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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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We seek additional information and photographs. Please contact us via the Helpdesk.

408 Squadron Crest
23/24.05.1943 No. 408 Squadron Halifax II JB841 EQ-K F/O. James M. Colvin

Operation: Dortmund

Date: 23/24th May 1943 (Sunday/Monday)

Unit: No. 408 Squadron (RCAF - Goose)

Type: Halifax II

Serial: JB841

Code: EQ-K

Base: RAF Leeming, Yorkshire

Location: Bergkamen, Germany

Pilot: F/O. James Mackenzie Colvin J/7430 RCAF Age 22. Killed

Fl/Eng: Sgt. John Hooper R/70806 RCAF Age 23. Missing (1)

Nav: P/O. Texas Roy Livermore J/17974 RCAF Age 30. Missing (2)

Air/Bmr: F/O. Harry Uretzky J/14818 RCAF Age 24. Missing

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Frederick Thompson 1242384 RAFVR Age 23. Missing

Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. David Slabotsky R/94489 RCAF Age 20. Missing

Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Ernest Henry Alderson R/123174 RCAF Age 29. Killed

We would very much like other relatives to contact us with any additional information/photographs. A relative of one of the crew would also like to make contact.


Another huge operation directed against Dortmund, the fourth of the war. 826 aircraft taking part with 343 Lancasters, 199 Halifaxes, 151 Wellingtons, 120 Stirlings with 13 Mosquitoes taking part. The pathinders marked the target with great accuracy in almost perfect weather conditions - the complete operation was classed as a successful raid with bombing taking place between 01.03 - 02.10 hrs.

Large areas of the city to the north and east were devastated - 2000 buildings destroyed with major damage caused to many industrial buildings. In particular the Hoesch steelworks which had its production ceased. 599 people killed on the ground with 1,275 injured - some 25 others missing!

F/O. Harry Uretzky (courtesy Karen Hering) - for other credits see below.

Some 38 aircraft from the allies did not return, many others arrived home with battle damage. No reports found identifying a claim by the Luftwaffe night fighters for this Halifax, it is thought ‘probable’ they were brought down by anti-aircraft fire over the target.

(1) Hooper Lake Saskatchewan has been renamed after him. Further details see the Saskatchewan Virtual War Memorial website.

(2) The family of P/O. Livermore also lost his younger brother, P/O. Carl Herman Livermore J/95258 RCAF on the 25th April 1945. On an operation to Wangerooge to attack gun positions with 76 Squadron on Halifax VI RG591 MP-A when the aircraft was involved in a midair collision with another 76 Squadron Halifax VI (RG553 MP-T) All 7 crew killed, 6 other crew killed on the other Halifax, 1 taken PoW.

Runnymede Memorial Panels (Aircrew Remembered archives)

Burial details:

F/O. James Mackenzie Colvin. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. Grave 3.C.17. Son of James and Helen I. Hooper, of Ceylon, Saskatchewan, Canada

Sgt. John Hooper. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 186. Son of James and Helen I. Hooper, of Ceylon, Saskatchewan, Canada

P/O. Texas Roy Livermore. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 176. Son of William Texas Livermore and Hannah Jane Livermore (née Mills) of Dundalk, Ontario, Canada. Born on 13th April 1913.

F/O. Harry Uretzky. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 175. Son of Alexander and Sara Uretzky, of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Born 19th October 1919. Enlisted RCAF on January 1st 1942 and trained in Edmonton, Canada.

Sgt. Frederick Thompson. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 167. Son of Edward and Ellen Thompson, husband of Barbara Thompson, of Purbrook, Hampshire, England.

Fl/Sgt. David Slabotsky. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 185. From Montreal, Quebec, Canada, next of kin details not available - can you assist?

Fl/Sgt. Ernest Henry Alderson. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. Grave 3.D.6. Son of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas W. Alderson, of Bishop Auckland, Co. Durham, husband of Myrtle J. Alderson, of Peterborough, Ontario, Canada.

(2) P/O. Carl Herman Livermore. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 280. Son of William Texas Livermore and Hannah Jane Livermore, husband of M. Lorraine Livermore.

Page placed for Karen Hering - relative of F/O. Uretzky. Crew photos via Michel Beckers: James Camble, George Wishart, Eric Rowlands. For further details our thanks to the sources quoted.

Pages of Outstanding Interest
History Airborne Forces •  Soviet Night Witches •  Bomber Command Memories •  Abbreviations •  Gardening Codenames
CWGC: Your Relative's Grave Explained •  USA Flygirls •  Axis Awards Descriptions •  'Lack Of Moral Fibre'
Concept of Colonial Discrimination  •  Unauthorised First Long Range Mustang Attack
RAAF Bomb Aimer Evades with Maquis •  SOE Heroine Nancy Wake •  Fane: Motor Racing PRU Legend
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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