14/15.09.1943 No. 139 Squadron Mosquito DZ598 Fl/Lt. Colledge
Date: 14/15th September 1943 (Tuesday/Wednesday)
Unit: No. 139 Squadron (Pathfinder force)
Type: Mosquito FB.IV
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
REASON FOR LOSS:
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.
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.