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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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90 Squadron Crest
25/26.08.1944 No. 90 Squadron Lancaster III LM588 WP-F P/O. Arthur V. Simmons

Operation: Rüsselsheim

Date: 25/26th August 1944

Unit: No. 90 Squadron

Type: Lancaster III

Serial: LM588

Code: WP-F

Base: RAF Tuddenham, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk.

Location: Target area?

Pilot: P/O. Arthur Vernon Simmons 182445 RAFVR Age ? Killed

Nav: Sgt. Roy Warren Melvin Fulford 1601768 RAFVR Age 30. Killed

Fl/Eng: Sgt. Kenneth Christopher Richards 1892836 RAFVR Age 19. Killed

Air/Bmr: F/O. Alan Martin 153897 RAFVR Age 23. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Robert Hamilton Finlayson 1568579 RAFVR Age 21. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Frederick Gordon Owen 1102986 RAFVR Age ? Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Hubert Ernest Newman 925797 RAFVR Age 24. Killed

REASON FOR LOSS:

Took off from RAF Tuddenham at 20:21 hrs to bomb Rüsselsheim along with 411 aircraft to attack the Opel factory.

Lancaster LM588 (courtesy of Alan Brown - see credits)

The results of the operation was classed as a success with some parts of the factory put out of action for several weeks. Although the assembly line for trucks recommenced work some 2 days later. 179 people were killed on the ground during this raid, but the bombers also lost some 17 aircraft with 97 aircrew being killed, 22 being made PoW and 2 others evading capture.

No details regarding LM588 actual loss can be confirmed, but it is likely that due to the very heavy attacks by the Luftwaffe night fighters, both during the bombing run and the return journey home that they fell prey to one of these. Another 90 Squadron Lancaster (1) was also lost on this raid, possibly a claim by Ofw. Walter Exner (2) of 7./NJG2 at 01:20 hrs over Wisbaden.

(1) Lancaster 1 ME802 WP-S flown by Sq/Ldr. Henry Lee-Warner DFC. AFC. - killed along with all 6 other crew members, also buried at the same cemetery.
(2) Ofw. Walter Exner was killed during this raid after they were shot down by one of the Lancaster air gunners.

Graves of the crew- any relative who would like a higher resolution they will be supplied to you free of charge (courtesy David Franklin)

Burial details:

P/O. Arthur Vernon Simmons. Durnbach War Cemetery Coll. Grave: 7.F. 18-22. No further details as yet - are you able to assist?

Sgt. Roy Warren Melvin Fulford. Durnbach War Cemetery Coll. Grave: 7.F. 12-17. Son of Sydney Edmund and Ethel Maud Caroline Fulford, of Exeter, England. Chartered Accountant.

Sgt. Kenneth Christopher Richards. Durnbach War Cemetery Coll. Grave: 7.F. 12-17. Son of John Christopher and Alice Maud Richards, of Hampton, Middlesex, England. 

F/O. Alan Martin. Durnbach War Cemetery Coll. Grave: 7.F. 12-17. Son of John Thomas Martin and Hannah Martin, of Fawdon, Newcastle-on-Tyne, England. 

Sgt. Robert Hamilton Finlayson. Durnbach War Cemetery Coll. Grave: 7.F. 7-11. Son of Robert Hamilton Finlayson and Jessie Finlayson, of Edinburgh, Scotland.

Sgt. Frederick Gordon Owen. Durnbach War Cemetery Grave: 7.F. 6. No further details as yet - are you able to assist?

Sgt. Hubert Ernest Newman. Durnbach War Cemetery Coll. Grave: 7.F. 12-17. Son of Alfred William and Laura Newman, of Lewes, Sussex, England. 

Researched for relatives and friends of the crew. With thanks to the following: Alan Brown (and his father, who had previously flown this aircraft), other sources as quoted below.

KTY 31.08.2015 Map added

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: 30 August 2015, 23:53

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