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')
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
REASON FOR LOSS:
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)
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