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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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626 Squadron Crest
25/26.08.1944 No. 626 Squadron Lancaster I LM140 UM-O2 F/O. Leonard Whetton

Operation: Rüsselsheim

Date: 25/26th August 1944 (Friday/Saturday)

Unit: No. 626 Squadron

Type: Lancaster I

Serial: LM140

Code: UM-O2

Base: RAF Wickenby

Location: Possibly East of Bingen, Germany

Pilot: F/O. Leonard Whetton 172971 RAFVR Age 31. Killed

Fl/Eng: Sgt. Harry William Brotherhood 1892203 RAFVR Age ? Killed

Nav: F/O. Derrick Laycock 152935 RAFVR Age 22. Killed

Air/Bmr: F/O. Sidney Brown 152997 RAFVR Age ? PoW No: 5854 Camp: Stalag Luft Barth Vogelsang (L1)

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Herbert Walter Douglas 1685113 RAFVR Age 21. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Peter Corrigan 1087422 RAFVR Age 30. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. George Stanley Lowson 1594991 RAFVR Age 33. Killed


The target for this operation - the Opel Works in Rüsselsheim - 412 Lancasters taking part from 1, 3, 6 and 8 Group. Taking off from RAF Wickenby at 20:29 hrs.

Bombing, which lasted some ten minuteshad been reported as accurate with the forge and gearbox plants put out of action for several weeks. Some 179 people were killed on the ground.

Reported that it was possible that they were shot down by Uffz. Rudnik of 9./NJG3 at 01:08 hrs  East of Bingen. This was his 2nd abschüsse of the war from which he survived. F/O. Sidney Brown managed to bail out of the stricken Lancaster and arrested the following morning, spending the rest of the war as a PoW.

626 Squadron lost another aircraft and crew during this operation, Lancaster PA989 UM-U2 flown by F/O. R.L. Harris RCAF taken PoW with three other crew members. Three crew were killed.

Note: Aircraft ordered from Armstrong Whitworth in April 1942 - delivered to 626 Squadron from 300 (P) Squadron on the 2nd June 1944. When lost had only 199 hours flying. On this day 25th August 1944, Paris was surrended by the German forces.

Burial details:

F/O. Leonard Whetton. Durnbach War Cemetery. Coll. Grave 6.B.11-14. Son of William Henry and Elizabeth Ann Whetton; husband of Marjorie Whetton, of Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, England.

Sgt. Harry William Brotherhood. Durnbach War Cemetery. Coll. Grave 6.B.11-14. No next of kin details, are you able to assist with further information?

F/O. Derrick Laycock. Durnbach War Cemetery. Coll. Grave 6.B.11-14. Son of Frank Joseph and Elizabeth Woodburn Laycock, of Davyhulme, Urmston, Lancashire, England.

Sgt. Herbert Walter Douglas. Durnbach War Cemetery. Coll. Grave 6.B.11-14. Son of Thomas and Lily Douglas, of Aintree, Liverpool, England.

Sgt. Peter Corrigan. Durnbach War Cemetery. Coll. Grave 6.B.11-14. Son of Mr. and Mrs. Denis Corrigan, of Sacriston, Co. Durham, England.

Sgt. George Stanley Lowson. Durnbach War Cemetery. Coll. Grave 6.B.11-14. Son of George and Hannah Lowson, address details not known, can you assist?

For further details our thanks to Janet Eilbeck, daughter of F/O. Sidney Brown - further sources as quoted below.

KTY 03.06.2015

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 and Fred Paradie - Paradie Archive (both on this site), 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', Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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Last Modified: 03 June 2015, 19:30

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