30/31.05.1942 101 Squadron Wellington III X3670 SR-F Plt.Off. Anthony Gardner
Date: 30/31st May 1942 (Saturday/Sunday)
Unit: 101 Squadron
Type: Wellington III
Base: RAF Bourn, Lincolnshire.
Location: North Sea, West of Zeeland, Holland.
Pilot: Plt.Off. Anthony De Faye Gardner 105175 RAFVR Age 21. Missing - believed killed
Obs: Sgt. William Harry Arnold 1280560 RAFVR Age 22. Missing - believed killed
WOp/Air Gnr: Sgt. Ronald Edward Hart 915974 RAFVR Age 27. Missing - believed killed
WOp/Air Gnr: Sgt. Denis Pearson 1109414 RAFVR Age 21. Missing - believed killed
Air Gnr: Sgt. Ivan Bernard Harry Spooner 1202111 RAFVR Age 22. Missing - believed killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off from RAF Bourn, Lincolnshire at 23:05 hrs to bomb Cologne (Köln) on a thousand bomber raid made up of 602 Wellingtons, 131 Halifaxess, 88 Stirlings, 79 Hamdens, 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 with 41 aircraft lost which was classed as acceptable at the time!
German reports on state of damage:
2,500 separate fires started - with 1,700 of these classed as 'Large' by the local fire service. 3,350 buildings totally destroyed, 2,090 seriously damaged, 7,420 described as slightly damaged. 36 Companies ceased production totally with 70 losing up to 80%, 222 up to 50% loss of production.
Casulaties on the ground amounted to about 486 killed (411 of these civilians). 5,027 listed as injured with a massive 45,132 people bombed out of their homes. It is estimated that a further 150,000 of the population managed to leave prior to the raid.
W/Op/Air/Gnr for Wellington X3670: Sgt. Ronald Edward Hart (courtesy Helen Natalie Bicât - née Starr)
Some 101 Squadron personel: Rear row: Air Gnr. Skipsey, WOp/Air Gnr. Rogers, WOp/Air Gnr. Mullin, Air Gnr. Tracey, WOp/Air Gnr. Skinner, Air Gnr. Sundberg, WOp/Air Gnr. Armold, Obs. Mullan, Obs. Downer, Air Gnr. Ferguson.
Middle Row: WOp/Air Gnr. Matheson, Air Gnr. Sime, Plt. Foxcroft, WOp/Air Gnr. Kilwyn, Plt. Keen, Plt. Richards, WOp/Air Gnr. Garland, Plt Llewelyn, Obs. Baker, Obs. Clark, Obs. Calhoune, WOp/Air Gnr. Sibbald, WOp/Air Gnr. Sauve, Plt. Machin, Air Gnr. Spooner, WOp/Air Gnr. Brace.
Front Row (sitting): WOp/Air Gnr. Hart, P/T. Marney, Air Gnr. Wigham, Air Gnr. King-Scott, WOp/Air Gnr. Ward, Obs. Menage, WOp/Air Gnr. Young, Plt. Diemer, WOp/Air Gnr. Artham, WOp/Air Gnr. Jones, Air Gnr. Angelo, WOp/Air Gnr. Pollock, WOp/Air Gnr. Oakley, WOp/Air Gnr. Cormack, WOp/Air Gnr. Bott, Air Gnr Mackay, Plt. Early, Plt. Williams, WOp/Air Gnr. Tattoh, WOp/Air Gnr. Woodgate, Air Gnr. Urwin, Obs. Pearson, Air Gnr. Charles, Plt. Attwood, Plt. Brown, Air Gnr. Murray, W/A/G. Burgess, WOp/Air Gnr. Jaggers, WOp/Air Gnr. Stewart, Air Gnr. Wade, Air Gnr. Symonds.
Although the aircraft is listed as missing, it was claimed to have been shot down by either of the following:
Oblt. Heinrich Prinz zu Sayn-Wittgenstein (left)
of 9./NJG2 at 01.16 hrs. 72 Victories to his name, before he was to die on January 21st 1944 when he collided with a Lancaster (buried at Ljsselsetein, Netherlands)
Hptm. Hoerst Patuschka (right) of 7./NJG2 at 01.17 hrs. He went on to have a confirmed total of between 23 and 25 kills before he was killed on the 6/7th March 1943 at Moggendorf - 10 miles South West of Bayreuth in an air combat.
Right - panels at Runnymede Memorial
Plt.Off. Anthony De Faye Gardner. Runnymede Memorial Panel 69. Born in October 1920 in Kingston, Surrey. Son of Major Cecil Frederick and Madeleine de Fay (née Larkinson) Gardner of Thames Ditton, Surrey, England.
Sgt. William Harry Arnold. Runnymede Memorial Panel 77. Son of William and A. M. Arnold, of Blaenavon, Monmouthshire, Wales.
Sgt. Ronald Edward Hart. Runnymede Memorial Panel 85. Son of Alfred Edward Hart, and of Flossie May Hart, of Lynton, Devon, England.
Sgt. Denis Pearson. Runnymede Memorial Panel 91. Son of William and Sarah Pearson, of Maryport, Cumberland, England.
Sgt. Ivan Bernard Harry Spooner. Runnymede Memorial Panel 94. Son of Harry and Emily Rose Spooner, of Dunstable, Bedfordshire, England.
Researched for Helen Natalie Bicât (nee Starr) niece of Sgt. Ronald Edward Hart and dedicated to all relatives of the crew. With thanks to Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vol's. 1 and 2', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries', Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vol. 3', Commonwealth War Graves Commission.