and any other information?

Sgt. Donald Willis Matthews. Hannover War Cemetery. Collective grave 3. D.7-10. Born 23rd November 1919 in Brant, Ontario. Son Hartley William and Mary Jane (née Paterson) Matthews from St. Catherines, Ontario, Canada.

Sgt. William Ellis McKee. Hannover War Cemetery. Collective grave 3. D.7-10. Born 7th May 1919 in Bracken, Saskatchewan. Son of Edward Fobes and Alice Rosalie McKee, of Bracken, Saskatchewan, Canada. Grave inscription reads: "IN HIS WILL IS OUR PEACE".

Researched for Robert Brown, relative of the flight engineer Sgt. Douglas B. Stone and dedicated to relatives of this crew.

For further details our thanks to the following, Bill Barry of the Saskatchewan Virtual Memorial, Updated by Aircrew Remembered (Dec 2020). Other thanks as follows;

RS 21.12.2020 - Narrative update and new images

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.
Click any image to enlarge it

Click to add your info via ticket on Helpdesk •Click to let us know via ticket on Helpdesk• Click to buy research books from Amazon •Click to explore the entire site
If you would like to comment on this page, please do so via our Helpdesk. Use the Submit a Ticket option to send your comments. After review, our Editors will publish your comment below with your first name, but not your email address.

A word from the Editor: your contribution is important. We welcome your comments and information. Thanks in advance.

At the going down of the sun, and in the morning we will remember them. - Laurence Binyon
All site material (except as noted elsewhere) is owned or managed by Aircrew Remembered and should not be used without prior permission.
© Aircrew Remembered 2012 - 2021
Last Modified: 21 December 2020, 11:59

Monitor Additions/Changes?Click to be informed of changes to this page. Create account for first monitor only, thereafter very fast. Click to close without creating monitor