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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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408 squadron badge
03/04.02.1943 No. 408 Squadron Halifax II DT680 EQ-D Fl/Lt. Black

Operation: Hamburg

Date: 03/04th February 1943 (Wednesday/Thursday)

Unit: No. 408 Squadron (Goose) RCAF 6 Group

Type: Halifax II

Serial: DT680

Code: EQ-D

Base: RAF Leeming, North Yorkshire, England.

Location: Brietlingen, Germany.

Pilot: Fl/Lt. William Andrew Black J/7980 RCAF Age 23. Killed

Fl/Eng: Sgt. S. Eardley 1118312 RAFVR PoW No: 27469 Camp: Stalag Mühlberg-Elbe (Later promoted to W/O. During captivity)

Nav: Sgt. B.G. Howe 1267922 RAFVR PoW No: 27496 Camp: Stalag Lamsdorf (Later promoted to W/O. During captivity)

Air/Bmr: Fl/Sgt. F. Waite R/87939 RCAF PoW No: 27482 Camp: Stalag Lamsdorf (Later promoted to W/O 1. During captivity)

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. J.A. Taplin 1268696 RAFVR PoW No: 27493 Camp: Stalag Lamsdorf (Later promoted to W/O. During captivity)

Air/Gnr: Sgt. J.S.A. Aubry J/18282 RCAF PoW No: 27458 Camp: Stalag Luft Sagan and Belaria (Later promoted to F/O. During captivity)

Air/Gnr: F/O. I.G. Imrie J/16488 RCAF PoW No: 505 Camp: Stalag Luft Sagan and Belaria (Later promoted to Fl/Lt)


Taking off at 18:00 hrs joining 263 aircraft taking part - 84 Halifaxes, 66 Stirlings, 62 Lancasters, 51 Wellingtons.

Very icy on outbound trip over the North Sea, causing many aircraft to return.

Bombing very scattered, 45 'large' fires started in the city, 55 people killed on the ground, 40 injured.

16 aircraft shot down by the effective Luftwaffe night fighters. DT680 is reported to have been shot down by flak at 21:40 hrs. by the 3rd and 8th Flak divisions. Believed to have crashed at Brietlingen in the forest of Weckenstedt (see map).

Crash site area (courtesy Willi Sgodzaj)

Burial details:

Initially buried at the Lueneburg Central Cemetery - reinterred 16th April 1947.

Fl/Lt. William Andrew Black. Hamburg Ohlsdorf War Cemetery. Grave 10A.M.8. Born on the 05th January 1920, the son of William and Dorothy Ellen Black (née Castle) of 5510 Blenheim Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Researched with information supplied by Willi Sgodzaj in Germany and dedicated to relatives of the crew.

KTY Updated 21.11.2019

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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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