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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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12 Squadron Crest
03/04.07.1943 No. 12 Squadron Lancaster III ED820 PH-A F/O. Arnold R. Herron

Operation: Köln Germany

Date: 3/4th July 1943 (Saturday/Sunday)

Unit: No. 12 Squadron

Type: Lancaster Mk.III

Serial: ED820

Code: PH-A

Base: RAF Wickenby, Lincolnshire

Location: Near Gembloux, Belgium

Pilot: F/O. Arnold Raymond Herron J/8380 RCAF Age 27. Killed

Fl/Eng: Sgt. Malcolm Lionel Green 627752 RAF Age 21. Killed

Nav: Sgt. Donald Robert Baird 1600016 RAFVR Age 30. Killed

Air/Bmr: Sgt. H. Williams 1535229 RAF PoW No: 1351 Camp: Stalag Luft Barth

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt.Thomas Eric Edmonson 1026801 RAFVR Age 21. Killed

Mid/Up/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Arthur Leonard Baseley 654128 RAF Age 27. KiIled

Rear/Gnr: Sgt. Maurice Emile Combres R/147647 RCAF Age 21. Killed


Lancaster III ED820 (PH-A) took off from RAF Wickenby at 22:37 on the evening of 3rd July 1943 en-route to attack Köln. The bombing run completed, the Lancaster turned for home, but was intercepted and attacked over Belgium by Telge. The aircraft crashed at 03:05 between Walhain (Brabant) and Ernage (Namur).

Shot down over Belgium by Luftwaffe (ME110) Night Fighter Pilot Hptm. Wilhelm Telge (1) of 5./NJG1 at 03:05 hrs - his 10th claim of the war.

Only one crew member, Sgt H. Williams, the bomb aimer, survived the crash and was taken prisoner of war, held in various camps - Barth, Heydekrug.

Combres Lake in Saskatchewan was named after Sgt. Maurice Emile Combres

(1) Hptm. Wilhelm Telge - killed on the 31/01st September 1943 when he rammed a Stirling, South West of Berlin. This Stirling has not yet been positively identified. His crew member managed to bail out, surviving after the Bf110 G-4 G9+AN sheared a wing.

Right: Hptm. Wilhelm Telge (courtesy Kracker Archive)

Burial details:

F/O. Arnold Raymond Herron. Heverlee War Cemetery, Belgium. Coll. grave 2.F.7-8. Son of Leonard O. and Laura M. Herron, husband of Anne F. Herron, of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Sgt. Malcolm Lionel Green. Coll. grave 2.F.7-8. Son of Frank and Ada Green, of Boscombe East, Hampshire, England.

Sgt. Donald Robert Baird. Heverlee War Cemetery, Belgium. Coll. grave 2.F.7-8. Son of Robert Beck Baird and Violet Frances Baird, of Deganwy, Caernarvonshire, Wales.

Sgt.Thomas Eric Edmonson. Heverlee War Cemetery, Belgium. Coll. grave 2.F.7-8. Son of Thomas Thompson Edmondson and Emily May Edmondson, of Bowerham, Lancaster, England.

Sgt. Arthur Leonard Baseley. Heverlee War Cemetery, Belgium. Grave 2.F.6. Son of Charles and Ethel Kathrine Baseley, husband of Isabella Maud Baseley, of Balornock, Glasgow, Scotland.

Sgt. Maurice Emile Combres. Heverlee War Cemetery, Belgium. Grave 2.F.6. Son of Ernest-Pierre-Jean and Emilie Combres, originally from France. Maurice Combres joined the RCAF in 1942, on his 23rd mission when he was killed. He had flown in Wellingtons prior to transition to the Lancaster. He grew up on a farm in Saskatchewan, Canada.

Researcher, Michel Beckers - submitted to Aircrew Remembered January 2016. With thanks to Jimmy Coster, Peter Clermonts for photographs, others from the Michel Beckers collection. For further information on Saskatchewan war dead we recommend Bill Barry’s website.

MB - 16.01.2016

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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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