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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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49 Squadron badge
05/06.04.1942 No. 49 Squadron Hampden I AT156 EA-C P/O. David C. Kay DFM

Operation: Köln

Date: 05/06th April 1942 (Sunday/Monday)

Unit: No. 49 Squadron

Type: Hampden I

Serial: AT156

Code: EA-C

Base: R.A.F. Scampton, Lincolnshire

Location: 3 km. North of Roly, near Philippeville, Belgium

Pilot: P/O. David Christie Kay DFM. 742670 RAFVR PoW No: 121 Camp: Stalag Luft Barth Vogelsang

Obs: Sgt. Robert William Burdon Brown 1006781 RAFVR Age 22. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. James Waddell 985888 RAFVR Age 22. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Stan Robert J. Ainger 1256129 RAFVR evaded capture. (1)


Took off at 00:15 hrs. from RAF Scampton along with 10 other Hampdens and all airborne by 00:38 hrs. A total force of 263 aircraft were sent to bomb Cologne in poor visibility with the result that bombing was scattered and stretched right across the city. Leaflets were also dropped on the target area as well as the bombs.

The main target had been the Homboldt works and despite 211 aircraft claiming to have hit it, the air photographs showed that most of the bombs landed 5 miles from the target! Very little damage was caused and only 7 people killed on the ground.

The allies lost 7 aircraft on this raid with 24 aircrew killed, 7 made PoW with 1 evading capture.

AT156 was intercepted and shot down at 02:10 hrs by Oblt. Wilhelm Herget (2) of 4./NJG1. The combat took place at 2.600 Mtrs. with the aircraft coming down west of Roly, south of Philippeville in Belgium.

P/O. Kay had received his DFM. during service with 83 squadron and the details of which published in the London Gazette 23rd September 1941.

(1) This escape is what has prompted this page of remembrance. We were contacted by the nephew of a Madge Dubois, Mr. Gerald Goldsbrough who emailed us some very interesting stories about this amazing lady.

We have, for many months now tried to find out more about his incredible aunt. Alas, with no new leads, so we hope that these pages may prompt someone who knows more to contact us.

Madge Dubois-Rhodes (shown left) was English and living in Belgium during WW2. Understood to have died in 1991 whilst living in Profondeville, Belgium. We will, regardless if we find her grave or not, place a page of remembrance on this website - dedicated to this marvelous woman.

Sadly Gerald Goldsbrough died before we could find the grave location of his Aunt. She had been presented with a citation from Eisenhower and Winston Churchill. We understand the citation awarded by Eisenhower, measuring 12" x 8" has been attached to her crave?

Update: April 16th 2015 - Friends in Belgium have finally located and photographed her grave - page placed on website.

The statement of the escape by Sgt. Stan Ainger in his own words:

"I came down on top of a tree about 3 km. North of Roli in a big forest. I left my parachute in a tree and got rid of my equipment. I made South West through the forest with my head bunt a little bit, struck a railway and went along it half a mile to a road bridge which I reached about 05.155 hrs. I followed this road South and turned right after a short way in order to avoid a German patrol.

I met a Belgian farmer on the outskirts of a village and asked for a drink, declaring my identity. I was given a good breakfast of eggs and not questioned. This was near Mariembourg, and the Belgians warned me that Germans were in the village.

After only a short interval I continued along a lane in a Westerly direction, but soon out across country South West to avoid an encampment. After about two km. I came to three houses, found straw in a loft which I entered and went to sleep in it. I was woken about 14.00 hrs by a girl who screamed and fetched a friendly farmer and his family. They warned me of their neighbours house. which was friendly to the Germans. They gave me food and bandaged my head.

A priest visited me and proposed that I hide in a hut in the village until the English invaded Belgium. He suggested several homes also. I stayed in this loft for eight days. The priest and a gendarme lieutenant visited me, and the latter put me in contact with san organisation."

(2) This was the 15th claim by Oblt. Wilhelm Herget (shown left) who went on to claim a total of 14 kills in daylight, an incredible further 58 at night. He did survive the war despite being shot down during a transit flight by U.S. anti-aircraft fire on the 2nd May 1945. During this period he was flying in a squadron with the new fighter jet - Me262

Previous operations:

(kindly supplied to Aircrew Remembered by John Ward and Malcolm Brooke of the 49 Squadron Association - see link at bottom of page)

16/17th February 1942 Hampden AD968 Frisian Islands Gardening - Take off 18.05 hrs landing at 23.45 hrs. Crew:- Sgt. Bond, Sgt. Kirby, Sgt Potter and Sgt Ainger. No target attacked, vegetable returned to base, came down to 400 ft but did not break cloud after searching for 15 minutes.

18/19th February 1942 Hampden AD870 Frisian Islands Gardening - Take off 17.31 hrs landing at 21.39 hrs. Crew:- Sgt. Bond, Sgt. Kirby, Sgt Potter and Sgt Ainger. Vegetables laid in primary position at 600 ft. Mine in allotted position off Terschelling.

12th March 1942 Hampden AE368 Nickels over Lille - Take off 02.30 hrs landing at 06.25 hrs. Crew:- P/O. Kay, Sgt. Walmsley, Sgt Waddell and Sgt Ainger. Attacked primary target from 10,000 ft. Nickels dropped 20 miles 290 deg from Lille, several single star green very lights from aerodrome when we were in the vicinity - visibility about 10 miles - no cloud.

25/26th March 1942 Hampden AE368 Gardening - Take off 18.35 hrs landing at 01.36 hrs (At Exeter). Crew:- P/O. Kay D.F.M., Sgt. Walmsley, Sgt Waddell and Sgt Ainger. Mine released in primary area from 700 ft at 22.35 hrs after time and distance from Croix de Groix. Fleeting glimpse obtained of flak ship but flak too intense to allow attack to be made.

28/29th March 1942 Hampden AE368 Gardening - Take off 20.00 hrs landing at 04.41 hrs. Crew:- P/O. Kay D.F.M., Sgt. Brown, Sgt Waddell and Sgt Ainger. Lubeck. Target easily identified in bright moonlight and bombs released from 9,000 ft at 00.03 hrs. Rear gunner saw incendiaries fall on North East part of the island, fires of increasing intensity afterwards.

28/29th March 1942 Hampden AT156. Final operation Route - Orfordness - South of Givet - Cologne.

Prior to enlisting, Sgt Stanley Robert J. Ainger was a former builder from the village of Pensthorpe, near Fakenham, Norfolk, England. Born in 1921. Married Freda Phyllis Moore in Epping in 1951. In 1952 they were living at 1 Ravenor Park Road in Ealing. There was one child from their marriage. Stanley’s death was registered in May 2001 at Crawley West Sussex. Freda died on the 8th April 2015 aged 94, at East Grinstead, West Sussex.

Crew graves (courtesy Marijke Taffein who has kindly provided us with permission for their use)

Burial details:

Sgt. Robert William Burdon Brown. Charleroi Communal Cemetery. Row T. Grave 17. Son of Gerald Burdon Brown, C.B.E., M.A., and Marguerite Brown, of West Moors, Dorset, England. Grave inscription reads: "Mate Nova Virtute Puer Sic Itur Ad Astra" (Go forth with new value, boy: thus is the path to the stars)

Sgt. James Waddell. Charleroi Communal Cemetery. Row T. Grave 18. Son of James and Margaret Waddell, of Falkirk, Stirlingshire, Scotland. Grave inscription reads: "Only son of James and Margaret Waddell Falkirk, Scotland, Ever remembered."

Gerald Goldsbrough for information on Madge Dubois. With thanks also to the following: John Ward and Malcolm Brooke of the 49 Squadron Association, Marijke Taffein, Kate Tame, Linda Ibrom. Thanks also to John Jones for the additional information for Sgt. Ainger's family and their passing. Other sources quoted below.

RS 29-04-2019 - Update to Sgt. Ainger's family information

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'
Concept of Colonial Discrimination  •  Unauthorised First Long Range Mustang Attack
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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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