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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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18/19.08.1944 428 (Ghost) Squadron RCAF Lancaster X KB743 Fg Off. Cyril M. Corbet

Operation: Bremen, Germany

Date: 18th/19th August 1944 (Friday/Saturday)

Unit: 428 (Ghost) Squadron, RCAF

Type: Lancaster X

Serial: KB743

Code: NA:I

Base: RAF Middleton St. George, County Durham

Location: St. Jürgen near Bremen

Pilot: Fg Off. Cyril Mansford 'Bus' Corbet J86489 RCAF Age 25. PoW No: 7608 * (1)

Flt Eng: Sgt. Richard Gerald 'Shorty' Enfield RAFVR PoW No: 659 **

Nav: Fg Off. Stuart Francis Bryans J36321 RCAF Age 29. PoW No: 7604 *

Bomb Aimer: Fg Off. Greville Llewellyn Jones J35736 RCAF Age 27. PoW No: 52715 ***

WOp/Air Gnr: Sgt. Alan Rae Richard 'Dick' MacNaught R181619 RCAF Age 23. PoW No: 672 **

Air Gnr (Mid Upp): Sgt. Thomas Davidson R202589 Age 20. RCAF PoW No: 657 ** (2)

Air Gnr (Rear): Flt Sgt. Ralph Edward Good R18907 RCAF Age 20. KiA

* Stalag Luft 3, Sagan-Silesia, Germany, now Żagań in Poland. (Moved to Nuremberg-Langwasser, Bavaria).

** Stalag Luft 7 Bankau nr. Kreuzburg O.S." (O.S. standing for Oberschlesien, Upper Silesia). Today called Bąków nr. Kluczbork (Poland).

*** Stalag 9c Mühlhausen near Bad Sulza, Thuringia, Germany. Stalag Luft 3, Sagan-Silesia, Germany, now Żagań in Poland. (Moved to Nuremberg-Langwasser, Bavaria)


Taking off at 21:29 hrs from RAF Middleton St. George in County Durham to attack the city of Bremen. 288 aircraft taking part, 216 Lancasters, 65 Halifaxes with 7 Mosquitoes on the most destructive bombing on the city of the war. 274 aircraft actually bombed the target dropping some 1,100 tons of bombs.

The whole of the centre together with the North-Western parts of Bremen including the port area were devastated. 8,635 homes were burnt out during the firestorm, a further 611 were severely damaged.

Over 1000 people were killed on the ground - many able to be identified. In addition the report from Bremen states that the port area had been almost wiped out with 18 ships sunk in the harbour, 61 others suffering serious damage.

Lancaster KB743 was the only aircraft lost on this operation. Some reports state that it had been attacked by night fighters but we have no record of this and no claims were made.

KB743 was coned by searchlights from 2./Flakscheinw.Abt.268, 4./Flakscheinw.Abt.498, 3./Flakscheinw.Abt.238, and 1. & 4./Flakscheinw.Abt.269. The aircraft was hit by flak from 1.schw.Flak.Abt. 542, 1./schw.Flak Abt. 531, 5./schw. Flak Abt. 162, 1., 2., 3. & 5./schw. Flak Abt.611. The aircraft crashed in flames at St. Jürgen near Bremen at 00:22hrs.

Survivors of the crew reported that the aircraft was also hit by bombs from above whilst flying at 17,000 ft over Bremen. (Nachtjagd Combat Archive (24 July 1944 - 15 October 1944) Part 4 - Theo Boiten).

(1) Cyril Mansford Corbet was born on the 13th July 1917. He was Commercial artist in Toronto prior to enlisting in the RCAF on the 21st February 1942.

He was captured near Bremen the same day. After the statuary stay at Dulag Luft, Oberursel he was tramsported to Stalag Luft 3, Sagan arriving there on the 1st September 1944.

Just before midnight on the 27th January 1945, because of advancing Russian forces, the PoW’s were marched out of the camp to Spremberg. From here he was part of the column that were force-marched to Milan-Marlag Nord PoW camp arriving there on the 4th/5th February 1945.

Milan = Marinelager (naval prisoner of war camp) and Milag = Marine-Internierten-Lager (naval internment camp), Nord (North). Located at a former Luftwaffe (German Air Force) barracks near Westertimke NE of Bremen in Germany.

The camp guards fled the camp on 9th April 1945 and were replaced by elderly civilian guards. When it was announced that the Allied officers in Marlag were going to be moved to Lübeck, many of them fled into the nearby woods or concealed themselves in the camp. The camp was liberated by units of the British 11th Armoured Division on the 28th April 1945. Fg Of.f Corbet was interviewed on the 2nd May 1945.

Cyril passed away on the 17th November 1971, at Don Mills, Ontario. Canada.

(2) Sgt. Davidson was appointed to a commission and promoted to J90317 Plt Off. whilst a PoW.

The rear gunner from this crew was a replacement for 21 year old, Sgt. John Sandulak R208898 RCAF. This crew escaped unhurt from a previous operation disaster:

On the 24th/25th July 1944 during an operation to Stuttgart flying Lancaster KB740 NA:V, they were involved in a mid-air collision with KB743 (the same aircraft they flew with on this operation!) KB743 returned it is thought to RAF Middleton St. George, but KB740 was seriously damaged and although they managed to make an emergency landing at RAF Martlesham Heath near Woodbridge, Suffolk the aircraft was written off.

During the encounter the tail gunner, Sgt. John Sandulak, heard the pilot give the order to bail out - which after turning round his turret he did just that - failing to hear the order cancelled.

The crew thought that he had been killed because his parachute was still aboard. They were unaware that an extra parachute had been loaded aboard the aircraft which was the one he used. It fact he had survived and evaded capture and returned to RAF Northolt on the 18th August 1944.

John Sandulak passed away on the 22nd May 2010 at the Carman Memorial Hospital after a brief struggle with cancer. Husband of Wilma Roth and father of 6 children.

Crew details:

Fg Off. Stuart Francis Bryans - Born 28th July 1915 Passed away on the 26th May 2000. From Blyth, Ontario, Canada;

Fg Off. Greville Llewellyn Jones - Born 30th May 1917, Tisdale, Saskatchewan. Passed away 27th August. 2002, Regina, Canada. Husband of Berna and father to 7 children;

Sgt. Alan Rae Richard MacNaught - Born 18th June 1921, Carnduff, Saskatchewan, Canada. Passed away 24th July 2003;

Fg Off. Thomas Davidson - Born 1924, Castlegar, British Columbia. Passed away 20th April 2008, Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada.

Burial details:

Plt Off. Ralph Edward Good. Sage War Cemetery. Grave 10.C.13. Born on the 1st May 1919 in Carcross, Yukon Territory. Son of Reid and Sophie (née Hammond) Good from Carcross, Yukon Territory, Canada. His father predeceased him.

Flt Sgt. Good was Commissioned and promoted to Plt Off. (J88030) with effect 11th June 1944.

Plt Off. Good has been honoured by having Mount Good in the Yukon named after him.

Researched by Kelvin Youngs (Webmaster) with contributions from Mr. Alan Howe, nephew of Sgt. Richard Enfield and dedicated to the relatives of this crew. Also many thanks to Dave Champion for detailed information/photographs on this loss. Thanks to Wendy Andrews for the newspaper clipping for Fg Off. Corbet (Jun 2021) Updated with additional information regarding the Flak claim and other updates by Aircrew Remembered (Jun 2021). Thanks to Karl Wieler for the Mount Good information (Nov 2023).

Other sources listed below.

RS 07.11.2023 - Addition of Mount Good information and PoW information for Fg Off. Corbet

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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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