Date: 21st/22nd July 1942 (Tuesday/Wednesday)
Unit No: 57 Squadron
Type: Wellington III
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.
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)