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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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R.A.F. Crest
30/31.05.1942 22 OTU Wellington IC DV843 OR:Q Plt.Off. 'Boy' Fullerton DFM

Operation: Köln

Date: 30th/31st May 1942 (Saturday/Sunday)

Unit: 22 Operational Training Unit (OTU)

Type: Wellington IC

Serial: DV843

Code: OR:Q

Base: RAF Wellesbourne Mountford, Warwickshire.

Location: Dinteloord, Noord Brabant, Netherlands

Pilot: Plt.Off. William Arthur 'Boy' Fullerton DFM. 103507 RAFVR Age 25. Killed

Obs: Fg.Off. Leonard James Tait 82967 RAFVR Age 25. Killed

WOp/Air Gnr: Flt.Sgt. John Kenneth Napier DFM. 974768 RAFVR Age 21. Killed

Air Gnr: Sgt. Robert Alfred Armstrong R53363 RCAF Age 23. Killed

Air Gnr: Flt.Sgt. Ronald Malcolm Sanders 904378 RAFVR Age 25. Killed


Took off from RAF Wellesbourne Mountford, Warwickshire at 22:44 hrs to bomb Cologne (Köln) on a thousand bomber raid made up of 602 Wellingtons, 131 Halifaxes, 88 Stirlings, 79 Hampdens, 73 Lancasters, 43 Manchesters and 28 Mosquitoes. (1,047 aircraft.)

868 aircraft are said to have bombed the main target others bombing other targets. Huge losses were incurred on this raid, 41 aircraft lost which was classed as acceptable at the time!

22 OTU lost 4 aircraft and crews on this raid:

R1714 flown by Flt.Lt. Alwyn Hamman DFC and bar killed with 3 other crew members and one being taken PoW

DV701 flown by Fg.Off. Harold Blake DFC killed with all 5 crew.

R1235 flown by Flt.Sgt. Cyril Mathews killed with all 5 crew. (Further details here)

Wellington DV843 was coned by 11. and 13./IIIFlak Reg.26 and 1. and 2 /schw. Res Flak Abt..447 with the aircraft crashing at Dinteloord at 02:10 hrs. (Nachtjagd Combat Archive (30 May - 31 December 1942) The Early Years Part 3 - Theo Boiten)

Plt.Off. William Arthur 'Boy' Fullerton DFM and original grave marker (courtesy Laurence Walker)

Burial details:

Plt.Off. William Arthur Fullerton DFM. Bergen-Op-Zoom War Cemetery. Grave 3.C.2. Son of William and Nellie Eugenie Fullerton, husband of Cora Eileen Fullerton. (Licentiate of the Royal Academy of Music) Grave inscription: 'At The Going Down Of The Sun And In The Morning We Will Remember Them'.

DFM awarded to 741865 Sgt Fullerton, whilst with 104 Sqn, Gazetted on 23rd September 1941

Fg.Off. Leonard James Tait. Bergen-Op-Zoom War Cemetery. Grave 3.C.4. Son of Leslie and Evelyn Tait, husband of June K. Tait, of Ferring, Sussex, England.

Flt.Sgt. John Kenneth Napier DFM. Bergen-Op-Zoom War Cemetery. Grave 3.D.10. Born 11th September 1921 in Burnley, Lancashire. Son of John and Bertha (née Smith) Napier of Burnley and brother to three sisters, Ivy, Ada and Edith. Husband to Phyllis (née Manlow) Napier of Knaresborough, Yorkshire, England.

DFM awarded to Flt.Sgt Napier, whilst with 51 Sqn, Gazetted on 30th January 1942

Sgt. Robert Alfred Armstrong. Bergen-Op-Zoom Canadian War Cemetery. Grave 12.F.4. Born on the 2nd May 1919, Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland. Son of William James and Maria (née McGonigle) Armstrong of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Grave inscription: 'He Died The Helpless To Defend, A Faithful Soldier's Noble End'.

Flt.Sgt. Ronald Malcolm Sanders. Bergen-Op-Zoom War Cemetery. Grave 3.C.11. Son of Albert and Mildred Sanders, of Bexley, Kent, England. Grave inscription: 'The Soul That Rises With Us, Our Life's Star, Hath Had Elsewhere Its Setting'.

Researched for Laurence Walker, relative of the pilot Plt.Off. Fullerton and dedicated to all relatives of this crew. Thanks to Kenneth Forresfor the NoK details for Flt.Sgt. Napier.

RS 13.08.2020 - NoK details for Flt.Sgt. Napier and narrative 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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