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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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218 Squadron Crest
29/30.05.1943 No. 218 Squadron Stirling BF565 HA-H P/O. Allan

Operation: Wuppertal

Date: 29/30th May 1943 (Saturday/Sunday)

Unit: No. 218 Squadron (Gold Coast) (motto: 'In Time')

Type: Stirling III

Serial: BF565

Code: HA-H

Base: RAF Downham Market, Norfolk

Location: Kettenis, Belgium

Pilot: P/O. Stanley Gordon Allan AUS/416404 RAAF Age 21. Killed

Fl/Eng: F/O. John Charles Thomas 620927 RAFVR Age ? Missing - believed killed

Nav: Sgt. Horton Neilson Wade NZ/42313 RNZAF Age 30. Killed

Air/Bmr: F/O. Erle Stanley Garai 132096 RAFVR Age 20. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. William Frederick Henderson 1072483 RAFVR Age 22. Missing - believed killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Kenneth Munro Campbell 614965 RAF Age ? Missing - believed killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Donald Percy Strong NZ/411614 RNZAF Age 24. Missing - believed killed


Taking off at 23:03 hrs joining 718 aircraft attacking the town of Wuppertal, the home of the Goldschmitt firm which produced Tego-Film, a wood adhesive used in the production of the HE162 and TA154.

300,000 incendiary bombs were dropped and around 1000 acres was destroyed in the firestorm that followed - 211 industrial buildings and nearly 4,000 half timber houses were totally destroyed in very narrow streets. A figure of 3,400 fatalities on the ground has been recorded.

Bomber Command did not escape lightly on this operation losing some 36 aircraft.

Although a claim was made from Flak 1.schw Flak Abt 514 the claim was awarded to Lt. Heinz-Wolfgang Schnaufer of Stab II.NJG1, with his bordfunker Lt. Baro. Shot down at 00:48 hrs from their Bf110 G-4 G9+EC. This was his 10 claim of the war and one of 3 others on this operation.

He also shot down another 218 Squadron Stirling during this operation at 02:22 hrs:

Stirling III BK688 HA-A Flown by 31 year old, Fl/Sgt. William Arthur Mathias Davis AUS/408278 RAAF - killed with all his crew.

Burial details:

Although some of the crew are recorded on the Runnymede Memorial it is known that at least 3 are buried at Hotton War Cemetery as that of 'Unknown Airman'.

P/O. Stanley Gordon Allan. Hotton War Cemetery. Grave VII.C.II. Born on the 12th August 1921 at Adelaide, the son of Herbert George and Clare Allan, of 4 Hudson Street, Prospect, South Australia. Grave inscription reads: "Loved Son Of Mr. And Mrs. H.G. Allan Of Prospect, South Australia".

F/O. John Charles Thomas. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 167. No additional details - are you able to assist?

Sgt. Horton Neilson Wade. Hotton War Cemetery. Grave VII.C.I2. Born on the 31st March 1913 at Eltham, the son of Horton Charles David and Elizabeth Mary Wade, of Eltham, Taranaki, New Zealand. A total of 271 flying hours logged and having completed 10 operational sorties. Joined 218 Squadron on the 24th March 1943 from 1657 Heavy Conversion Unit.

F/O. Erle Stanley Garai. Hotton War Cemetery. Grave VII.C.I0. Son of Bernard and Alice Rose Garai, of Woking, Surrey, England. Grave inscription reads: "To The World He Was But One, To Us He Was The World".

Sgt. William Frederick Henderson. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 153. Son of William and Mary Ellen Henderson, of West Hartlepool, Co. Durham, England.

Sgt. Kenneth Munro Campbell. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 144. No additional details - are you able to assist?

Sgt. Donald Percy Strong. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 200. Born on the 30th June 1918 at Auckland, the son of Harry Rosser Strong and Florence Strong (née Constance), of 30 Norman's Hill Road, Onehunga, Auckland, New Zealand. A total of 222 flying hours logged and having completed 10 operational sorties. Joined 218 Squadron on the 24th March 1943 from 1657 Heavy Conversion Unit.Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to the research by Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3”, Auckland War Memorial Museum, Weekly News of New Zealand, also to Des Phllpipart for grave photographs, other sources as quoted below:

KTY 10.04.2019

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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', Archiwum - Polish Air Force Archive (on this site), Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Franek Grabowski, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Stan D. Bishop, John A. Hey MBE, Gerrie Franken and Maco Cillessen - Losses of the US 8th and 9th Air Forces, Vols 1-6, Dr. Theo E.W. Boiton - Nachtjagd Combat Archives, Vols 1-13. 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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