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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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463 Squadron Crest
30/31.01.1944 463 Squadron Lancaster III ED949 JO-A Plt.Off. Douglas C. Dunn

Opration: Berlin

Date: 30/31st January 1944 (Sunday/Monday)

Unit: 463 Squadron

Type: Lancaster III

Serial: ED949

Code: JO-A

Base: RAF Waddington, Lincolnshire

Location: Near Neuruppin, Brandenburg, Germany

Pilot: Plt.Off. Douglas Chapman Dunn 416418 RAAF Age 22. Killed

Flt.Eng: Sgt. Frederick Thomas Henry Adams 629232 RAF Age 23. Killed

Nav: Fg.Off. Frederick George Fidler 135040 RAFVR Age ? Killed

Air Bmr: Flt.Sgt. Marshall Y. Smith 9652759 RAFVR PoW No: 1161 Camp: Stalag Luft Heydekrug (1)

WOp/Air Gnr: Sgt. Andrew Leslie McConnell 1137800 RAFVR Age 23. Killed

Air Gnr (Mid Upper): Sgt. Harry Deakin 1590148 RAFVR Age ? Killed

Air Gnr (Rear): Flt.Sgt. Edward Fitzgibbon Gloster 425641 RAAF Age 20. Killed

REASON FOR LOSS:

534 aircraft took part in yet another concentrated raid on the German capital the third in as many days.

ED949 Took off from RAF Waddington, Lincolnshire at 17:17 hrs. 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.

Members of 463 Squadron gather round the table at the home of Sgt Adams with his father and mother (photo on the table) Sent to Aircrew Remembered by David Copper. If anyone can assist with anything further on this photograph or the remembrance page, we would like to hear from them.

Standing 1st from the left is Sgt. Deakin (Identification provided by Don McNaughton)

The above photograph has been digitally enhanced from the original photo - shown left.

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.

ED949 was claimed as a probable by Lt. Robert Wolf, with 11 claims, from 3./NJG5 who claimed a Lancaster, location unknown at 20:15 hrs. (Nachtjagd Combat Archive (1 January - 15 March 1944) Part 1 - Theo Boiten)

It is understood that the rear gunner reported that his turret was out of action when it left the base, but that the crew decided that they would continue on the operation.

In a letter sent by the survivor to relatives Marshall Smith described that they had been attacked by a night fighter and could only defend with the guns of the mid upper gunner Harry Deakin. Fire broke out in the bomb bay and the pilot gave the order to bale out - he was convinced that all the crew had managed to leave the aircraft as it was in a shallow dive but assumed that ED949 must have entered into a spin or blew up in the air.

An eyewitness account provided for report by 4 MREU dated 14th December 1946, which was confirmed by the Neuruppin cemetery keeper and the Bürgermeister of Neuruppin, was that the aircraft crashed on the Neuruppin Fliegerhorst (airfield) near Rollfeld station in Neuruppin. The aircraft was burning fiercely and exploded on impact. Neuruppin Fliegerhorst is some 65km NW of Berlin in Brandenburg.

463 Squadron Lancaster 'Bombing-Up' at RAF Waddington

(1) Flt.Sgt Marshall Y. Smith lived at 58 South College St, Elgin, Morayshire, Scotland and served out the rest of the war at Stalag Luft Heydekrug.

Burial details:

The crew were initially buried at the local cemetery in Neuruppin prior to being moved after the end of the war to Berlin.

Plt.Off. Douglas Chapman Dunn. Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery. Coll. grave 7. Z. 23-27. Born 17th August 1921, Balmoral, New South Wales. Son of Alexander and Leila Dunn, of Evendale, Adelaide, South Australia.

Sgt. Frederick Thomas Henry Adams. Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery. Coll. grave 7. Z. 23-27. Son of Frederick Charles and Deborah Adams, of Pembroke House, Main Road, Gedling, Nottingham, England.

Fg.Off. Frederick George Fidler. Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery. Coll. grave 7. Z. 23-27. Son of Mr. H. Fidler 23 Cherry Down Road, Sidcup, Kent, England.

Sgt. Andrew Leslie McConnell. Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery. Coll. grave 7. Z. 23-27. Son of John A. McConnell and Jenny McConnell, of 2 Ozone Avenue, Ballymoney, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland.

Sgt. Harry Deakin. Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery. Grave 7. Z. 22. Husband of Mrs. H. Deakin of 53 York Road, Darnall, Sheffield, England.

Flt.Sgt. Edward Fitzgibbon Gloster. Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery. Coll. grave 7. Z. 23-27. Born 9th April 1923, Roma, Queensland. Son of Richard William Vere Gloster and Kathleen Genevieve Gloster, of 17 Bayview Terrace, Clayfield, Brisbane, Australia.

Researched for David Cooper who's brothers wife is the niece of the flight engineer Sgt. Frederick Thomas Henry Adams. With thanks to Dr. Theo E.W. Boiton and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - "Nightfighter War Diaries Vol. 1/2", Bill Chorley - "Bomber Command Losses Vol. 5", Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - "Bomber Command War Diaries", Oliver Clutton-Brock - "Footprints On The Sands Of Time", Commonwealth Graves Commission. Australian Archives.

RS 22.05.2020 - Group photo identification of Sgt. Deakin and new information

Acknowledgements: 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', Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Franek Grabowski, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', 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: 22 May 2020, 06:40

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