14/15.01.1944 No. 97 Squadron Lancaster III ND421 OF-S Fl/Lt. Kenneth M. Steven DFC
Date: 14th/15th January 1944
Unit: No. 97 Squadron
Type: Lancaster III
Base: RAF Bourn, Cambridgeshire
Location: Fonteinsnol, Texel Island, Netherlands
Pilot: Fl/Lt. Kenneth Munro (Steve) Steven DFC 125906 RAFVR Age 30. Killed
Flt/Eng: Fl/Sgt. Albert C (Ace) East RAFVR PoW No: 270026 Camp: Stalag Mühlberg-Elbe (4b)
Nav: Fl/Sgt. Samuel Brown (Paddy) Stevenson DFM 1480507 RAFVR Age 22. Killed
Air/Bmr: P/O. Ridley R. Brown RAFVR PoW No: 3298 Camp: Stalag Luft Sagan and Belaria (L3)
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. William Charles (Bill) Gadsby 1445080 RAFVR Age 22. Killed. (1)
Air/Gnr: W/O. Clifford John (Jack) Skinner 912689 RAFVR Age 22. Killed
Air/Gnr: Sgt. Leslie Norman John Laver 1808343 RAFVR Age 20. Killed
Reason for Loss.
Took off at 16.46 hrs from RAF Bourn. On the return from the target, S Sugar was either hit by flack or was the subject of a night fighter attack.
Different versions of the incident are inconclusive. Even the two survivors were unable to confirm the real reason for the crash.
Webmasters note: It has been discovered that the Lancaster was in fact shot down at 20.33 hrs by Lt. Kürt Matzak (2) of 12./NJG1.
Above Fl/Sgt. William Charles (Bill) Gadsby and right, with his wife, Marjorie (courtesy Anthony Walton)
A monument to S Sugar has been placed in the pine forests at Fonteinsnol where the aircraft came down.
The pine forest is roughly 100 years old, even in 2010 it was possible to see the track the plane took as younger trees have been planted, which of course are lower than those of the original forest.
(1) Bill Gadsy’s age is incorrectly shown as 27 in most documentation and even on his grave in the War Cemetery on Texel.
(2) This was the 2nd abschüsse for Kürt Matzak. He survived the war after becoming an ace with 19 confirmed abschüsse.
He went on to fly for Lufthansa - no further details.
Fl/Lt. Kenneth Munro (Steve) Steven DFC. Texel (Den Burg) Cemetery Plot K, Row 6 Grave 143. Son of Arthur and Wilhelmina Davina Steven, of Ilford, Essex, husband of Dorothy Margaret Steven, of Ilford, Essex, England.
Fl/Sgt. Samuel Brown (Paddy) Stevenson. DFM. Texel (Den Burg) Cemetery. Plot K, Row 6 Grave 144. Son of S.B. and Helen I. Stevenson, of Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Left: Grave of Fl/Sgt. Gadsby - showing incorrect age. (courtesy Anthony Walton)
Fl/Sgt. William Charles (Bill) Gadsby. Texel (Den Burg) Cemetery. Plot K, Row 7 Joint Grave 146-147. Son of Mr. William Henry Gadsby and Mrs Eliabeth Victoria (née Potter) Gadsby, husband of Marjorie Vivien Gadsby, of Greenwich, London, England.
W/O. Clifford John (Jack) Skinner. Texel (Den Burg) Cemetery. Plot K, Row 7 Joint Grave 146-147. Son of John Robert and Lilian Skinner, husband of Edith Mary Jean Skinner, of Worsborough Dale, Yorkshire, England.
Sgt. Leslie Norman John Laver. Texel (Den Burg) Cemetery. Plot K, Row 7 Grave 145. Son of William Henry Laver, and of Jenny Laver, of Sydenham, London, England.
Researched by Anthony Walton for Aircrew Remembered on behalf of his wife's father, Fl/Sgt. William Charles (Bill) Gadsby and dedicated to all the crew and relatives.
For further details our thanks to the following, Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vol's. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', 'Kracker Luftwaffe Archives'. Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries (Updated 2014 version), Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
Above: Details of the crash at the Texel War Museum.