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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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153 squadron badge
3/4.03.1945 No 153 Squadron Lancaster III LM750 P4-R F/O. Gregoire D.F.C. crew loss page

Operation: Gardening - "Silverthorn" (see map below)

Date: 3/4th March 1945 (Saturday/Sunday)

Unit: No. 153 Squadron

Type: Lancaster III

Serial: LM750

Code: P4-R

Base: R.A.F. Scampton, Lincolnshire

Location: Sejerø island, north-north-west of Zeeland.

Pilot: F/O. Leo Joseph Robert Gregoire D.F.C. J/87391 R.C.A.F. Age 25. Missing (1)

Fl/Eng: Sgt. William Leslie James 941154 R.A.F.V.R. Age 23. Missing

Nav: W/O. II Marvin Max Sandomirsky R/181716 R.C.A.F. Age 22. Missing

Air/Bmr: W/O. II Kenneth Lloyd Douglas McCoy R/143248 R.C.A.F. Age 23. Missing (2)

W/Op/Air/Gnr: W/O. Douglas Scott McGregor D.F.M. 976183 R.A.F.V.R. Age 25. Missing (3)

Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. John Ernest Sabine R/201885 R.C.A.F. Age 20. Missing

Air/Gnr: P/O. William Waldemar Webber J/94336 R.C.A.F. Age 28. Missing


Taking off from R.A.F. Scampton, Lincolnshire at 16.45 hrs on a gardening operation to the "Silverthorn" area.

The operation took part with excellent visibility which resulted in heavy accurate flak and a great deal of night fighter activity.

W/O. Douglas Scott McGregor D.F.M. (courtesy Mrs Ruth Wilson via Captain Ian Charles Gravatt)

Left: F/O Leo Joseph Robert Gregoire DFC Right: W/O. II Marvin Max Sandomirski

L- R: W/O II Kenneth Lloyd Douglas McCoy, Fl/Sgt. John Ernest Sabine, P/O William Waldemar Webber

Confirmed as intercepted by Maj. Werner Husemann (4) from Stab I./NJG3 at 20.29 hrs. Combat taking place over the Kattegat 4 km north, north west of Sejerø Island (56.0045 N 11.2225)

Maj. Husemann shown here in the centre with his crew and ground crew. L to R: Ogefr. Meisolle, mechanic, Ofw. H.G. Schierholz, BF, Maj. Husemann, FW. Moller, BS, FW. Fehmannn 2nd BF.

(1) F/O. Leo Gregoire D.F.C. citation reads:

This Canadian captain has now completed 26 sorties against targets in Germany and occupied territory. Throughout his tour he has pressed home his attacks with the utmost skill and determination in the face of heavy anti-aircraft fire. He has shown a complete disregard for his own personal safety and his cheerful confidence has inspired a high standard of morale in his crew. His commendable courage and high devotion to duty make him well worthy of the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross.

(2) W/O. Kenneth McCoy was a sole survivor of a 626 Squadron Lancaster loss on the 21/22nd May 1944 during an operation to Duisberg. He managed to evade capture and returned for duties, tragically to die on this operation.

(3) W/O. McGregor D.F.M - previously served with 61 squadron with his award published on 26th May 1942. He also served as a wireless operator instructor with 24 O.T.U (Operational Training Unit)

(4) This was the 31st of 32 abschüss for Maj. Werner Husemann who survived the war.

Aircrew Remembered Gardening code names map

Burial details:

F/O. Leo Joseph Robert Gregoire D.F.C. Runnymede Panel 279. Son of Mr. Z.E. Gregoire. Born in Aye Hill, Alberta Canada on 4th January 1920. Worked at Consolidated Mining and Smelting from 1940 - 1942 before enlisting in Calgary on 16th September 1942.

Sgt. William Leslie James. Runnymede Panel 275. Born on 13th May 1921. Son of Alan Maxwell James and Alice James, of Stratford-on-Avon, England.

W/O. II Marvin Max Sandomirsky. Runnymede Panel 281. Born on 6th July 1921. Son of Samuel and Goldie Sandomirsky, of Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada.

Gregoire Point east of the South end of Barrier Island, Nootka Land District, British Columbia was named after F/O Gregoire in 1950

Sandomirsky Island, Saskatchewan is named after W/O II Samdomirsky

W/O. II Kenneth Lloyd Douglas McCoy. Runnymede Panel 281. Born on 21st March 1921. Son of Mrs. F.G. McCoy, from Chicago, Illinois U.S.A.

W/O. Douglas Scott McGregor D.F.M. Runnymede Panel 269. Born on 7th April 1919. Son of Mr John McGregor and Mrs Ruth McGregor. Also his younger sister, Mrs Ruth Wilson, of 7 Woodlands Terrace, Dundee, Scotland.

Fl/Sgt. John Ernest Sabine. Runnymede Panel 282. Born on 16th April 1924. Son of Ernest Jago Sabine and Lulu Edna Sabine, of O'Leary, Prince Edward Island, Canada.

P/O. William Waldemar Webber. Runnymede Panel 281. Born on 31st May 1916. Son of William and Augusta Webber, brother to Mrs C. Hartley and Mrs W. Peek of Verdun, Province of Quebec, Canada.

Researched for Captain Ian Charles Gravatt and the sister of the wireless operator/air gunner, W/O. McGregor D.F.M., Mrs Ruth Wilson of Perth, Scotland. Captain Gravatt has also supplied further information added to this page of remembrance. With thanks to Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - "Nightfighter War Diaries Vol's. 1 and 2", Bill Chorley - "Bomber Command Losses Vol's 5 and 6", Les Allison and Harry Hayward - "They Shall Not Grow Old" and the Commonwealth Graves Commission.

CHB 29.07.2020 Crew photographs & commemorative feature link added

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.
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