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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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427 Squadron Halifax III MZ757 F/O. Henry Parker Gordon

Operation: Hamburg

Date: 28/29th July 1944 (Friday/Saturday)

Unit: No. 427 Squadron (motto: Ferte manus certas - 'Strike with a sure hand'). 8 Group

Type: Halifax III

Serial: MZ757

Code: ZL-Y

Base: RAF Leeming, North Yorkshire

Location: Howaldtwerft, Hamburg

Pilot: F/O. Huntly Parker Gordon J/24299 RCAF Age 21. Killed

Fl/Eng: Sgt. Frederick Charles Albert Stokes 1586991 RAFVR Age 22. Killed

Nav: F/O. James Keith Mcrobb J/36381 RCAF Age 20. Killed

Air/Bmr: F/O. Howard Clouston Wright J/24794 RCAF Age 24. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: P/O. Richard Keary Nelson J/94226 RCAF Age 31. Killed

Air/Gnr: P/O. Harvey Albert Legary J/92353 RCAF Age 22. Killed

Air/Gnr: P/O. Frank George Plecan J/90071 RCAF Age 26. Killed


Weather: Fair with good visibility, wind westerly to moderate.

18 aircraft were detailed to take part from the squadron. MZ757 ;aden with 16x500 lb bombs took off at 22:25 hrs and was the only aircraft lost by the squadron.

Hamburg. 307 aircraft taking part. German night-fighters appeared on the return leg leading to 22 losses This was the first raid on Hamburg for a year and was not well concentrated. The Germans were unable to determine the aiming point from the bombing results. Most of the bombs fell on areas devastated during 1943.

Shot down by Oblt. Dietrich Schmidt over Howaldtwerft in Hamburg at 01:11 hrs. A claim made by Flak of 414 (Turmflak), 2. and 4./schw. Flak Abt. 607, 3./schw. Flak Abt. 225 and 1./schw. Flak Abt. 613 RAD (Grossbatterie), was also made and all were credited.

Right: Oblt. Dietrich Schmidt

Above: F/O. Huntly Gordon, F /O. James Mcrobb, F/O. Howard Wright, W/O. R.K Halston (replaced by P/O. Richard Nelson - shown below), Sgt. Frederick Stokes, P/O. Harvey Legary and P/O. Frank Plecan.

Above: original grave markers

Burial details:

F/O. Huntly Parker Gordon. Hamburg Cemetery. Collective grave 5A. A. 9-11. Born on the 04th February 1924. Enlisted on the 04th February 1942. Son of Vancouver Camden Gordon (died 1931) and of Dorothy Roblin Gordon (née Parker), of 699 Eglinton Avenue, Apartment 203, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. 8 Operational sorties flown. His brother 19 year old, Fl/Sgt. David William Gordon R/93493 RCAF also died in service on the 08th December 1942 also whilst with 427 Squadron. Epitaph: 'The Lord Shall Preserve Thee From All Evil. He Shall Preserve Thy Soul Psalm CXXI.7'.

Sgt. Frederick Charles Albert Stokes. Hamburg Cemetery. Collective grave 5A. A. 9-11. Son of Frederick James Stokes and Millicent May Stokes, of Luton, Bedfordshire, England. Nephew of Mr. W. Stokes, of Luton. 6 Operational sorties flown. Epitaph: 'No Length Of Time Can Take Away Our Thoughts Of You From Day To Day'.

F/O. James Keith Mcrobb. Hamburg Cemetery. Collective grave 5A. A. 9-11. Born on the 02nd February 1924 in Regina. Enlisted on the 01st October 1943. Son of James Microbe and Edna Bernice (née Wiggins) of 1453 Aryle Street, Regina, Saskatchewan Canada. 6 Operational sorties flown.

F/O. Howard Clouston Wright. Hamburg Cemetery. Grave 5A. A. 13. Born on the 25 Feb 1917 Toronto enlisted on the 01st October 1941. Son of Horace Townsend Wright and Janie Christine Wright, of 202 Vaughan Road, Toronto, Ontario. Canada. 6 Operational sorties flown. Epitaph: 'His Memory Is As Dear Today As In The Hour He Passed Away'.

P/O. Richard Keary Nelson. Hamburg Cemetery. Collective grave 5A. A. 9-11. Born on the 18th August 1913 in British Columbia. Enlisted 08th August 1941. 6 Operational sorties flown. Son of James Walker Nelson (deceased) and Emma Joyner Nelson (née Douglas - died 15th December 1958, age 78) of 128 Agnes Street, Nelson, of New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada. Epitaph: 'Just Away'.

P/O. Harvey Albert Legary. Hamburg Cemetery. Grave 5A. A. 12. Born on the 01st August 1921 in Manitoba, Canada Enlisted on the 24th November 1941. 6 Operational sorties flown. Son of Edgar Duncan and (died 10th June 1967, age 72) Bethel Henrietta Legary (née Freddy - died 13th January 1982, age 83), of Pilot Mound, Manitoba, Canada. Epitaph: 'A Tribute Of Love And Remembrance To One We Shall Never Forget. Our Son Harv.'.

P/O. Frank George Plecan. Hamburg Cemetery. Collective grave 5A. A. 9-11. Born on the 07th September 1917. Enlisted on the 25th September 1941. 6 Operational sorties flown.Son of Mariy Plecan deceased 106 8 Street, Calgary, Stepfather Michael Plecan and husband of Elsie Lillian Plecan, of Rocky Mountain House, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Epitaph: 'I Have Finished The Work Which Thou Hast Given Me To Do'.

Legary Lake, Manitoba (Southeast of Tau Lake was named after P/O. Harvey Albert Legary in 1957.

McRobb Lake, Saskatchewan (Southwest of Big River) was named after F/O. James Keith Mcrobb

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to National Archives Kew, Air-27-1846-13/13, International Bomber Command Centre IBCC, Theo Boiten 'Nachjtagd Combat Archives', Kracker Luftwaffe Archives, Government of Canada Archives. Thanks to Angus Scully of the Vancouver Island Military Museum for the correction to Fg Off. Gordon's christian name. (Jul 2023)

Other sources as quoted below:

KTY 08-05-2023

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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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