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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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51 Squadron Crest
30/31.03.1944 51 Squadron Halifax III LV857 MH:H Sgt. Binder

Operation: Nurnberg, Germany

Date: 30th/31st March 1944 (Thursday/Friday)

Unit No: 51 Squadron

Type: Halifax III

Serial: LV857

Code: MH:H

Base: RAF Snaith, Yorkshire

Location: NE of Fulda, Germany

Pilot: Sgt. Jack Percival George Binder 1337685 RAFVR Age 21. KiA

Flt Eng: Sgt. James Brear 1521636 RAFVR Age 22. KiA

Nav: Flt Sgt. Walter Austin Guy 1029598 RAFVR Age 23. KiA

Bomb Aimer: Flt Sgt. Raymond Hathaway Wilson R162866 RCAF Age 22. KiA

WOp/Air Gnr: Sgt. Edmund Joseph Paul Monk 1390097 RAFVR Age 19. KiA

Air Gnr (Mid Upp): Sgt. Frank Kasher 1592239 RAFVR Age? KiA

Air Gnr (Rear): Sgt. Basil Hughes Menary 1237634 RAFVR Age 22. KiA

Above: Halifax B Mark III, LV857, in flight shortly after completion by the Handley Page Ltd works at Radlett, Hertfordshire. In its brief service life, this aircraft served with Nos. 35, 10 and 51 Squadrons RAF before being lost on this raid. (Courtesy of the Imperial War Museum)


Taking off from RAF Snaith in Yorkshire at 22:11 hrs for a major operation on the city of Nuremberg.

Part of a huge raid of over 795 aircraft, mainly Lancasters, also one of the costliest in the history of Bomber Command in a single operation with 105 aircraft lost (including accidents on take off and landing) with over 500 aircrew killed. 6 lost from this squadron alone. They began their bombing run at around 01:28 hrs. on the morning of the 31st March over Nuremberg.

Above the brothers: L-R: Larry, Edmund, Frank and Arthur Monk

The majority of the bomber stream were intercepted during the outbound flight (over 80 lost during this phase) The actual raid on Nürnberg was classed as a failure with many bombers missing the target area.

Halifax LV857 was claimed as a possible by Oblt. Hans Robert Leickhardt, his 13th Abschuss, from 2./NJG5 north-east of Fulda, north-east of Frankfurt at 00:53 hrs. (Nachtjagd Combat Archive (16 March 1944 - 11 May 1944) Part 2 - Theo Boiten).

Maj. Leickhardt was appointed the Gruppenkommandeur of II./NJG5 in May 1944. On the 5th march 1945 he claimed a British bomber but was then himself shot down and KiA in his Bf110. He was credited with 14 Abschüsse 3 of which were unconfirmed.(Luftwaffe ACES - Biographies and Victory Claims (Mathews and Foreman) - Volume 2).

Above: A detailed account of this operation has been described in Martin Middlebrooks publication ‘The Nuremberg Raid’ ISBN-13: 978-1844158751 (Also available in softcover)

51 Squadron suffered badly during this operation, losing some 6 aircraft, the others:

Halifax III LV822 MH:Z Flown by Flt Sgt. Edward Wilkins 414442 RAAF - KiA with all of his 6 crew;
Halifax III LV777 MH:F Flown by Sqn Ldr. Frederick Peter Hill DFC 60532 RAFVR - KiA with all of his 6 crew;
Halifax III LW537 MH:C Flown by Flt Sgt. Malcolm Maos Stembridge 1452226 RAFVR - KiA with 1 other crew member, 5 others PoW;
Halifax III LW544 MH:Q Flown by Flt Sgt. Geoffrey Graham Brougham 421885 RAAF - KiA with 4 of his crew, 2 PoW;
Halifax III LW579 MH:V Flown by Plt Off. James Brooks 159065 RAFVR - KiA with all of his 6 crew.

Burial details:

(Above Sgt. Jack Binder photograph & caption. Courtesy Dave Howells)

Sgt. Jack Percival George Binder. Hannover War Cemetery. Grave 4.H.13. Born in New Zealand, the son of Cecil George and Winifred Grace (née Scarff) Binder, and brother of Frederick, of Moulton, Northamptonshire, England.

Sgt. James Brear. Hannover War Cemetery. Grave 4.H.16. Grave inscription: ‘HE GAVE HIS LIFE THAT WE MIGHT LIVE IN PEACE MAY IT NOT BE IN VAIN’. Son of Walter and Florrie Brear of Doncaster, England.

Flt Sgt. Walter Austin Guy. Hannover War Cemetery. Grave 4.H.19. Son of Thomas and Louisa Guy and husband of Elizabeth of Lancaster, England.

Above: Flt Sgt Wilson and his initial grave marker from his service file

Flt Sgt. Raymond Hathaway Wilson. Hannover War Cemetery. Grave 4.H.14. Grave inscription: “THERE IS A DIVINITY THAT SHAPES OUR ENDS”. Born on the 2nd August 1921 in Kelowna, British Columbia. Son of Son of John Hatherway and Ruby Helene (née Leigh) Wilson, brother of Noel Hathaway and Helen Rosemary Wilson of Peachland, British Columbia, Canada.

Sgt. Edmund Joseph Paul Monk. Hannover War Cemetery. Grave 4.H.18. Grave inscription: ‘COME WE TO SEEK. THE VISION OF THE HIGH TO SEE OUR DEAD IN JOY OF GODS FAIR EYE’. Born on on the 26th September 1924, in Epsom,Surrey, the son of Joseph and Phyllis Grace (née Stallard) Monk of Hove, Sussex and brother to Winifred, Frank, Arthur, Vera, Lawrence and Christina.

The family were informed by the Air Ministry in a letter dated July 20th 1944, that Edmnd would be listed as “missing, presumed killed” until confirmed.They had to wait nearly six more months from the end of March, before they could assume that he had been killed. A terrible wait for all the families. Sgt. Monk is noted as being Lay secretary of the sword of the Spirit RAF Branch, Blackpool, Lancashire, England.

Sgt. Frank Kasher. Hannover War Cemetery. Grave 4.H.15. Son of James and Edith Kasher (née Feetham) of Auckland, County Durham, England. He was the only child.

Sgt. Basil Hughes Menary. Hannover War Cemetery. Grave 4.H.17. Grave inscription: ‘TREASURED MEMORIES OF A DEAR SWEET HEART AND HUSBAND.MARY AND YVONNE,”BABY”’. Son of George Menary and and Alice Watmough (died during childbirth of Basil) and stepson of Lily Menary and husband of Mary Menary of Lidget Green, Bradford, Yorkshire, England.

Mary was pregnant with their daughter, Yvonne when he was killed. Enlisted on the 26th March 1941 and initially based in Blackpool.

Researched by Linda Ibrom for Aircrew Remembered in May 2017 and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to sources as shown below. Thanks to Peter Staveley for information on Jack Binder, David Watnough for sending us the photographs of Sgt. Basil Menary, Teresa Menary niece of Basil Menary also to Monica Porter and Janet Gardner of the Daily Mail for their tremendous assistance with this and making the page of remembrance possible. Finally Barbara Paul, (niece of Sergeant Edmund Monk) and family for photographs and information. Also many thanks to David Champion for further crew details and photograph of Flt Sgt. Raymond Hathaway Wilson. Thanks also to Dave Howells for the photograph of Sgt. Jack Binder (Dec 2019). Correction to German night-fighter claim (Mar 2023). Thanks to Arjen de Boer for reference to the photograph of the aircraft (Mar 2024).

Other sources listed below:

RS 06.03.2034 - Addition of aircraft photograph and update to Next of Kin details

Pages of Outstanding Interest
History Airborne Forces •  Soviet Night Witches •  Bomber Command Memories •  Abbreviations •  Gardening Codenames
CWGC: Your Relative's Grave Explained •  USA Flygirls •  Axis Awards Descriptions •  'Lack Of Moral Fibre'
Concept of Colonial Discrimination  •  Unauthorised First Long Range Mustang Attack
RAAF Bomb Aimer Evades with Maquis •  SOE Heroine Nancy Wake •  Fane: Motor Racing PRU Legend
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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