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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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431 squadron badge
25/26.02.1944 No 431 Squadron Halifax V LK705 SE-X P/O. Howey

Operation: Gardening

Date: 25/26th February 1944 (Friday/Saturday)

Unit: No. 431 Squadron (RCAF)

Type: Halifax V

Serial: LK705

Code: SE-X

Base: RAF Croft, Yorkshire

Location: Klelund Forest North East of Esbjerg, Denmark

Pilot: P/O. Edward Clayton Howey J/88603 RCAF Age 26. Killed

Fl/Eng: Sgt. Edward Roseby Metcalf 1683577 RAFVR Age 20. Killed

Nav: W/O II. George Edward Stevenson R/124239 RCAF Age 25. Killed (3)

Air/Bmr: Sgt. Alexander Donald Macgillivray 1566360 RAFVR Age 22. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Raymond Leonard Bates 1600459 RAFVR Age 21. Killed (1)

Air/Gnr: P/O. Alexander Milton George Munro J/88604 RCAF Age 19. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Leo Thompson Wardell R/183842 RCAF Age 20. Killed


Took off at 20:27 hrs from RAF Croft, Yorkshire on a gardening operation together with 130 other aircraft. A busy night for Bomber Command, a 594 force of bombers attacking Augsburg in two separate waves. A diversionary raid was also made by 15 Mosquitoes on towns north of Augsburg

LK705 was shot down by Lt. Erich Lippert (2) of 10./NJG3 at 5.300 mtrs. with the Halifax coming down at 23:43 hrs at Klelund Forest North East of Esbjerg.

(1) His brother, Sgt. William John Bates was also killed earlier in the war at the same age. Serving with 42 Squadron on the 21st June 1940. Beaufort I L9810 flown by F/O. Barrie-Smith

(2) This was the second and final night claim for Lt. Erich Lippert, he was to be killed on the 4th December 1944.

(3) Stevenson Creek in Manitoba is named after W/O II. George Edward Stevenson.

Crew graves photographed by Aircrew Remembered during a visit in April 2013, any relative requiring a higher definition copy please do not hesitate to contact us and it will be sent free of charge.

Memorial photo courtesy of Anders Straarup

Burial details:

P/O. Edward Clayton Howey. Esbjerg (Fourfelt) Cemetery, Denmark. Collective grave A.8.24-25. A.8.24-25. Son of James and Mary Howey and husband of Jean Howey, of Chatsworth, Ontario, Canada.

Sgt. Edward Roseby Metcalfe. Esbjerg (Fourfelt) Cemetery, Denmark. Collective grave A.8.24-25. A.8.24-25. Son of Thomas and Nora May Metcalf, of Gosforth, Newcastle-on-Tyne, England.

W/O II. George Edward Stevenson. Esbjerg (Fourfelt) Cemetery, Denmark. Collective grave A.8.24-25. A.8.24-25. Son of Thomas and Margaret Stevenson, of Wawanesa, Manitoba, Canada.

Sgt. Alexander Donald Macgillivray. Esbjerg (Fourfelt) Cemetery, Denmark. Collective grave A.8.24-25. A.8.23. Son of James and Jessie Ann MacGillivray, of Tradespark Nairn.

Sgt. Raymond Leonard Bates. Esbjerg (Fourfelt) Cemetery, Denmark. Collective grave A.8.24-25. A.8.24-25. Son of John and Hilda Alice Bates, of Porchester, Fareham, Hampshire, England.

P/O. Alexander Milton George Munro. Esbjerg (Fourfelt) Cemetery, Denmark. Collective grave A.8.24-25. A.8.24-25. Son of William Daniel and Katherine Munro, of Glenwood, Newfoundland, Canada.

Sgt. Leo Thompson Wardell. Esbjerg (Fourfelt) Cemetery, Denmark. Collective grave A.8.24-25. A.8.24-25. Son of Mordwan D. and Pearl C. Wardell, of Waterford, Ontario, Canada.

Researched for relatives of the crew with thanks to Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vol. 5', Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vols. 1 and 2', Tom Kracker for his comprehenive Luftwaffe archive, please also check out Anders Straarup website for his comprehensive coverage of Allied losses over Denmark. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

KTY Page updated 13.11.2019

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'
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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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