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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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115 Squadron crest
10/11.04.1943 No. 115 Squadron Lancaster BII DS604 KO-B Sgt. Arthur B. Thomas

Operation: Frankfurt, Germany

Date:10/11th April 1943

Unit: No. 115 Squadron

Type: Lancaster BII

Serial: DS604

Code: KO-B

Base: RAF East Wretham, Thetford, Norfolk

Location: Le Thour, Ardennes, France

Pilot: Sgt. Arthur Brinley Thomas 1312656 RAFVR Age ? Killed

Fl/Eng: Sgt. Milford Alexander Lambert R/70699 RCAF Age 31. Killed

Nav: Sgt. Valentine Robertson Wilson 1389001 RAFVR Age 28. Killed

Air/Bmr: Sgt. Douglas Seymour Andrew 1335131 RAFVR Age 21. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: W/O. Campbell Murray Smith R/84121 RCAF Age 22. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Edward Victor Hudson 1393093 RAFVR Age 21. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Leonard Charles Fitt 1332433 RAFVR. Age 23. Killed


A relative of the rear air gunner, Sgt. Leonard Fitt has contacted us and is very keen to obtain a photo of him, also perhaps the crew. A memorial service was held for the crew in 2014 - we would like to show our appreciation for the hospitality shown by the mayor and people of Le Thour for the very kind assistance offered to relatives and others who attended.

July 2016 - another relative contacted us, that of Sgt. Edward Hudson - he would also appreciate any photographs of the crew.


REASON FOR LOSS:

Took off from East Wretham, Thetford, Norfolk at 00.50hrs to join 502 aircraft to attack Frankfurt.

The raid was a complete disaster - very low cloud base and the only damage done was to a paper store and some neighbouring houses. The allies however suffered badly with 21 aircraft lost.

DS604 with a total of only 49 hours service, had been claimed to have been shot down by Oblt. Kurt Fladrich 1./NJG1 - 1 km North of Le Thour, Ardennes, France at 02.28hrs. Kurt Fladrich became an ace with 15 kills and survived the war.

Lancaster II DS604 during service with 61 Squadron (courtesy IWM)

A memorial service held in 2014 with many visiting dignitories - shown here is the Lady Mayor, on her left -Tony Fitt - on her right the local researcher historian who helped make the memorial happen. (courtesy Tony Fitt)

Memorial to Lancaster DS604 at Le Thour, France (courtesy Pierre Pécastaingts, see below)


(1) Lambert Bay in Saskatchewan is named after Sgt. Lambert



Grave photos kindly sent to us by Tony Fitt in November 2014

Burial Details:

Sgt. Arthur Brinley Thomas. Le Thour Communal Cemetery. Grave 8. N.o.K details currently not available - are you able to assist completion of these and any other information?

Sgt. Milford Alexander Lambert. Le Thour Communal Cemetery. Grave 1. Son of Robert and Sarah A. Lambert, of Welwyn, Saskatchewan, Canada.

Sgt. Valentine Robertson Wilson. Le Thour Communal Cemetery. Grave Joint 4-5. Son of Valentine and Nellie; stepson of Christine of Portadown, Co. Armagh, Northern Ireland.

Sgt. Douglas Seymour Andrew. Le Thour Communal Cemetery. Grave Joint 4-5. Son of Seymour Amos and Mildred Andrew, of Staines, Middlesex, England.

W/O. Campbell Murray Smith. Le Thour Communal Cemetery. Grave 2. Son of John and Isabel Smith. of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

Sgt. Edward Victor Hudson. Le Thour Communal Cemetery. Grave 6. Son of Cecil Victor and Edith Hudson, of Westminster, London, England.

Sgt. Leonard Charles Fitt. Le Thour Communal Cemetery. Grave 3. Son of Mrs. Eva Fitt of Holme Hale, Norfolk, England.

Page dedicated to Tony Fitt and all relatives of the crew. With thanks to Pierre Pécastaingts for memorial photos, Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vol's. 1 and 2', Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vol's. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', Commonwealth War Graves Commission. With thanks to Ivor Duke (relative of Sgt. Hudson) who contacted us in July 2016.

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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