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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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49 Squadron crest
05/06.03.1943 49 Squadron Lancaster III ED431 EA-M Sgt. Thom

Mission: Essen

Date: 05/06th March 1943 (Friday/Saturday)

Unit: No. 49 Squadron

Type: Lancaster III

Serial: ED431

Code: EA-M

Base: RAF Fiskerton, Lincolnshire.

Location: Off Texel, North Holland

Pilot: Sgt. James Myles Thom DFM. 1368871 RAFVR Age 29. Killed

Fl/Eng: Sgt. David Gow Fairly 632330 RAF Age 21. Killed

Nav: Fl/Sgt. John Henry Prior DFM. 1375981 RAFVR Age ? Killed

Air/Bmr: W/O. II Alexander Manson Horne DFM. R/76770 RCAF Age 33. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Kenneth Bolton 989205 RAFVR Age ? Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Douglas Stuart Bratt 1546821 RAFVR Age ? Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Frank Harry Liddon Vines 1316193 RAFVR Age 21. Killed

REASON FOR LOSS:

Took off at 19:20 hrs. from RAF Fiskerton, Lincolnshire to attack the Krupps works in Essen. 442 aircraft took part (157 Lancasters, 131 Wellingtons. 94 Halifaxes, 52 Stirlings, 8 Mosquitoes) Of this, 56 aircraft had to return because of technical difficulties a further 14 aircraft were lost.

The damage reported showed that 160 acres of destruction with 53 buildings within the Krupps works hit. A local report states that 3,018 houses were destroyed and a further 2,166 seriously damaged. Reports of deaths on the ground range between 457 and 482 killed, 10 of these fireman. Aircrew losses amounted to 75 killed, 18 made PoW 3 more injured and i crew member evaded capture.

Lancaster ED431 was claimed to have been shot down by Lt. Rolf Bussmann 11./NJG1 over the North sea 15 km west of Texel, Northern Holland at a height of 500 mtrs. at 22:48 hrs. However, the kill was also claimed by Lt. Robert Denzel 12./NJG1 20 km west of Texel at a height of 3,500 mtrs at 22:02 hrs.

Lt. Rolf Bussmann Survived the war with 21 kills whilst Lt. Robert Denzel (7-9 kills) was killed on the 25/26th May 1943 during a combat with 141 Squadron Beaufighter V8744 flown by F/O. H.C. Kelsey and Sgt. E.M. Smith.

W/O. II Alexander M. Horne DFM. and Memorial at renamed 'Horne Lake' at Alberta, Canada. (courtesy Rob Belinski and Judy Labossiére)

Sgt. Frank Harry Liddon Vines (courtesy of his nephew Garth Bedwell)

(With thanks to: Airman's Memorial Cairns Committee, Royal Canadian Legion, McGrane Branch No 28, Lac La Biche, Alberta and also to Geographical Names Board of Canada)We are working very closely with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Manitoba geographical names project and the Saskatchewan Tourism Parks, culture and sports department to show with the aid of Google maps where many of the WW2 Aviators are being remembered. If you are also able to assist by sending other information please "Contact Us".

Group of trainees on what we think is the air-gunners course. Anyone recognise anyone - please let us know. Sgt Vines is front row, 2nd from the left. (Names on rear of photo: courtesy of his nephew Garth Bedwell)

Burial details:

Sgt. James Myles Thom DFM. Runnymede War Memorial. Panel 167. Son of Robert Nichol Thom, and of Catherine Cook Thom, of St. Andrews, Fife, Scotland.

Sgt. David Gow Fairlie. Runnymede War Memorial. Panel 149. Son of John Fairlie and of Margaret Fairlie (nee Gow), of Stenhousemuir, Stirlingshire, Scotland.

Fl/Sgt. John Henry Prior DFM. Runnymede War Memorial. Panel 138. No further details as yet available.

W/O. II Alexander Manson Horne DFM. Runnymede War Memorial. Panel 138. Further information: Alexander Manson Horne aka Sandy, the youngest of 8 children was born on August 13, 1909 in the in the Kingsley District, Manitoba to James Alfred and Isabelle (Scharf) Horne. In 1912 the family moved from Manitoba to Medicine Hat, Alberta. Alexander, age 31 signed up with the RCAF on November 22, 1940. He was 5 feet 7½ inches tall and weighed 178 lbs. He had 20/20 vision. He had a dark complexion, Brown eyes and brown hair. He was a clerk with the Alberta Government Liquour Commission from June 1927 to June of 1940. He enjoyed sports such as; skiing, tennis, swimming, softball, table tennis and skating. When he signed up his parents were next of kin living at 1169 Queen Street, Medicine Hat, Alberta. His mother died on June 23, 1941. On August 13, 1941 he married Ethel Veronica McGillis in Edmonton, Alberta. They lived at 11902-94th Street, Edmonton, Alberta and Ethel was his next of kin.

Note added by Judy Labossiére:

“The family story is that before he left for overseas he visited with family in Winnipeg and Stonewall, Manitoba. His half brother Sydney McIntyre lived in Stonewall. His niece Marjorie and her husband Howard Andrews lived in Winnipeg.
Another niece Merle was inspired by her uncle to join the RCAF Women’s Division. She remembered: “Uncle Sandy was sent overseas but before he left he visited the McIntyre Farm to say good-bye. Sandy was a handsome personable airman who came to see us before he left for overseas and we were thrilled. I guess I would be 16 or 17. He hugged us tight and kissed us lovingly. We could feel the warmth and caring for weeks. That is why I joined the RCAF Women’s Division.”

Fl/Sgt. Kenneth Bolton. Runnymede War Memorial. Panel 135. No further details as yet available.

Sgt. Douglas Stuart Bratt. Runnymede War Memorial. Panel 143. No further details as yet available.

Sgt. Frank Harry Liddon Vines. Runnymede War Memorial. Panel 168. Son of F. M. Liddon Vines, and of Marie S. Vines, of Haywards Heath, Sussex, England.

Researched for relatives of the crew. With added new information sent in by Rob Belinski - we hope to be able to expand on this. Thanks also to the nephew of Sgt Vines, Garth Bedwell, for his photograph. Also thanks to Judy Labossiére for further details on W/O. Horne - September 2016.

KTY - 07.09.2016 Further information added

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, Michel Beckers, Major Fred Paradie (RCAF) and MWO François Dutil (RCAF) - Paradie Archive (on this site), Jean Schadskaje, Major Jack O'Connor USAF (Retd.), 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', Franek Grabowski, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of CWGC, UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, New Zealand National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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