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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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15 Squadron Crest
31/01.06.1944 No. 15 Squadron Lancaster I LM121 LS-C P/O. Dombrain

Operation: Trappes

Date: 31st May / 01st June 1944 (Wednesday/Thursday)

Unit: No. 15 Squadron 3 Group (motto: 'Aim Sure')

Type: Lancaster I

Serial: LM121

Code: LS-C

Base: RAF Mildenhall, Suffolk

Location: Lormaison, France

Pilot: P/O. Peter Charles Lewis Dombrain AUS/410150 RAAF Age 21. Killed

Fl/Eng: Sgt. Leonard Thomas Gearing 1893333 RAFVR Age 19. Killed

Nav: Fl/Sgt. Arthur Stephen Long AUS/425328 RAAF Age 21. Killed

Air/Bmr: Fl/Sgt. Laurence Seymour Jamieson NZ/415636 RNZAF Age 26. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Raymond Geoffrey Norris 1602554 RAFVR Age 21. Killed

Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Stanley Arthur Nystrom AUS/425199 RAAF Age 21. Killed

Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Frank Bruce Reid AUS/429738 RAAF Age 21. Killed


Taking off at 23:57 hrs to bomb the rail yards at Trappes near Paris - 219 aircraft taking part.

Four failed to return, the others:

115 Squadron Lancaster I LL936 KO-V Flown by Fl/Sgt. Alastair McRae McLachlan NZ/422299 RNZAF - all 7 crew killed. Shot down by either Hptm. Hubert Raugh of Stab II./NJG4 or Oblt. Ernst-Georg Drünkler of I./NJG5 at 02:05 hrs. The same Luftwaffe pilots for LL782 below. They both claim one of them at the same time and area.

622 Squadron Lancaster I LL782 GI-H Flown by 1st Lt James E. Braithwaite O-886224 USAAF taken PoW along with one other, 2 evaded capture whilst 3 others were killed. Night fighter attack - see above.

622 Squadron Lancaster III ND926 GI-D Flown by Fl/Lt. Francis Reginald Randall 135720 RAFVR - killed along with 5 other crew, the rear gunner was blown out of his turret and managed to evade capture.

Above: some of the crew: L-R: Rear Sgt. Hadder, Sgt. Gearing, Sgt. Dombrain, Fl/Sgt. Long. Front: Fl/Sgt. Reid, Sgt. Norris, Fl/Sgt. Jamieson. Sgt. Hadder was replaced on this flight by Fl/Sgt. Nystrom. Note: It is thought that Sgt. Hadder is Fl/Sgt. Leslie Arnold Hadder 1804649 RAFVR killed later whilst with 214 Squadron. Flying as an air gunner on the 03/04th March 1945 when they were shot down over Norfolk, England. The Fortress III HB815 BU-J crashed at Lodge Farm near the airfield at RAF Oulton, just two of the crew of 10 survived. (courtesy NAA see credits)

Lancaster LM121 was shot down by Hptm. Fritz Söthe of 4./NJG4 at 01:50 hrs with the Lancaster coming down West of Lormaison. His first of two this night, he also shot down a 622 Squadron Lancaster some four minutes later. Details as shown above. For further details on Luftwaffe crews please see our Kracker Archive on this website.

Burial details:

P/O. Peter Charles Lewis Dombrain. Marissel French National Cemetery. Grave 237. Born on the 30th September 1922 at Shepparton, the son of Ray Fenley Lewis Dombrain and Ethel Mary Dombrain, of Mildura, Victoria, Australia. Grave inscription: 'Always In Our Hearts, Best Beloved'.

Sgt. Leonard Thomas Gearing. Marissel French National Cemetery. Collective grave 233-235. Son of Thomas Patrick and Ethel Gearing. Grave inscription: 'You Are Forever In Our Thoughts'.

Fl/Sgt. Arthur Stephen Long. Marissel French National Cemetery. Collective grave 233-235. Born on the 27th November 1922 at Brisbane, the son of Percy Edward and Elva Jane May Long, of Hawthorne, Queensland, Australia. Grave inscription: 'They Gave Their Today For Our Tomorrow'.

Fl/Sgt. Laurence Seymour Jamieson. Marissel French National Cemetery. Collective grave 233-235. Born on the 25th December 1917 at Geld, Shetland, Scotland, the son of John and Andrina Jamieson, of Brooklyn, Wellington, New Zealand. A bicycle mechanic for Hope Gibbons Ltd prior to Service. 360 flying hours logged and on his 8th operational sortie. Note: No grave inscription, to find the reasons why please visit 'Your relatives CWGC Grave Explained'.

Sgt. Raymond Geoffrey Norris. Marissel French National Cemetery. Grave 238. Son of Arthur George and Elsie Norris; nephew of Mr. J. Reynolds, of Gunville, Isle of Wight, England. Grave inscription: 'Not Just Today, But Every Day In Silence We Remember'.

Fl/Sgt. Stanley Arthur Nystrom. Marissel French National Cemetery. Grave 236. Born on the 17th February 1923 at Kingaroy, the son of George Arthur and Ada Ethel Nystrom, of Annerley, Queensland, Australia. Grave inscription: 'His Duty Nobly Done'.

Left: As described - Stanley took the place of Fl/Sgt. Hadder on this operation (courtesy NAA see credits)

Fl/Sgt. Frank Bruce Reid. Marissel French National Cemetery. Grave 231. Born on the 04th December 1922 at Berwick, the son of the Revd. Frank Reid and Ethel Reid, of North Geelong, Victoria, Australia. Grave inscription: 'Take My Life, And Let It Be Consecrated, Lord, To Thee'.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to Jenifer Lemaire and to the research by Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3”, Auckland Library Heritage Collection, Weekly News of New Zealand, National Archives of Australia, other sources as quoted below:

KTY/JL 11.10.2019

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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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