AR banner
Search Tips Advanced Search
Back to Top

Info LogoAdd to or correct this story with a few clicks.
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.
Check our Research databases: Database List


We seek additional information and photographs. Please contact us via the Helpdesk.

431 Squadron Crest
15/16.03.1945 No 431 Squadron Lancaster X KB815 SE-K Fl/Lt. Haw

Operation: Hagen

Date: 15/16th March 1945 (Thursday/Friday)

Unit: No. 431 Squadron

Type: Lancaster X

Serial: KB815

Code: SE-K

Base: RAF Croft, Yorkshire

Location: Perwez, Belgium

Pilot: Fl/Lt. Robert Roy Haw J/85451 RCAF Age 26. Killed

Fl/Eng: P/O. Alfred Charles Harris 187961 RAFVR Age 35. Killed

Nav: Fl/Lt. Albert Gordon Edwards J/13417 RCAF Age 33. Killed

Air/Bmr: F/O. George Henry Davis J/35097 RCAF Age 34. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: F/O. Joseph Lucien Viateur Morin J/37326 RCAF Age 26. Killed

Air/Gnr: P/O. Peter Paul Repsys J/93258 RCAF Age 21. Killed

Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Robert Ernest Horne J/95283 RCAF Age 21. Killed


Lancaster X KB815 SE-K was first assigned to 419 (B) Squadron in October 1944 and re-assigned to 431 (B) squadron in November 1944. Diverted to Metherington on 28/29th January 1945 due to weather at base. On 7/8th March was hit by flak and forced to land at Boscombe Down owing to fuel shortage.

Took off at 16:21 from Croft as one of 15 aircraft of 431 Squadron on an operation to bomb the railway yards at Hagen. The route to the target was uneventful and a quiet trip was experienced, however, the return journey would prove to be a much different story as the bomber stream was attacked by Luftwaffe night-fighters all the way from the target area back to England.

Of the 14 Lancasters put up by this squadron 14 attacked the primary target but Fl/Lt. Haw and crew failed to return, it is not known whether they reached the target and there were reports of light flak. All remaining aircraft returned to Croft.

According to the latest edition of the Night Fighter War Diaries (Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vol's. 1 and 2) they were 'probably' shot down by Hptm. Gerhard Raht (1) of Stab I./NJG2 between 21:09 hrs and 21:14 hrs.

Crashed at Perwez (Brabant) some 29km SSE from the centre of Leuven.

All are buried in Perwez Churchyard, their graves being near that of Fl/Lt. John Lewis Sullivan 37643 RAF of 607 Squadron whose Hurricane P2621 was shot down on the 14th May 1940.

In 1948, wreckage was discovered in Belgium. In May 2012 a monument and dedication service was arranged by G.A.P.E.P. and held at the site of the crash and attended by Bill Heron, LeAnne Taylor, (niece of Flight Lieutenant Haw) and her daughter and Maureen Hansford, daughter of Pilot Officer Alfred Harris.

(1) This was the 58th claim for Hptm. Raht who went on to claim a total of 60 aircraft by war end. He survived the war and died in January 1977 at Reinfeld, Germany.

Burial details:

Fl/Lt. Robert Roy Haw. Perwez Churchyard, Belgium. Military Plot. Row A. Collective grave 5. Further information: Son of George Arthur and Annie (née Howell) Haw.

Husband of Wilhelmina Haw of Glenlake Avenue,Toronto. Robert attended the Western Technical School,Toronto and worked as a printer before enlisting.He is remembered on a plaque there. He married his childhood sweet heart Wilhelmina ten days before he left for England, having served overseas as an Instructor in the RAF and then a pilot. On the day of his death he was on his 35th and final operation.

Waiting anxiously at his fathers hobby farm for news of the crew, in November his father received the letter stating that the crew were presumed dead. It was a devastating blow, as Robert and his father were very close as his mother had died just before war began and Robert was the baby of four siblings and eighteen years younger than his oldest brother.

P/O. Alfred Charles Harris. Perwez Churchyard, Belgium. Military Plot. Row A. Collective grave 5. Son of Alfred and Edith Harris and husband of Caroline Amelia Harris of Chichester, Sussex, England. Grave inscription: "Deep In Our Hearts He Is Living Yet, We Loved Him Too Dearly To Ever Forget"

Fl/Lt. Albert Gordon Edwards. Perwez Churchyard, Belgium. Military Plot. Row A. Collective grave 5. Born on the 28th of July 1917, the son of Edward Thomas and Leveno (née Armstrong) Edwards and husband of Norma Rosetta Edwards of Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada. Born in West Bromwich, Birmingham, England but the family emigrated to Canada where his father farmed at Bolton,Ontario. Albert worked as a University Instructor prior to enlisting.

F/O. George Henry Davis. Perwez Churchyard, Belgium. Military Plot. Row A. Collective grave 5. Son of George Lily Davis of Springhill, Nova Scotia and husband of Jean Davis of Springhill, Nova Scotia, Canada. Grave inscription: "He Lives With Us In Memory And Will For Evermore".

F/O. Joseph Lucien Viateur Morin. Perwez Churchyard, Belgium. Military Plot. Row A. Collective grave 5. Born on the 17th October 1919 in St. Gabriel De Brandon. Son of Victoria and Camille Morin of 5559 Rue Laurendeau, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

P/O. Peter Paul Repsys. Perwez Churchyard, Belgium. Military Plot. Row A. Collective grave 5. Born on 17th April 1923 in Kaunas, Lithuania, Peter Repsys was fluent in English, French and Lithuanian and worked as a shop clerk prior to enlisting. He did his training at No 3 B and G School at MacDonald, Manitoba. Son of Stepos and Kaze,”Charlotte”, Repsys and brother of Charles of 742 Beatty Avenue, Verdun, Quebec. Charles served in the Navy and when the news came through of Peters death, his mother got in touch with the authorities and had Charles taken out of the Navy. At the time of his death Peter was dating an American girl, Violet.

Fl/Sgt. Robert Ernest Horne. Perwez Churchyard, Belgium. Military Plot. Row A. Collective grave 5. Son of Robert and Martha Horne of Hamilton, Ontario. Husband of Dorothy Horne of Hamilton, Canada. Grave inscription: "Gone from our midst But not from our memory".

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew by Linda Ibrom. Many thanks to Bill Heron, author of “A Yorkshire Squadron, the history of 431 Squadron 1942-1945”. Bill provided a wealth of knowledge and information. Special thanks to Tyler Boyle, great-nephew of Pilot Officer Peter Repsys for information and photographs. Special thanks to LeAnne Haw Taylor, niece of Flight Lieutenant Haw, Bev Haw and family for sharing photos and personal information. Also the Toronto Star newspaper.

LI - 24.11.2017

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.
Click any image to enlarge it

Click to add your info via ticket on Helpdesk •Click to let us know via ticket on Helpdesk• Click to buy research books from Amazon •Click to explore the entire site
If you would like to comment on this page, please do so via our Helpdesk. Use the Submit a Ticket option to send your comments. After review, our Editors will publish your comment below with your first name, but not your email address.

A word from the Editor: your contribution is important. We welcome your comments and information. Thanks in advance.

At the going down of the sun, and in the morning we will remember them. - Laurence Binyon
All site material (except as noted elsewhere) is owned or managed by Aircrew Remembered and should not be used without prior permission.
© Aircrew Remembered 2012 - 2024
Last Modified: 06 April 2021, 11:11

Monitor Additions/Changes?Click to be informed of changes to this page. Create account for first monitor only, thereafter very fast. Click to close without creating monitor