22/23.04.1944 No. 419 Squadron Halifax IIHX189 VR-J F/O. Charles A. Thomas
Date: 22/23rd April 1944
Unit: No. 419 Squadron
Type: Halifax II
Base: RAF Middleton St. George
Location: Couvron-et-Aumencourt, France
Pilot: F/O. ‘Chuck’ Charles A. Thomas T-223104 USAAF Evaded capture
Fl/Eng: Sgt. John L. Thompson 1593760 RAFVR PoW No: 3679 Camp: Stalag Kopernikus
Nav: Fl/Sgt. P.Robert Lindsay R/161450 RCAF Evaded capture
Air/Bmr: P/O. John A. Neal J/25125 RCAF Evaded capture
W/Op/Air/Gnr: WO.1. Patrick J. Murphy R/109696 RCAF PoW No: 3638 Camp: Stalag Luft Heydekrug
Air/Gnr: Sgt. Winfred Arnold Green R/200862 RAFVR Evaded capture
Air/Gnr: Sgt. Victor Alfred Knox J/92327 RCAF Age 21. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off at 20:36 hrs from RAF Middleton St. George, to bomb the railway yards at Laon. A bomber stream made up from 181 aircraft including 69 Halifaxes, 52 Lancasters, 48 Stirlings and 12 Mosquitoes. The raid caused massive destruction after the attack had been made in 2 waves.
A total of 9 aircraft were lost on this operation and 46 crewman were killed with a further 3 made PoW, 15 managed to evade capture and return to England.
Attacked and shot down by Oblt. Dietrich Schmidt of 8./NJG1 at 23:33 hrs, his 17th abschüsse of the war from which he survived having a total of 38 confirmed claims. Imprisoned by the British at the end of war - released August 1945. Attended Heidelberg University obtaining a doctorate in Chemistry - retired in 1984. (See Kracker Luftwaffe Archive on this site for further information)
Right: Oblt. Dietrich Schmidt of 8./NJG1
‘The Lucky Pigeon”. Written by John Neal - survivor of HX189. ISBN 13: 9781681621807. Published by Turner, United States, 1997 - A print on demand publication - 72 pages.
Sgt. Victor Alfred Knox. Couvron-et-Aumencourt Communal Cemetery. Row B. Grave 1. Son of James and Letitia Knox, of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Grave inscription reads: “On Earth He Nobly Did His Best, Grant Him Jesus, Heavenly Rest”.
For further details our thanks to the sources shown below.