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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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57 Squadron Crest
21/22.07.1942 57 Squadron Wellington III X3584 Sgt Wakefield

Mission: Duisburg

Date: 21st/22nd July 1942 (Tuesday/Wednesday)

Unit No: 57 Squadron

Type: Wellington III

Serial: X3584

Code: DX:?

Base: RAF Feltwell, Norfolk, England

Location: Not known, Lost without trace.

Pilot: Sgt. Thomas Wakefield 951404 RAFVR Age 23. Missing

Obs: Sgt. Thomas Abel Jones 932085 RAFVR Age 21. Missing

WOp/Air Gnr: Sgt. John Willoughby Morgan 929383 RAFVR. Age 20. Missing

WOp/Air Gnr: Sgt. Hamish Ross 1310083 RAFVR Age 21. Missing

Air Gnr (Rear): Sgt. John Alfred Wright 1311829 RAFVR Age 25. Missing

REASON FOR LOSS:

Taking off from RAF Feltwell, Norfolk, England at 00:10 hrs on Wednesday 22nd July - joining 290 other aircraft to bomb the city of Duisburg.

Duisburg 1945 bomb damage

Duisburg being the main industry area for German steel, Iron and chemicals. Reported to have been the most heavily bombed city during WW2 by the allies. This raid was reported as causing 94 buildings destroyed with 256 seriously damaged. 49 people were killed on the ground.

RAF Feltwell Norfolk

The raid took part on a moonless night to prevent the huge losses suffered by Bomber Command to Luftwaffe fighters. Despite this twelve aircraft were lost together with 45 aircrew killed with a further 17 taken PoW.

No night fighter claims made for this aircraft which was lost without trace. It is thought probable that it was brought down by heavy flak concentrations over the city.

Runnymede Memorial

Burial details:

Sgt. Thomas Wakefield. Commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial. Panel 95. Born in late 1918. Son of John and Edith (née Wall) Wakefield, of Smallbridge, Lancashire, England.

Before joining the RAF on 14th February, 1942, Thomas was a clerk working for E.Taylor & Co Ltd, Littleborough and was the organist of St Edmunds Church, Spotland.

Sgt. Wakefield is also remembered on St Andrew’s War Memorial.

Sgt. Thomas Abel Jones. Commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial. Panel 87. Son of J. Elias Jones and Ann Jones.

Sgt. John Willoughby Morgan. Commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial. Panel 90. Son of Ernest George and Elsie Marion Morgan, of Norbury, Surrey, England.

Sgt. Hamish Ross. Commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial. Panel 92. Son of Lawrence and Hannah Ross; husband of Annie Scott Ross, of Sunbury-on-Thames, Middlesex, England.

Sgt. John Alfred Wright. Commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial. Panel 97. Son of Mr. and Mrs. A. Wright; husband of R. T. Wright, of Bournemouth, Hampshire, England.

Above: Sgt. Wright's medals, left to right 1939-45 Star; Air Crew Europe Star; War Medal 1939-45

His medals were sent to his widow, Mrs. R. T. Wright, of Bournemouth. Crescent, Winton, Bournemouth.

Researched for Michael Wright, cousin of Sgt. John Alfred Wright and dedicated to all relatives of this crew. Other sources listed below. Thanks to Bernard Pratt for the additional NoK details for Sgt. Wakefield. (Aug 2022)

RS 20.08.2022 - Update to NoK details for Sgt. Wakefield 

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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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