02/03.08.1943 No. 158 Squadron Halifax II HR751 NP-J Sgt. Ken Davie
Date: 02/03rd August 1943 (Monday/Tuesday)
Unit: No. 158 Squadron
Type: Halifax II
Base: RAF Lissett, Yorkshire
Location: Eidelstedt, Hamburg, Germany
Pilot: Sgt. C. Ken Davie RAFVR PoW No: 222439 Camp: L3 Stalag Luft Sagan and Belaria
Fl/Eng: Sgt. A. Kevern ‘Lofty’ Snell RAFVR PoW No: 222441 Camp: 4B Stalag Mühlberg-Elbe
Nav: Sgt. G. Rusbatch RNZAF PoW No: 222424 Camp: 4B - Stalag Mühlberg-Elbe
Air/Bmr: Sgt. H.P. Jarmen RAFVR PoW No: 222437 Camp: L3 Stalag Luft Sagan and Belaria
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Raymond Brown Farmery 1482428 RAFVR Age 21. Killed
Air/Gnr: Sgt. J.M. Lally RCAF PoW No: 222436 Camp: 4B - Stalag Mühlberg-Elbe
Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. C.R. Buckland RAFVR PoW No: 222440 Camp: 4B - Stalag Mühlberg-Elbe
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off at 23.41 hrs from RAF Lissett, Yorkshire to bomb the port of Hamburg - 740 aircraft taking part. 19 aircraft were claimed by by night fighters during the bombing operation. Some were intercepted and shot down over Heligoland, some over Schleswig-Holstein with others over the target area. The bomber stream were scattered suffering a fierce thunderstorm once they reached the target.
Above L-R: Sgt. A. Kevern ‘Lofty’ Snell, Sgt. Raymond Brown Farmery (courtesy Clive Smith - see credits)
At least 4 allied aircraft were lost over the target due to the weather, icing, turbulence or struck by the lightning. Several turned back. As the bomber stream was scattered so was the bombing with many other towns over a 100 mile radius receiving hits. A large portion of the raid was caused by a house fire in Elmshorn (some 12 miles from the target - shown on map north west of loss area
) that it was thought had been struck by the lightning, resulting in the bombers thinking this was the target, released their bombs. Some 57 people were killed in the town with 254 houses destroyed.
It is thought that HR751 was hit by flak. Sgt. A. Kevern ‘Lofty’ Snell, the Flight Engineer, takes up the story:
"We were flying over Hamburg during a storm and were hit by flak. The plane started to spiral downwards. It was my job to stay and help the pilot on with his parachute, which I did, and then I made my way to the hatch. This was not easy as the plane was spiralling fast and we were held to the floor by centrifugal force.
When I got out of the plane I put both hands to my chest to release the parachute but found nothing there. After a moment's panic I realised that the parachute was not strapped round me but was hanging above my head. I reached up and managed to pull the cord and so the parachute opened. I landed in a cornfield in torrential rain and stayed there all the next day in the blazing heat of an August summer.
The next night I began to make my way as we had been instructed, going through hedges and across fields. I went through one hedge and came face to face with a young German soldier, who looked as shocked as I was. I was taken for interrogation and ended up as a PoW".
All the other crew had baled out successfully, but Sgt. Farmery's parachute failed to open and he is buried in Hamburg Cemetery, Ohlsdorf.
The wonderful award winning memorial at RAF Lissett village. Unveiled in 2009 and made from metal - it is inscribed with the names of the 851 people who lost their lives at or departing from the airfield during WW2. - A miniature of the memorial is available direct from the designer Peter Naylor. At date of publication these cost from £25.00. (Please mention Aircrew Remembered when you apply for one)
Sgt. Raymond Brown Farmery. Hamburg Cemetery. Grave 9A.B.15. This cemetery is classed as the largest non-military cemetery in the world with 3 CWGC plots located within it. Son of Clement George and Marion Farmery, of Cleveleys, Lancashire, England.
For further details our thanks to the following, Clive Smith, researcher and qauthor of ‘Lancaster Bale Out” (See below). Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vol's. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', ‘Bomber Command Database’
, Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vol's. 1 and 2', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries (Updated 2014 version), 'Paradie Archive'
. Commonwealth War Graves Commission
. Tom Kracker - 'Kracker Luftwaffe Archives'
. Further information from these titles/organisations are available from us, just use the 'help' button on the main page above or 'add info' button also shown on this page.
“Lancaster Bale Out” (shown left) written by Clive Smith ISBN No: 978-1-907516-26-9 Published by Tucann Ltd 2013. The story about the Uncle of Clive Smith and his RAF service during WW2 with 106 Squadron. Lancaster III ED720 ZN-R.