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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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Bomber Command Crest
619 Squadron Lancaster I LL919 Fl/Lt. 'Nip' Guy Godfrey Charles Gunzi

Operation: Schweinfurt Germay (Ball bearing production facilities)

Date: 26/27th April 1944 (Wednesday/Thursday)

Unit: No. 619 Squadron

Type: Lancaster I

Serial: LL919

Code: PG-W

Base: Dunholme Lodge, Lincolnshire

Location: Landeville, Haute Marne

Pilot: Fl/Lt. Guy Godfrey Charles Gunzi 169429 RAFVR Age 22. Killed

Fl/Eng: Fl/Sgt. Ernest George Cass 573138 RAF Age 21. Killed

Nav: F/O. Nickolas Vlassie J/28974 RCAF Age 25. Killed (1)

Air/Bmr: Fl/Sgt. James W. Mills 928841 RAFVR Survived - PoW Stalag Luft Bankau

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Alan Pickstone 1436408 RAFVR Age 23. Killed

Air/Gnr: P/O. Lewis Leslie Feindell J/86639 RCAF Age 21. Killed (2)

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Kenneth Frank 1590367 RAFVR Age 22. Killed


Took off at 21:32 hrs. from Dunholme Lodge, Lincolnshire to attack Schweinfurt in what is described as a failure with the low-level marking of the Mosquitoes from 5 group bot being accurate, bombing was very poor and much of it fell outside the target area. 2 people on the ground were killed but following the fierce fighting with the Luftwaffe Night fighters the allies lost a total of 21 aircraft of the 215 taking part!

Lancaster LL919 is listed as being shot down by Oblt. Dietrich Schmidt of 8./NJG1 with combat taking place in the Joinville - Doulancourt area at a height of 4.400 mtrs. at 00.47 hrs.

Oblt. Schmidt survived the war with 38 kills and died in March 2002. With thanks to Dr. Theo Boiten for this updated information (February 2019)

This plaque forms part of the memorial at the former RAF Dunholme Lodge, the concrete being from one of the runways - it is now private land. This piece of concrete with this plaque is set against the remaining blast wall of a building that was near to where the control tower used to be and also forms part of the memorial, it is surrounded by plants and well cared for. (Anne Grimshaw and photo supplied by Richard at the Airfield Information Exchange Website) Understood to have been placed by Fl/Sgt. Mills the only survivor of this crew. Sadly he died in 1993.

Above left to right: Fl/Lt. Gunzi, Fl/Sgt. Cass. F/O. Vlassie, Fl/Sgt. Pickstone, P/O. Feindell and Sgt. Frank (courtesy RAF Museum, David Archer - Operation Picture Me, Paul Gregg, Diane Vlassie, Colin Bamford)

Left: Oblt.Dietrich Schmidt of 8./NJG1 Oblt. Dietrich survived the war with 38 kills - died in March 2002.


Fl/Lt. Guy Godfrey Charles Gunzi. Landeville Churchyard Grave 1. Son of Charles Terrence (former name Carlo Teresio - died 07th December 1948, age 56) and Ella Maria Gunzi (née Devlin - died in February 1953). Italian father. Grave inscription reads: 'Darling Nip'.

Fl/Sgt. Ernest George Cass. Landeville Churchyard Grave 4. Son of Henry James Cass and Thirza Cass, husband of Barbara Eileen Cass, of Sherwood, Nottingham, England. Grave inscription reads: 'In Loving Remembrance Of My Dear Husband Who Gave His Life For England'.

F/O. Nickolas Vlassie. Landeville Churchyard Grave 2. Born on the 23rd May 1918. Enlisted on the 06th August 1943. Educated at Gladstone and Kelvin Schools and was manager of the College Inn, Portage Avenue before enlistment. Son of Andrew (died September 1957, age 69) and Photini Vlassie (née Nicholaides - died August 1985, age 87), of 101 Norquay Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

Fl/Sgt. Alan Pickstone. Landeville Churchyard Grave 6. Son of Harold and Minnie Pickstone, of Radcliffe, Lancashire, England. Grave inscription reads: 'He Gave His Life For Us. Where Our Treasure Is, There Will Our Hearts Be Also'.

P/O. Lewis Leslie Feindell. Landeville Churchyard Grave 5. Born on the 20th September 1924 in Semans, Saskatchewan. Enlisted on the 24th April 1942. Son of Lewis Loval and Agnes (née Pratt). Nephew of John T. Green of Semans Saskatchewan, Canada, who raised him after his parents died. Half brother of John William and Dale.

Sgt. Kenneth Frank. Landeville Churchyard Grave 3. Son of Arthur and Ottoline Frank, of Pickering, Yorkshire, England. Grave inscription reads: 'Only Those Who Have Lost Can Understand, From Mam And Dad, Sisters And Brothers'.

Researched by for and with the assistance of Anne Grimshaw. Further information supplied by Colin Bamford. Paul Gregg and Airfield Information Exchange. Dr. Theo Boiten for updated information.

(1) Vlassie Lake in Manitoba is named after F/O. Vlassie

(2) Feindell Lake in Saskatchewan is named after P/O. Feindell

RW 26.03.2016: Photograph and other details of F/O. Nickolas Vlassie added

KTY - 07-01-2023 Further information added

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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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Dearest Uncle Nick,
Although I never met you, the essence of your life and stories are deep in my heart. I feel the love and compassion you carried in your heart thru the letters you wrote home whilst in the Air Force.
Thank you for giving your life for our so-called freedom.
much love and respect, your second niece from your younger brother, Diane

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Last Modified: 07 January 2023, 20:28

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