15/16.10.1942 No. 150 Squadron Wellington III X3552 Sgt. Eric N. Smith
Date: 15/16th October 1942 (Thursday/Friday)
Unit: No. 150 Squadron
Type: Wellington III
Base: RAF Snaith, Yorkshire.
Location: 35 Kms. West of Goeree, Holland
Pilot: Sgt. Eric Norman Smith 1294712 RAFVR Age 20. Missing
Pilot 2: P/O. Douglas Leonard Hemming 123945 RAFVR Age 22. Missing
Obs: Sgt. Philip Charles Harrison 1025321 RAFVR Age 22. Killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Donald Lloyd Morrow R/81473 RCAF Age 21. Missing
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Peter Worthington Samuel Varley 921823 RAFVR Age 20. Missing
REASON FOR LOSS:
Took off from RAF Snaith in Yorkshire at 18:30 hrs to attack Köln. (Cologne) 289 aircraft took part (109 Wellingtons, 74 Halifaxes, 62 Lancasters and 44 Stirlings.)
Not a huge success as only 1 of the 71 x 4,000 lb. hit the target, 3 other high explosive bombs out of 231 and 210 incendiary bombs out of 68,590 landed with little effect. The German reports state that 226 houses were damaged and only 2 of these were classed as serious - 4 people on the ground were injured.
The allies lost 18 aircraft. 107 aircrew were killed and a further 15 made PoW. The majority were taken down by the German night fighters.
Nothing further was heard from this Wellington and it is presumed to have come down in the sea off Holland. However, a report that this aircraft was shot down probably by Hptm. Dr. Horst Patuschka (1) from 4./NJG2 with interception taking place at 4,500 mts. 35 Kms. West of Goeree, Holland at 00.25hrs.
Left: Hptm. Dr. Horst Patuschka of 4./NJG2
(1) Hptm. Dr. Horst Patuschka was already an ace at this time with 19 confirmed claims. He went on to have a confirmed total of between 23 and 25 kills before he was killed on the 6/7th March 1943 at Moggendorf - 10 miles South West of Bayreuth in an air combat. (see Kracker Luftwaffe Archive on this site)
Runnymede Memorial in the snow. This image has been reproduced with courtesy of Antony McCallum. Anthony does supply various services to relatives of servicemen for the photography of the memorial panels. Please contact him via his website.
Sgt. Eric Norman Smith. Runnymede Memorial. Panel: 93. Son of Frank and Ivy Lilian Florence Smith, of Hythe, Kent, England.
P/O. Douglas Leonard Hemming. Runnymede Memorial. Panel: 70. Son of Benjamin Herbert and Daisy Lilian Hemming, of Wallington, Surrey, England.
Sgt. Philip Charles Harrison. The Hague (Westduin) General Cemetery. Allied Plot. Row 2. Grave 37. Son of Charles and Hilda R. Harrison, of Northenden, Lancashire, England.
Fl/Sgt. Donald Lloyd Morrow. Runnymede Memorial. Panel: 105. Son of Ernest A. and Amelia Morrow, of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Fl/Sgt. Peter Worthington Samuel Varley. Runnymede Memorial. Panel: 76. Son of Samuel Cyril and Dorothy Ellen Varley, of Harleston, Norfolk, England.
Researched for Carol Berbridge, niece of P/O. Hemming and all the relatives of the crew. With thanks to Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vol's. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vol's. 1 and 2', Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries’.