Date: 15/16th June 1944 (Thursday/Friday)
Unit: No. 115 Squadron (3 Group)
Type: Lancaster I
Base: RAF Witchford, Cambridgshire
Location: Oisy-le-Verger, France
Pilot: F/O. Peter John Anaka J/25832 RCAF Age 22. Evaded (1)
Fl/Eng: Sgt. Cyril William Fieldhouse 1642303 RAFVR Age 20. Missing
Nav: F/O. Robert Clarke Leckie J/28502 RCAF Age 27. Killed (2)
Air/Bmr: F/O. Allister B. Morden J/27151 RCAF Age 23. Evaded (3)
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Richard John Thomas 1671438 RAFVR Age 21. Killed
Air/Gnr: Sgt. David Armstrong 1795827 RAFVR Age 23. Killed
Air/Gnr: P/O. Owen Peter Hughes J/93658 RCAF Age 20. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Another very busy night of operation for Bomber Command - 227 aircraft from 4, 5 and 8 group detailed to bomb the ammunition dups at Fouillard and a fuel dump at Châellerault - 1 Lancaster lost.
Other operations included 4 Halifaxes on a gardening operation, intruder patrols by Mosquitoes - 1 Mosquito lost
3 and 8 group were detailed to bomb railway yards at a Lens and Valenciennes.
Lancaster I HK550 were part of this operation taking off at 23:05 hrs from RAF Witchford in Cambridgshire.
Weather conditions were good with clear visibility - both target were bombed successfully. 11 Lancasters were lost during the operation - 6 from the Lens detail with 5 from the Valenciennes operation.
HK 550 was probably intercepted and shot down by Oblt. Werner Hopf (4) of 8./NJG5 at 2,500 mrs, his 9th abschüsse of the war (see Kracker Luftwaffe Archive on this site). The aircraft crashed at 00:44 hrs at Oisy-le-Verger in France. It us understood that the intervention from the night fighters accounted for 10 Lancasters within 16 minutes from the start of the bombing.Anaka Lake in Saskatchewan was named after Cpt. Anaka. Peter John Anaka born on the 7th March 1923 in Stenen, Canada, married Elsie Stewart on the 24th March 1945 - passed away on the 25th April 1994 age just 71.
Left: The One Hundredth Airman - the story of Peter Anaka. Reg Stead and Murray Straker. Published by Parkland Printers Ltd, Yorkton, Saskatchewan. ISBN 9780968758403
(2) Leckie Lake, east of Wollaston Lake in Saskatchewan was named after F/O. Robert Clarke Leckie. Further information on Bill Barry’s website.
(3) No details on his evasion but we understand F/O. Allister Morden (shown right) was hidden for over 6 months by the French Underground before he managed to return to England. Born on the 17th November 1921 in Morden, Manitoba, Canada. After the war he attended university before rejoining the RCAF - married Dorothy Leonhard in 1952. Sadly he passed away on the 27th May 2015. His wife predeceased him on 1st August 2009. They had two children, Pamela and Grant. Hopefully they will find this page and contact us with further information.
(4) The nightfighter ace, Oblt. Werner Hopf totalled 22 abschüsse during the war from which he survived. Flying a Ju88 nightfighter G-6 'C9+AR' (623211 - shown above) at the end of the war on the 30th April 1945 he deserted for Sweden together with two other officers a woman and a child - no further details.
Sgt. Cyril William Fieldhouse. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 229. Son of Benjamin and Harriet Fieldhouse, of Stramshall, Staffordshire, England.
F/O. Robert Clarke Leckie. Oisy-le-Verger Communal Cemetery. Grave 1. Son of Robert and Frances Prudence Leckie, of Swift Currant, Saskatchewan, Canada. Born on 18th December 1916, enlisted 28th May 1942. Joined 115 Squadron on the 27th May 1944, this was only his second operation.
Sgt. Richard John Thomas. Oisy-le-Verger Communal Cemetery. Grave 4. Son of William John and Florence Mabel Thomas, of Ecdeshill, Bradford, Yorkshire, England.
Sgt. David Armstrong. Oisy-le-Verger Communal Cemetery. Grave 2. Son of Robert and Margaret Armstrong, of Belfast, Northern Ireland.
P/O. Owen Peter Hughes. Oisy-le-Verger Communal Cemetery. Grave 3. Son of Charles and Mary Eleanor Emma Hughes, of Port Arthur, Ontario, Canada.
For further details our thanks to Floyd Low for bringing this loss to our attention, also to sources shown below. WW1 Cemeteries for grave photograph.
At the going down of the sun, and in the morning we will remember
them. - Laurence
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