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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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630 Squadron Crest
23/24.07.1944 No. 630 Squadron Lancaster III PB211 LE-H F/O. Hayes

Operation: Gardening

Date: 23/24th July 1944 (Sunday/Monday)

Unit: No. 630 Squadron

Type: Lancaster III

Serial: PB211

Code: LE-H

Base: RAF East Kirkby, Lincolnshire

Location: North Sea

Pilot: F/O. Ronald Thomas Hayes 175961 RAFVR Age 21. Missing - believed killed

Fl/Eng: Sgt. William Wallace 1824662 RAFVR Age 20. Missing - believed killed

Nav: Fl/Sgt. W. Goodhew RCAF - Survived - No further details

Air/Bmr: Fl/Sgt. James Francis Joseph Murray 1560136 RAFVR Age 22. Missing - believed killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. John Alfred Helliwell 1549598 RAFVR Age 22. Missing - believed killed

Air/Gnr: P/O. Walter Stead 183425 RAFVR Age ? Missing - believed killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. B.N. Garves RAFVR - Survived - No further details


We have very little information regarding this loss. The crew took off from RAF East Kirkby in Lincolnshire at 22:44 hrs along with 5 others on a Gardening operation to lay mines in the Kiel area.

On the outbound trip the aircraft ditched in the North Sea approximately 36 miles North East of Cromer on the Norfolk coast.

HMS Coursor, a coastal Minesweeper picked up two of the surviving crew but not before they had spent several hours in the North Sea.

A memorial to ex-employees of Robert Jenkins in Rotherham is due to be unveiled at St. Pauls Church - local to the Jenkins works which is due for demolition. The dedication service is to be held on the 25th November 2017 - Sgt. John Alfred Helliwell is one of those named.

Burial details:

F/O. Ronald Thomas Hayes. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 206. Son of James Thomas Hayes and May Hayes, of Leigh-on-Sea, Essex.

Sgt. William Wallace. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 239. Son of William Wallace, and of Helen Wallace, of Bo'ness, West Lothian Scotland.

Fl/Sgt. James Francis Joseph Murray. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 220. Son of James and Margaret Murray, of Langside, Glasgow, Scotland.

Sgt. John Alfred Helliwell. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 231. Son of Gordon William and Minnie Helliwell (née Goodrum), of Wickersley, Yorkshire, England.

P/O. Walter Stead. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 212. No further details - are you able to assist?

A memorial to ex-employees of Robert Jenkins in Rotherham is due to be unveiled at St. Pauls Church - local to the Jenkins works which is due for demolition. The dedication service is to be held on the 25th November 2017 - Sgt. John Alfred Helliwell is one of those named.

With thanks to Leslie Leng for bringing this loss to our attention. Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to sources indicated below.

KTY - 09.11.2017

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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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