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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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RAF Bomber Command Crest
20/21.10.1943 No. 619 Squadron Lancaster III EE114 PG-P P/O. C. Firth

Operation: Leipzig

Date: 20/21st October 1943 (Wednesday/Thursday)

Unit: No. 619 Squadron

Type: Lancaster III

Serial: EE114

Code: PG-B

Base: RAF Woodhall Spa, Lincolnshire.

Location: Between Orrel and Langwedel, 7 km South West Rotenburg

Pilot: P/O. Christopher Firth 146984 RAFVR Age 22. Killed

Fl/Eng: Sgt. George Myron Weighell 567856 RAF Age 24. Killed

Nav: Fl/Sgt. Charles Notley Dawson Wright R/131827 RCAF Age 21. Killed

Air/Bmr: Sgt. Douglas Demaine 157592 RAFVR Age 20. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. George Walter Dillnutt 1078529 RAFVR Age 32. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Myrddin Jones 1602070 RAFVR Age 21. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Alfred George Osborne 1613719 RAFVR Age 20. Killed


The crew left RAF Woodhall Spa at 17.18 hrs. to attack the very distant German city of Leipzig. This was the first serious raid with 358 Lancasters taking part.

Possible crew of Lancaster EE114 with Sgt. Douglas Demaine rear row right and probably Sgt. George Walter Dillnutt front row right - Understood to have been taken in the summer of 1943, just months before they were lost. (courtesy Keith Evetts)

The weather conditions at the time were described as ‘appalling’ which resulted in very scattered bombing.

Right: Wireless Operator/Air Gunner for EE114 Sgt. George Walter Dillnutt (courtesy Dorothy Baker)

No reports were available form Leipzig regarding damage done but the cost to the allied was huge with 16 Lancaster's lost - regarded as an acceptable figure for this amount of aircraft!

A further 5 crashed or were damaged during landing on return.

EE114 crashed at Langwedel, 7 km South West Rotenburg, no nightfighter claims were made for this loss.

Following information sent by a relative of Sgt. Douglas Demaine Mr. Keith Evetts, in the way of a communique from the Air Ministry dated 6th December 1945 we now have additional details:

The Germans reported that the aircraft dropped incendiaries at Wittingen and that they understood that the crew were in the process of jettisoning other gear to lighten the aircraft. The Lancaster crashed very suddenly between Orrel and Langwedel. They reported that death must have been instantaneous as the steepness of the decent is clear by the undamaged pine trees behind the point of impact.

Above and left: Hanover War Cemetery (courtesy BobP)

Burial details:

The crew were initially buried at a civil cemetery in Langwedel prior to re-internment at Hanover after war end.

P/O. Christopher Firth. Hanover War Cemetery. Grave 6.G.14. Son of Stephen and Elizabeth Firth and husband of Audrey Firth of Dunston, Gateshead, Co.Durham, England. Audrey was pregnant and when the baby girl was born she was christened Christine after the father who never saw her. Chris' brother Tom married Audrey and brought Christine up as his own.

Sgt. George Myron Weighell. Hanover War Cemetery. Coll. Grave 6.G.10-12. Son of George and Julie Weighell, husband of Margaret Joan Weighell of Lavenham, Suffolk, England.

Fl/Sgt. Charles Notley Dawson Wright. Hanover War Cemetery. Coll. Grave 6.G.10-12. Son of John Lord and Anne Margaret Wright of Alberta, Canada.

Sgt. Douglas Demaine. Hanover War Cemetery. Coll. Grave 6.G.10-12. Son of Charles Clayton and Alice Demaine of Birmingham, grandson of Mrs F. Demaine of Hall Green, Birmingham, England.

Sgt. George Walter Dillnutt. Hanover War Cemetery. Grave 6.G.13. Son of William Charles and Emma Jane Dillnutt of East Moss Side, Manchester, England.

Sgt. Myrddin Jones. Hanover War Cemetery. Grave 6.G.9. Son of John and Mary Jones of Bowstreet, Cardiganshire, Wales.

Sgt. Alfred George Osborne. Hanover War Cemetery. Grave 6.G.8. Son of Robert George and Grace Kathleen Osborne of Ipswich, Suffolk, England.

Researched by Aircrew Remembered, researcher and specialist genealogist Linda Ibrom for relatives of this crew. Photo credit of Sergeant George Dillnutt to Dorothy Baker (Niece). Also thanks to Keith Evetts, relative of Sgt. Douglas Demaine for crash details (copy of this report is held in our records) BobP from Find a Grave for photo of graves. Thanks to the nephew of Plt.Off. Firth for the additional NoK information.

RS 02.10.2019 - Plt.Off. Firth's NoK detail update

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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', Archiwum - Polish Air Force Archive (on this site), Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Franek Grabowski, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Stan D. Bishop, John A. Hey MBE, Gerrie Franken and Maco Cillessen - Losses of the US 8th and 9th Air Forces, Vols 1-6, Dr. Theo E.W. Boiton - Nachtjagd Combat Archives, Vols 1-13. 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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