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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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7 Squadron Crest
20.03.1945 No. 7 Squadron Lancaster III PB667 MG-Q F/O. Bacon

Operation: Recklinghausen

Date: 20th March 1945 (Tuesday)

Unit: No. 7 Squadron (motto: Per diem, per noctem - 'By day and by night') 8 (PFF) Group

Type: Lancaster III

Serial: PB667

Code: MG-Q

Base: RAF Oakington, Cambridgeshire

Location: Nieuwdorp, Netherlands

Pilot: F/O. Lindsay Page Bacon AUS/62186 RAAF Age 21. Killed

Fl/Eng: Sgt. Harry McClements 1592648 RAFVR Age 19. Killed

Nav: Fl/Sgt. Richard Roy Evans 1652888 RAFVR Age 27. Killed

Air/Bmr: F/O. George Henry Huttlestone 154615 RAFVR Age 22. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: W/O. Philip Athol Tennant NZ/455771 RNZAF Age 30. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. John Edward Taylor 1869191 RAFVR Age 19. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. James Alex Cornwall 2210978 RAFVR Age 25. Killed


Page compiled with photographs and research by Les Standing.


REASON FOR LOSS:

Taking off at 10:31 hrs together with 15 others from the squadron to mark the marshalling yards at Recklinghausen. A total bomb force of some 153 aircraft.

During their return trip they were hit by anti-aircraft fire and crashed at location shown. This was the only aircraft lost on this operation.

It seems that the Lancaster was looking for a spot to force land but found to be heading for the village chapel and eye witnesses state that the pilot applied full power to avoid civilian casualties in the village and on doing so a wing detached, the aircraft hitting the ground at 14:30hrs.

Above: Crash site (Les Standing)

F/O. George Henry Huttlestone managed to bale out earlier, but died of his injuries at Goes. The 6 other crew were buried near the crashed Lancaster, but all were reinterred after the end of hostelries in 1946 at the Bergen-Op-Zoom War Cemetery.

Some reports state that his body was recovered later after the aircraft wreckage was cleared.

In 2013 a wonderful memorial has been built for the crew incorporating one of the propellers from the Lancaster that had recently been discovered.

Above: James Alex Cornwall with Laura, his wife (Les Standing)

Burial details:

F/O. Lindsay Page Bacon. Bergen-Op-Zoom War Cemetery. Grave 13.A.8. Born on the 25th January 1924 at Coffs Harbour, the son of Victor Frederick and Emily Bacon, of 65 Garrett Street, Maroubra, New South Wales, Australia. University student prior to enlisting on the 14th November 1942. Grave inscription: 'His Duty Nobly Done'.

Sgt. Harry McClements. Bergen-Op-Zoom War Cemetery. Grave 13.A.10. Son of Harry and Elsie McClements, of Hillsborough, Sheffield, England. Grave inscription: 'Eternal Rest Give Unto Him, O Lord; And Let Perpetual Light Shine Upon Him'.

Fl/Sgt. Richard Roy Evans. Bergen-Op-Zoom War Cemetery. Grave 13.A.7. Son of Richard Evans, and of Catherine Evans, of Port Talbot, Glamorgan, Wales. Grave inscription: 'They Shall Be Mine, Saith The Lord Of Hosts, In That Day When I Make Up My Jewels'.

F/O. George Henry Huttlestone. Bergen-Op-Zoom War Cemetery. Grave 3.D.4. Son of William Alfred and Violet Beatrice Huttlestone, of Enfield, Middlesex, England. Grave inscription: 'God's Greatest Gift, Remembrance'.

W/O. Philip Athol Tennant. Bergen-Op-Zoom War Cemetery. Grave 13.A.12. Born on the 26th October 1914 at Inangahua, the son of David Thomas Tennant and Emily Jane Tennant and husband of Margaret Affleck Tennant (née Craighead), of Westport, Nelson, New Zealand. Prior to joining the RNZAF on the 30th May 1942 worked as a driver for Gibbs Transport Limited. A total of 496 flying hours logged and on his 22nd operational sorties. He previously served in 622 Squadron before joining the Path Finder Force.

Sgt. John Edward Taylor. Bergen-Op-Zoom War Cemetery. Grave 13.A.9. Son of John William and Ada Kate Taylor, of Radford, Coventry, England. Grave inscription: 'Loving Memories Will Remain Until The Day We Meet Again'.

Sgt. James Alex Cornwall. Bergen-Op-Zoom War Cemetery. Grave 13.A.11. Born on the 27th December 1919 in Gorton, the son of John Thomas and Jane Cornwall of Taylor Street, Gorton, Manchester, England. Jim attended St. James school, Gorton and was popular, even as the head boy. He later became a millwright, in engineering for Kendal and Gents Gorton, had been a keen footballer. His father (ex soldier who served in the first world war) died on the 26th June 1945 age 65, his mother passed away on the 23rd January 1969 age 86. Grave inscription (on family grave): 'Ever In Our Thoughts'.

Researched by Les Standing (relative of Sgt. James Alex Cornwall) and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to Jenifer Lemaire and to the extensive research by Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3”, Auckland Library Heritage Collection, Weekly News of New Zealand, National Archives Australia, other sources as quoted below:

KTY 04.12.2019

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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