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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
30/31.03.1944 No. 166 Squadron Lancaster III ND798 AS-C P/O. Walter H. Burnett

Operation: Nurembourg

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

Unit: No. 166 Squadron

Type: Lancaster III

Serial: ND798

Code: AS-C

Base: RAF Kirmington, Lincolnshire

Location: Griesenbach, Germany

Pilot: P/O. Walter Henry Burnett 171640 RAFVR Age 20. Killed

Pilot2: P/O. V.W.R. Park 172302 RAFVR PoW No: 4110 Camp: L1 - Stalag Luft Barth Vogelsang

Fl/Eng: Sgt. J. Toole 1684897 RAFVR PoW No: 3427 Camp: L3 - Stalag Luft Sagan and Belaria

Nav: WO2. L.E. Edmunds J/87093 RCAF PoW No: 3488 Camp: L1 - Stalag Luft Barth Vogelsang 

Air/Bmr: Fl/Sgt. R.H. Bannister R/145314 RCAF PoW No: 3428 Camp: L6 - Stalag Luft Heydekrug

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Albert Binder 1146522 PoW No: 3426 Camp: L1 - Stalag Luft Barth Vogelsang 

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Peter Henry Brown 1305927 RAFVR Age ? Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Frank Storer 1085739 RAFVR Age ? Killed


Taking off from RAF Kirmington, Lincolnshire at 22:02 hrs 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. 4 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 area of loss with insert P/O. Walter Henry Burnett (courtesy Sherborne School Archives)

The majority of the bomber stream were intercepted during the outbound flight (over 80 lost during this phase) Lancaster ND798 was part of this group, possibly brought down by Lt. Hermann Labue (1) of Stab II./NJG3 at 00:29 hours, his 12th abschüsse of the war. The aircraft crashed at Griesenbach, Germany.

The others lost from this squadron this night:

Lancaster 1 ME624 AS-X Flown by 22 year old Roy Barton Fennell 1318683 RAFVR from Bromham, Wiltshire - Killed with 5 members of his crew, 1 taken PoW.
Lancaster I ME638 AS-B Flown by Fl/Lt. F. Taylor 136464 RAFVR taken PoW with 5 crew members, 2 others killed.
Lancaster I ME686 AS-V Flown by Fl/Lt. Gordon Arbuthnot Procter 114400 RAFVR killed with all other 7 crew, 1 flying as second dickie (2).

(1) The Luftwaffe ace Lt. Hermann Labue went on to claim 20 more, prior to his death on the 28/29th December 1944 following a crash landing after combat.

(2) Second Dickie - as second pilot obtaining operation experience prior to taking his own crew on operations.

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

Sherborne School, Dorset - Any further information that you are able to assist them with fallen former pupils from all wars, we would be pleased to pass onto them. 

Burial details:

P/O. Walter Henry Burnett. Rheinberg War Cemetery. Grave 9.F.17. Further information (courtesy Sherborne School Archives): Born in 1922, son of Frank Norman Burnett and Catherine Burnett, of Hayward's Heath, Sussex (formerly of Hatherleigh, Hadley Wood, Barnet, Hertfordshire). Attended Sherborne School (Lyon House) 1938-1940. The younger brother of 26 year old Fl/Lt. Norman Whitmore Burnett 70101 RAFVR, who was killed on the 11th June 1941 serving with 46 Squadron in the defence of Malta. 

Sgt. Peter Henry Brown. Rheinberg War Cemetery. Grave 9.F.18. Next of kin details currently not available - are you able to assist completion of these and any other information?

Sgt. Frank Storer. Rheinberg War Cemetery. Grave 9.F.19. Next of kin details currently not available - are you able to assist completion of these and any other information?

Sgt. Binder also flew on these operations (courtesy forum posting):

29.12.43 Berlin (with Lindley crew)

14.01.44 Brunswick

20.01.44 Berlin (mission abandoned)

21.01.44 Magdeburg

27.01.44 Berlin

28.01.44 Berlin

30.01.44 Berlin

15.02.44 Berlin

19.02.44 Leipzig

20.02.44 Stuttgart

24.02.44 Schweinfurt

25.02.44 Augsburg

01.03.44 Stuttgart

15.03.44 Stuttgart

18.03.44 Frankfurt

30.03.44 Nurnberg-Failed to return

Sources as shown below. With thanks to Sherborne School Archives for additional information.

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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