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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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102 squadron crest
12/13.06.1941 No. 102 Squadron Whitley V Z6489 Sgt. Chapman

Operation: Schwerte, Germany

Date: 12/13th June 1941 (Thursday/Friday)

Unit: No. 102 Squadron

Type: Whitley Mk V

Serial: Z6489

Code: DY-?

Base: RAF Topcliffe

Location: Aalst-Waalre, just south of Eindhoven, Holland

Pilot: Sgt. John Chapman 1151802 RAFVR Age 24. Killed

Pilot 2: Sgt. John Franklin James AUS/404104 RAAF Age 25. Killed

Obs: P/O Raymond Woodrow Dawson 87361 RAFVR Age 22. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. James Hall 552714 RAF Age 19. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. John Matthew Bailey Tunnah 981759 RAFVR Age 30. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Kenneth Ridd Winter 977342 RAFVR Age 22. Killed


Z6489 was one of two 102 Squadron Whitleys lost on this operation.

The other: Z6565 piloted by Sgt. N.B. Berndsson returned safely to Topcliffe at 06:23 hrs. but was written off due to unspecified damage.

Took off at 23:06 hrs. from Topcliffe to attack the railway yards at Schwerte, Germany. 36 Whitleys and 6 Wellingtons took part but they failed to find the target and bombed the town instead.

Shot down by a night-fighter Lt Reinhold Knacke (1) 2./NJG1 and crashed at 03:16 hrs. on land belonging to Mr De Bie Gagelse Akkers at Waalre (Noord Brabant), 7 km SSW of Eindhoven. all are buried in Woensel General Cemetery.

(1) Lt. Knacke became a night fighter ace with over 44 kills. He was killed on the 3/4th February 1943 from return fire from a Stirling near Achterveld/Ede.

Above: Graves of crew and Woensel Genereal Cemetery on left (courtesy Raimondo Bogaars)

Burial details:

Sgt. John Chapman. Woensel General Cemetery. Plot JJ. Grave 17. Son of William John and Mary Elizabeth Chapman, of Lutterworth, Warwickshire, England.

Sgt. James Hall. Woensel General Cemetery. Plot JJ. Joint Grave 19-20. Son of George and Margaret Hall, of Deepdale, Lancashire, England.

Sgt. John Matthew Bailey Tunnah. Woensel General Cemetery. Plot JJ. Joint Grave 19-20. Son of Alexander and Wilhelmina Tunnah, of Coves, Isle of Wight, England.

Sgt. Kenneth Ridd Winter. Woensel General Cemetery. Plot JJ. Joint Grave 16. Son of William Ridd Winter and Bertha Winter, of Finchley, Middlesex, England.

Sgt. John Franklin James. Woensel General Cemetery. Plot JJ. Joint Grave 25. Son of Edwin Alfred and Ellen Louise James, of Morningside, Queensland, Australia.

P/O Raymond Woodrow Dawson. Woensel General Cemetery. Plot JJ. Joint Grave 18. Son of the Revd. John Thomas Dawson and Louisa Ann Dawson, of Llanvaches, Monmouthshire, Wales.

With thanks to Phil Bass for crew correction details - June 2017. Other sources as quoted below.

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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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