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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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627 squadron badge
19/20.02.1945 627 Squadron Mosquito XXV KB401 AZ-E Wg.Cdr. Benjamin DFC & Bar

Operation: Böhlen

Date: 19-20th February 1945 (Monday/Tuesday)

Unit: 627 Squadron

Type: Mosquito XXV

Serial: KB401

Code: AZ:E

Base: RAF Woodhall Spa, Lincolnshire

Location: Near Colditz

Pilot: Wg.Cdr. Eric Arthur Benjamin DFC and Bar 77777 RAFVR Age 25. Killed

Nav: Fg.Off. John Ettock Heath DFM 171190 RAFVR Age ? Missing


Positioned from RAF Woodhall Spa to RAF Coningsby to be flown by the master bomber for this operation.

627 Squadron Mosquito

Hit by flak and crashing in the target area. As this was the master bomber the raid was not classed as a success. Damage to the target was classified as superficial and no evidence to show where the bombing fell from the 254 Lancasters that took part. This was the only loss of the operation.

Further information from Norbert Brandt explained that the Mosquito came down behind the Engelhardt's estate where it caught fire along with some buildings. The fire services from Erlbach had great difficulty containing the fire.

Burial details:

Wg.Cdr. Eric Arthur Benjamin DFC and Bar. Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery. Grave 1.Z.13. Son of Albert and Beatrice Benjamin and husband of M.E. Benjamin of Twickenham, Middlesex, England. Grave inscription reads: "Until We Meet Again. Betty, Jeanne And Sally".

DFC was awarded when a Sqn.Ldr and whilst with 61 Sqn - Gazetted 7th September 1943. Bar to DFC was awarded when a Sqn.Ldr and whilst with 61 Sqn - Gazetted 18th January 1944.

Fg.Off. John Ettock Heath DFM. Runnymede Memorial Panel 267. Understood to be from Samlesbury, Lancashire, England. Remembered on the War Memorial Hall in Samlesbury.

DFM awarded whilst with 50 Sqn - Gazetted 18th January 1944

Researched by Aircrew Remembered, researcher and specialist genealogist Linda Ibrom for relatives of this crew. Bart Baeyens for grave photo, Amanda West for Runnymede Panel. With thanks to Norbert Brandt for details on location - April 2018.

RS 04.07.2020 - Updated to include awards information.

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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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Last Modified: 04 April 2021, 18:41

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