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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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51 Squadron
14.03.1945 No. 51 Squadron Halifax MK111 NP932 MH-J Fl/O. Chopping

Operation: Homberg

Date: 14th March 1945 (Wednesday)

Unit: No. 51 Squadron

Type: Halifax MK lll

Serial: NP932

Code: MH-J

Base: RAF Snaith, Yorkshire

Location: Nr. Pollington, Yorkshire

Pilot: F/O. Stanley George Chopping. 188188 RAFVR Age 22. Killed

Pilot: P/O. David Johnston Hovell. 184910 RAFVR Age 31. Killed

Fl/Eng: Sgt. Griffith Williams. 3010661 RAFVR Age 19. Killed

Nav: Fl/Sgt. George Henry Elliott. 1607037 RAFVR Age 33. Killed

Air/Bmr: Fl/Sgt. Mowbray Samuel George Mumford. 1389826 RAFVR Age 22. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. John Samuel Davies. 1514786 RAFVR Age 23. Killed

Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Victor Henry Andrews. 3005078 RAFVR Age 19. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. John Lambert Bird. 2225274 RAFVR Age 24. Killed


Took off from RAF Snaith at 17:21hrs on a raid to Homberg to bomb the communication lines. On returning to base and after making three attempts to land the aircraft crashed at 23:30hrs at the WAAF site near Pollington village.
161 aircraft - 127 Halifaxes, 23 Lancasters, 11 Mosquitos - of 4 and 8 Groups on a mission to Homburg. This attack was directed on to the town area to block the passage through it of German troops and stores to the nearby front line. No local report is available but it is believed that this attack was equally successful. 2 Halifaxes lost.

Burial details:

F/O. Stanley George Chopping. Kinson (St Andrew) Churchyard, Hampshire. S.W. Part. Grave 994.Son of Willie Goff Chopping and Eliza Amelia Chopping of Northbourne, Bournemouth, Hampshire, England. At the time of Stanley's death his parents were living at 28 Ferncroft Road, Northbourne, Bournemouth and his father was a retired police pensioner.

P/O. David Johnston Hovell. Dundee Eastern Necropolis. Scotland. Sec. E. Grave 374. Son of Thomas and Elizabeth Hovell of Dundee, Scotland. Husband of Annie Burns Hovell.

Sgt. Griffith Williams. Penrhyndeudraeth (Minffordd) Cemetery. Sec. D. Grave 28. Son of John Robert and May Williams of Penrhyndeudraeth, Merionethshire, Wales.

Fl/Sgt. George Henry Elliott. Portsmouth (Milton) Cemetery, Portsmouth, Hampshire. Plot Z. 2. Row 14. Grave 6. Son of William M Elliott and Clara Elliott of Portsmouth. Husband of Adeline Thurza Marjorie Elliott of Milton, Southsea, Portsmouth, England. At the time of George's death his wife was living at 157 Essex Road, Southsea, Portsmouth, England.

Fl/Sgt. Mowbray Samuel George Mumford. Cowes (Northwood) Cemetery, Isle of Wight. Uncons. Sec. Grave 7849. Son of Mrs M. E. Mumford of Cowes, England. Born in 1922 on the Isle of Wight. Mowbray was a postman in Cowes in 1939.

Fl/Sgt. John Samuel Davies. Ripon Cemetery, Yorkshire. Sec. A. Grave 105. Son of Thomas and Eleanor Davies of Blackley, Manchester, England.

Fl/Sgt. Victor Henry Andrews. Alderton (St. Andrew) Churchyard, Suffolk, England. Son of Frederick Henry and Bessie Ellen Andrews of Alderton, England. Victor was born in 1925.

Sgt. John Lambert Bird. Newbrough (St. Peter) Churchyard, Northumberland. Grave 11. Extreme left corner from entrance gate. Son of Robert and Margaret Dodd Bird of Kielder, England.

Researched by Kate Tame volunteer for the Aircrew Remembered and for all the relatives of the crew. Acknowledgements: Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Geoff Allan Memorials and Monuments, Isle of Wight, Find a Grave.

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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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