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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
03/04.07.1943 No. 408 Squadron Halifax II JB796 EQ-C Fl/Sgt. Jeffrey C. Taylor

Operation: Koln

Date: 3/4th July 1943 (Saturday/Sunday)

Unit: No. 408 Squadron RCAF

Type: Halifax II

Serial: JB796

Code: EQ-C

Base: RAF Leeming, Yorkshire

Location: Bonneleau, France

Pilot: Fl/Sgt. Jeffrey Charles May Taylor 156318 RAFVR Age 22. Killed

Fl/Eng: Sgt. Arthur Raymond Warnick R/89237 RCAF Age 20. Killed

Nav: F/O. Arthur Baker Foster J/22793 RAFVR Age 21. Killed

Air/Bmr: Sgt. Reginald McLeod Hicks R/82956 RCAF Age 23. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Thomas Riley 1032154 RAFVR Age 22. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Paul Emile Cote RCAF PoW No: 579 Camp: Stalag Luft L3 - Sagan and Belaria (1)

Air/Gnr: Sgt. (Posth. P/O) Albert Edward Kelly J/18189 RCAF Age 22. Killed

REASON FOR LOSS:

Taking off from RAF Leeming at 23.09 hrs. for an operation to Cologne, joining 652 aircraft to bomb the part of the city based on the east bank of the Rhine as a great deal of industry was situated there. 

The raid was considered a success with 20 industrial premises and 2,200 houses were completely destroyed with a loss of life on the ground placed at nearly 600 people killed, a further 1,000 injured and a massive 72,000 people bombed out of their homes.

Left: Sgt. Thomas Riley (courtesy Edith Glynn, sister and Linda Alexander, niece) 

The allies suffered the loss of 30 aircraft - the majority being claimed by the night fighters from the Jagdgeschwader 300 using the "wild boar" technique and consequently all the claims were shared with the flak units based in the city.

This technique (new to the allies) were attacks made by (in this raid) single engine fighters and the German pilots used searchlights, target indicators and the glow of fires from the ground and the idea being that the local flak units limited the firing at a certain height allowing the Luftwaffe to attack the bombers over this height.

408 (Goose) Squadron lost another aircraft this night. Halifax JB913 EQ-F flown by Sgt. Dungey RCAF, shot down at Tessenderlo, Belgium. All the crew survived with 5 being made pow and two evading capture. 

Halifax JB796 was the first abschüss for Uffz. Dickhaus (2) of 9./NJG4 shooting down the Halifax at 03.08 hrs, the aircraft crashing at Bonneleau, France.


(1) Sgt. Paul Emile Cote from Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

(2) Uffz. Dickhaus, also listed as Diehaus in some publications, survived the war with this, his only claim. No further details as to what happened to him.

     

Poix-de-la-Somme Churchyard, France (courtesy CWGC)

Burial details:

Fl/Sgt. Jeffrey Charles May Taylor. Poix-de-la-Somme Churchyard, France. Row E. Grave 7. Son of Charles Clement May and Ethel Taylor of Highgate, Middlesex, England.

Sgt. Arthur Raymond Warnick. Poix-de-la-Somme Churchyard, France. Row E. Grave 5. Further information:

Son of William Joseph and Catherine (nee Campbell) Warnick of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Born on the 31st of August 1922, enlisting at Galt, Ontario on 14th February 1941, enjoyed skiing, skating and horseback riding. His brother W/O.1 Eugene Edward Warnick was killed on the 26th July 1942 while serving in 114 Squadron. Piloting a Blenheim IV V6264 RT-X out of RAF West Raynham on an intruder sortie to Leeuwarden, lost without trace. 

F/O. Arthur Baker Foster. Poix-de-la-Somme Churchyard, France. Row E. Grave 9. From Port Hammond British Columbia, Canada. N.o.K details currently not available - are you able to assist completion of these and any other information?

Sgt. Reginald McLeod Hicks. Poix-de-la-Somme Churchyard, France. Row E. Grave 8. Son of Thomas James and Annie Florence Hicks of North Gower, Ontario, Canada.

Sgt. Thomas Riley. Poix-de-la-Somme Churchyard, France. Row E. Grave 4. Further information:

Son of the late Mr. Thomas and Esmeralda Riley of Wallgate, Wigan, Lancashire, England. Thomas was the eldest of nine children and when his father Thomas died before the start of the second world war, he became the main earner of the household working as a cabinet maker known as “Tommy”  by family and friends, he was also engaged to be married. and despite not being obliged to join up, he wanted to fight for his country.

Sgt. (Posth. P/O)  Albert Edward Kelly. Poix-de-la-Somme Churchyard, France. Row E. Grave 6. Son of Roy Jay and Martha Luella (nee Bandle) Kelly (CWGC have her name as Myrtle - we are unable to confirm which is correct)

Researched by Aircrew Remembered, researcher and specialist genealogist Linda Ibrom for relatives of this crew. Photo credits of Sgt. Thomas Riley to Edith Glynn (sister) and Linda Alexander (niece) with thanks for further RCAF information to Les Allison and Harry Hayward - "They Shall Grow Not Old", Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - "Nightfighter War Diaries Vol's 1 and 2" Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - "Bomber Command War Diaries", Commonwealth Graves Commission.

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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