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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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139 Squadron Crest
14/15.09.1943 No. 139 Squadron Mosquito DZ598 Fl/Lt. Colledge

Operation: Berlin

Date: 14/15th September 1943 (Tuesday/Wednesday)

Unit: No. 139 Squadron (Pathfinder force)

Type: Mosquito FB.IV

Serial: DZ598

Code: XD-?

Base: RAF Wyton, Cambridgeshire

Location: North Sea

Pilot: Fl/Lt. Maule William Colledge 67023 RAFVR Age ? Missing - believed killed

Nav: F/O. Geoffrey Lawrence Marshall 134371 RAFVR Age 30. Missing - believed killed


Taking off from RAF Wyton, Cambridgeshire at 19:36 hrs on a nuisance operation to Berlin. Nothing was heard from the crew after take off. Several crews abandoned the operation due to adverse weather conditions - this crew continued.

However, it seems likely that on their return they collided with a 617 Squadron Lancaster JA981 EC-J Flown by 23 year old, Sq/Ldr. David John Hatfeild Maltby DSO. DFC. 60335 RAFVR lost with all other seven crew members.

The collision is thought to have occurred during their return at about 00:40 hrs when the Lancaster, that had been planned for on an operation to Ladbergen was recalled due to fog over the target.

Weather conditions at this time were heavy cumulonimbus clouds (associated with heavy torrential downpours, hail storms, lightning). It is thought they came down over †he North Sea some eight miles North East of Cromer in Norfolk. Only the pilot's body of the Lancaster was recovered from both aircraft - by an Air Sea Rescue launch from No. 24 ASR based at Gorleston, Norfolk.

The remaining nine crew members from both aircraft are remembered on the Runnymede Memorial.

Burial details:

Fl/Lt. Maule William Colledge. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 129. Son of Lionel Colledge, (Fellowship of the Royal Colleges of Surgeons) and Margaret Mary Colledge, of St. Marylebone, London, England.

F/O. Geoffrey Lawrence Marshall. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 126. Son of Frederick Herbert George and Margaret Marshall, of Hove, Sussex, England.

Researched for and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to Shelley Marshall whose husband is the nephew of the navigator. Photographs also supplied by the family. Sources used indicated below.

KTY - 30.06.2018

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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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