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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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No. 9 Squadron
07/08.09.1941 No 9 Squadron Wellington Ic Z8845 WS-? Sgt Jack Cyril Saich DFM

Operation: Berlin, Germany

Date: 7/8 September 1941 (Sunday/Monday)

Unit: No 9 Squadron

Type: Wellington IC

Serial: Z8845

Code: WS-?

Base: RAF Honington, Suffolk

Location: Terwispel (Friesland) Holland

Pilot: Sgt. Jack Cyril Saich DFM 1253402 RAFVR Age 20 Killed (1)

2nd Pilot: Sgt. Robert Arthur Banks 1100940 RAFVR Age 21 Killed (2)

Obs: Fl/Sgt. Walter Basil Lowe 516598 RAF Age 28 Killed (3)

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. William Ronald Balls 952991 RAFVR Age 20 Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Eric Trott 1062958 RAFVR Age 20 Killed (4)

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Alan Scotland MacDonald 1365180 RAFVR Age 27 Killed (5)


Wellington Z8845 took off with nine other Squadron aircraft from RAF Honington at 20.30hrs for an operation on Berlin. A message (N.A.P.) was received at 00.50hrs, but nothing further was heard from the aircraft. The aircraft was claimed as shot down by Obit Helmut Lent of 4./NJG1 and crashed at Terwispel, Friesland, 10km SSW of Drachten, Holland

A total of 197 aircraft took off that night on this operation to attack targets in the city of Berlin. The visibility was good and good bombing was claimed. Most of the damage was in the Lichtenberg and Pankow districts. A total of fifteen aircraft were lost that night.

RAF Honington, Suffolk (courtesy of American Museum in Britain. Wellington Ic (courtesy Imperial War Museum)

Map showing the area of the loss of Wellington Z8845

Burial details:

Opsterland (Gorredijk) General Cemetery, Friesland, Netherlands (Aircrew Remembered archive)

Sgt. Jack Cyril Saich DFM. Opsterland (Gorredijk) General Cemetery, Friesland, Netherland. Grave Ref: Row A. Coll grave 3-6. Son of Francis George and Elizabeth E Saich of Great Easton, Essex (1) Jack was educated at Braintree County High School and in 1938 was awarded a Ministry of Agriculture scholarship and studied at the Essex Institute of Agriculture, Writtle where he gained his qualifications. When war broke out Jack was studying for his Diploma in Horticulture but the classes were stopped. Jack enlisted in August 1940 and was awarded the DFM (Distinguished Flying Medal) in recognition of his gallantry displayed in flying operations on the night of 14/15 July 1941

Sgt. Saich citation as per London Gazette 15 August 1941

For their actions Sgt’s Saich and Smitten were awarded the DFM - citation reads:

‘Sergeants Saich and Smitten were captain and navigator of an aircraft engaged in an attack on a target at Bremen one night in July. When over Bremen the aircraft was caught and held by a large concentration of searchlights and immediately subjected to most intense and accurate fire from the ground defences. One shell burst wounded the rear gunner and cut the hydraulic controls of the turret, and a second set fire to the fabric of the fuselage. In a few seconds the fire spread backwards to the tail fin. Sergeant Smitten endeavoured to reach the rear gunner but being driven back by the fire he attacked it with an extinguisher and successfully subdued it. He then succeeded, with difficulty, in releasing the injured rear gunner who was trapped in his damaged turret. During this time another shell splinter ignited the forced landing flares in the port mainplane but these burnt through and fell away from the aircraft. Despite all these hazards, Sergeant Saich successfully extricated his aircraft from this area and set course for home. In spite of the damage sustained he succeeded, with the skilful navigation of Sergeant Smitten, in reaching the shores of this country where he made a forced landing without further injury to the crew. Both airmen displayed great courage, coolness and determination’ For further details on that operation (click here)

Sgt. Robert Arthur Banks. Opsterland (Gorredijk) General Cemetery, Friesland, Netherland. Grave Ref: Row A. Coll grave 3-6. Son of Arthur and Mabel Banks of Wilmslow, Cheshire (2) Robert Arthur Banks is remembered on the Wilmslow War Memorial, Cheshire and in the St. Bartholomew's Church War Memorial

Fl/Sgt. Walter Basil Lowe. Opsterland (Gorredijk) General Cemetery, Friesland, Netherland. Grave Ref: Row A. Grave 1. Son of Mr and Mrs F E Lowe. Husband of Peggy Lowe of Blackpool, Lancashire (3) Walter Basil Lowe is remembered on the Hutton Grammar School War Memorial.

Sgt. William Ronald Balls is remembered on the Great Yarmouth War Memorial (Aircrew Remembered archive)

Sgt. William Ronald Balls. Opsterland (Gorredijk) General Cemetery, Friesland, Netherland. Grave Ref: Row A. Coll grave 3-6. Son of William Herbert and Ada Laura Balls of Great Yarmouth, Norfolk

Sgt. Eric Trott. Opsterland (Gorredijk) General Cemetery, Friesland, Netherland. Grave Ref: Row A. Grave 2. Son of Bernard and Maude Trott of Sheffield (4) Eric is remembered in Sheffield St. Aiden's with St. Luke Church. Eric's brother Bernard Aiden Trott was also lost while on active service with the RAF 14 January 1944 (page under construction)

Sgt. Alan Scotland MacDonald is remembered on the Dalry War Memorial (courtesy North Ayrshire Council)

Sgt. Alan Scotland MacDonald. Opsterland (Gorredijk) General Cemetery, Friesland, Netherland. Grave Ref: Row A. Coll grave 3-6. Son of James Yeadon MacDonald and Elizabeth McClerie MacDonald of Dalry, Ayrshire. Husband of Jean McCormick MacDonald of Maida Vale, London (5) Alan is remembered on the Dalry War Memorial

Researched by: Kate Tame Aircrew Remembered and for all the relatives and friends of the crew

KT. Page added 25.02.2016. Linked page

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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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