03/04.10.1943 No. 428 Squadron Halifax V EB213 NA-G P/O. Edwards
Date: 03/04th October 1943 (Sunday/Monday)
Unit: No. 428 Squadron RCAF (Ghost)
Type: Halifax V
Base: RAF Middleton St. George, Yorkshire
Location: Hofgeismer, Germany
Pilot: P/O. Francis Bernard Edwards 159033 RAFVR Age 21. Killed
Pilot 2: F/O. Robert Philip Goldstein J/12863 RCAF Age 25. Killed
Fl/Eng: Sgt. E.R. Burbage 1804656 RAFVR PoW No: 250709 Camp: L3 - Stalag Luft Sagan and Belaria
Nav: Sgt. Frank Gration R/118206 RCAF PoW No: 250724 Camp: 4b - Stalag Mühleberh-Elbe
Air/Bmr: Fl/Sgt. Garnet McMillan Herbert R/92042 RCAF Age 26. Killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Albert John Hodgkins 1316915 RAFVR Age 22. Killed (1)
Air/Gnr: Sgt. James Lundy R/187630 RCAF Age ? Killed
Air/Gnr: Sgt. Albert Joseph Cadeau R/131235 RCAF Age 20. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off at 18.52 hours to bomb Kassel - 547 aircraft taking part in the operation with very poor results. Thick haze covered the target area which was not marked accurately by the pathfinders. A large ammunition dump received a direct hit which caused others to drop their bomb loads from the bombers.
On the ground 118 people were killed with 304 injured, 97 military buildings were destroyed.
Left: Sgt. Albert John Hodgkins (courtesy Tony French)
The night fighters never realised that the target was Kassell until after the first bombs were dropped on the city and not engaging until after 15 minutes of bombing.
EB213 was ‘possibly’ shot shown by 30 year old Hptm. Ernst Zechlin (2) of 4./NJG5 his first abschüss of the war. The time of combat is listed as 22.39 hours 40-50 km. West South West of Kassel. The Halifax crashed at Hofgeismer.
428 Squadron lost two other aircraft this night, the others:
Halifax V EB210 NA-E Flown by Fl/Sgt. C.R. Newton RAAF - all crew survived after landing at RAF Tangemere, badly damaged by a nightfighter attack. Aircraft so badly damaged it proved to be beyond economical repair and was scrapped.
Halifax V EB214 NA-S Flown by W/O Kenneth A.B. McArthur R/115019 RCAF from Toronto, Ontario, Canada, killed with 1 other crew member, 5 taken PoW.
(1) Mr. Tony French wrote to us via our help desk, making us aware of this loss. He has written a poem about Sgt. Albert Hodgkins and can be read in full in our poetry section.
(2) Hptm. Zechlin had a total of 8 abschüsse by the end of the war from which he survived, despite being wounded during a low level attack on Langensalza, Germany.
Sgt. Frank Gration from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
The crew were initially buried at Hofgeismar prior to being moved to Hanover after war end.
P/O. Francis Bernard Edwards. Hanover War Cemetery. Grave 11.C.2. Son of Bernard Lawrence Edwards and Kathleen Edwards, of Chestfield, Whitstable, Kent, England.
F/O. Robert Philip Goldstein. Hanover War Cemetery. Grave 11.C.4. Son of Philip and Luella Turnecliff Goldstein, of Severn Bridge, Ontario, Canada. (shown right
Fl/Sgt. Garnet McMillan Herbert. Hanover War Cemetery. Grave 11.C.5. Son of Gordon Daniel and Gladys Ellen Morris Herbert, of Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada.
Sgt. Albert John Hodgkins. Hanover War Cemetery. Grave 11.C.1. Son of Frank William and Edith Ellen Hodgkins, of Basingstoke, Hampshire, England.
Sgt. James Lundy. Hanover War Cemetery. Grave 11.C.3. From Turnersville, Ontario, Canada. NoK details currently not available - are you able to assist completion of these and any other information?
Sgt. Albert Joseph Cadeau. Hanover War Cemetery. Grave 11.C.6. Son of Peter and Julia Cadeau, of 195 Murkland Street, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. (shown left
For further details our thanks to the following, Tony French. Also Michel Beckers for medal photograph. Other sources as shown below.