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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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12 Squadron Crest
30/31st May 1942 No. 12 Squadron Wellington II Z8376 F/O. Waddell

Operation: Köln (Cologne)

Date: 30/31st May 1942 (Saturday/Sunday)

Unit: No. 12 Squadron. 1 Group (motto: 'Leads the Field')

Type: Wellington II

Serial: Z8376

Code: PH-?

Base: RAF Binbrook. Lincolnshire

Location: Oberlohberg, Dinslaken, Germany

Pilot: F/O. Alan Albert Waddell AUS/408133 RAAF Age 24. Killed

Pilot 2: Fl/Sgt. Robert George Kenyon Holden AUS/403092 RAAF Age 30. Killed

Obs: Fl/Sgt. Arnold Adolf Seifert R/80202 RCAF Age 23. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Herbert Bottomley 1360092 RAFVR Age 30. Killed

Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Edward Savage Masson 817211 RAF (A) Age ? Killed

REASON FOR LOSS:

Taking off from RAF Binbrook in Lincolnshire at 23.40 hrs to bomb Cologne (Köln) on a thousand bomber raid made up of 602 Wellingtons, 131 Halifaxes, 88 Stirlings, 79 Hamdens, 73 Lancasters, 43 Manchesters and 28 Mosquitoes. (1,047 aircraft.)

German reports on state of damage:

2,500 separate fires started - with 1,700 of these classed as 'Large' by the local fire service.

3,350 buildings totally destroyed, 2,090 seriously damaged, 7,420 described as slightly damaged.

36 Companies ceased production totally with 70 losing up to 80%, 222 up to 50% loss of production.

Casualties on the ground amounted to about 486 killed (411 of these civilians). 5,027 listed as injured with a massive 45,132 people bombed out of their homes. It is estimated that a further 150,000 of the population managed to leave prior to the raid.

868 aircraft are said to have bombed the main target others bombing other targets. Huge losses were incurred on this raid with 43 aircraft lost which was classed as acceptable at the time!

Coned by 11 and 13/III Flak Regiment 26 and I./Res Flakscheinw.Abt. Hit by I.-3./Res. Flak Abt. 646 and I.-3./Res. Flak Abt. 447 with the Wellington coming down at Oberlohberg, Dinslaken, Germany.

12 Squadron lost 4 aircraft on this operation, the others:

Wellington II Z8643 Flown by 20 year old, F/O. William Bruce Shearer AUS/404994 RAAF. Killed with the remaining 4 crew taken PoW. Further details can be read here.

Wellington II W3561 Flown by 21 year old, Fl/Lt. Anthony Bremner Payne DFC 84921 RAF. Killed with all 5 other crew.

Wellington II Z8598 Flown by 22 year old, Sgt. George Hamilton Everatt 655036 RAF. Killed with all other 4 crew.

Trainees from New South Wales provided an overwhelming majority when a class composed of Australians graduated as RAAF Leading Aircraftmen (LAC) from the No. 2 Service Flying Training School of the Royal Canadian Air Force at Uplands, Ottawa. (courtesy AWM)

L-R - Front row: 403092 LAC Robert George Kenyan Holden (lost on operations over Germany on 31 May 1942), 403496 LAC George James Meldrum, 403461 LAC Russell Vincent Baxter, 402822 LAC Frederick George Potter (lost on operations over the Middle East on 1 September 1942), 403345 LAC Peter Booth Jones, LAC R. Armstrong, 403149 LAC Frederick Joseph Ryan (lost on operations over the Middle East on 16 June 1942), 403366 LAC John Dudley Newick (lost on operations over the Middle East on 27 July 1942).
Back row: 403143 LAC Roger Bede Murphy (killed in an accident in the United Kingdom on 3 January 1942), 403159 LAC Allenby Leslie Baker (killed in an accident in the United Kingdom on 4 January 1942), 408133 LAC Alan Albert Waddell (lost on operations over Germany on 31 May 1942), 403355 LAC Rex Joseph Marre (killed in an accident in the United Kingdom on 15 March 1942), 403358 LAC Ian Sutherland Morse, 403437 LAC Jack Irvine Thompson (lost on operations over the Middle East on 15 February 1942), 404924 LAC Lawrence Keith Day (killed in an accident in India on 3 December 1942), 403127 LAC Colin Thompson Doudy, 403431 LAC Finlay Donald Mcleod (lost on operations over the Netherlands on 26 March 1942), 403299 LAC Colin Albert Alt.

Burial details:

Initially buried in Dusseldorf.

F/O. Alan Albert Waddell. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. Grave 9.A.18. Born on the 15th November 1917 at Eastwood, NSW, the son of Albert William Augustus and Helen Waddell, of 3 Borambola Flats, Manly, New South Wales, Australia. Worked in Sales Promotion prior to service. Joined the squadron from 20 Operational Training Unit on the 23rd March 1942. Grave inscription: 'Loved Son Of Mr. And Mrs. Waddell, Dear Brother Of Hazel. At Rest'.

Fl/Sgt. Robert George Kenyon Holden. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. Grave 9.A.16. Born on the 27th March 1912 at Mt. Russell, NSW, the son of George Kenyon Holden and Annette Phoebe Holden, of Inverell, New South Wales, Australia. Grave inscription: 'Loved Son Of Mr. And Mrs. Waddell, Dear Brother Of Hazel. At Rest'.

Fl/Sgt. Arnold Adolf Seifert. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. Grave 9.A.17. Son of Adolph and Lydia Wilhelmina Seifert (nee Shultz) , of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada; husband of Patricia Mary Seifert, of Simcoe Street, Winnipeg, Canada. Grave inscription: 'Thy Will Be Done'. His younger brother 21 year old, F/O. Harold Oskar Seifert J/16852 RCAF was also to lose his life on the 08th August 1943 a pilot with 5 Squadron (RCAF) serving in India. Seifert Island in Baldock Lake was named after him in 1995. Seifert Lake, north west of Brereton Lake was named after his brother in 1973.

Sgt. Herbert Bottomley. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. Grave 9.B.1. Son of Mr. and Mrs. J. T. Bottomley, of Tyersal, Bradford, Yorkshire, England.

Fl/Sgt. Edward Savage Masson. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. Grave 9.A.15. Son of William and Williamina H. Masson, of Aberdeen, Scotland. Grave inscription: 'Too Dearly Loved To Be Forgotten'.

Researched for Elisa Davison (relative of the pilot) and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to the National Archives of Australia and to other sources as quoted below:

KTY 27.10.2019

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', Archiwum - Polish Air Force Archive (on this site), 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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I'll be telling my 94 year old Mum (his cousin). She has told me that when the war ended, Alan's parents travelled the world and visited the families of the other members of his crew. She kept in touch with them all until she died.

At the going down of the sun, and in the morning we will remember them. - Laurence Binyon
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