12.06.1943 No. 419 Squadron Halifax II JD143 VR-A F/O. W.J. Boyce
Date: 11/12th June 1943 (Friday/Saturday)
Unit: No. 419 Squadron
Type: Halifax II
Base: RAF Middleton St. George, County Durham
Location: 7 km west of Xanten, Germany
Pilot: F/O. William John Boyce J/12480 RCAF Age 26. Killed
Pilot 2: W/O 1. Herbert Andrew Tripp R/68179 RCAF Age 24. Killed
Fl/Eng: Sgt. D.N. Stewart 974746 RAFVR PoW No: 21 Camp: Stalag Kopernikus - 357
Nav: F/O. D.I. Black 124923 RAFVR PoW No: 1488 Camp: Stalag Luft Sagan - L3
Air/Bmr: F/O. C.L. Buck 127101 RAFVR PoW No: 1611 Camp: Stalag Luft Sagan - L3 (1)
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Douglas Edward Cyril Chambers 1330903 RAFVR Age ? Killed
Air/Gnr: Sgt. R.M. Hall R/105379 RCAF PoW No: 156 Camp: Stalag Luft Heydekrug - L6
Air/Gnr: Sgt. John Douglas Gray R/141114 RCAF Age 22. PoW No: 10 Camp: Stalag Luft Heydekrug - L6
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off from RAF Middleton St. George in County Durham at 22:40 hrs joining a total of 782 other aircraft from various squadrons to bomb Düsseldorf.
Although initial marking was spot on for the first wave a backup marker Mosquito dropped target indicators 14 miles (23 km) off target to the north-east, with the effect that part of the bombing fell there. 130 acres (0.53 km2) of Düsseldorf claimed as destroyed.
There are reports that the Halifax was hit by flak after making its bombing run. Other reports (Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vol's. 1 and 2’) state that it was intercepted and shot down by the Luftwaffe night fighter ace Hptm. Manfred Meurer (2) of 3./NJG1, his 40th claim of the war. 7 km west of Xanten at 01:55 hrs. Both agree the area of the loss.
(1) F/O. C.L. Buck was a friend of the family of Timothy Croft who kindly contacted us in September 2017 - sending many photographs.
Above: CL Buck first on left, front row - St Andrews golf club steps
(2) Hptm. Manfred Meurer went on to claim a total of 63 night abschüsse before he was killed with his Funker Ofw. Gerhard Scheibe flying a Heinkel 219 A-O G9+BB during a collision with a Lancaster on the 21/22nd January 1944 over Magdeburg. (shown left - courtesy Kracker archives) Further details information found here.
Some of the crew originally buried at at Buderick Parish Cemetery, Kreis Moers, Germany.
F/O. William John Boyce. Rheinberg War Cemetery. Grave 3.A.11. Son of William John and Charlotte Ann Boyce, of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (B.Sc. - University of British Columbia).
W/O 1. Herbert Andrew Tripp. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. Grave 4.F.15. Born on the 20th November 1918, the son of Agnes Tripp. Understood to be from London, Ontario, Canada.
Sgt. Douglas Edward Cyril Chambers. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. Grave 1.G.7. Next of kin details not available, are you able to assist? Understood to be from Brighton, Sussex, England.
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to Timothy Croft family friend of F/O. C.L. Buck - Des Philippet, Fred and Wouter van Dijken for grave photographs (at Find-A-Grave), other sources as shown below.