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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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424 Squadron Crest
24/25.04.1944 424 Squadron Halifax III HX318 QB-O Plt.Off. William P. Hugli

Operation: Karlsruhe

Date: 24/25th April 1944

Unit: 424 ('Tiger') Squadron (RCAF)

Type: Halifax III

Serial: HX318 ("Oscar”)

Code: QB-O

Base: RAF Skipton-on-Swale, Yorkshire

Location: Bingen, Germany

Pilot: Plt.Off. William Paul Hugli J12224 RCAF Age 24. Killed

Flt.Eng: Sgt. William Docherty 1562816 RAFVR Age ? Killed

Nav: Fg.Off. George Stephen Coleman J22862 RCAF PoW No: 4458 Camp: Stalag Luft Sagan and Bellaria (2)

Air Bmr: Flt.Sgt. Harold Edward May R156717 RCAF Age 27. PoW No: 55413 Camp: Stalag Luft Sagan and Bellaria (3)

WOp/Air Gnr: Sgt. George Albert Alexander Pound 1510041 RAFVR Age 23. Killed

Air Gnr: Sgt. ‘Red’ George William Mayor R210290 RCAF Age 19. Killed

Air Gnr: Fg.Off. Robert Scott Chapman J88411 RCAF Age 21. Killed


Took-off at 21:43 hrs RAF Skipton-on-Swale in Yorkshire. Hit by flak while flying at 20,000 feet and making a northerly approach to the AP. Moments later the Halifax blew up, ejecting the two survivors in the blast. It is believed Flt.Sgt. May was badly hurt and is thought to have been repatriated in September 1944.

The following is an extract from the report by Investigating Officer Flt.Lt. J.E. Scott from No2 MREU dated 27 November 1946. Action on information contained in German Crash Report to the effect that a crash occurred near Waldalgesheim on 25.4.44 an investigation was carried out on 22.11.46 and the following information obtained:

"The Burgomeister of Waldalgesheim stated that a 4 engined bomber exploded in mid air over the village of Waldalgesheim on 25.4.44. The wreckage of the aircraft was spread over an area of 5km. Five bodies were recovered by the Wehrmacht and buried in the civil cemetery of Waldalgesheim. Each body was identified. The cemetery was visited on 22.11.46. and the graves found to be marked with a plain white cross. Bomber Command Summary of missing aircraft lists Fg.Off. W.R.Hugli as pilot of Halifax HX318 reported missing on 24/25-4-44.
May any information you have on this case please be forwarded in order that further enquiries may be instituted if considered necessary".

(1) Mayor Lake - West of Southern India Lake renamed after Plt.Off. George William Mayor in 1979

Note: We have removed the two photographs of a Halifax which we have incorrectly labelled as HX318 - It is thought that they refer to Halifax LW119 QB-O. With thanks to Peter Richter who contacted us in August 2019 advising us of this error.

(2) Fg.Off. George Stephen Coleman, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, deceased Calgary 1999.
(3) Flt.Sgt Harold Edward May, Cayuga, Ontario, Canada - born 12 August 1917, deceased 4 January, 1990, Halimand, Ontario.

Burial Details:

Those who perished were initially buried in Waldalgesheim Cemetery. Plt.Off. Hugli Grave 76, Sgt. Docherty Grave 74, Sgt. Pound Grave 75, Plt.Off. Mayor RCAF Grave 77, Fg.Off. Chapman RCAF Grave 78. They weer exhumed after end of hostilities and reinterred.

Plt.Off. William Paul Hugli. Rheinberg War Cemetery. Grave B.C.9. Born 3rd June 1923, Regina, Saskatchewan. Son of Frederick Jacob and Anna Elmira (née Brock) Hugli. Attended Hermer School and Scott Collegiate before enlisting in 1941. Had two brothers who served in the Canadian army.

Right: Plt.Off. William Paul Hugli (courtesy LAC Ottawa via David Champion)

Sgt. William Docherty. Rheinberg War Cemetery. Grave B.C.11. Next of kin details not available - are you able to assist?

Sgt. George Albert Alexander Pound. Rheinberg War Cemetery. Grave B.C.10. Son of George and Jessie Pound. Address details not available - are you able to assist?

Left: Fg.Off. Robert Scott Chapman (courtesy LAC Ottawa via David Champion)

Plt.Off. ‘Red’ George William Mayor. Rheinberg War Cemetery. Grave B.C.8. Born 27th September 1924, Gladstone, Manitoba. Son of Harry Joseph and Ida Violet (née Mord) Mayor, of Crawford Park, Manitoba, Canada. George had curly auburn hair where he gained his nickname - enlisted on the 12th April 1943. Posthumously promoted to Plt.Off. with service No. of J91171. Two older brothers, who all served (Army) Played hockey, ball and curling - enjoyed dancing.

Fg.Off. Robert Scott Chapman. Rheinberg War Cemetery. Grave B.C.7. Born 14th September 1922, Kingsville, Ontario. Son of Herbert Edward and Jennie May (née Sherman) Chapman of Kingsville, Ontario, Canada.

With thanks for additional details to LAC Ottawa via David Champion - March 2016. Thanks to John Jones for the MREU report information.

RS 22.05.2020 - Editorial update and inclusion of MREU information

Pages of Outstanding Interest
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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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