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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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149 Squadron Crest
07/08.07.1944 No. 49 Squadron Lancaster III LM541 EA-N Fl/Lt. George E. Ball DFC

Operation: St-Leu  France

Date: 7/8th July 1944 (Friday/Saturday)

Unit: No. 49 Squadron

Type: Lancaster MkIII

Serial: LM541

Code: EA-N

Base: RAF Fiskerton

Location: Le Chesne, France  

Pilot: Fl/Lt. George Edward Ball DFC. 170964 RAFVR Age 24. Killed

Fl/Eng: Sgt. Eric Wardman 1451760 RAFVR Age 21. Killed

Nav: P/O. George Millar 177977 RAFVR Age 22. Killed

Air/Bmr: P/O. George Arthur Rae J/88120 RCAF Age 23. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: P/O. John Kernahan 177752 RAFVR Age 21. Killed

Air/Gnr:  Sgt. John Kirwan DFM. 1067998 RAFVR Age 25. Killed

Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Gorden James William Parkinson DFM. 1873911 RAFVR Age 20. Killed


On an operation to bomb the flying bomb storage depot at St-Leu-d-Esserent taking off at 22:13 hrs.

Left: Sgt. Eric Wardman Right: P/O. George Millar

49 Squadron lost two aircraft during this operation:

Lancaster I LL976 EA-A Flown by 21 year old F/O. Cyril Baker 175921 RAFVR from Stoke-on-Trent, England killed will all of his six other crew. Shot down by a night fighter.
Lancaster III PB207 Flown by F/O. L. McCracken RAFVR - he, together with all his crew, survived after their aircraft was badly damaged by a night fighter - they managed to land back at base, but the Lancaster was struck off charge.

Despite the operational success, a terrible night for Bomber Command regarding losses, some 31 aircraft lost, a further 11 returning home with damage, most to the night fighters of the Luftwaffe. The USAAF also lost some 9 Marauders on an almost simultaneous attack on the V1 Headquarters at Chateau de Ribeneaucourt.

Lancaster LM541 is believed to have been shot down by another Lancaster. But we have no other details regarding this.

Burial details:

Fl/Lt. George Edward Ball DFC. Le Chesne Cemetery, France. Grave 3. Son of George Albert and Margaret Jane Dryhurst Ball, of Leicester, England.

Fl/Eng: Sgt. Eric Wardman. Le Chesne Cemetery, France. Grave 5. Son of Robert and Madge Wardman, of Harrogate, Yorkshire, England.

Nav: P/O. George Millar. Le Chesne Cemetery, France. Grave 1. Son of George and Mattie Millar, of Hawick, Roxburghshire, Scotland.

Air/Bmr: P/O. George Arthur Rae. Le Chesne Cemetery, France. Grave 7. Son of Hugh Franklin Rae and Edith Rae, husband of Mary M. Rae, of Gilmorton, Leicestershire, England.

W/Op/Air/Gnr: P/O. John Kernahan. Le Chesne Cemetery, France. Grave 4. Son of Matthew and Jane Ferguson Kernahan, of Barrhead, Renfrewshire, Scotland.

Air/Gnr: Sgt. John Kirwan DFM. Le Chesne Cemetery, France. Grave 2. Son of Michael and Bridget Kirwan, of Dungarvan, Co. Kilkenny, Irish Republic.

Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Gorden James William Parkinson DFM. Le Chesne Cemetery, France. Grave 6. Son of William and Gladys Violet Parkinson, of Wimblington, Cambridgeshire, England.

Researched by Michel Beckers for Aircrew Remembered March 2015. Photographs from the Researched by Michel Beckers for Aircrew Remembered March 2015. Photographs from the collection of Michel Beckers. Also thanks to Colin Cripps for grave and Fl/Sgt. Millar photographs, to Jean-Pierre Touzeau for War memorial photo.

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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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