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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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44 Squadron badge
11/12.11.1944 No 44 Squadron Lancaster III LM648 KM-K F/O. Caryer

Operation: Harborg

Date: 11/12th November 1944 (Saturday/Sunday)

Unit: No. 44 Squadron

Type: Lancaster III

Serial: LM648

Code: KM-K

Base: RAF Spilsby, Lincolnshire

Location: North of airfield at Scremby

Pilot: F/O. Paul Arthur Charles Caryer 161398 RAFVR Age 23. Killed

Fl/Eng: Sgt. Robert Douglas Driscoll 1815438 RAFVR Age 20. Killed

Nav: F/O. Chesley Reginald Grassie J/39373 RCAF Age 22. Killed

Air/Bmr: F/O. Dennis Sullivan Arnett 154683 RAFVR Age 23. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Donald Lamont Mitchell AUS/422619 RAAF Age 21. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Derrick Keen 2206220 RAFVR Age 19. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. John Routledge 1591457 RAFVR Age 19. Killed


Taking off at 16:.33 hrs from RAF Spilsby, Lincolnshire to bomb the Rhenania-Ossag oil refinery that the USAAF had previously attacked in daylight operations, but was still operating. 237 Lancasters with 8 Mosquitoes bombing the area with reports that the residential and some industrial ares were hit but the reports did no mention the actual factory.

119 people were killed on the ground with 5,205 bombed out of their homes.

Returned safely from the operation to Germany when at 21:31 hrs they collided with another Lancaster III from 207 Squadron whilst doing circuits ready to land. All 14 crew from both aircraft lost their lives.

Burial details:

F/O. Paul Arthur Charles Caryer. Newmarket Cemetery. Plot H. Grave 1158A. Son of Cecil A. O. Caryer and Frances M. Caryer, of Newmarket, England. Husband of Daphne Iris Caryer.

Sgt. Robert Douglas Driscoll. Shrewsbury General Cemetery. Ext. Plot 9. Grave 116. Son of Frederick Driscoll, and of Sarah Driscoll, of Shrewsbury, England.

F/O. Chesley Reginald Grassie. Harrogate (Stonefall) Cemetery. Sec G. Row C. Grave 18. From Neepawa, Manitoba, Canada. N.o.K. details not currently available.

F/O. Dennis Sullivan Arnett. Cheadle and Gatley Cemetery. Sec. K. Grave 132. Son of Percy and May Arnett, of Gatley, Cheadle, England.

Fl/Sgt. Donald Lamont Mitchell. Cambridge City Cemetery. Grave 15153. Son of Thomas and Frances Mitchell, of Manly, New South Wales. Australia.

Sgt. Derrick Keen. New Hey (St. Thomas) Churchyard. North Plot. Row O. Grave 13. Son of George and Ruth Keen, of New Hey, Lancashire, England.

Sgt. John Routledge. Penrith Cemetery. Sec. Green. Row KKK. Grave 9. Son of John and Elizabeth Routledge, of Penrith, Cumberland, England.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to sources as shown below.

KTY 09.02.2017 New map added

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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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