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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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170 Squadron crest
07/08.03.1945 No. 170 Squadron Lancaster III ME418 TC-V F/O. Fuller

Operation: Dessau

Date: 07/08th March 1945 (Wednesday/Thursday)

Unit: No. 170 Squadron (motto: Videre Non Videri - 'To see and not be seen')

Type: Lancaster III

Serial: ME418

Code: TC-V

Base: RAF Hemswell, Lincolnshire, England

Location: Morsleben, Germany

Pilot: F/O. Harry William Fuller 152276 RAFVR Age ? Killed

Fl/Eng: Sgt. Walter Gorden Austen 3031942 RAFVR Age ? Killed

Nav: Sgt. Donald Underwood Hart 1800267 RAFVR Age 21. Killed

Air/Bmr: F/O. William Sidney John Moore 163519 RAFVR Age 30. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Royce Johnson 1873157 RAFVR Age 20. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Thomas Dixon 1596554 RAFVR Age 21. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Patrick Kane 1566852 RAFVR Age 21. Killed

REASON FOR LOSS:

Taking off at 16:53 hrs. along with 12 others from the squadron to dislocate supply lines of the enemy and to disorganise the Germans.

Weather for take off was good but very soon after afterwards it was reported as 10/10 cloud decreasing to 5-6/10th and instructions were sent to the crews to bomb the Wanganui flares (Target Indicators). Crews reported seeing fire through small gaps in the clouds.

ME418 was not heard from since take off, but the Luftwaffe night fighters claimed some 41 aircraft. One possible claim are that of Maj. Heinz-Wolfgang Schnaufer of Stab NJ4 at 21:56 hrs - his 121st claim of the war.He also claimed the other 170 Squadron lost on this operation at 20:31 hrs:

Lancaster III ME388 TC-H Flown by 20 year old, F/O. John Stennett Walker AUS/430231 RAAF - Killed with all his crew.

F/O William Sidney John Moore was a Police Constable in the City of London Police before enlisting as aircrew in 1944. He was Constable 172B based at Snow Hill Police Station in the City of London. His nickname was "Ginger" and had served throughout the London Blitz and the V-1 campaign before joining up. He features in a short colour film depicting wartime London, a still of which is shown above. (courtesy of Stuart Humphryes and the other photograph of him is courtesy @squaremile plod)

Above as described - individual grave photographs are available free of charge to relatives.

Burial details:

F/O. Harry William Fuller. Berlin 1939-45 War Cemetery. Collective Grave 13.G.2-7. No next of kin details, are you able to assist?

Sgt. Walter Gorden Austen. Berlin 1939-45 War Cemetery. Grave 13.G.1. No next of kin details, are you able to assist?

Sgt. Donald Underwood Hart. Berlin 1939-45 War Cemetery. Collective Grave 13.G.2-7. Son of Alfred Forrester Hart and Sarah Gladys Hart of Chiswick, Middlesex, England.

F/O. William Sidney John Moore. Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery. Collective Grave 13.G.2-7. Son of William Edgar and Mary Jane Moore. Husband of Jessie Violet Moore of Earlham, Norfolk. Grave inscription reads: "In Loving Memory Of My Dear Husband And His Comrades. We Will Remember Them."

Fl/Sgt. Royce Johnson. Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery. Collective Grave 13.G.2-7. Son of William and Laura Johnson of Watford, Hertfordshire, England. Grave inscription reads: "He Took, That Night, The One Great Step Beyond The Stars, Into The Arms Of God."

Sgt. Thomas Dixon. Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery. Collective Grave 13.G.2-7. Son of Thomas and Dora Dixon of Trimdon Station, County Durham, England. Grave inscription reads: "He Fought For King And Country, He Died For Those He Loved."

Sgt. Patrick Kane. Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery. Collective Grave 13.G.2-7. Son of Patrick and Margaret Kane of Edinburgh. Grave inscription reads: "Though Absent, You Are Always Near, Still Loved, Still Missed, For Ever Dear."

Researched by Stephen Hunnisett for Aircrew remembered - July 2019. Dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to Stuart Humphryes, @squaremile plod for photo of the Air Bomber, also to Tom Kracker and his Luftwaffe archives on this site, other sources as quoted below:

SH/KTY 27.07.2019

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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