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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.
Further data available at Allied Losses & Incidents database

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44 Squadron Crest
04/05.07.1944 No. 44 Squadron Lancaster III ME699 KM-T F/O. William A. Young

Operation: St-Leu

Date: 04/05th July 1944 (Tuesday/Wednesday)

Unit: No. 44 Squadron (Rhodesia)

Type: Lancaster I

Serial: ME699 (1)

Code: KM-T

Base: RAF Dunholme Lodge, Lincolnshire

Location: Laversines, East of Beauvais, France

Pilot: F/O. William Archibald Young AUS/417145 RAAF Age 21. Killed

Fl/Eng: Sgt. William ‘Bill’ Robinson RAFVR Evaded capture

Nav: F/O. Frank Edward Wareham 134370 RAFVR Age 23. Killed

Nav 2: F/O. Harold Braathen J/27500 RCAF Age 23. Killed

Air/Bmr: Fl/Sgt. John ‘Jack’ E. Wainwright RAFVR Age 20. Evaded capture

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Thomas Leslie Jackson 1681086 RAFVR Age 22. Killed

Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. William Wilson Rennie R/166835 RCAF Age 28. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Ronald Houseman 1591726 RAFVR Age 20. Killed

REASON FOR LOSS:

Taking off at 23:00 to bomb the flying bomb sites at St. Leu in France.

L-R: Sgt. Robinson, Sgt. Jackson, Fl/Sgt. Wainwright, P/O.Young, Sgt. Routledge, Sgt. Rennie and F/O. Wareham (courtesy Mike Wainwright - see credits)

The usual Rear gunner was a Sgt. Routledge who, shortly before the flight was taken ill and was replaced by Sgt. Ronald Houseman for this his first and sadly final operation. F/O. Harold Braathen was also on his first operation, flying as an extra navigator to gain experience.

It is thought that Lancaster ME699 was a ‘probable’ claim by Uffz. Günther S. Schlomberg (2) of 3./NJG3 with interception taking place at 01:49 hrs in the Breteuil / Clermont area. The pilot, F/O. Young ordered the crew to bale out, sadly only two managed to do so before the aircraft crashed at

The two who survived managed to evade capture. A more comprehensive account of this loss can be read on Mike Wainwrights website.

L-R: Pilot, F/O. Young, F/O. Wareham and Sgt Routledge who missed the operation. (courtesy Mike Wainwright - see credits)

(1) Lancaster BI by Metropolitan-Vickers
250 Lancaster M1's ordered from Metropolitan-Vickers in May 1942 and delivered from November 1943 to January 1944 with Merlin 22 engines initially installed up to ME639 and Merlin 24 engines from ME640 except for ME668-9 with Merlin 22 engines.
(2) This was the 2nd of 3 abschüsse for Uffz. Günther S. Schlomberg was later killed during a practice flight on the 11th August 3.5 KM. North of Ottendorf near Cuxhaven.

Burial details:

F/O. William Archibald Young. Marissel French National Cemetery. Coll. Grave 284. Son of Arthur Bromwell Young and Ellen May Young, of Broken Hill, New South Wales, Australia.

F/O. Frank Edward Wareham. Marissel French National Cemetery. Coll. Grave 284. Son of Bertie and Beatrice Wareham, husband of Violet Lilian Wareham (née Paul) of Luton, Bedfordshire, England.

F/O. Harold Braathen. Marissel French National Cemetery. Coll. Grave 284. Harold Braathen was born in Medelpad, Sweden on 3 August 1916. He was the son of Harold Einar and Ingrid (née Jensen) Braathen of Prince George, British Columbia, Canada. At the time of enlistment on 1 July 1942 he was employed as a teacher by the Peace River School Board in Pouce Coupe, British Columbia,

Canada.

Left; F/O. Harold Braathen (courtesy Dave Champion)


Sgt. Thomas Leslie Jackson. Marissel French National Cemetery. Coll. Grave 284. Son of William Mitchell Jackson and Janet Jackson, of Hull, England.

Fl/Sgt. William Wilson Rennie. Marissel French National Cemetery. Coll. Grave 284. Son of Peter Miles and Elsie Gertrude (née Taylor) Rennie of Vancouver, British Columbia. Canada.

Sgt. Ronald Houseman. Marissel French National Cemetery. Coll. Grave 284. NoK details currently not available - are you able to assist completion of these and any other information? We are advised by Mike Wainwright that he was from Harrogate, North Yorkshire, England.

Right: Fl/Sgt. William Wilson Rennie (courtesy Dave Champion

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to Mike Wainwright for detailed information and photographs, also to Dave Champion for crew details and photograph - May 2019.

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, Michel Beckers, Major Fred Paradie (RCAF) and MWO François Dutil (RCAF) - Paradie Archive (on this site), Jean Schadskaje, Major Jack O'Connor USAF (Retd.), 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', Franek Grabowski, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of CWGC, UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, New Zealand National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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