22/23.05.1944 57 Squadron Lancaster III ND878 DX:B Plt.Off. Winneke
Date: 22/23rd May 1944 (Monday/Tuesday)
Unit: 57 Squadron
Type: Lancaster III
Base: RAF East Kirkby
Pilot: Plt.Off. Leslie Harold Winneke 417032 RAAF Age 22. Killed
Flt.Eng: Sgt. Edward George Graves 186550 RAFVR Age 33. Killed
Nav: Flt.Lt. John Joseph Mahoney 273734 RAAF Age 27. Killed (1)
Air Bmr: Sgt. Raymond Hedley Wright 1579870 RAFVR Age 22. Killed
WOp/Air Gnr: Sgt. Reginald Roy Frost 1580431 RAFVR Age? Killed
Air Gnr: Flt.Sgt. Alan Ife 1375322 RAFVR Age? Killed
Air Gnr: Sgt. James Alexander Moore 1117487 RAFVR Age? Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off from at 22:16 hrs from RAF East Kirkby in Lincolnshire as part of a 225 Lancaster and 10 Mosquitoes to attack Braunschweig (Brunswick), Germany. The raid was considered a failure as although the weather forecast was for clear skies - the marker aircraft found a complete covering of cloud - there was also interference on the master bomber's radio communications.
Most of the bombing fell in the country areas around the city. Records show that only a few bombs fell on the city and no ground casualties. A reconnaissance aircraft flying through the target area an hour later found that the cloud had completely cleared.
14 Lancasters were lost on this raid. 81 crew members being killed and a further 18 being made PoW. 57 Squadron lost three aircraft on this night, the others were:
Lancaster III ND879 DX:H Flown by 22 year old, Fg.Off. John Colin Marland 170960 RAFVR killed along with all other 6 crew members.
Lancaster III NE127 DX:J Flown by 24 year old, Plt.Off. Francis Norman Henley 172463 RAFVR killed with 4 other crew members, the other 2 being made PoW.
ND878 was claimed by Oblt Karl-Heinz Seeler from 5./JG302 - North of Bremen i.Zus.Arb: 5,800m at 02:19. The aircraft was also coned by 3/Flakscheinw Abt 498 (o) Werfer 313 (“Lancaster near Ottersberg 02:19”). Flak searchlight and 5./JG302 claims both confirmed by OKL on 9 September 1944. (Nachtjagd Combat Archives 1944 Part 3 - Theo Boiten).
The crew were originally buried at Rotenburg Cemetery as investigated by No. 4 Missing Research and Enquiry Unit (MREU) in July 1946.
Plt.Off. Leslie Harold Winneke. Becklingen War Cemetery. Grave 12.A.5. Grave inscription reads: "HIS DUTY FEARLESSLY AND NOBLY DONE. EVER REMEMBERED". Born on the 25th August 1921 in Booleroo Centre, the son of Paul Berthold Winneke and Ottilie Pauline Marie Winneke, of Yandiah, South Australia.
Sgt. Edward George Graves. Becklingen War Cemetery. Grave 12.A.9. Grave inscription reads: "WITH PROUD AND TREASURED MEMORIES OF MY BELOVED HUSBAND". Born in December 1910 in London, the son of James Ernest and Georgena Graves and husband of Ruby Daisy Graves, of Southend-on-Sea, Essex.
Flt.Lt. John Joseph Mahoney. Becklingen War Cemetery. Grave 12.A.10. Grave inscription reads: "IN LIFE ONE OF THE FINESTt, NOW IN GOD'S CARE HE RESTS". Born on the 16th April 1917 in Brisbane, Queensland, the son of John Joseph and Mary Frances Mahoney, of Spring Hill, Queensland, Australia.
Sgt. Raymond Hedley Wright. Becklingen War Cemetery. Grave inscription reads: "GOD GRANT GRACE". Grave 12.A.7. Son of Hedley Caton Wright and Andra Wright, of Sutton-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire, England.
Sgt. Reginald Roy Frost. Becklingen War Cemetery. Grave 12.A.4. No further details are you able to assist?
Flt.Sgt. Alan Ife. Becklingen War Cemetery. Grave 12.A.6. Husband to Iris Lorimer Ife living at 9 Mayplace Road, Bexley Hearth, Kent.
Sgt. James Alexander Moore. Becklingen War Cemetery. Grave 12.A.8. Grave inscription reads: "ONLY MEMORIES BUT VERY DEAR KEEP YOUR PRESENCE EVER NEAR. GOD BLESS. WIFE". Husband of Evelyn Mary Moore, of Alum Rock, Birmingham, England.
(1) On the night of the 28th June 1944 at 19:50 hrs there was a road traffic collision between RAAF vehicle No. 202023 and Army vehicle No. C.17669. The RAAF vehicle was driven by Fitter DMT LAC George Ernest Yorke 44328 RAAF and the Army vehicle by a Pte. Fox. The collision occurred on the Buddekin highway approximately six miles east of Charters Towers.
Note: The investigation into the cause of the vehicle collision has not been found.
There were twenty-one passengers aboard the RAAF Vehicle. Of the twenty-one, four died from their injuries and included ACW (Acting Cpl) Estelle May Scaroni 99391 WAAAF, the fiancée of Flt.Lt. John J. Mahoney, the navigator aboard ND878. ACW (Acting Cpl) Scaroni was immediately conveyed to No. 5 Australian Camp Hospital where she succumbed to her injuries at 21:50 hrs on the 28th June 1944 from a fractured base of the skull.
The others who lost their lives as a result of the collision were: Flt.Lt. Bernard Keith Barty 2380 RAAF, Sgt. Mary Catherine Wynack 90550 WAAAF and Cpl. Thelma Edith McConnell 91885 WAAAF.
The following is a list of the names of the other passengers and their injuries:
Fg.Off. Jack Henry Wanklyn 18262 RAAF - dangerously ill with a fractured pelvis, fractured rib and suffering from shock.
WO William Frederick Montgomery 3162 RAAF - suffered from shock and was discharged from hospital to his unit on the 29th June;
Cpl. Thomas George Evans 65922 RAAF - lacerated scalp and concussion;
Cpl. Joyce Isabel Thomas 95755 WAAAF - discharged from hospital to unit on the 29th June;
LAC George Frederick Boothby 71106 RAAF- dislocated right shoulder;
LAC John Joseph Dwyer 51427 RAAF- possible fractured left femur and shock;
LAC Thomas Patrick Kenny 71770 RAAF - Shock;
LAC Edwin Victor Lobb 414805 RAAF- contusions to left shoulder;
LAC John Michael McCarthy 67749 RAAF - dangerously injured with a crush injury to chest, lacerated scalp and shock;
LAC William Albert McIntyre 72297 RAAF - concussion, contusions back right shoulder and right elbow, shock;
LAC Glendo Thomas Parsons 77057 RAAF - abrasions and shock;
LAC John Bernard Quinn 62371 RAAF - fractured left clavicle, lacerated back and shock;
LAC Staley Winston Ryan 70617 RAAF- possible fractured left femur and shock;
LAC George Ernest Yorke 44328 RAAF - deep lacerations right face;
ACW Kathleen Florence Gregory 107061 WAAAF - seriously ill with a lacerated face, right leg and shock;
ACW Daphne May Ledbury 176174 WAAAF - fractured pelvis and shock;
ACW Shiela May Teffene WAAAF - discharged from hospital to unit on the 29th June.
All the injured personnel were initially admitted to No. 5 Australian Camp Hospital on the 28th June. On the 29th June the following personnel were transferred to No. 13 Aircraft Repair Deport sick quarters; Evans, Parsons, Kenny, Lobb, Quinn and McIntyre. Also on the same day the following personnel were transferred to No. 3 Medical Receiving Station: Gregory, Ryan, Dwyer, Yorke, Boothby and Ledbury. Wanklyn and McCarthy were retained at No. 5 Australian Camp Hospital.
Road Accident Fatalities:
ACW (Acting Cpl). Estelle May Scaroni. Charters Towers War Cemetery. Plot A. Row B. Grave 9. Born on the 22nd February 1922 in Ipswich, Queensland, the daughter of Stanley and Florence Scaroni, of Morningside, Queensland, Australia.
ACW (Acting Cpl) Estelle May Scaroni was buried with full Service Honours by her unit, No 8 Stores Depot, Macrossan in Charters Towers. Cemetery (Military Section) at 14:00 hrs on Friday the 30th June 1944. The service was conducted by Padre J.E. Wheatley, a Chaplin from ACW (Acting Cpl) Scaroni’s unit.
ACW Scaroni was promoted to acting Cpl. with effect from the 11th June 1943.
Cpl. Thelma Edith McConnell. Charters Towers War Cemetery. Plot A. Row B. Grave 10. Born on the 5th January 1919 in Adelaide, the daughter of William Robert and Rebecca McConnell, of 7 Mary Terrace, Goodwood, South Australia.
Sgt. Mary Catherine Wynack. Charters Towers War Cemetery. Plot A. Row B. Grave 11. Born on the 6th June 1917 the daughter of Raymond Clarence and Ruby Frances (née Blewitt) Wynack, of 480 Swift Street, Albury, New South Wales.
Flt.Lt. Bernard Keith Barty. Charters Towers War Cemetery. Plot A. Row B. Grave 8. Born on the 17th December 1917 in Victoria, the son of Son of David and Florence Barty and husband of Linda Margaret Barty, of Williamstown, Victoria, Australia.
Researched for Sherri Lucas and family and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to sources as shown (April 2016). Inclusion of DoB details for Sgt. Graves by Aircrew Remembered (July 2018). Thanks to John Jones for the German night-fighter claim information (Oct 2020). Other updates by Aircrew Remembered (Nov 2020).