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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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12 Squadron Crest
31/01.08.1944 No. 12 Squadron Wellington Z8499 Sgt. Walter H. Good

Operation: Düsseldorf

Date: 31/01st August 1942 (Friday/Saturday)

Unit: No. 12 Squadron

Type: Wellington III

Serial: Z8499

Code: PH-?

Base: RAF Binbrook, Lincolnshire

Location: Heute, Germany

Pilot: Sgt. Walter Henry Good 977292 RAFVR Age ? Killed

Pilot 2: P/O. Thomas Barrett 117443 RAFVR Age ? Killed

Obs: P/O. Frederick Henry Down 119719 RAFVR Age ? Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Hugh Lawrence Laxdal R/85382 RCAF Age 25. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Donald William Brett 930163 RAFVR Age 22. Killed


Taking off from RAF Binbrrok at 00.28 hrs to join 629 others on a maximum effort attack on the city of Dusseldorf. Bombing commenced at 01.50 with the last bombers leaving the target area at 03.03 hrs. Weather conditions were favourable for the night fighters who attacked with great effect in the bright moonlight.


484 aircraft reported successful bombing, although photographic evidence showed that part of this force bombed open country. Over 900 tons of bombs were dropped during the raid.

Records from Düsseldorf are very detailed, with most of the city and the suburbs of Neuss being hit. 453 buildings were destroyed, a further 15,000 damaged. On the ground 279 people were killed, 1,018 were injured with 12,053 people bombed out of their homes.

The raid cost the R.A.F. dearly with 29 aircraft lost with 92 group (O.T.U.) losing 11 of its 105 aircraft on this single raid.

No details as to the claim of this aircraft and it is thought probable that it was brought down by anti-aircraft fire, crashing in the town of Heute, Germany with the loss of all the crew.


Burial details:

Sgt. Walter Henry Good. Rheinberg War Cemetery. Grave 1.G.1. N.o.K details currently not available - are you able to assist completion of these and any other information?

P/O. Thomas Barrett. Rheinberg War Cemetery. Grave 1.G.4. N.o.K details currently not available - are you able to assist completion of these and any other information?

P/O. Frederick Henry Down. Rheinberg War Cemetery. Grave 1.G.2. Son of Frederick and Florrie Down, of Barnard Castle, Co. Durham, England.

Fl/Sgt. Hugh Lawrence Laxdal. Rheinberg War Cemetery. Grave 1.G.3. Son of Joseph Lawrence Laxdal and Sarah Laxdal, of Saltcoats, Saskatchewan, Canada.

Sgt. Donald William Brett. Rheinberg War Cemetery. Grave 1.G.5. Son of William and Florence Brett; husband of Ann Brett, of Litcham, Norfolk, England.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew, including that of Sgt. Donald Brett whose relative the webmaster met during his work, with thanks to Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vol's. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', 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', Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Tom Kracker - 'Kracker Luftwaffe Archives'. Aircrew Remembered own Archives.

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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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