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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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207 Squadron Crest
03/04.06.1942 No. 207 Squadron Lancaster IB R5847 EM-Y W/O. C. Wathey

Operation: Bremen

Date: 03/04th June 1942 (Wednesday/Thursday)

Unit: No. 207 Squadron (5 Group)

Type: Lancaster IB

Serial: R5847

Code: EM-Y

Base: RAF Bottesford, Leicestershire

Location: Zwiggelte, Netherlands

Pilot: W/O. Colin Wathey 564896 RAF Age 27. Killed (1)

Pilot 2: Fl/Sgt. Laurence John Lea 748097 RAFVR Age 26. Killed

Nav: Sgt. Russell Royl Alwyn Jones NZ/404540 RNZAF Age 21. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Grahame Leveson Musitano 1166720 RAFVR Age 20. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Thomas Donald Atkinson 621174 RAFVR Age 22. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Colin James Murray Hall 933625 RAFVR Age 20. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Stewart Gray Kerr 1118929 RAFVR Age ? Killed


A relative of Fl/Sgt. Grahame Musitano is very keen to learn if his name is recorded anywhere on any war memorial - your assistance is appreciated.


REASON FOR LOSS:

Taking off from RAF Bottesford on the Leicestershire - Lincolnshire county border at 23:37hrs. The first raid on the city since October the previous year with 170 aircraft of various types taking part.

The city reported it as a heavy attack with housing severely hit. The main area of the bombing on the U Boat construction yards and the Focke-Wulf factory described as of suffering no important damage. Some 83 people were killed in the city with a further 29 seriously injured and a further 229 others less so.

The allies suffered the loss of 11 aircraft - 8 due to night fighter attacks with the remainder claimed by the flak divisions.

Lancaster R5847 was claimed by the German ace, Major Günther Radusch (2) of Stab II/NJG3 at 01:14 hrs over Zwiggelte - all the crew lost their lives. (Shown right)

(1) Sadly the family were to learn of the loss of his brother just a few months earlier. Listed as missing believed killed on the 12th February 1942. F/O. Herbert Wathey DFM 47586 RAF was flying as an observer on a 144 Squadron Hampden AT175 on Operation Fuller.

(2) Major Günther Radusch survived the war with 66 victories. He died in Nordstrand, Schleswig-Holstein on July 29th 1988 of natural causes age 75.

Burial details:

W/O. Colin Wathey. Westerbork General Cemetery. Plot 33. Collective grave 3-9. Son of Frank and Hilda Wathey and husband of Mary Wathey, of Stockton-on-Tees, County Durham, England. Grave inscription reads: "Lovingly Remembered By Wife Mary And Son Colin. Dear In Memory Still".

Fl/Sgt. Laurence John Lea. Westerbork General Cemetery. Plot 33. Collective grave 3-9. Husband of Dorothy Joan Iris Lea, of Edgbaston, Birmingham, England. Grave inscription reads: "Non Omnis Moriar". (Not all of me will die).

Sgt. Russell Royl Alwyn Jones. Westerbork General Cemetery. Plot 33. Collective grave 3-9. Son of John and Ruby May Jones, of Napier, Hawke's Bay, New Zealand. A total of 304 flying hours logged and on his 13th operational sortie.

Fl/Sgt. Grahame Leveson Musitano. Westerbork General Cemetery. Plot 33. Collective grave 3-9. Son of Major A.E.G. Musitano and Elsie C. Musitano, of Marlborough, Wiltshire, England. Grave inscription reads: "At The Going Down Of The Sun And In The Morning We Will Remember".

Fl/Sgt. Thomas Donald Atkinson. Westerbork General Cemetery. Plot 33. Collective grave 3-9. Son of Thomas and Emmie Atkinson, of Heaton Moor, Stockport, Cheshire, England. Grave inscription reads: "Greater Love Hath No Man Than This, That A Man Lay Down His Life For His Friends".

Sgt. Colin James Murray Hall. Westerbork General Cemetery. Plot 33. Collective grave 3-9. Son of Joseph Sanderson Hall and Hilda May Hall, of King's Lynn, Norfolk, England. Grave inscription reads: "At The Going Down Of The Sun And In The Morning We Will Remember Him".

Sgt. Stewart Gray Kerr. Westerbork General Cemetery. Plot 33. Collective grave 3-9. No further details - are you able to assist with any further information?

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to sources as shown. Also to Shirley Boulton for contacting us in May 2018. Shirley is the only relative who had met him and is keen to find out any details on any war memorial with his name inscribed. With thanks to the research by Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3”

KTY - 27.05.2018

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', 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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