07/08.10.1943 426 (Thunderbird) Squadron, RCAF Lancaster II DS689 OW:S Plt Off. Malcolm B. Summers
Date: 7th/8th October 1943 (Thursday/Friday)
Unit No: 426 (Thunderbird) Squadron, RCAF
Type: Lancaster II
Base: RAF Linton-On-Ouse, Yorkshire
Location: Rachecourt-sur-Blaise, France
Pilot: Plt Off. Malcolm Barnes Summers J18532 RCAF Age 20. KiA (1)
Pilot 2: Flt Sgt. Francis John Neal R123716 RCAF Age 21. KiA
Flt Eng: Sgt. Cyril Jack Bettsworth 1604632 RAFVR Age 19. Evader
Nav: Fg Off. John Joseph Beaton J22490 RCAF Age? Evader
Bomb Aimer: Flt Sgt. James Wilde R66444 RCAF Age? KiA
WOp/Air Gnr: Plt Off. Glyndwr Davies 158798 RAFVR Age 27. KiA
Air Gnr (Mid Upp): Sgt. George Edward Aldous 1527318 RAFVR Age 22. KiA
Air Gnr (Rear): Plt Off. Peter Edward Newland 53012 RAF Age 22. KiA.
Above left to right: Plt Off. Summers from his service record, Flt Sgt Neal, Plt Off. Newland (courtesy Angela Olah )
REASON FOR LOSS:
Took off at 20.32 hrs. RAF Linton-On-Ouse, Yorkshire joining 323 Lancasters on a deep penetration into Germany to bomb Stuttgart. This operation being the first to start using the ABC jamming system and to good effect, with only a small number of aircraft lost on this raid.
ABC = Airborne Cigar - The only signs of special equipment were two 7 - foot aerials on top of the Lancaster fuselage, another below the bomb-aimer’s window and a shorter receiver at the top-rear of the fuselage. Because of the weight of the radio equipment and extra crew member the aircraft had a reduced bomb load of 1000 lbs.
426 (Thunderbird) Squadron Lancaster DS689 OW:S (courtesy Derek Durnbrell)
Above: Lancaster II DS689 (Courtesy of James Manning)
Above: Lancaster II DS689 with a crew (not identified to date) and ground crew (Courtesy of James Manning)
The city was cloud covered and during the latter part of the operation severe fog set in. Reports from Stuttgart state that many bombs fell over a scattered area with 344 mainly dwellings houses were destroyed a further 4,586 were damaged. 104 people were killed including 36 who were drowned when a water main burst and flooded the under ground shelter they were in.
DS689 was claimed by Oblt. Ferdinand Christner, his 2nd of two Abschuss this night, from 5.NJG 4 west of Rachecourt at 3.800 m at 23.24 hrs (Nachtjagd Combat Archive (23 September - 31 December) 1943 Part 3 - Theo Boiten)
This was the last claim for Oblt. Ferdinland Christiner. On the 5/6th July 1944 he was shot down and killed North West of Beauvais, France.
(1) Plt Off. Summers, was part of a 427 (Lion) Squadron, RCAF Wellington crew who, after returning from an operation to St. Nazaire on March 3rd 1943, whilst over Southern Ireland forced to abandon their Wellington X3563 ZL:T. All bailed out and for a short period interned.
Plt Off. Malcolm Barnes Summers. Rachecourt-sur-Blaise, France Cemetery. Grave 4. Born on the 20th August 1923 in Vancouver, British Columbia. Son of Waldo Devere Barnes and Ethel Isobel (née Barnes) Summers of North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Flt Sgt. Francis John Neal. Rachecourt-sur-Blaise, France Cemetery. Grave 2. Son of William Merton Neal and Frances Jean Scott Neal, of St. Vital, Manitoba, Canada.
Neale Lake East of McPherson Lake was renamed after Flt Sgt. Francis John Neal in 1994.
Plt Off. James Wilde. Rachecourt-sur-Blaise, France Cemetery. Grave 1. From Montreal, Quebec, Canada. No further information available as yet. Batchelor Arts degree
Flt Sgt. James Wilde was posthumously commissioned and promoted to J18537 Plt Off.
Plt Off. Glyndwr Davies. Rachecourt-sur-Blaise, France Cemetery. Grave 3. Husband of Vera Mary Davies, of Bridgend Glamorgan, Wales.
Sgt. George Edward Aldous. Rachecourt-sur-Blaise, France Cemetery. Grave 6. Son of William and Ann Aldous, of Salford, Lancashire, England.
Plt Off. Peter Edward Newland. Rachecourt-sur-Blaise, France Cemetery. Grave 5. Son of George Douglas and Annie Elizabeth Newland, husband of Joyce Newland, of Loddon Norfolk, England. Joyce was born on 14th May 1920 - died on the 29th December 2001 - they married just 6 weeks prior to his loss.
Researched by Kelvin Youngs (Webmaster) and dedicated to relatives of the crew with thanks toAngela Olah, great niece of Plt Off. Newline. Thanks also to Derek Durnbrell for tremendous aircraft photograph. Thanks to James Manning for the two excellent photographs of the aircraft. (Oct 2022).
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