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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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408 Squadron Crest
27/28.01.1944 No. 408 Squadron Lancaster II DS710 EQ-A Sq/Ldr. Charles W. Smith DFC

Operation: Berlin

Date: 27/28th January 1944 (Thursday/Friday)

Unit: No. 408 Squadron (Goose - RCAF)

Type: Lancaster II

Serial: DS710

Code: EQ-A

Base: RAF Linton-on-Ouse, Yorkshire

Location: Urftalsperre near Germünd, Germany

Pilot: Sq/Ldr. Charles Woodward Smith DFC J/8371 RCAF Age 26. Killed

Pilot 2: F/O. Hugh Ross Wilson J/23525 RCAF Age 23. Killed

Fl/Eng: Sgt. Morley Frederick Roy Sorton 1616880 RAFVR Age ? Killed

Nav: F/O. Dennis Macdonald Sim J/22205 RCAF Age 22. Killed

Air/Bmr: F/O. John Dargavel Teskey J/14747 RCAF Age 22. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: F/O. Thomas Kenneth Canning J/16816 RCAF Age 21. Killed

Air/Gnr: P/O. Clarence William Frauts J/86319 RCAF Age 27. Killed

Air/Gnr: P/O. James Gordon Bennett J/19011 RCAF Age 21. Killed

REASON FOR LOSS:

Taking off from RAF Linton-on-Ouse in Yorkshire at 17:47 hrs. In all 515 Lancasters together with 15 Mosquitoes were committed to the raid on this night.

A diversionary minelaying operation had some effect in drawing off half of the night fighter defences but the remainder was sent up earlier than normal flying out 75 miles over the North Sea from the Dutch coast to meet the oncoming bomber stream.

In the city itself a further 567 people were killed including 132 foreign workers. 20,000 people were bombed out of their homes. The city was covered in cloud and sky marking had to be used. No assessment of the raid was possible by Bomber Command except that the bombing was widely spread. Local reports confirmed that some 61 small towns and villages outside the city were hit with 18 being killed.

Flying Bf110G G9+ML S/No: 740062 Oblt. Werner Baake (1) of 3.NGJ1 intercepted this Lancaster to the South West of Aachen at 22:50 hrs but during the combat he collided with his target. He managed to leave his aircraft with no injuries but his Bordfunker (W/Op) Sgt. Heinz Waldbauer was killed during the collision.

(1) Hptm. Werner Baake survived the war with a total of forty one abschüsse and became a flight captain with Lufthansa. He was killed in an car accident at Heilsbronn on the 15th July 1964. (Information courtesy Kracker Archives on this website)

Others lost from 408 Squadron on this operation:

Lancaster II DS709 EQ-P Flown by Fl/Lt. Eldon Eastham Kearl DFC J/18810 RCAF - Killed with 6 other crew, one taken PoW.
Lancaster II DS849 EQ-X Flown by 23 year old, Fl/Lt. Sven Roy Walfrid Laine DFC J/18786 RCAF from Port Arthur, Ontario, Canada - killed with all other 7 crew members.

Burial details:

Sq/Ldr. Charles Woodward Smith DFC. Rheinberg War Cemetery. Grave 14.E.13. Son of Charles Thomas Smith and Dorothy Florence Smith, of Amherstburg, Ontario, Canada. Grave inscription reads: “Our Son Liveth Evermore.”

F/O. Hugh Ross Wilson. Rheinberg War Cemetery. Grave 14.E.15. Son of Frederick Alfred and Alice Beatrice Wilson, of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Grave inscription reads: “In God’s Garden Of Memory We Meet Every Day.”

Sgt. Morley Frederick Roy Sorton. Rheinberg War Cemetery. Joint grave 4.E.9-10. No further details - are you able to assist?

F/O. Dennis Macdonald Sim. Rheinberg War Cemetery. Grave 14.E.12. Son of Arthur and Dorothy (née Porter) brother to Griselda, from Toronto, Canada. Inducted at No. 1 Manning Depot Toronto. Induction training in Toronto. Initial flying training on Avro Ansons at RCAF Ancienne Lorette, Quebec (now Quebec International Airport).

F/O. John Dargavel Teskey. Rheinberg War Cemetery. Grave 14.E.16. Son of the Revd. Ernest Teskey and Mary Robertson Dargavel Teskey, of Kingston, Ontario, Canada. Grave inscription reads: “Your Memory Hallowed In The Land That You Loved.”

F/O. Thomas Kenneth Canning. Rheinberg War Cemetery. Grave 14.E.11. Son of James E. Canning and Alice V. Canning, of Dunchurch, Ontario, Canada. Grave inscription reads: “Till We Meet In That Better World.”

P/O. Clarence William Frauts. Rheinberg War Cemetery. Joint grave 4.E.9-10. Son of William Arnold and Mary Ellen Frauts, of Trenton, Ontario, Canada. Grave inscription reads: “Dearly Beloved Son Of William, Mary Ellen Frauts of Trenton, Ontario, Canada.”

P/O. James Gordon Bennett. Rheinberg War Cemetery. Grave 14.E.14. (Originally buried at Wollseifen Germany) Son of James Henry and Annie Myrtle Bennett, of Carleton Place, Ontario, Canada. Grave inscription reads: “From Carleton Place, Ontario He Came. Tranquil May You Sleep Dear Son.”

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to Harry Nash, cousin of F/O. Dennis Macdonald Sim who contacted us in October 2016. Further sources as shown below.

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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