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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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37 Squadron badge
09/10.08.1944 37 Squadron Wellington X LP465 LF-S Sgt. Double

Operation: Ploesti oil Refinery

Date: 09/10th August 1944 (Wednesday/Thursday)

Unit: 37 Squadron (motto: 'Wise without eyes')

Type: Wellington

Serial: LP465

Code: LF-S

Base: RAF Tortorella Italy

Location: Cotroceni, Bucharest, Romania

Pilot: Sgt. William Edwin Double 1800566 RAFVR Age 21. Killed

Nav: Sgt. Jack Ernest Cushing 1601593 RAFVR Age 22. Killed

Air/Bmr: Sgt. John Stewart Wilson 1564420 RAFVR Age 21. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Albert James Currin 1673413 RAFVR Age 22. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Brian Bell 1813062 RAFVR Age 21. Killed


Despite many attacks the oil refinery east of Ploesti in Romania was still in full production.

It was then made a prime target and 'every effort' to be made to put it out of use. The Axis forces were obviously aware of this, and reinforced the defences - there were an estimated 100+ searchlight units and 60 heavy gun emplacements installed.

37 Squadron Wellington at Tortorella, Italy

This operation consisted of 50 Wellingtons, 23 Liberators and 8 Halifaxes sent to bomb the target. 11 aircraft were not to return.

Fighters were also active with persistent attacks made by Me 109s, Me110s Fw190s and some Ju88s according to the Unit Operation Record Books (ORB)

This Wellington is understood to have been hit by flak and crashed in a suburb of Bucharest, Cotroceni with the loss of all the crew.

Crew graves at Bucharest War Cemetery - available at a higher resolution to relatives / friends of the crew

(visited by Aircrew Remembered)

Burial details:

Sgt. William Edwin Double. Bucharest War Cemetery. Coll. Grave I.C. 1-4. Son of William Stephen and Easther Mary Double, of New Southgate, Middlesex, England. Grave inscription reads: "At The Going Down Of The Sun And In The Morning We Will Remember Them".

Sgt. Jack Ernest Cushing. Bucharest War Cemetery. Coll. Grave I.C. 1-4. Son of Henry E. Cushing and A. M. Cushing, of Thornton Heath, Surrey, England.

Sgt. John Stewart Wilson. Bucharest War Cemetery. Coll. Grave I.C. 1-4. Son of David and Elizabeth Stewart Wilson, of Thornton Hall, Lanarkshire, Scotland. Grave inscription reads: "And There To Where I Wait Come Gently On".

Sgt. Albert James Currin. Bucharest War Cemetery. Coll. Grave I.C. 1-4. Son of William and Alice Currin, of Wallasey, Cheshire, England. Grave inscription reads: "God Has Saved From Strife In Its Dawn, This Young Fresh Life - "Our Jim".

Sgt. Brian Bell. Bucharest War Cemetery. Coll. Grave I.C. 1-4. Son of Francis Richard and Lucy Bell, brother to Marjorie, Stanley, Molly, Dorothy, Peter (real name Norman but called himself Peter) and Norah of Dorking, Surrey, England.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to Commonwealth War Grave Commission, Patrick Macdonald 'Through Darkness to Light'. Tom Kracker - 'Kracker Luftwaffe Archives'. Thanks to Paul J. Feakins for the update to Sgt. Bell’s, (his Grand Uncle), NoK details

RS 11.11.2019 - Update to NoK details for Sgt. Bell

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'
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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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Last Modified: 27 March 2021, 11:09

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