AR banner
Search for phrases in quotes eg "Alan Smith"

Info LogoAdd to or correct this story with a few clicks.
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.


We seek additional information and photographs. Please contact us via the AddInfo button, or send us email from the Helpdesk.
61 Squadron crest
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

Serial: R5663

Code: QR-B

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. 

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.
Click any image to enlarge it
Links in this story were correct at the time of writing, but can change.
Please tell us via Helpdesk of any that no longer work.

Do you have more information or corrections to this story? Use our AddInfo facility

Readers Interested In Further Reading:
More personal histories and associated material
Show Research Material

At the going down of the sun, and in the morning we will remember them. - Laurence Binyon
All site material (except as noted elsewhere) is owned or managed by Aircrew Remembered and should not be used without prior permission.
© Aircrew Remembered 2012 - 2017
Last Modified: 20 August 2014, 21:50