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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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464 Squadron
06.12.1942 No. 464 Squadron Ventura II AE945 SB-E Fl/Sgt. Beverley Harvey

Operation: Eindhoven (Operation Oyster)

Date: 06th December 1942 (Sunday)

Unit: No. 464 Squadron

Type: Ventura II

Serial: AE945

Code: SB-E

Base: RAF Feltwell, Norfolk

Location: Target area, Eindhoven, Holland

Pilot: Fl/Sgt. Beverley Morton Harvey R/88469 RCAF Age 22. Killed

Obs: W/O. Basil Marrows 905358 RAFVR Age 32. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Joseph Butler Alexander MacPherson 1194240 RAFVR Age 28. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Farquharson Proctor AUS/8063 RAAF Age 21. Killed


Ventura AE945 took off from RAF Feltwell at 1120 hours on 6 December 1942 to bomb the Philips Radio valve factory at Eindhoven, Holland. Fourteen aircraft from the Squadron took part in the raid and three of these including AJ213 failed to return.

464 Squadron Ventura at Feltwell (courtesy IWM)

The mission was 464 Squadrons first operational mission.

The 464 Sqn Aircraft formed up with aircraft from 487 Sqn RNZAF and 21 Sqn RAF, a total of 47 aircraft on the mission of which nine failed to return.

The formation was led by the OC 464 Squadron W/Cdr. Young, AFC.

464 Squadron Ventura 'bombing up' at Feltwell (courtesy IWM)

The 464 Squadron ORB records the following “All Squadron aircraft took off and formatted with No’s 487 and 21 Squadrons aircraft. The target was the Phillips Radio valve factory at Eindhoven. Low level was maintained by the formation and was uneventful until the Dutch coast was crossed when a good deal of light flak was experienced. 

464 Squadron Ventura over Holland on this operation (courtesy IWM)

This produced the first casualty when one machine was seen to dive into the sea but nobody knew who it was. The route taken was slightly south of track which led to the crossing of an enemy emergency landing ground which was well defended. The flak was extremely accurate and accounted for another aircraft piloted by OC 487 NZ Sqn, W/Cdr Seaville. The aircraft was seen to blow up and crash in flames on the drome. Sgt. Swan (Canadian) was also hit at this stage when 5 feet of the port main plane was shot away. He jettisoned the bombs which were seen to burst on a gun emplacement and made a safe return to base. P/O. Abbott 400404 was also hit by a flak shell in the port engine but continued to the target, bombed and made it back to base. 


Actual photographs of the operation (courtesy IWM) - place mouse over image to enlarge

Heavy opposition was met over the target by flak guns mounted on the roof. AE702 (F/O. Moor) was shot down by the flak and was seen to dive into houses surrounding the target area. Course was set for home at low level. Heavy opposition by flak again met on crossing the Dutch coast. All machines and some members of crews suffered damage with birds, seagulls and ducks being brought back jammed in various positions with some penetrating the Perspex. W/Cdr Young who led the formation was awarded the DSO and Fl/Lt Hart his Navigator the DFC.”

The Dutch Government conveyed their appreciation for the gallantry of the crews.

In a 1945 report the then W/O. Lindsay stated “aircraft shot down by flak and crash landed. No bale out order received as intercom U/S. Pilot, Navigator and W/Op. wounded. I was last to leave. Captured immediately. Released by British troops April 1945.”

Fl/Sgt. Harvey survived an earlier incident in a Blenheim IV L4891 when, on the 11th September 1942 flying out of RAF Upwood the aircraft swung out of control and hit a tractor. At this time he was serving with No. 17 Operational Training Unit.

Group portrait of sergeants of No 17 course, No 1 Wireless and Air Gunners School. (courtesy AWM)

Identified, left to right, back row, 416185 Douglas Philemon Gelven Marshall, 2 Squadron, 416389 Colin Samuel Temby, 114 Squadron, of Tailem Bend, SA. Temby was killed in a flying battle on 23 January 1944 in Italy, 416453 Leonard George Peake, 7 Operational Training Unit, 403880 Percy Hart Sara, 460 Squadron; 412021 Bryan Alphonsus McConnell DFM, 107 Squadron, of Clarence River, NSW. McConnell was killed in a flying battle on 6 January 1944 in England, 415002 William John Woods, 467 Squadron, of Victoria Park, WA. Front row: 412071 Gregory Howard Pascoe DFC, 550 Squadron, 406814 Raymond Kenneth Saunders, 432 Squadron, of East Guildford, WA. Saunders was killed in a flying battle on 16 December 1943 in Holland, 416504 Hedley John McWaters, 201 Flight, 8063 Farquharson Proctor, 464 Squadron, of Brighton, Vic. Proctor was killed in a flying battle on 6 December 1942 in Eindhoven, Holland. 416436 Raymond Haines Leonard, 156 Squadron, of Berri, SA. Leonard was killed in a flying battle on 11 September 1944 in Germany.


Graves at Woensel (courtesy Fred - Find A Grave) - place mouse over image to enlarge

Burial details:

Fl/Sgt. Beverley Morton Harvey. Eindhoven (Woensel) General Cemetery. Plot JJ. Coll. Grave 141-146. Son of Frederick B. Harvey, born 1896, Nova Scotia and Augusta (Annie) Morton, born 23 June, 1900, Lakeville, Kings Co, Nova Scotia.

W/O. Basil Marrows. Eindhoven (Woensel) General Cemetery. Plot JJ. Coll. Grave 141-146. Son of Arthur Robert and Ruth Marrows; husband of Aurelia Marrows, of Henfield, Sussex, England.

Sgt. Joseph Butler Alexander MacPherson. Eindhoven (Woensel) General Cemetery. Plot JJ. Coll. Grave 141-146. Son of Thomas Atkinson Wade MacPherson and Margaret Butler Alexander MacPherson, of Edinburgh, Scotland.

Sgt. Farquharson Proctor. Eindhoven (Woensel) General Cemetery. Plot JJ. Grave 134. Son of Farquharson and Wynifred Proctor, of Brighton East, Victoria, Australia.

Film of the actual raid (courtesy Bomber Guy)


Researched for Celia Howe (niece of W/O. Marrows) and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to Dave Champion for extra details, Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vol's. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', 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) Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Tom Kracker - 'Kracker Luftwaffe Archives'. Aircrew Remembered own Archives.

KTY 16.10.2015 - Further details added with thanks to Dave Champion.

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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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