03/04.07.1942 No. 61 Squadron Lancaster I R5663 QR-B Fl/Sgt. G.E. Williams
Operation: Nasturtium area, Denmark
Date: 3/4th July 1942
Unit: No. 61 Squadron
Type: Lancaster I
Base: RAF Syerston, Nottinghamshire
Location: Lerberget, Halsingbourne, Sweden
Pilot: Fl/Sgt. G. E. Williams RCAF Age 24. Interned (1)
Pilot 2: Sgt. Jack Pritchard 1377413 RAFVR Age 21. Killed
Obs: Sgt. Mervyn Caddy AUS/404951 RAAF Age 32. Killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Bruce Morgan R/82076 RCAF Age?. Killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Harry Victor Turton 1167137 RAFVR Age ?. Killed
Air/Gnr: Sgt. James Metcalfe Raine 648020 RAF Age 27. Killed
Air/Gnr: Sgt. John Samson 1369354 RAFVR Age 19. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Took off at 22.35hrs from RAF Syerston, Nottinghamshire for a mine-laying operation in the Nasturtium area, Denmark. The weather was clear over the target area with good visibility and moonlight.
The aircraft was hit by flak near Helsingor and crashed into shallow water some meters from Lerberget close to the port of Halsingborg, Sweden.
(1) Fl/Sgt. G. E. Williams was thrown out of the aircraft on impact and was rescued by a local boat. He was taken to hospital in Halsingborg, Sweden.
Burial details: (2)
Sgt. Jack Pritchard. Helsingborg (Palsjo) Municipal Cemetery, Sweden. Sec. XV.16. Son of John Merrifield Thomas Pritchard and Ellen Grace Pritchard of Bloomsbury, London, England.
Sgt. Bruce Morgan. Helsingborg (Palsjo) Municipal Cemetery, Sweden. Sec. XV.11. N.o.K details currently not available - are you able to assist completion of these and any other information?
Sgt. Harry Victor Turton. Helsingborg (Palsjo) Municipal Cemetery, Sweden. Sec. XV.15. N.o.K details currently not available - are you able to assist completion of these and any other information?
Sgt. James Metcalfe Raine. Helsingborg (Palsjo) Municipal Cemetery, Sweden. Sec. XV. 14. Son of James and Dora Raine of West Auckland, Co. Durham, England.
Sgt. John Samson. Helsingborg (Palsjo) Municipal Cemetery, Sweden. Sec. XV.12. Son of Hamilton C and Annie McFarlane Samson of Rutherglen, Lanarkshire, England.
Sgt. Mervyn Caddy. Helsingborg (Palsjo) Municipal Cemetery, Sweden. Sec. XV.13. Son of Joseph and Rebecca May Caddy of Mackay, Queensland, Australia
(2) Fl/Sgt. G E Williams crew were buried on the 17th July 1942 in Helsingborg (Palsjo) Municipal Cemetery, Sweden with full military honours. The burial proved to be an exceptionally beautiful and stirring event attended by some two to three thousand people. Outside the chapel a military guard of honour was provided by the Horra Skanska Infantry Regiment.
In an atmosphere of deep emotion the three shovels of earth were sprinkled over each of the coffins, this being followed by part of the English burial service with readings from the bible, prayers and an address by the Legation Chaplin, the Reverend Jones. After the service a choir of British ladies sang the hymn “Lead, Kindly Light” by Purday.
The wreaths were extraordinarily numerous and beautiful. On each coffin lay a wreath with the blue and yellow national colours and marked with the royal cipher of the Crown Prince and Princess of Sweden. The six service wreaths were made up by members of the Woman’s Auxiliary Air Defence Crops, who had themselves gathered the blue and yellow flowers.
Thirty-one wreaths were laid in memory of this crew. Over a hundred people from Halsingborg had subscribed approximately two hundred and fifty Swedish crowns (approximately £14.15.0), for which the six wreaths “From the Friends in Halsingborg” had been bought and flowers, a cake and chocolates sent to the sole survivor Fl/Sgt. G.E. Williams in hospital in Halsingborg.
Researched by Aircrew Remembered, researcher and specialist genealogist Kate Tame for relatives of this crew. Acknowledgments: The CWGC. The National Archives of Australia.