Date: 12/13th March 1945 (Monday/Tuesday)
Unit: No. 153 Squadron
Type: Lancaster I
Base: RAF Scampton, Lincolnshire
Location: Kattegat, West of Samsø, Denmark
Pilot: F/O. Kenneth Albert Ayres DFC. 161085 RAFVR Age 25. Killed
Fl/Eng: Sgt. William Charles Taylor 1897176 RAFVR Age 24. Killed
Nav: Fl/Sgt. Reginald John McMinn 1565939 RAFVR Age 22. Missing
Air/Bmr: F/O. R. Mains RAFVR PoW (Details not known) Returned to UK 18th April 1945
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Dennis Head 1867797 RAFVR Age 20. Killed
Air/Gnr: Sgt. Robert Wilson 1597046 RAFVR Age 20. Killed
Air/Gnr: Sgt. Derrick Cox 3050655 RAFVR Age ? Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off from RAF Scampton, Lincolnshire and joining 15 other Lancasters and 3 Halifaxes for mining operations over the Kattegat, Denmark. Came down in the sea at 21:45 hrs off the Danish Island of Samsø.
Five of the six who died rest in the Tranebjaerg Churchyard, their graves being alongside two airmen from 408 Squadron (1) who died in separate Hampden crashes on 15th May 1942.
Lancaster RA526, with two other Lancasters (3) lost on this operation, were shot down by Hptm. Eduard Schröder (2) of 3./NJG3 west of Samsø at 21:16 hrs.
(1) Hampden I AD803 EQ-L:
Pilot: Sgt. Howard J. Copeman RCAF, survived, PoW from Toronto, Canada.Obs: Fl/Sgt. Albert A. Smith RCAF Age 25. From Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada.W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Norman W. Smith RAFVR Age 26. From Liverpool, England.W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. William F. Millerd RCAF Age 24. From Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.This crew had a narrow escape on April 16th 1942 after losing one engine but managed to continue home.
Hampden I AT224 EQ-A:
Pilot Fl/Sgt. Raymond J. Dillon RCAF. Age 21. From Freeport, Illinois, USA.Obs: Sgt. Raymond W. Dreyer RCAF. Age 22. From Regina, Saskatchewan, CanadaW/Op/Air/Gnr: P/O. Cyril Cresswell RAFVR. Age 20. From Cullercoats, Northumberland, EnglandW/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt William D. Palmer RAFVR. Age 20. From Gorleston-On-Sea, Norfolk, EnglandFl/Sgt Dillon, an American serving with RCAF. also had an earlier escape when his Hampden hit high tension cables whilst with 16 OTU. Smashing his windscreen and damaging an aileron but managed a landing.
(2) This was the 24th abschüsse (total 29) for Hptm. Schröder who survived the war. No further details are available.
(3) 103 Squadron Lancaster I ME449 PM-T: Flown by Sq/Ldr. S. Sister RAFVR. evaded capture with 4 other crew members. 2 were killed. 433 Squadron Lancaster I NG233 EM-E: Flown by F/O. James P. Farrell RCAF, all 7 crew killed.
F/O. Kenneth Albert Ayres DFC. Tranebjerg Churchyard, Sansø, Denmark. Son of Albert Salter and Evelyn Maud Ayres of South Molton, Devon, husband of Joan Elizabeth Ellen Ayres of South Molton, Devon, England.
Sgt. William Charles Taylor. Tranebjerg Churchyard, Sansø, Denmark. Son of George Arthur and Elsie Sarah Taylor of Christchurch, Hampshire, England.
Fl/Sgt. Reginald John McMinn. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 272. Son of Reginald and Anne McMinn of Edinburgh, Scotland.
Fl/Sgt. Dennis Head. Tranebjerg Churchyard, Sansø, Denmark. Son of Mr and Mrs G. Head of Cradley Heath, Staffordshire, England.
Sgt. Robert Wilson. Tranebjerg Churchyard, Sansø, Denmark. Son of John and Helen Wilson, husband of Sarah Wilson of Ochiltree, Ayrshire, Scotland.
Sgt. Derrick Cox. Tranebjerg Churchyard, Sansø, Denmark. Son of Daniel Samson and Leah Elisbeth Cox of Cradley Heath, Staffordshire, England.
Researched by Aircrew Remembered, researcher and specialist genealogist Linda Ibrom for relatives of this crew. Further sources quoted below.
At the going down of the sun, and in the morning we will remember
them. - Laurence
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