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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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115 squadron crest
10/11.05.1941 No. 115 Squadron Wellington IC R1379 KO-B Sgt. Anderson

Operation: Hamburg.

Date: 10/11th May 1941 (Saturday/Sunday)

Unit: No. 115 Squadron

Type: Wellington IC.

Serial: R1379.

Coded: KO-B

Base: RAF Marham, Norfolk

Location: Near Tönning, Schleswig-Holstein

Pilot: Sgt. John Anderson 969380 RAFVR Age 26. Killed.

Pilot: P/O. Alexander McBride Kerr AUS/406012 RAAF Age 19. PoW No: 182 Stalag Kopernikus

Nav: Sgt. William J. A. Legg 914194 RAFVR (Severely Injured) PoW hospital, then to Stalag Luft Sagan

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Geoff W. Hogg 911754 RAFVR PoW No: 34 Camp: Stalag Kopernikus

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. A. Bernie Morgan 946930 RAFVR PoW No: 33 Camp: Stalag Kopernikus

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Dave W. Fraser 633414 RAFVR PoW No: 36 Camp: Stalag Kopernikus


Took-off at 22:17 hrs from Marham. Shot down by a night-fighter (Lt Echart-Wilhelm von Bonin, II/NJG1.) after being coned in searchlights over Toenning Germany. This was von Bonin's first night victory.

Left, Lt Echart-Wilhelm von Bonin

On the 10th May 1991, at a special ceremony at Hohn Air Base, Germany, three of the survivors, including Sgt. Legg, were introduced to Eckart-Wilhelm von Bonin. His death was reported in January 1992.

The crew of Wellington R1379 - Sgt. Geoff Hogg, Sgt. Bernie Morgan, Sgt. Dave Fraser, Sgt. Alexander Kerr (1), P/O. Allan McSweyn (2) and Sgt. William Legg.

(1) P/O. Alexander McBride Kerr: Born on the 23rd April 1921 in Perth. Prior to his release he studied economics, his studies continued when he returned to Australia. Professor Kerr lectured in economics at UWA for 25 years and had numerous overseas postings for the United Nations and foreign governments. He moved to Murdoch University as foundation professor of economics before retiring as deputy vice-chancellor, and was made a member of the Order of Australia in 2004. He sadly passed away on the 02nd January 2019 age 97.

(2) Born on the 31st July 1918 in Sydney. P/O. Allan Frank McSweyn AUS/402005 RAAF was a pilot and shot down in Wellington Ic R1509 KO-P on the 30th June 1941. Taken PoW but then escaped, captured then escaped again making it back to the UK in December 1943.

Three photos of the crash of R1379. Note: the souvenir hunters have already cut out the fabric of the roundels for the NJG1 trophy room.

Pilot - Sgt. John Anderson (courtesy Pete Jeaner via Michel Beckers)
Burial Details:

Sgt. John Anderson is buried at Hamburg Cemetery, Plot 4A. Row H. Grave 11. Son of Howard Allen Anderson and Jane Anderson, of Aberdeen, Scotland.

With thanks to the following: David Fraser for the photo of the crew and self. Pete Jeaner, Michel Beckers, other sources as quoted.

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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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