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Archive Report: Allied Forces

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12 crest
11/12.06.1943 12 Squadron Lancaster III DV157 Flt Lt. Doel

Operation: Düsseldorf

Date: 11th/12th June 1943 (Friday/Saturday)

Unit: 12 Squadron (motto - Leads The Field'). 1 Group

Type: Lancaster III

Serial: DV157

Code: PH:Z

Base: RAF Wickenby, Lincolnshire

Location: North Sea

Pilot: Flt Lt. Alfred William Doel 39907 RNZAF Age 26. Missing - believed killed

Flt Eng: Sgt. William Frank Biggs 569401 RAF Age 23. Killed

Nav: WO. Robert Durham DFM. 937812 RAFVR Age 30. Missing - believed killed

Bomb Aimer: Flt Sgt. Owen Kendrick Whyman 413294 RNZAF Age 27. Killed

WOp/Air Gnr: Sgt. Donald Lloyd Templeman 798684 RAFVR Age? PoW No: 264 Camp: Stalag Kopernikus

Air/Gnr: Fg Off. Owen Kenyon Jones 40921 RNZAF Age 22. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Thomas Robert Pagett 1140287 RAFVR Age 22. Missing - believed killed

Above: WO Robert Durham’s marriage to Mary Joan Oxenford in the 1st Qtr of 1943 in Cambridge.


12 aircraft from the squadron were sent, a total of 782 other aircraft from various squadrons to bomb Düsseldorf.

Although initial marking was spot on for the first wave, a backup marker Mosquito dropped target indicators 14 miles (23 km) off-target to the northeast, with the effect that part of the bombing fell there. 130 acres (0.53 km2) of Düsseldorf claimed as destroyed. The losses from 12 squadron were the highest suffered on a single night operation. The others:

Lancaster I ED522 PH-U Flown by 20 year old Sgt. Robert Highet 1048176 RAFVR - killed with all 6 other crew.
Lancaster I ED357 PH:S Flown by 22 year old Plt Off. David Mcnab Thomson 4211181 RAAF - Killed with 4 others, 2 taken PoW.
Lancaster I W4791 PH-W Flown by Flt Sgt. Horace Shepherd 1114117 RAFVR - Killed with all 6 other crew.
Lancaster I W4373 PH-F Flown by 22 year old Flt Lt. Patrick Raymond Ford 414132 - Killed with all 6 other crew.

Lancaster I ED357 was shot down by Oblt. Helmut Bergmann of 8./NJG4 on detachment from Stab NJG1 at 02:02 hrs. The other 4 were all victims of the heavy flak.

DV157 was hit by M.Fl.Abt. 816, 4./M.A.A. 201, II.Zug/1./lei.Res. Flak Abt. 764, III, & IV. Zug 3./lei.Res.Flak Abt. 845 and Flugsicherungboot 505. The aircraft crashed in the sea west of IJmuiden at 02:50 hrs. (Nachtjagd Combat Archive (1 January - 22 June) 1943 Part 1 - Theo Boiten)

Pilots course 2, No. 2 Service Flying Training School, Woodbourne January 1940

L-R: Rear; Andrew Jack Cowlrick NZ/39902-killed 03rd June 1942, A.H Stubbings, Sexton Ivan Baird NZ/39897-died 18th December 1994, Edward Preston Wells NZ39950-died 04th November 2005, David William Metherell NZ/39927-killed 15th December 1943, Francis James Rolston NZ/39939-killed 08th August 1944, Douglas Owen Stanley NZ/39944-killed 26th October 1940.
Front; Edward Walter Gillies Churches NZ/39900-killed 19th April 1941, John Gordon Pattison NZ/39931-died 2009, Tancred Eric Cooper NZ/39901-killed 18th December 1941, Jack Ward Edwards NZ/39908-killed 10th May 1944, Arthur James Falconer NZ/39910-killed 21st February 1941, Alfred William Doel NZ/39907-killed 12th January 1943, William Arthur Middleton NZ39928-killed 27th August 1941.

Burial details:

Flt Lt. Alfred William Doel. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 197. Born on the 14th April 1918 in Auckland. Enlisted on the 26th October 1939. Pilots Wings were awarded on the 23rd of April 1940. Commissioned on the 28th of May 1940. Served with 37 squadron in Egypt completing 23 operational sorties. 75 (New Zealand) Squadron flying 9 operational sorties. 109 squadron 5 operational sorties. 105 squadron 5 operational sorties.

Joined 12 squadron from 1662 Operational Training Unit (OTU) on the 3rd June 1943. Son of Alfred and Karin Elida Doel (née ASjooman, of Taihape, Wellington, New Zealand. A total of 741 flying hours were logged and killed on his 40th operational sortie, but his first with 12 Squadron.

Sgt. William Frank Biggs. Bergen General Cemetery. Plot 2. Row D. Grave 11. Son of Walter Seth Biggs and Helen Amelia Biggs, of Reading, Berkshire, England. Body washed up near Bergen aan Zee on the 18th June 1943.

WO. Robert Durham DFM. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 134. Son of Ralph and Annie Durham; husband of Mary Joan née Oxenford) Durham, of Cambridge, England. DFM was awarded whilst with 57 Squadron. London Gazette 26th June 1942. It is possible he was buried as unknown at Bergen Cemetery.

Flt Sgt. Owen Kendrick Whyman. Amsterdam New Eastern Cemetery. Plot 69. Row C. Coll. grave 18. (Shared grave with Flt Sgt. Stanley Joseph Marriage 420691 RAAF - killed on the 15th June 1943 460 Sqn Lancaster III DV160) Born on the 19th September 1915 at Rotorua. Enlisted 10th June 1941. Bomb Aimer Brevet was awarded and promoted to Sgt. on the 6th November 1942.

Joined 12 squadron from 1662 Operational Training Unit on the 3rd June 1943. Son of Cuthbert Sydney and Josephine Whyman (née Malyon - born 19th March 1884 - died 2nd February 2961, age 77. Married 7th March 1911), of George Street. Te Puke, Auckland, New Zealand. A total of 360 flying hours were logged and killed on his 1st operational sortie. Body washed up near Zandvoort on 13th June 1943.

Sgt. Donald LLoyd Templeman. Born on the 03rd September 1918 in Newfoundland and Labrador. Son of Dr. William Templeman and Alice Agnes Lloyd. Husband of Lorraine Aleta (née Norris, died in 1998 - later married to Donald Simmons. Buried with her first husband) Died in 1968. Buried in the Anglican Cemetery, St Johns, Avalon Peninsula, Census Division, Newfoundland and Labrador.

Fg Off. Owen Kenyon Jones. Amsterdam New Eastern Cemetery. Plot 69. Row C. Coll. grave 18. (Shared grave with Flt Sgt. Donald Ross Grant 413307 RAAF - killed on the 15th June 1943 460 Sqn Lancaster III DV160), Born on the 26th March 1921 at Christchurch. Enlisted on the 9th April 1940. Air gunner Brevet was awarded on the 27th May 1940 and promoted to Sgt. on the 27th May 1940. Commissioned on the 30th March 1942.

After serving with various units joined 12 Squadron from 1662 Operational Training Unit (OTU) on the 3rd June 1943. Son of Sidney Owen Jones and Imogen Jones, of 21 Gilbert Street, New Plymouth, Taranaki, New Zealand, and husband of Vera Jones, of Takeley, Essex. Killed on his 1st operational sortie. Body washed up near Zandvoort on 13th June 1943.

Sgt. Thomas Robert Pagett. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 161. Born in the 1st Qtr of 1921 in Aston, Warwickshire. Son of George and Dorothy (née Cowling) Pagett of Birmingham, Warwickshire, England.

Researched by Kelvin Youngs (Webmaster) and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to the extensive research by Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3”, Auckland Library Heritage Collection. Weekly News of New Zealand. Next of kin details for Sgt. Pagett and Flak's claim was updated by Aircrew Remembered (Oct 2021). Thanks to Martijn Visser for the marriage images for WO Robert Durham and added by Ralph Snape (Nov 2021). Photos of Sgt. Thomas Pagett and WO. Robert Durham courtesy Martijn Visser (January 2022). Also to Mandy Bailey for her research and photographs and Troy Templeman, other sources as quoted below:

RS 02.11.2021 - Addition of Marriage photographs for WO Durham and minor corrections

KTY 26.03.2022 - Addition of Sgt. Templeman photo and text

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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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