14/15.07.1944 No. 156 Squadron Lancaster III PA984 GT-Q Sq/Ldr. George G. Davies DSO
Operation: Revigny, France.
Date: 14/15th July 1944 (Friday/Saturday)
Unit: No.156 Squadron
Type: Avro Lancaster III
Base: RAF Upwood, Cambridgeshire
Location: Near Ancerville (Meuse) France.
Pilot: Sq/Ldr. George Geoffrey Davies DSO. 87415 RAF PoW No: 4900 Camp: Stalag Luft Barth Vogelsang
Nav 1: F/O Fernand Camille Guillaume DeBrock DFC. 168843 RAF (B) Age 36. Killed. (1)
Nav 2: F/O. Hugh Coker 149304 RAFVR Age 23. Killed.
Fl/Engr: Fl/Lt. Kenneth Stevens 52120 RAFVR PoW No: ? Camp: Stalag Luft Sagen and Belaria (2)
Air/Bmr: F/O. Frederick Holbrook DFC.158423 RAFVR Age 24. Killed.
W/Op/Air Gnr: Fl/Lt. Harry George Mason Robinson DFC. AUS/412304 RAAF Age 24. Killed.
Air/Gnr: F/O. Frederick James Lockwood DFC. 131879 RAFVR Age 22. Killed.
Air/Gnr: F/O. Daniel Dominique Platana DFC. J/18616 RCAF Age 21. Killed. (3)
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off at 21:55 hrs from RAF Upwood to attack rail facilities, flying as Deputy Master Bomber. Two targets had been planned to be bombed, Revigny and Villeneuve. The Revigny target had to be abandoned as the railway yards could not be positively identified. This second target was hit but most of the bombing landed to the east.
F/O. Fernand DeBrock DFC. standing beneath nose of Lancaster bomber - right: the Belgians Airman Field of Honour.
On the homeward bound trip In the vicinity of the target, PA984 was hit by cannon fire from the night fighter ace, Ofw. Reinhard Kollack (4) of 8./NJG4 and broke into two sections before crashing at 02:05 hrs. near Ancerville (Meuse), 20 km SW of Bar-le-Duc. Of those who died, five rest in the Ancerville Communal Cemetery, while Belgian born F/O. Debrock, whose body lay undiscovered until 22nd March 1945, has now been taken back to his home country.
Left: Ofw. Reinhard Kollac (courtesy Kracker Archive)
Note: Of the 242 Lancasters and 11 Mosquitoes taking part on this operation some 7 Lancasters and 1 Mosquito were lost:
103 Squadron 2 Lancasters - 13 crew killed, 1 PoW.
166 Squadron I Lancaster 8 crew killed.
460 squadron 1 Lancaster 5 crew killed, 2 evading capture.
550 Squadron 1 Lancaster 7 crew killed.
576 Squadron 1 Lancaster 7 crew killed.
515 Squadron 1 Mosquito 2 crew killed
(1) F/O. Debrock DFC was Belgian attached to the RAF.
(2) Fl/Lt. Kenneth Stevens initially evaded but captured on the 4th August 1944. Retired as a Sq/Ldr. 7th November 1957.
(3) Platana Lake in Saskatchewan is named after F/O. Platana.
(4) This was the 45 abschüsse of the war for Ofw. Reinhard Kollack. He survived the war with 49 abschüsse together with his Bordfunker Hans Herman - He died on the 6th February 1980 age 65.
F/O Fernand Camille Guillaume DeBrock DFC. Initially buried at Ancerville Communal Cemetery. Repatriated back to Brussels Town Cemetery. Belgians Airman’s field of honour, also named in the Maidenhead Register. Born on the 28th December 1907, Oostende, Belgium. Joined 156 squadron on the 14th March 1944.
F/O. Hugh Coker. Ancerville Communal Cemetery. Grave 3. Son of Hugh and Norah Coker, of Petts Wood, Kent.
F/O. Frederick Holbrook. DFC. Ancerville Communal Cemetery, Grave 4. Son of William Alfred and Frances Mildred Holbrook, of Shirley, Warwickshire.
Fl/Lt. Harry George Mason Robinson. DFC. Ancerville Communal Cemetery. Grave 5. Son of George Henry and Kathleen Robinson, husband of Dorothy Robinson, of Busselton, Western Australia. Understood to have previously served with 12 Squadron.
F/O. Frederick James Lockwood. DFC. Ancerville Communal Cemetery. Grave 2. F/O. Frederick James Lockwood. DFC. Ancerville Communal Cemetery. Grave 2. Son of Frederick and Margaret Anne Lockwood of Cleethorpes, Lincolnshire, England. Also commemorated at the Cleethorpes Memorial Hall with a memorial plaque. Understood to have previously served with 12 Squadron.
F/O. Daniel Dominique Platana DFC. Ancerville Communal Cemetery. Grave 1. Son of Antoine and Marthe-Marie Platana, of Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, husband of Sarah Platana.
With thanks to Richard Lockwood for additional details on F/O. Frederick Lockwood - March 2016.