03/04.10.1943 428 (Ghost) Squadron, RCAF Halifax V EB213 Plt Off. Edwards
Date: 3rd/4th October 1943 (Sunday/Monday)
Unit No: 428 (Ghost) Squadron, RCAF
Type: Halifax V
Base: RAF Middleton St. George, Yorkshire
Location: Staatsgut, Frankenhausen, Germany
Pilot: Plt Off. Francis Bernard Edwards 159033 RAFVR Age 21. KiA
2nd Pilot: Fg Off. Robert Philip Goldstein J12863 RCAF Age 25. KiA
Flt Eng: Sgt. Eric Richard Burbage 1804656 RAFVR Age 22. PoW No: 250709 *
Nav: Sgt. Frank Gration R118206 RCAF Age 22. PoW No: 250724 **
Bomb Aimer: Flt Sgt. Garnet McMillan Herbert R92042 RCAF Age 26. KiA
WOp/Air Gnr: Sgt. Albert John Hodgkins 1316915 RAFVR Age 22. KiA (1)
Air Gnr (Mid Upp): Sgt. James Lundy R187630 RCAF Age 22. KiA
Air Gnr (Rear) Sgt. Albert Joseph Cadeau R131235 RCAF Age 20. KiA
* Stalag Luft 3, Sagan-Silesia, Germany, now Żagań in Poland. (Moved to Nuremberg-Langwasser, Bavaria).
** Stalag 4b Mühlberg, Sachsen, Germany.
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off at 18.52 hrs 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.
Above: 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 claimed by Oblt. Walter Riedlberger, his 3rd Abschuss, from 5.NJG2, 2 to 5km NNW of Kassel at 5.600 to 3.800 m at 22:33 hrs. The aircraft was also coned by 2./Flakscheinw. Abt. 328 and 4./Flakscheinw. Abt. 367 (Halifax Frankenhausen 22:33 hrs) (Nachtjagd Combat Archive (23 September - 31 December) 1943 Part 3 - Theo Boiten). The Halifax crashed at Staatsgut, Frankenhausen, Germany.
Oblt. Riedlberger was credited with 9 confirmed Abschüsse. He was posted missing on the 25th December 1944 but was in fact captured and became a PoW. (Luftwaffe ACES - Biographies and Victory Claims (Mathews and Foreman) - Volume 3)
428 Squadron lost two other aircraft this night, the others:
Halifax V EB210 NA:E Flown by Flt 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 WO2 Kenneth A.B. McArthur R115019 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.
The crew were initially buried at Hofgeismar prior to being moved to Hanover after war end.
Plt Off. Francis Bernard Edwards. Hanover War Cemetery. Grave 11.C.2. Grave inscription: "I HOPE TO SEE MY PILOT FACE TO FACE WHEN I HAVE CROST THE BAR". Son of Bernard Lawrence Edwards and Kathleen Edwards, of Chestfield, Whitstable, Kent, England.
Above: Fg Off. Goldstein
Fg Off. Robert Philip Goldstein. Hanover War Cemetery. Grave 11.C.4. Grave Inscription: "AT THE GOING DOWN OF THE SUN AND IN THE MORNING WE WILL REMEMBER THEM". Born on the 28th February 1919 in Seven Bridge, Ontario. Son of Phillip and Luella Annie (née Tuncliffe) Goldstein of Seven Bridge, Ontario, Canada.
Above: Flt Sgt. Herbert from his Service record
Flt Sgt. Garnet McMillan Herbert. Hanover War Cemetery. Grave 11.C.5. Grave Inscription: "LO, I AM WITH YOU ALWAY, EVEN UNTO THE END OF THE WORLD". Born on the 3rd November 1916 in Municipality of Riverside, Manitoba. Son of Gordon Daniel and Gladys Ellen (née Morris) Herbert of Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada.
Sgt. Albert John Hodgkins. Hanover War Cemetery. Grave 11.C.1. Grave Inscription: "IN MEMORY OF OUR DEAR ONE, SLEEPING WITH BRAVE COMRADES IN GOD'S KEEPING. MUM & DAD". Son of Frank William and Edith Ellen Hodgkins, of Basingstoke, Hampshire, England.
Above: Sgt. Lundy from his Service record
Sgt. James Lundy. Hanover War Cemetery. Grave 11.C.3. Born on the 30th December 1920 in MacGregor, Manitoba. Son of Allan Ferguson (deceased) and Helen (née Boyle) Lundy, remarried Strain of Turnerville, Ontario, Canada
Above: Sgt. Cadeau
Sgt. Albert Joseph Cadeau. Hanover War Cemetery. Grave 11.C.6. Born on the 6th August 1923 in Victoria Harbour, Ontario. Son of Peter and Julia Cadeau (née Bruneault) of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.
For further details our thanks to the following, Tony French. Also Michel Beckers for medal photograph (Feb 2018). Thanks for to Caroline Cook for the NoK details for Sgt Lundy (Sep 2022). Update to German fighter claim and new images added by Aircrew Remembered (Sep 2022).
Other sources as shown below