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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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9 Squadron Crest
9 Squadron Lancaster III ED831 WS-H Sq/Ldr. Alan M. Hobbs DFC

Operation:Gelsenkirchen, Ruhr, Germany

Date: 25/26th June 1943 (Friday/Saturday)

Unit: 9 Squadron (motto: Per noctem volamus -'We fly through the night')

Type: Lancaster III

Serial: ED831

Code: WS-H

Location: IJsselmeer, 20 km East South East of Edam, Holland.

Pilot: Sq/Ldr. Alan Murray Hobbs DFC. N/Z40230 RNZAF Age 25. Killed

Nav/Bmr: F/O. John Hamilton Sams 106546 RAFVR Age 27. Killed

Fl/Eng: Sgt. Fred William Sanderson 573844 RAF Age 30. Killed

Nav/Bmr: P/O. Kenneth George Mott 148375 RAFVR Age 20. Killed

Air/Bmr: Sgt. Charles Parnell King 1383417 RAFVR Age 22. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Edwin Charles Bishop 1200299 RAFVR Age 30. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Walter Clive Rowlands 1575968 RAFVR Age 20. Killed

Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. William Slater 1575183 RAFVR Age 21. Killed


Took off from Bardney, Lincolnshire at 22:30 hrs part of a large raid of 473 RAF aircraft to attack Gelsenkirchen in the Ruhr. The weather was cloudy and no moon until about 03.00hrs.

Shot down at 02.09 hrs around 16.000 ft by Hptm. August Geiger (1), with the aircraft, coming down at IJsselmeer, 20 km East South East of Edam, Holland. Sgt. Sams had only reported to the squadron that afternoon from 1660 OTU and this was his first flight with them.

Hptm. August Geiger on the left with Hptm. Lutje

The German who claimed the kill was a night fighter ace who also on this same raid, shot down a Stirling from 218 squadron (EF430, HA-W - all the crew survived as PoWs) and a Halifax II, this one from 51 squadron (HR731, MH-C - all the crew killed).

(1) Hptm. August Geiger (49 kills) was later shot down by W/Cmr. Bob Braham from 141 Beaufighter squadron after a fierce dogfight on September 29th, 1943. See Kracker Archive on this site.

Above: Fl/Lt. Graham Wellesley Hamlin NZ/40227 - Killed 17th December 1942, Fl/Lt. Thomas Francis Gill 36208 - Retired as Air Commodore - Died 01st March 1982 and Fl/Lt. Alan Murray Hobbs NZ/40230. (Courtesy Auckland Library Heritage Collection: AWNS19420422-23-3: 22 April 1942 - via Jenifer Lemaire)

Left: the various crew cemeteries.

Burial Details:

Sq/Ldr. Alan Murray Hobbs DFC Amsterdam New Eastern Cemetery. Plot 69. Row B. Coll. grave 15. Son of Alan Edgar and Greta Hobbs, of Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand.

F/O. John Hamilton Sams. Amsterdam New Eastern Cemetery. Plot 69. Row B. Coll. grave 15. Son of Henry Hamilton and of Ivy Maud Sams, of Leatherhead, Surrey, England.

Sgt. Fred William Sanderson. Amsterdam New Eastern Cemetery. Plot 69. Row B. Coll. grave 17. Son of Fred Sanderson, and of Hilda Elizabeth Sanderson, of Ryelands, Lancashire, England. The grave inscription reads: 'Glorious In His Faithfulness'.

P/O. Kenneth George Mott. Schellinkhout Protestant Churchyard. Grave 26. Son of Frederick George and Florence Jessie Mott, of Earlsfield, London, England. The grave inscription reads: 'Rather Deathe Than False Of Faythe'.

Sgt. Charles Parnell King. Harderwijk General Cemetery. British Plot 2. Grave 4. Born in Barbados 31 January 1921. He was the son of Joseph Anthony and Kathleen Winnifred (née Parnell) King. On 26 November 1937 Charles and his younger brother, David Joseph Parnell King, arrived at Plymouth via Port Limon, Costa Rica on Royal Netherlands Steamship Company ship SS Crynssen. They came to the UK to continue their education at Ratcliffe College, Leicestershire. While Charles chose the RAF, David enlisted in the Royal Indian Naval Reserve and by war's end commanded HMIS 'Cuttack', a minesweeping trawler. Younger sister, Kathleen Mary, served in the RCAF during the war and stayed in Canada afterward.

Sgt. Edwin Charles Bishop. Amsterdam New Eastern Cemetery. Plot 69. Row B. Coll. grave 15. Son of William George and Annie Rosa Bishop; husband of Ivy Kate Bishop, of Kingsworthy, Hampshire, England. The grave inscription reads: 'I Loved Him More Than Words Can Say. Good Night, Bish, God Bless'.

Sgt. Walter Clive Rowlands. Amsterdam New Eastern Cemetery. Plot 69. Row B. Coll. grave 17. Son of John Wilfred and Emilia Rowlands, of Newtown, Montgomeryshire, Wales. The grave inscription reads: 'He Gave All He Had To Give That Others Might Be Safe And Live'.

Fl/Sgt. William Slater. Amersfoort (Oud Leusden) General Cemetery. Plot 13, Row 8. Grave 16. Son of Adam and Sarah Elizebeth Slater, husband of Beatrice Slater, of West Hallam, Derbyshire, England. The grave inscription reads: 'Sleep On, Dear One, Take Your Rest. We Loved You Dearly But Jesus Loved You Best'.

Further information supplied by Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vols. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries, Jenifer Lemaire, Tom Kracker - 'Kracker Luftwaffe Archives’, Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vols. 1 and 2', Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Also to Dave Champion for further details - July 2018.

KTY 24-01-22 New image added, courtesy Jennifer Lemaire

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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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