18.08.1944 No. 630 Squadron Lancaster I LM269 LE-I P/O. John H. Bolton
Operation: Bordeaux, France
Date: 18th August 1944 (Friday)
Unit: No. 630 Squadron
Type: Lancaster I
Base: RAF East Kirkby, Lincolnshire
Location: Saint-Crepin, France
Pilot: P/O. John Herbert Bolton 175108 RAFVR Age 23. Evaded capture (1)
Fl/Eng: Sgt. Charles E. Goodman 1604311 RAFVR Age 21. Evaded capture
Nav: WO2. Gordon Alan Bullock J/89261 RCAF Age 20. Killed
Air/Bmr: Fl/Sgt. Ronald William Bishop 1334892 RAFVR Age 22. Killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. 'Duke' W.E. Durber 1578491 RAFVR Age 21. Evaded capture (2)
Air/Gnr: Sgt. 'Taffy' J.L. Gurney 1836527 RAFVR Age 20. Evaded capture
Air/Gnr: Sgt. Walter Hunt 1818270 RAFVR Age 19. Evaded capture
Interview with the last serving member of the crew took place with the webmaster on the 08th November 2015,
REASON FOR LOSS:
On a rare daytime bombing operation on the oil storage tanks in Bordeaux. Taking off at 15:42 hrs with 63 other Lancasters and 5 Mosquitoes from various units.
Above: memorabilia treasured by Walter with right: Webmaster with Maureen and Walter Hunt - November 2015.
Understood to have been hit by flak the Lancaster crashed in the region of Saint-Crepin. All the surviving crew had baled out as did WO2. Bullock, sadly his parachute failed and he fell in the village of Muron where a memorial stands today erected by the local French villagers.
Ronald Bishop and Gordon Bullock - Bishop had been hit by the flak in the aircraft but was pushed out by other crew members and releasing his chute, but sadly found dead after his landing. Bullock also baled out but his chute failed to open and he also lost his life.
Part of the squadron also were sent on to attack a supply depot at L’Isle-Adam (The main operation with 158 Lancasters and 11 Mosquitoes taking part from 5 Group) where another aircraft was lost. That of:
Lancaster III PB244 LE-N. Flown by F/O. A.F. Kemp RCAF who, together 3 other members of the crew evaded capture. 1 was made PoW and 1 was killed.
With thanks to Peter Leech who contacted us via our Twitter account and provided the grave and memorial photographs.
(1) We understand that P/O. John Bolton later went on to serve in the Kings Flight, Mr Walter Hunt informed me that he was killed in 1947 in an air accident - details found and shown. Commissioned (1443886) on 18th January 1944 - F/O. 18th July 1944 - Fl/Lt on 18th January 1946. (With thanks to Roy Wilcock for this information) Killed later on the 11th June 1951 whilst with No. 2 Air Navigation School. Wellington T10 RP355 was being talked down on a CGA (controlled ground approach) when it turned off the approach, stalled and crashed into the ground. The pilot mistook the airfield at St. Martin for St. Eval. Although one of the students, Cadet Navigator, Bellamy-Knight was injured during the crash the other, Cadet Navigator Charles Walter Davies along with the pilot were killed.
(2) Sadly Sgt. ‘Duke’ William Edgar Durber was killed in an accident the following year whilst with 1 Radio School at RAF Cranwell. Flying in Rapide I NF889 when in collision with a Spitfire AR395 - the loss of all 7 crew is recorded on this website.
WO2. Gordon Alan Bullock. Muron Communal Cemetery. Right of rear entrance. (The single CWGC burial). Born on the 02nd June 1924 in Manpa, Idaho, USA. Enlisted on the 08th July 1942. Son of Benjamin Harrison Bullock (died 09th June 1930, age just 39) and of Audrey Muriel Bullock (née Bateman - died in August 1970, age 70), of 36 Maitland Street, Apt. E-7, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Fl/Sgt. Ronald William Bishop. Saint-Crepin Communal Cemetery. Centre of Cemetery. (The single CWGC burial) Son of William James Bishop and Alice Elizabeth Bishop, of Brighton, Sussex, England.
For further details our thanks to the rear air gunner, Mr. Walter Hunt who, at the age of 90 contacted the webmaster in August 2015 with some details of this loss.
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