21/22.06.1943 No. 7 Squadron Stirling I R9272 MG-W Fl/Lt. Watt
Operation: Krefeld, Germany
Date: 21/22nd June 1943 (Monday/Tuesday)
Unit: No. 7 Squadron (motto: Per diem, per noctem - 'By day and by night')
Type: Stirling I
Base: RAF Oakington, Cambridgeshire.
Location: 10 KM South of Gilze-Rijen, Holland
Pilot: Fl/Lt. James Stanley Watt DSO. DFC. 110643 RAF Age 21. Killed
Fl/Eng: Sgt. David Stuart Donaldson 1127694 RAFVR Age 20. Killed
Nav: Fl/Lt. Frederick Arthur George Tompkins DFC. 137665 RAFVR Age 28. Killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Arnold John Sutton 1434193 RAFVR Age 22. Killed
Air/Gnr: F/O. James Hector Ross DFM. 137667 RAFVR PoW No: 1704 Camp: Stalag Luft Sagan and Belaria
Air/Gnr: Sgt. Frederick James Benjamin Dukes 1090679 RAFVR Age 21. Killed
Air/Gnr: F/O. M.P. Ellis 137306 RAFVR PoW No: 1696 Camp: Stalag Luft Sagan and Belaria
REASON FOR LOSS:
Took off at 23:40 hrs. from RAF Oakington to attack Krefeld, Germany. 705 aircraft taking part - 262 lancasters, 209 Halifaxes, 117 Stirlings, 105 Wellingtons and 12 Mosquitoes.
Krefeld was hit very badly with the loss of 1,056 people on the ground killed, 4,550 injured, 72,000 people lost their homes. 47% of the city was burnt out following the dropping of 2,306 bombs.
Not without huge losses to the allies though with 44 aircraft lost, mostly due to German night fighters. 214 crew members were killed and a further 65 being made PoW.
Crew of Stirling R9272 (courtesy Claudio Meunier)
Stirling R9272 was shot down by a German night fighter. Hptm. Walter W. Milius of Stab III./NJG3 (On detachment from 2./NLG1) combat took place at 4,200 Mts. at 01:14 hrs and the Stirling crashed at Alfen, 10 KM South of Gilze-Rijen. Hptm. Milius survived the war with 8 kills on his record.
Pilot of R9272, 21 year old Argentinian, Fl/Lt. James S. Watt DSO DFC. (courtesy Claudio Meunier)
Fl/Lt. James Stanley Watt DSO DFC. Runnymede Memorial Panel 122. Son of Charles Alexander Morgan Watt and of Hattie Burdell Watt (née Benitz), of Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Sgt. David Stuart Donaldson. Runnymede Memorial Panel 147. Son of David Stuart Donaldson and Louisa Nelson Donaldson, of Newtownards, Co. Down, Northern Ireland.
Fl/Lt. Frederick Arthur George Tompkins DFC. Runnymede Memorial Panel 121. Son of Frederick and Alice Maude Tompkins, husband of Edna Madge Tompkins, of Morden, Surrey, England.
Sgt. Arnold John Sutton. Runnymede Memorial Panel 166. Son of Charles Henry and Losis Sarah Sutton, of Long Eaton, Derbyshire, England.
Sgt. Frederick James Benjamin Dukes. Bergen-Op-Zoom War Cemetery Grave 27.A-7. Son of Elizabeth Brown, of Hull, England.
Researched by Claudio Gustavo Meunier (Argentina) and webmaster for relatives of the crew.
Left: Claudio Gustavo Meunier has published 4 books on WW2 Argentinian aviation - others are being prepared.
With thanks to the following, 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.