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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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RAF Bomber Command crest
03.08.1944 No. 619 Squadron Lancaster I ME568 PG-F W/O. Ronald Bennett

Operation: Trossy

Date: 3rd August 1944 (Thursday)

Unit: No. 619 Squadron

Type: Lancaster

Serial: ME568

Code: PG-F

Base: RAF Dunholme Lodge

Location: Not known - target area?

Pilot: W/O. Ronald Bennett 1498749 RAFVR Age ? Killed

Fl/Eng: Sgt. Edwin Charles Thomas Davies 188992 RAFVR Age 27. Killed

Nav: Fl/Sgt. Francis “Frank” Phillip Lyford 1467578 RAFVR Age 22. Killed (1)

Air/Bmr: Fl/Sgt. Arthur Griffiths 1474286 RAFVR Age 27. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. William Cobb 1315286 RAFVR Age 22. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Ronald Arthur Forrest 2205836 RAFVR Age 22. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Martin Cody 159324 RAFVR Age 19. Killed


Took off 11.45 hrs. from RAF Dunholme Lodge to attack a flying bomb storage site at Trossy St-Maximin.

The flying bomb sites / storage areas were attacked for 6 consecutive days, this being the 4th operation. On this day 1114 aircraft took part in the bombing of three sites, Bois de Cassan, Forêt de Nieppe and this one. 


Above left: Fl/Sgt. Francis Lyford and right: Fl/Sgt. Arthur Griffiths

Weather was described as clear and the raids were classed as successful. No details as to how ME568 was lost, it was one of five shot down in this area of the operations.

Burial details:

W/O. Ronald Bennett. Marissel French National Cemetery. (shown above) Collective grave 355. NoK details currently not available - are you able to assist completion of these and any other information?

Sgt. Edwin Charles Thomas Davies. Marissel French National Cemetery. Collective grave 355. Son of Edwin Charles and Annie Davies of Sparkhill, Birmingham, England.

Fl/Sgt. Francis “Frank” Phillip Lyford. Marissel French National Cemetery. Collective grave 355. Son of Francis Robert and Kathleen Elsie Lyford of Willesden Green, Middlesex, England. (1) His twin brother, Percy Robert Lyford DFC was also killed, 156 Squadron on the 2nd January 1944. Both brothers enlisted on the same day.

Fl/Sgt. Arthur Griffiths. Marissel French National Cemetery. Grave 364. Son of Jack and Georgina Griffiths of Liverpool, husband of Joan Mary Griffiths of Grassendale, England. Worked as a railway fireman prior to volunteering for Airforce. His son, Alan was born approximately a month before his father was killed. Arthur’s wife never re married and passed away in 1991.

Fl/Sgt. William Cobb. Marissel French National Cemetery. Grave 354. Son of William and Florence Elizabeth Cobb of Cirencester, Gloucestershire, England.

Sgt. Ronald Arthur Forrest. Old Communal Cemetery, (shown above) Villeneuve-St-Georges. Grave 134. Son of William and Mary Forrest of Liverpool, England.

Sgt. Martin Cody. Marissel French National Cemetery. Collective grave 355. Son of Michael and Elizabeth Cody of 40 Gaunt Street, Lincoln, England. He had two sisters and five brothers, born 31st December 1925, but lied about his age, giving the date of 31st March 1925 so that he could enlist. Worked as a sign writer and painter.

Researched by Aircrew Remembered, researcher and specialist genealogist Linda Ibrom for relatives of this crew. With thanks to Lucinda Hannant for family information on Fl/Sgt. Lyford, for family information on Sgt. Cody to Phil Cody, nephew. Finally to Alan Griffiths son of Fl/Sgt. Griffiths for photographs and family information.

Above: Fl/Sgt. Griffiths during training in Canada - middle row, 2nd on right

Above: Photograph found in Fl/Sgt. Griffiths belongings, but they have no idea what or where it is celebrating - can anyone assist?

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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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