AR banner
Search Tips Advanced Search
Back to Top

• Kracker Archive
• Allied Losses
• Archiwum Polish
• Paradie Canadian
• Searchable Lists

Info LogoAdd to or correct this story with a few clicks.
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.
Check our Research databases: Database List


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

625 Squadron Crest
12/13.09.1944 625 Squadron Lancaster III LM512 Fg Off. Howard N. Cornish

Operation: Frankfurt

Date: 12th/13th September 1944 (Tuesday/Wednesday)

Unit: 625 Squadron

Type: Lancaster III

Serial: LM512

Code: CF:H*

Base: RAF Kelstern, Lincolnshire

Location: Near Sessenheim, France

Pilot: Fg Off. Howard Norman Cornish 417807 RAAF Age 21. Killed

Pilot 2: Plt Off. David Samuel Tointon 177849 RAFVR Age 21. Killed

Flt Eng: Sgt. Charles Herbert Ross 1877036 RAFVR Age 37. Killed

Nav: Flt Sgt. Richard Edward Leslie Askie RAFVR Age 20. Killed

Bomb Aimer: Sgt. Ronald George Evans RAFVR Age 21. Killed

WOp/Air Gnr: Flt Sgt. James Watkins Douglas 424566 RAAF Age 20. Killed

Air Gnr: Sgt. Robert Grainger Barker 2220930 RAFVR Age? Killed

Air Gnr: Sgt. Arthur Bryant O'Connor 1629068 RAFVR Age? Killed

* Originally reported as CF:M, however this is a misinterpretation of the Loss card. The Squadron/aircraft code has been confirmed from the Flight Log Book of Stanley Beecroft who was a Gunner who has flown on LM512 on a number of missions.


Took off at 18:34 hrs from RAF Kelstern, Lincolnshire joining a total bomber force of 378 Lancasters. Instructions to the crews were made that they should fly low at around 3,000 ft. to avoid radar and also instructed to follow a strict radio silence during the run in.

Sgt. Arthur Bryant O'Connor second from left and possible crew whilst with 1662 HCU. Taken at RAF Blyton in the summer of 1944 (courtesy Anmacd see credits, for Aircrew Remembered)

LM512 or 622 Sqn Lancaster NF965 GI:S, flown by Fg Off. George W. Owen with the loss of all 7 crew, was claimed by Hptm. Gerhard Friedrich, his 15th Abschuss, from Stab I./NJG6 NE of Strasbourg at 5.100 m at 22:46 hrs. Note: Both aircraft also believed to have collided and crashed at 22:50 hrs. OKL Crash reports for the 12th September 1944 state cause of loss of NF965: "Nachjäger". (Nachtjagd Combat Archive (24 July 1944 - 15 October 1944) Part 4 - Theo Boiten)

Both aircraft falling some two miles north east of Sessenheim. The Germans removed all the aircraft debris at the time.

Left 2: Plt Off. David Samuel Tointon (courtesy Tessa Sheridan) and right 2: Sgt. Arthur Bryant O'Connor (courtesy Anmacd and Michael Beckers)

Identification of the bodies proved difficult as the Germans insisted that they be buried without coffins and the crews of both aircraft were mixed, proving positive identification very difficult to the inquiry officer from the RAF inquiry Unit in May 1947. It is for this reason the crews from both aircraft share some of the same graves.

Another 625 squadron Lancaster was also lost this night:

Lancaster I LM103 CF:N flown by Flt Lt. Robert Banks 147209 RAFVR killed along with all his 6 other crew members.

622 Squadron also lost another crew on this operation:

Lancaster I LM291 GI:F flown by Fg Off. Edward D. Alexander 37691 RAAF killed along with all his 6 other crew members.

Regarding the raid itself, which took place later that night, the rescue effort for the bombing of the city was hampered as the fire crews and rescue teams were away in Darmstadt - covering the city for the previous night's raid by the allies. The bombing caused severe damage and a troop train was also hit. 470 people were killed on the ground including over 170 people taking shelter in the Bockenheim district.

Burial details:

Fg Off. Howard Norman Cornish. Sessenheim Communal Cemetery. Grave 5. Born on the 21st January 1923 in Gumeracha, South Australia. Son of Henry Denant Cornish and Esther Caroline Cornish, of Gumeracha, South Australia.

Plt Off. David Samuel Tointon. Sessenheim Communal Cemetery. Grave 2. Son of Samuel John and Constance Tointon from Spalding, Lincolnshire, England.

Sgt. Charles Herbert Ross. Sessenheim Communal Cemetery. Grave 6. Son of Mr. and Mrs. William James Ross. Husband of Winifred Lilian May Ross, of Chelmsford, Essex, England.

Flt Sgt. Richard Edward Leslie Askie. Sessenheim Communal Cemetery. Grave 10. Son of Richard and Hilda Askie, of Edmonton, Middlesex, England. Husband of Gladys Florence Askie, of Edmonton.

Sgt. Ronald George Evans. Sessenheim Communal Cemetery. Coll. Grave 12-14. Son of George Henry and Maude Edith Evans, of Walsall, Staffordshire, England. Husband of Edna May Evans, of Walsall, England.

Flt Sgt. James Watkins Douglas. Sessenheim Communal Cemetery. Grave 3. Born 14th July 1924 in Strathfield, New South Wales. Son of James Watkins Douglas and Sarah Elizabeth Douglas, of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

Sgt. Robert Grainger Barker. Sessenheim Communal Cemetery. Coll. Grave 12-14. No further details as yet, are you able to assist?

Sgt. Arthur Bryant O'Connor. Sessenheim Communal Cemetery. Coll. Grave 12-14. No further details as yet, are you able to assist?

Researched by a volunteer (Anmacd - who has requested his correct name not be used) for Aircrew Remembered. Page dedicated to relatives of the crew. Acknowledgements: With thanks also to Michel Beckers for additional photographs on Sgt. Arthur O'Connor. Thanks to Tony Smith who advised us of the correct squadron code letters for this aircraft (Apr 2016). Thanks to Mike Gould for confirmation of the Squadron/Aircraft code (Jun 2021). Correction to loss information by Aircrew Remembered (Jun 2021).

Letters from Sgt. O'Connor (courtesy Michel Beckers):

RS 30.06.2021 - Confirmation of Squadron/Aircraft Code and update to loss information

JA 02.07.2022 - Photo at bottom of this report of F/Sgt. Collier and crew of Lancaster NG237 deleted, as it was misplaced. See archive report of NG237 for this photo.

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.
Click any image to enlarge it

Click to add your info via ticket on Helpdesk •Click to let us know via ticket on Helpdesk• Click to buy research books from Amazon •Click to explore the entire site
If you would like to comment on this page, please do so via our Helpdesk. Use the Submit a Ticket option to send your comments. After review, our Editors will publish your comment below with your first name, but not your email address.

A word from the Editor: your contribution is important. We welcome your comments and information. Thanks in advance.

At the going down of the sun, and in the morning we will remember them. - Laurence Binyon
All site material (except as noted elsewhere) is owned or managed by Aircrew Remembered and should not be used without prior permission.
© Aircrew Remembered 2012 - 2024
Last Modified: 02 July 2022, 22:12

Monitor Additions/Changes?Click to be informed of changes to this page. Create account for first monitor only, thereafter very fast. Click to close without creating monitor