13/14.09.1942 44 Squadron Lancaster I W4169 KM:S Fg.Off. Christopher T. Holland
Date: 13/14th September 1942 (Sunday/Monday)
Unit: 44 (Rhodesia) Squadron
Type: Lancaster I
Base: RAF Waddington, Lincolnshire
Pilot: Fg.Off. Christopher Thomas Holland 80116 RAFVR Age 23. Killed
Flt.Eng: Sgt. Alexander Lewis Goodyer 777815 RAFVR PoW No: 27015, Stalag 344 Lamsdorf
Nav: Sgt. Robert Ernest Williams 778447 RAFVR Age 30. Killed
WOp/Air Gnr: Sgt. Donald Norman 'Buzzer' Huntley DFM 777675 RAFVR Age 20. Killed
WOp/Air Gnr: Flt.Sgt. George Leyton Fiddler R83103 RCAF Age 22. Killed
Air Gnr: Fg.Off. Charles Henry Lovegrove 109919 RAFVR Age 19. Killed
Air Gnr: Sgt. Paul Cameron Murphy 641455 RAF Age 21. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Leaving RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire to join 332 other aircraft on an operation to bomb Bremen including many from Operational Training Units (OTU) to make up numbers.
It is reported that the raid was heavy with 848 houses destroyed and Bremen industry suffering considerable damage with the Lloyds dynamo works put out of act for some two weeks and various parts of the Focke-Wulf factory for up to 8 days. 5 nearly completed aircraft were destroyed and 3 more damaged. 70 people on the ground were killed and a further 371 injured.
The allies were also to suffer with some 15 Wellingtons, 2 Lancasters, 1 Halifax, 1 Hampden, 1 Stirling and 1 Whitley were lost, with 87 aircrew killed, another 28 being made PoW.
Lancaster W4169 was intercepted and shot down by the night fighter ace, Oblt. Manfred Meurer (shown above) of 3./NJG1 at 03:26 hrs over Venlo, this was his 6th claim of the war.
Hptm. Manfred Meurer went on to claim a total of 63 allied aicraft, before he was killed with his Funker Ofw. Gerhard Scheibe flying a Heinkel 219 A-O G9+BB during a collision with a Lancaster on the 21/22nd January 1944 over Magdeburg. (shown above- courtesy Kracker archives).
Fg.Off. Christopher Thomas Holland. Epe General Cemetery. Plot 2. Row 10. Grave 622. Son of John Sothern Holland and Joan Holland, of Umtali, Southern Rhodesia and husband of Dorah Gwendolynn Holland. Grave inscription reads: “GOD’S GREATEST GIFT, REMEMBRANCE. LYNN”.
Attended High School in Southern Rhodesia with Sgt. Donald Norman Huntley.
Sgt. Robert Ernest Williams. Epe General Cemetery. Plot 2. Row 10. Grave 623. Born on the 15th May 1912 in Macheke, Southern Rhodesia. Son of John J. Williams, and of Annie Alfreda Williams, of Salisbury, Southern Rhodesia. Grave inscription reads: “HE GAVE HIS LIFE THAT OTHER’S MIGHT ENJOY A BETTER WORLD”.
Sgt. Donald Norman 'Buzzer' Huntley. Epe General Cemetery. Plot 2. Row 10. Grave 620. Born in Salisbury, Rhodesia on the 26th September 1921, the son of Norman Hugh Goldhawk and Myrtle Huntly.
Attended High School in Southern Rhodesia with Fg.Off. Christopher Thomas Holland.
Sgt. Huntley was awarded his DFM whilst with 44 Sqn on the 17th April 1942, gazetted 28th April 1942. The following is a group citation that conveyed a number of bravery awards approved by the King for the attack on the MAN diesel Works led by Sqn Ldr Jon Nettleton VC. Citation reads: "On the 17th April, 1942, a force of twelve Lancaster heavy bombers was detailed to deliver an attack in daylight on the diesel engine factory at Augsburg in Southern Germany. To reach this highly important military target, and return, a most daring night of some 1,000 miles over hostile country was necessary. Soon after entering enemy territory and whilst flying at a very low level the force was engaged by 25 to 30 enemy fighters. Later, the most intense and accurate anti-aircraft fire was encountered. Despite this formidable opposition 8 of the bombers succeeded in reaching the target and in delivering a successful attack on the factory. The following officers and airmen who participated, in various capacities, as members of the aircraft crews, displayed courage, fortitude and skill of the highest order."
The family of Sgt. Donald Huntley suffered the loss of two more of the family. Sgt. Frederick Hope Huntley 777676 RAFVR piloting Lancaster I W4138 JF:U whilst with 1654 HCU - shot down Just a few days later on the 17th September 1942. Buried at the Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. Rifleman Roland Campbell Huntley (spelt Huntly on the CWGC website) 6852941 1st Battalion, Kings Royal Rifle Corps - killed on the 27th November 1942. Buried at the Benghazi War Cemetery.
Flt.Sgt. George Layton Fiddler. Epe General Cemetery. Plot 2. Row 10. Grave 621. Born on the 12th May 1920 in Carlisle, England. Son of John and Frances Emma (née Layton) Fiddler of Montealm Street, Windsor, Ontario, Canada
Fg.Off. Charles Henry Lovegrove. Epe General Cemetery. Plot 2. Row 10. Grave 619. Son of Wilfred A. and Florence K. Lovegrove and husband of Barbara Joan Lovegrove, of Didcot, Berkshire, England. Grave inscription reads: “TREASURED IN LIFE. REMEMBERED IN DEATH. A BEAUTIFUL MEMORY IS ALL I HAVE LEFT”.
Sgt. Paul Cameron Murphy. Epe General Cemetery. Plot 2. Row 10. Grave 624. Son of Mr. and Mrs. George E. Murphy, of Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Grave inscription reads: “REQUIESCAT IN PACE”.
Memorial erected by the ‘Stichting Broken Wings 1940 - 1945 on September 14th 2011. A great organisation that we hope to work closer with in the future.
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to Elaine Hardwick (relative of Sgt. Donald Norman Huntley) Wouter van Dijken for grave photographs (Jun 2017) . Also thanks to Hermien Schellenberg of the Stichting Broken Wings 1940 - 1945 Stichting Broken Wings 1940 - 1945. Thanks to Diana Calderwood for the DFM reference (Nov 2020). Further updates by Aircrew Remembered (Nov 2020).