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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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214 Squadron Crest
30/01.12.1941 No. 214 Squadron Wellington Ic Z8953 Sgt. Michael Fitzgerald

Operation: Hamburg

Date: 30th/01st December 1941 (Sunday/Monday)

Unit: No. 214 Squadron

Type: Wellington Ic

Serial: Z8953

Code: BU-?

Base: RAF Stradishall, Suffolk

Location: North Sea off Holland

Pilot: Sgt. Michael Joseph Fitzgerald 1375074 RAFVR Age 21. Missing - believed killed

Pilot 2: Sgt. John Robert Boland 1054956 RAFVR Age 24. Killed

Obs: Sgt. Ian Arthur Flower 1166146 RAFVR Age ? Missing - believed killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Gordon James Walter Fleming 1380918 RAFVR Age 21. Missing - believed killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Ronald William Ebsworth 1257328 RAFVR Age 35. Missing - believed killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Herbert Leon Loveday 1378203 RAFVR Age 24. Missing - believed killed


Ten aircraft from the Squadron left RAF Stradishall, Suffolk to bomb Hamburg, two others left for Emden. The target to bomb the shipyards and 3 other targets within the city.

122 aircraft claimed good bombing results on this operation with another 35 bombing alternative targets. Hamburg suffered 22 fires with the loss of life amounting to 65 people killed, 176 injured, 2,500 people were bombed out of their homes.

181 aircraft took part in this operation with the loss of some 20 aircraft. 61 aircrew members were killed, 18 made PoW.

This was the only loss from the Squadron with no claims by the night fighters for this aircraft. Thought to have come down in the North Sea off Texel. The body of Sgt. Boland was later washed up on the Island of Texel, the other crew members are commemorated on the Runnymede memorial.

Sgt. Ronald William Ebsworth - a well respected player for the Dulwich Hamlet Football club (courtesy Stephen Hunnisett)

Burial details:

Sgt. Michael Joseph Fitzgerald. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 43. Son of Patrick J. and Christine Fitzgerald, of Chiswick, Middlesex, England.

Sgt. John Robert Boland. Texel Cemetery (Den Burg). Plot K. Row 4. Grave 75. Son of John William and Mary Jane Boland, of Norton, Stockton-on-Tees, Co. Durham, England. Husband of Rita Frances Boland. Grave inscription reads: “Youngest Son Of John And Mary Boland, Stockton-On-Tees. Sadly Missed.”

Sgt. Ian Arthur Flower. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 43. No further details - are you able to assist?

Sgt. Gordon James Walter Fleming. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 43. Son of William Hart Fleming and Louisa May Fleming, of Hammersmith, London, England.

Sgt. Ronald William Ebsworth. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 42. Son of Hubert John and Charlotte Mary Ebsworth, of Billericay, Essex, England.

Sgt. Herbert Leon Loveday. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 47. Son of Herbert and Katherine Loveday, husband of Marjorie Rose Loveday, of Stanmore, Middlesex, England.

Researched by Stephen Hunnisett for Aircrew Remembered - December 2016. With thanks to Johan Klijn for grave photograph. For further details our thanks to the following sources shown below.

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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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