21/22.06.1944 No. 101 Squadron Lancaster ME613 SR-M2 F/O. Spencer W. Cook
Date: 21/22nd June 1944 (Wednesday/Thursday)
Unit: No. 101 Squadron
Type: Lancaster I
Base: RAF Ludford Magna
Location: Drunen, Holland
Pilot: F/O. Spencer Waddy Cook J/25395 RCAF Age 34. Killed
Fl/Eng: Sgt. A.C. Peyton 1866687 RAFVR PoW No: 52470 Camp: Stalag Luft Wetzlar (DL)
Nav: Sgt. John Stevens Francis 1580571 RAFVR Age 20. Kiled (1)
Air/Bmr: Fl/Lt. W. E. Lockwood 122085 RAFVR PoW No: 4706 Camp: Stalag Luft Barth Vogelsang (L1)
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Albert Ernest Holmes 1581012 RAFVR Age 20. Killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr(Specialist): Sgt. Donald Jagger 2205762 RAFVR Age 19. Killed
Air/Gnr: Sgt. J.M. Starr RCAF PoW No: 53425 Camp: Stalag Luft Bankau-Kreuzburg (Klucsbork, Poland) (L7)
Air/Gnr: Sgt. M.G. Gillespie J/21395 RCAF PoW No: 6297 Camp: Stalag Luft Sagan and Belaria (L3)
REASON FOR LOSS:
Lancaster ME613 took off from RAF Ludford Magna at 23:14 hrs. on an operation to bomb the oil refinery works at Wesseling along with 132 other Lancasters and 6 Mosquitoes.
Although the weather forecast was clear the bomber stream encountered very low cloud over the target area.
Bombing was thought not to have been successful with only slight damage to the plant according to the post-raid reconnaissance. However it later transpired from German Secret reports that the bombing did in fact cause a 40% loss of production. 15 Germans, 5 foreign workers and a pow were killed in the surrounding area.
The allies lost a huge amount of aircraft with 38 Lancasters not returning. The loss of life from crew members totalled 207 killed. 42 being made PoW and 8 evading capture.
ME613 was shot down by Uffz. Koppelmayer (2) of 6./NJG1 at 02:09 hrs. some 14 km. west of Hertogenbosch, eventually crashing at Drunen, Holland.
(1) Sgt. Francis was a former pupil of Moseley Grammar school
(Now secondary/grammar school. We are working very closely with the school's historians to remember all the ex pupils who died whilst serving with the RAF and recorded on the school memorial.
(2) Uffz. Koppelmayer - this was his first of two confirmed victories - he survived the war.
F/O. Spencer Waddy Cook. Bergen-Op-Zoom Canadian War Cemetery. Grave 12.F.10. Son of Dr. Maximilian M. Cook, and Minnie W. Cook, of Santa Fe, Tennessee, USA.
Sgt. John Stevens Francis. Jonkerbos War Cemetery Grave 12.J.8. Son of William S. and Winifred M. Francis, of Hall Green, Birmingham, England.
Sgt. Albert Ernest Holmes. Jonkerbos War Cemetery Grave 12.J.7. Son of Joseph and Hilda May Holmes, of Wednesbury, Staffordshire, England.
Sgt. Donald Jagger. Jonkerbos War Cemetery Grave 12.J.9. Son of Frederick William Jagger, and of Mary Jagger, of Tyldesley, Lancashire, England.
Researched for relatives of the crew. With thanks to the following: Keith Townsend - historian of Moseley Secondary/Grammar school memorial records.