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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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433 Squadron Crest
30/31.01.1944 No. 433 Squadron Halifax III LV797 BM-L P/O. Gerald E. Hagerman

Operation: Berlin

Date: 30/31st January 1944

Unit: No. 433 Squadron RCAF

Type: Halifax III

Serial: LV797

Code: BM-L

Base: RAF Skipton-on-Swale, Yorkshire

Location: Near Frankendorf, Germany

Pilot: P/O. Gerald Ernest Hagerman J/86591 RCAF Age 20. Killed

Fl/Eng: Sgt. John Wannop 1005427 RAFVR Age 34. Killed

Nav: Fl/Sgt. Kenneth Hargreaves R/161116 RCAF Age 21. Killed

Air/Bmr: P/O. Cecil Phillips J/89468 RCAF Age 26. Killed (1)

W/Op/Air/Gnr: P/O. John Robert Charlton J/86226 RCAF Age 20. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. M.D. Park-Taylor Survived PoW No: 3548 Camp: Stalag Luft Sagan and Belaria (L4)

Air/Gnr: P/O. James Francis Watters J/89106 RCAF Age 25. Killed


534 aircraft took part in yet another concentrated raid on the German capital the third in as many days. LV797 taking off from RAF Skipton-on-Swale in Yorkshire at 17.19 hrs. 10 aircraft fro the squadron taking part. No precise details as to how they were lost - Luftwaffe fighter claims dont match this loss, however not many are detailed for this operation.

Sgt. John Wannop shown extreme right at rear of this group - are you able to identify the others? (courtesy Phil Rigby)

The bomber stream were not intercepted until they were well into the run to the target when they faced fierce opposition from the night fighters. Many were shot down over the target but also they suffered attacks after leaving the target area.

Bombing on the cloud covered City was described as another concentrated attack with over 1000 civilians being killed and a few industrial premises including Goebbels Propaganda Ministry.

The loss rate from Bomber Command amounted to some 35 aircraft lost. 189 aircrew killed with a further 56 made PoW.

The orginal grave marker for the crew (courtesy Phil Rigby)

Burial details:

Originally buried at Frankendorf on the 5th February 1944. Reburied after war end in Berlin.

P/O. Gerald Ernest Hagerman. Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery. Coll. Grave 9.J.14-19. Son of Ernest R. Hagerman and Hazel P. Hagerman, of Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada.

Sgt. John Wannop. Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery. Coll. Grave 9.J.14-19. Son of Charles and Agnes Jane Wannop, of Penrith, Cumberland, England. John Wannop was a compositor at The Cumberland and Westmorland Herald, Penrith, England.

Fl/Sgt. Kenneth Hargreaves. Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery. Coll. Grave 9.J.14-19. From Detroit, Michigan USA. Next of kin details not available - can you assist?

P/O. Cecil Phillips. Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery. Coll. Grave 9.J.14-19. From Myrtle, Manitoba, Canada.  Next of kin details not available - can you assist?

P/O. John Robert Charlton. Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery. Coll. Grave 9.J.14-19. From Nottingham, England.  Next of kin details not available - can you assist?

P/O. James Francis Watters. Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery. Coll. Grave 9.J.14-19. Son of Mrs. M. Watters, of Vancouver, British Columbia Canada. 

(1) Phillips Island in Tadpole Lake named after P/O. Cecil Phillips in 1975.

Researched by Aircrew Remembered, researcher and specialist genealogist Linda Ibrom and webmaster for relatives of this crew. (The webmaster recently met friends of Sgt. John Wannop at his work - November 2014) For further details our thanks to the following, Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vol's. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', ‘Bomber Command Database’, Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vol's. 1 and  2', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries (Updated 2014 version), 'Paradie Archive'. Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Tom Kracker - 'Kracker Luftwaffe Archives'. Further information from these titles/organisations are available from us, just use the 'help' button on the main page above or 'add info' button also shown on this page.

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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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