30/01.08.1942 No 14 OTU Hampden I P5322 GL-U3 F/O. Guthrie
Date: 31/01st August 1942 (Friday/Saturday)
Unit: No. 14 Operational Training Unit (motto: 'Keep With The Pack')
Type: Hampden I
Base: RAF Cottesmore, West Sussex
Location: Burgmauer, Cologne
Pilot: F/O. Robert Edmund Guthrie AUS/406649 RAAF Age 29. Killed
Obs: Sgt. Charles Alexander Brian Mcmullin 1184109 RAFVR Age 27. Killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Elwin Thomas Hunking R/78903 RCAF Age 20. Killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. J.H. Morrison R/76278 RCAF Age ? PoW No: 25121 Camp: Stalag Lamsdorf
REASON FOR LOSS:
Took off from RAF Cottesmore in West Sussex at 00:01hrs. to bomb the German city of Düsseldorf. 630 aircraft taking part in the operation.
Many were made up with aircraft from the training units, which, resulted in very high losses. The OTU’s losing some 16 aircraft during the night.
The night was described as clear with a bright moon which assisted the Luftwaffe night fighters even though six sorties of Blenheim's from 2 Group attacking their bases over a two hour period were sent to assist the operation.
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, which attacked the city between 01:50 hrs and 03:03 hrs.
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.
Note: Aircrew killed: 118. Injured: 6. PoW: 34. Evading capture: 4.
F/O. Robert Edmund Guthrie. Rheinberg War Cemetery. Grave 1.G.6. Born on the 28th February 1913 at Claremont, the son of James Alexander and Mary Elizabeth Guthrie and husband of Irene Victoria Guthrie, of Bundeena Bay, New South Wales, Australia. Batchelor of Arts Degree. A school teacher prior to enlisting on the 3rd March 1941.
The family wee also to lose his younger brother. 27 year old, L/Cpl. Hugh Kitchener Guthrie WX19860 serving with the 2/28 Battalion Australian Infantry. Killed in action on New Guinea on the 20th October 1943. (shown right)
Sgt. Charles Alexander Brian Mcmullin. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 89. Son of Alexander Francis and Jane Beatrice McMullin, of Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, England.
Fl/Sgt. Elwin Thomas Hunking. Rheinberg War Cemetery. Grave 1.G.7. Son of Norman Hunking, and of Lillian Hunking, of Clinton, Ontario, Canada. Grave inscription: 'Safe In The Arms Of Jesus'.
L/Cpl. Hugh Kitchener Guthrie. Lae War Cemetery. Grave DD.A.11. Born on the 08th July 1916, husband of Jean Irene Guthrie, of Bundeena, New South Wales, Australia. Grave inscription: 'Treasured Memories Always "Pets" Of My Darling Husband And Pal'.
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to sources as quoted below: