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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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76 Squadron Crest
04/05.11.1944 No. 76 Squadron Halifax III LL577 MP-M Fl/Sgt. Douglas N. Cole

Operation: Bochum

Date: 04/05th November 1944 (Saturday/Sunday)

Unit: No. 76 Squadron

Type: Halifax III

Serial: LL577

Code: MP-M

Base: RAF Holme-on-Spalding Moor

Location: Jalhay, Belgium

Pilot: Fl/Sgt. Douglas Neville Cole 1600897 RAFVR Age 22. Killed

Fl/Eng: Sgt. Thomas Finbar Craddock 1867543 RAFVR Age 23. Killed

Nav: Sgt. Ernest Albert Goudie 1563229 RAFVR Age 31. Killed

Air/Bmr: Fl/Sgt. Douglas William Plumley 1332775 RAFVR Age 22. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. David James Dodgson 1479648 RAFVR Age 21. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Walter Frederick Day 3005518 RAFVR Age 19. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Edmond Fitton 3040322 RAFVR Age 20. Killed


Took off from RAF Holme-on-Spalding Moor at 17:39 hrs for a night bombing raid on Bochum, Germany.

This was a successful attack with severe damage to the centre of Bochum with more than 4,000 buildings destroyed or damaged. The industrial area of the city was also severely damaged including the steelworks. 749 aircraft took part in this raid from Nos 1, 4, 6, and 8 Groups. 384 Halifaxes, 336 Lancasters and 29 Mosquitos with the loss of 23 Halifaxes and 5 Lancasters. Based at RAF Elvington No 346 (Free French) Squadron sent 16 Halifaxes on this raid with the huge loss of 5 aircraft.

Understood to have been hit by anti aircraft fire crashing at Jalhay, Belgium with the loss of all the crew.

76 Squadron crews getting ready for operations at Holme-on-Spalding Moor.

Also lost from the squadron on this operation:
Halifax III LW648 MP-O Flown by 22 year old, P/O. John Lionel Thompson 179541 RAFVR from Ashford Middlesex. 3 Crew killed, 4 others taken PoW.

Burial details:

Fl/Sgt. Douglas Neville Cole. Hotton War Cemetery. Grave IV.E.1. Son of John Cecil and Milfred Dorothy Cole, of Coulsdon, Surrey, England.

Sgt. Thomas Finbar Craddock. Hotton War Cemetery. Grave IV.E.7. Son of Thomas J. and Elizabeth Craddock, of Dublin, Irish Republic.

Sgt. Ernest Albert Goudie. Hotton War Cemetery. Grave IV.E.4. Son of Robert John and Jemima Catherine Goudie, of Edinburgh; husband of Elizabeth H. Goudie, of Edinburgh, Scotland.

Fl/Sgt. Douglas William Plumley. Hotton War Cemetery. Grave IV.E.5. Son of William John Plumley, and of Ina Doris Plumley, of Croydon, Surrey, England.

Sgt. David James Dodgson. Hotton War Cemetery. Grave IV.E.6. Son of David and Edwardina Dodgson. Born in Newcastle Upon Tyne 1923, England. The only child, his father died in 1924, his mother in 1927.

Sgt. Walter Frederick Day. Hotton War Cemetery. Grave IV.E.2. Son of William Frances Day and Alice May Day, of South Norwood, Surrey, England.

Sgt. Edmond Fitton. Hotton War Cemetery. Grave IV.E.3. Son of Edmund and Lily Fitton, of Huddersfield, England.

Researched for Thomas Newman, nephew of Sgt. Thomas Finbar Craddock. Many thanks also to David Champion for details on Sgt. Hodgson. For further details our thanks to the sources shown below.

KTY 27.03.20116 Details entered for Sgt. Dodgson.

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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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