26/27.06.1941 No. 61 Squadron Manchester L7304 F/O. Kenneth G. Webb
Operation: Kiel, Germany
Date: 26/27th June 1941
Unit: No. 61 Squadron
Base: RAF Hemswell, Lincolnshire
Location: Marne/Holstein (The former area of 'Adolf Hitler Koog')
Pilot: F/O. Kenneth Gordon Webb 42924 RAF Age 28. Killed
Pilot 2: P/O. Laurence Trevor Glover 67037 RAFVR Age 21. Killed
Obs: Fl/Sgt. Frank Woodruff 759317 RAFVR Age 26. Killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. John Woodward 745911 RAFVR Age ? Killed
Air/Gnr: Sgt. Francis Sydney Haslemore NZ/401807 RNZAF Age 21. Killed
Air/Gnr: P/O. Cyril McCulloch Bateman 65498 RAFVR Age 27. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Took off from RAF Helmswell at 23:01 hrs as part of a 41 aircraft raid on Kiel. Made up from 18 Manchesters, (5 from RAF Helmswell) 15 Stirlings and 8 Halifaxes. There was 5/10th cloud and haze over Kiel spoiling the bombing and only light damage, with no casualties in Kiel.
Three of the 61 squadron Manchesters returned, having located and bombed Kiel but no results were observed other than bomb bursts. The other remaining Manchester returned early with various technical problems.
2 aircraft were lost on this raid and both fell to the same nightfighter crew from 3./NJG1.
Oblt. Walter Fenske (1) 3./NJG1, who was already classed as an ace and with these claims (confirmed) brought his tally to 11. L7304 (this one) was shot down at 01.31 hrs and another Manchester L7374 from 97 Squadron was shot down shortly afterwards at 01.40 hrs near St. Peter Ording, Westerhever.
F/O. Kenneth Gordon Webb with his new bride Jane (courtesy of Jason Jenkinson)
Above left to right: Fl/Sgt. Frank Woodruff, P/O. Cyril McCulloch Bateman, Sgt. Francis Sydney Haslemore (courtesy of Jason Jenkinson)
Right: Oblt. Walter Fenske. 3./NJG1 (courtesy of Alain Rosseels)
(1) Oblt. Walter Fenske’s first assignment was in 1939. He served in NJG-1 from March 1941 - July 1942 based at Venlo.
Went on to several other units.
Achieved the rank of Hauptman (Captain) and was reported to have 15 victories.
Killed in Action on the 26th March, 1944 during aerial combat over Kröpingen.
F/O. Kenneth Gordon Webb. Kiel War Cemetery. 3.D.5. Son of Alfred Thomas Webb and Ellen Jane Webb, husband of Jane Ivey Webb (née Taylor), of St. Leonards-on-Sea, Sussex, England. Grave inscription reads: "Safe Lodging, Holy Rest And Peace At The Last".
P/O. Laurence Trevor Glover. Kiel War Cemetery. 3.D.9. Son of Harold Edgar and Elsie Caroline Glover, of Southsea, Hampshire, England. Grave inscription reads: "In Proud And Loving Memory".
Fl/Sgt. Frank Woodruff. Kiel War Cemetery. 3.D.6. Son of Frank Woodruff and Lilian Woodruff (née Atkins) of Sheffield. Husband of Lilian May Woodruff (née Reading) of Sheffield, England. Born 22nd December 1914.
Fl/Sgt. John Woodward. Kiel War Cemetery. 3.D.10.Next of kin details currently not available, are you able to assist?
Sgt. Francis Sydney Haslemore. Kiel War Cemetery. 3.D.7. Son of Abraham Winter and Elizabeth Catherine Haslemore, of Riverton, Southland, New Zealand.
P/O. Cyril McCulloch Bateman. Kiel War Cemetery. 3.D.8. Son of Hubert and Edith Bateman; husband of Kathleen Bateman, of Morecambe, Lancashire, England. Grave inscription reads: "There's Some Corner Of A Foreign Field That Is For Ever England".
With information and photographs supplied by Jason Jenkinson - relative of Fl/Sgt. Frank Woodruff. For further details our thanks to the following, Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vol's. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vol's. 1 and 2', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries (Updated 2014 version), Commonwealth War Graves Commission. The Kracker Archives. Errol Martyn - For Your Tomorrow Vol’s 1-3.