30/31.01.1944 101 Squadron Lancaster I DV303 SR-U Flt.Sgt. Douglas W. Froggatt
Date: 30/31st January 1944 (Sunday/Monday)
Unit: No. 101 Squadron. Motto: Mens agitat molem - 'Mind over matter'
Badge: Issuant from the battlements of a tower, a demi-lion rampant guardant. The squadron adopted the battlements of a round tower as symbolic of its claim to be the first squadron equipped with an aircraft fitted with a power-operated rotating turret (the Boulton Paul Overstrand). A lion being a fierce fighter is symbolic of the unit's fighting spirit by its position in the tower. Authority: King George VI, February 1938.
Type: Lancaster I
Base: RAF Ludford Magna
Location: Teltow South West Berlin
Pilot: Flt.Sgt. Douglas William Froggatt 1320636 RAFVR Age 22 Killed
Flt.Eng: Sgt. Louis Verdon Houlton 1582003 RAFVR Age 20. Killed
Nav: Sgt. Albert Francis Graves 1338616 RAFVR Age 28 PoW No: 968 Camp: Stalag Luft Heydekrug (L6 - Now in Lithuania)
Air Bomber: Sgt. Edward Charnock 1337177 Age 26 RAFVR PoW No: 976 Camp: Stalag Kopernikus (357 - Now in Ukraine)
ABC/Op: Fg.Off. Moie Marder J/27285 RCAF Age 23. Killed
W/Op: Sgt. Peter Edward John Carmichael 1601085 RAFVR Age 20 PoW No: 1172 Camp: Stalag Luft Heydekrug (L6 - Now in Lithuania)
Air/Gnr: Sgt. Ronald Charles Wilson 1804802 RAFVR Age 20. Killed
Air/Gnr: Sgt. Gilbert Thomas James Heath 1443366 RAFVR Age 22. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Took off from Ludford Magna on ABC (1) duties. 534 aircraft took part in yet another concentrated raid on the German capital the third in as many days.
The bomber stream were not intercepted until they were well into the run to the target when they faced fierce opposition from the night fighters. Many were shot down over the target but also they suffered attacks after leaving the target area.
Bombing on the cloud covered City was described as another concentrated attack with over 1000 civilians being killed and a few industrial premises including Goebbels Propaganda Ministry.
The loss rate from Bomber Command amounted to some 35 aircraft lost. 189 aircrew killed with a further 56 made PoW.
Left: Flt.Sgt. Douglas William Froggatt (courtesy his niece, Mary McPherson)
Lancaster DV303 was claimed by Oblt Karl-Heinz Richard Stab II/NJG6 - Kummersdorf at 2039 hrs.(Nachtjagd Combat Archives 1944 Part 1 - Theo Boiten). The aircraft crashed SW of Alexanderdorf. Those who perished were initially buried - To the right of the East Entrance of Alexanderdorf Parish Cemetery on the 31st January 1944.
(1) ABC stood for Airborne Cigar and was a development of Ground Cigar, a barrage jamming site at Sizewell which denied German night fighters VHF RT frequencies from the 30th July 1943. Ground Cigar's coverage was not widespread enough due to VHF line of sight. ABC was therefore fitted to 101 Squadron aircraft to protect the main stream bomber force. ABC-equipped bombers were placed at intervals among the bomber stream to protect the entire package during any raid.
ABC equipped Lancaster were equipped by an extra crew member, a Special Operator, whose job it was to identify and jam any VHF transmission presenting a threat to the bomber stream. The ABC equipment plus operator reduced the payload by 1000lbs. Aircraft were equipped with three antennae approximately 7 ft long, two dorsally mounted on the spine and one on the nose. The operators were not necessarily linguists but need only recognise the fact that German GCI were sending directions to Luftwaffe interceptors.
Flt.Sgt. Douglas William Froggatt. Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery Collective grave 5.Z. 17-19. No further details as yet.
Sgt. Louis Verdon Houlton. Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery Grave 5.Z. 15. Son of William Percy and Alice Houlton, of Tirley, Gloucestershire, England.
Fg.Off. Moie Marder. Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery Grave 5.Z. 16. Son of Mr and Mrs. I.D. Marder of 1352 Bay Avenue, Trail, British Columbia, Canada. Born on the 10th July 1920. Enlisted at Edmonton in July, 1942.
Sgt. Ronald Charles Wilson. Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery Collective grave 5.Z. 17-19. Son of Herbert Charles and Ethel May Wilson, of Holloway, London, England.
Sgt. Gilbert Thomas James Heath. Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery Collective grave 5.Z. 17-19. Son of Thomas Alfred and Elizabeth Heath, of Wisbech St. Mary, Cambridgeshire; husband of Eva Joan Heath, of Wisbech St. Mary, England.
Researched for Mary McPherson, niece of the pilot Flt.Sgt. Froggatt and dedicated to all relatives of the crew lost. Thanks to John Jones for the German fighter claim and 2nd image for Fg.Off. Marder