AR banner
Search Tips Advanced Search
Back to Top

• Kracker Archive
• Allied Losses
• Archiwum Polish
• Paradie Canadian
• Searchable Lists

Info LogoAdd to or correct this story with a few clicks.
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.
Check our Research databases: Database List


We seek additional information and photographs. Please contact us via the Helpdesk.

196 Squadron Crest
03/04.07.1943 No. 196 Squadron Wellington X HE980 Fl/Sgt. Paul Gee

Operation: Köln

Date: 03/04th July 1943 (Saturday/Sunday)

Unit: No. 196 Squadron

Type: Wellington X

Serial: HE980

Code: ZO-?

Base: RAF Leconfield

Location: Averbode, Belgium

Pilot: Fl/Sgt. Paul Gee 1332441 RAFVR Age 19. Killed

Nav: Sgt. Ronald Sydney Naile 1316536 RAFVR Age 22. Killed

Air/Bmr: Sgt. Allan Henry Taylor 1431243 RAFVR Age 28. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. George Neville Downing 1027411 RAFVR Age 21. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Albert James Horne 1586200 RAFVR Age 19. Killed


Taking off at 22:49 hrs to join 652 aircraft to bomb the part of the city based on the east bank of the Rhine as a great deal of industry was situated there. The raid was considered a success with 20 industrial premises and 2,200 houses were completely destroyed with a loss of life on the ground placed at nearly 600 people killed, a further 1,000 injured and a massive 72,000 people bombed out of their homes.

The allies suffered the loss of 30 aircraft - the majority being claimed by the night fighters from the jagdgeschwader 300 using the "wild boar" technique and consequently all the claims were shared with the flak units based in the city.

196 Squadron Wellington X HE980 Crew (courtesy IWM)

This technique (New to the allies) were attacks made (in this raid) single engine fighters and the German pilots used searchlights, target indicators and the glow of fires from the ground and the idea being that the local flak units limited the firing at a certain height allowing the Luftwaffe to attack the bombers over this height.

196 Squadron lost another crew this night:

Wellington X HZ478 Flown by 28 year old F/O. Eric Douglas Eastwood 120442 RAFVR from Blackburn, Lancashire. Killed with all the crew. Apart from the 2nd pilot who had been flying as second pilot, this had been an extremely experienced crew and well into their 2nd tour of operations with a total of some 241 sorties between them - yet none had received any decorations. This aircraft was shot down by a night fighter flown by Hptm. Wilhelm Herget of 1./NJG1 over Solre-sur-Sambre in Belgium.

Burial details:

Fl/Sgt. Paul Gee. Heverlee War Cemetery. Collective grave 6.D. 1-20. Son of Guyus Augustus and Maud Mary Gee, husband of Gladys Mary Louise Gee. Grave inscription reads ‘We Shall Remember While Light Lives Yet In Darkness We Shall Never Forget.’

Sgt. Ronald Sydney Naile. Heverlee War Cemetery. Grave 10.D. 5. Son of Robert Edmond and Mary Beatrice Naile, of Walcot, Bath, Somerset, England. Grave inscription reads ‘In Loving Memory He Died That We Might Live, Dad And Relatives.’

Sgt. Allan Henry Taylor. Collective grave 6.D. 1-20. Son of Ralph Alexander Taylor and Jean Taylor, of Glastonbury, Somerset, England.

Sgt. George Neville Downing. Collective grave 6.D. 1-20. Son of John Downing, and of Jennie Downing, of Ramsgate, New South Wales, Australia. Grave inscription reads You Left A Beautiful Memory To Us Who Loved And Lost You Will Never Grow Old.’ Our Roy Wilcock has established that Sgt. Downing’s parents registered his birth in the September quarter 1921 at West Derby Registration district (mainly Liverpool area). Perhaps a reader is able to explain the gravestone shown above left?

Sgt. Albert James Horne. Heverlee War Cemetery. Grave 10.D. 6. Son of Albert James Horne and Annie Horne, of Penge, Kent, England. Grave inscription reads ‘In Proud Loving Memory Of A Dear Son Never Shall His Memory Fade, Mum, Dad.’

For further details our thanks to Mike McQaid who visited Rake Lane Cemetery and photographed the family headstone for Sgt. Downing. Also to the following sources.

Pages of Outstanding Interest
History Airborne Forces •  Soviet Night Witches •  Bomber Command Memories •  Abbreviations •  Gardening Codenames
CWGC: Your Relative's Grave Explained •  USA Flygirls •  Axis Awards Descriptions •  'Lack Of Moral Fibre'
Concept of Colonial Discrimination  •  Unauthorised First Long Range Mustang Attack
RAAF Bomb Aimer Evades with Maquis •  SOE Heroine Nancy Wake •  Fane: Motor Racing PRU Legend
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.
Click any image to enlarge it

Click to add your info via ticket on Helpdesk •Click to let us know via ticket on Helpdesk• Click to buy research books from Amazon •Click to explore the entire site
If you would like to comment on this page, please do so via our Helpdesk. Use the Submit a Ticket option to send your comments. After review, our Editors will publish your comment below with your first name, but not your email address.

A word from the Editor: your contribution is important. We welcome your comments and information. Thanks in advance.

At the going down of the sun, and in the morning we will remember them. - Laurence Binyon
All site material (except as noted elsewhere) is owned or managed by Aircrew Remembered and should not be used without prior permission.
© Aircrew Remembered 2012 - 2024
Last Modified: 08 March 2016, 22:28

Monitor Additions/Changes?Click to be informed of changes to this page. Create account for first monitor only, thereafter very fast. Click to close without creating monitor