Date: 29/30 May 1943 (Saturday/Sunday)
Unit: No. 12 Squadron
Type: Lancaster III
Base: RAF Wickenby
Location: Hansastraße, Mülheim - Speldorf, Germany
Pilot: Fl/Lt. Ivor Philip Chester Goudge 42562 RAF Age 21. Killed
Fl/Eng: Sgt. Albert Edward Graham 1444939 RAFVR Age 33. Killed
Nav: Sgt. J. Gorton 1501247 RAFVR PoW No: 148 Camp: Stalag Kopernikus
Air/Bmr: Sgt. Ronald Stuart Richmond 1348445 RAFVR Age 22. Killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Victor Wells 1113723 RAFVR Age 27. Killed
Air/Gnr: Sgt. Norman Morgan Hatch 1398671 RAFVR Age 19. Killed
Air/Gnr: Sgt. Joseph Hardman 1508882 RAFVR Age 31. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
719 aircraft - 292 Lancasters, 185 Halifaxes, 118 Stirlings, 113 Wellingtons, 11 Mosquitoes. 33 aircraft - 10 Halifaxes, 8 Stirlings, 8 Wellingtons, 7 Lancasters taking part on an operation to Wuppertal. The weather conditions were described as fair to cloudy, visibility poor at first improving to very good.
Taking off from RAF Wickenby at 22:56 hrs together with 14 other aircraft from the squadron. Each aircraft carried: 1x4000 lb. H.C. 570x4 lb. inc. 30x4 lb. "X" inc. 48x30 lb. inc. The others that were dispatched (note: the squadron code changed from PH to GZ in late May 1943):
Lancaster III GZ-H W4992 Flown by Sgt. Thomas Benzie Forbes 148437 RAFVR - returned safe - Killed 13th July 1943.
Lancaster III GZ-M LM321 Flown by Sq/Ldr. Frederick John Knight 40304 RAF - abandoned operation due to lack of oxygen feed to the crew - Killed 29th June 1943Lancaster GZ-E ED424 Flown by W/Cdr. R.S.C. Wood - returned safe.
Lancaster III GZ-D W497 Flown by F/O. D.G.R. Weeks - returned safe.
Lancaster III PH-E W4380 Flown by Fl/Sgt. K.B. Smitheringale - abandoned operation due to pilot oxygen failure, pilot found asleep.
Lancaster III PH-F W4373 Flown by P/O. P.R. Ford - returned safe.
Lancaster III PH-E W4380 Flown by Fl/Sgt. K.B. Smitheringale - returned safe.
Lancaster III PH-K ED629 Flown by W/O. M.D. Gillman - returned safe - although aircraft hit by flak in the tail and port main plane.
Lancaster III PH-J ED993 Flown by Sgt. Norman Ernest Hill 148446 RAFVR - returned safe - Killed 04th July 1943
Left: Sgt. Murray Gordon Brown AUS/401911 RAAF (courtesy of his family)
Lancaster III PH-D W4374 Flown by Fl/Lt. R.E. Fawcett - returned safe.
Lancaster III PH-U ED522 Flown by Sgt. J.K. Stancliffe - returned safe - abandoned operation due to Glycol leak.
Lancaster III PH-V W4990 Flown by Sgt. D.M. Thompson - returned safe.
Lancaster III PH-Q W4991 Flown by Sgt. Murray Gordon Brown AUS/401911 RAAF - returned safe.
Lancaster III PH-X ED995 Flown by P/O. F.J. Wright - returned safe.
Lancaster ED996 thought to have been hit by the anti-aircraft batteries - no night fighter claims for this aircraft. The aircraft crashed on the homeward bound flight at 01:10 hrs in the Hansastraße of Mülheim - Speldorf, Germany with parts of the aircraft falling onto houses.
It appears that Sgt. Gorton managed to bail out of the aircraft, becoming a PoW. He visited families of the crew members lost after the war.
Despite the huge (33 aircraft) losses Bomber Command considered the raid a huge success with 80% of the target area destroyed by fire, 5 of the city’s factories were destroyed, some 11 other industrial premises with 4,000 houses destroyed.
Around 3,400 people were killed on the ground - very surprising that the navigator survived as a PoW considering the local populace feelings towards these Terrorflieger (terror fliers or terrorist airman as they became to be known)
Right: Part crash site of Lancaster ED966.
The crew were initially buried at Nordfriedhof at Dusseldorf on the 31st May 1943, then reinterred after war end in 1948.
Fl/Lt. Ivor Philip Chester Goudge. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. Grave 5.E.14. Son of Philip Arthur Montague Goudge and Edith Evelyn Goudge, of Banstead, Surrey, England.
Sgt. Albert Edward Graham. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. Grave 5.E.13. Son of Albert Edward and Bertha Beatrice Graham, of Ashford, Middlesex, England.
Sgt. Ronald Stuart Richmond. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. Grave 5.E.12. Son of William and Elizabeth J Richmond, of Ballater, Aberdeenshire, Scotland.
Above: as described - with the mother of Aidan Stones who kindly sent in the photographs - July 2017.Sgt. Victor Wells. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. Grave 5.E.16. Husband of Delia and father of two children. He had just arrived at the unit having been posted in from 44 Squadron.
Sgt. Norman Morgan Hatch. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. Grave 5.E.15. Son of Henry Thomas Hatch and Ellen Edith Hatch, of Rainham, Kent, England.
Sgt. Joseph Hardman. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. Grave 5.E.11. Son of Joseph and Sophia Hardman, of Blackburn, Lancashire, husband of Jessie Hardman, of Blackburn, England.
With thanks to the family of P/O. Murray Gordon Brown Aus/401911 who died in Shepparton, 2015. Also for details on Sgt. Victor Wells to Aidan Stones who contacted us in July 2017 (his grandfather) For further details our thanks to the sources shown below. For additional reading we recommend visiting Tom Forbes's great 12 Squadron website where you can contribute further information.
KTY 27.06.2015. 10.07.2017 new information added
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them. - Laurence
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