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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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166 Squadron Crest
16/17.01.1945 No. 166 Squadron Lancaster III ME296 AS-V Fl/Lt. Burke

Operation: Zeitz

Date: 16/17th January 1945 (Tuesday/Wednesday)

Unit: No. 166 Squadron

Type: Avro Lancaster III

Serial: ME296

Code: AS-V

Base: RAF Kirmington, Lincolnshire

Location: Target area

Pilot: Fl/Lt. Ernest Patrick Burke AUS/426303 RAAF Age 33. Killed

Fl/Eng: Sgt. Thomas Edward Carr 1590301 RAFVR Age 20. Killed

Nav: Fl/Sgt. G.K.E. John 1651466 RAFVR PoW

Air/Bmr: P/O. John Mansfield Meggitt AUS/424599 RAAF Age 26. PoW

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. G.W. Kirk 652058 RAFVR PoW

Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. G. Anson 1595433 RAFVR PoW

Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. T.R. Wood 975880 RAFVR PoW


Taking off at 17:25 hrs from RAF Kirmington in Lincolnshire to bomb the Braunkohle-Benzin synthetic oil plant - night fighter claims for this period of the war were mostly lost. Also PoW records for the same period were not updated.

It is thought probable that they came down in the target area.

Some of this crew, in Halifax V DG403 of 1667 Heavy Conversion Unit flown by Fl/Lt. Ernest Burke were injured when a forced landing took place in a field. Fl/Sgt. John, P/O. Meggitt, Fl/Sgt. Wood all survived with various degrees of injuries.

Sgt. Thomas Edward Carr also escaped injured from 1667 Heavy Conversion Unit Halifax V DG414 - further details can be read here.

Grave photographs courtesy Des Philippet.

Burial details:

Fl/Lt. Ernest Patrick Burke. Rheinberg War Cemetery. Grave 11.D.20. Born on the 30th September 1911 at Brisbane, the son of John Ernest and Florence Burke; husband of Bessie Margaret Burke, of Kew, Victoria, Australia. Grave inscription reads: "His Duty Nobly Done. Ever Remembered".

Sgt. Thomas Edward Carr. Rheinberg War Cemetery. Grave 11.D.21. Next of kin details not known, are you able to assist? Grave inscription reads: "Only Those Who Loved And Lost Know The Price This Great War Cost".

Researched by Rob Davis and provided to us in December 2018. Page dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to sources as shown.

KTY 12.12.2018

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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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