16/17.06.1944 No. 103 Squadron Lancaster I LM173 PM-M P/O. Maurice Lambert
Date: 16/17th June 1944 (Friday/Saturday)
Unit: No. 103 Squadron
Type: Lancaster I
Base: RAF Elsham-Wolds, Lincolnshire.
Location: Brielle, Oostvoorne, Holland
Pilot: P/O. Maurice Lambert NZ/425579 RNZAF Age 28. Missing
Fl/Eng: Sgt. David Lumgair Whamond 575752 RAF Age 22. Missing
Nav: Sgt. Douglas John Lawler 623480 RAF Age 24. Missing
Air/Bmr: Sgt. George James Ware 1387736 RAFVR Age 20. Missing
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. John McMinn 1144727 RAFVR Age 23. Missing
Air/Gnr: Sgt. Frederick Ralph Hardy 647883 RAF Age 23. Missing
Air/Gnr: Sgt. Roland Fitchett 1583115 RAFVR Age 20. Missing
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off at 23:22 hrs. from RAF Elsham-Wolds, Lincolnshire, joining 320 aircraft raid on the Sterkrade synthetic-oil plant in Northern Germany.
162 Halifaxes, 147 Lancasters and 14 Mosquitoes left to find the target area covered by a thick cloud and the markers dropped by the pathfinders very quickly disappeared. The main bomber force could do very little but bomb the demising glow of the markers through the cloud.
Above and below, 103 Squadron at Elsham Wolds (courtesy IWM)
RAF photographic reconnaissance and the German reports agree that the bombing was scattered, although some bombs did hit the oil plant. This had little effect on production. 21 Germans were killed on the ground and a further 6 foreign workers. 18 Houses were destroyed.
The loss to the allies was huge with a total of 21 bombers shot down by the German night fighters and another 10 by flak. This amounted to 159 aircrew being killed, 53 being made PoW. Flak batteries reported that a total of 14,244 rounds were fired at the bomber stream.
Although some records show that Lancaster I LM173 was lost without trace it is also reported that it is 'possible' that it was shot down by Fw. Wilhelm Morlock (1) an ace at this time with 6 abschüsse from 3./NJG1 - combat taking place at 4,500 mts., the Lancaster crashing at 01.14 hrs at Brielle, Oostvoorne.
Target: Sterkrade Synthetic Oil plant (courtesy IWM)
(1) On the 4/5th November 1944 Fw. Morlock was killed in a crash near Ibbenbüren after being shot down by a Mosquito. (total of 16 night abschüsse)
P/O. Maurice Lambert. (pictured right) Runnymede Memorial Panel 263. Son of Apostle and Annie Lambert, husband of Veronica Lambert, of Plimmerton, Wellington, New Zealand.
Sgt. David Lumgair Whamond. Runnymede Memorial Panel 240. Son of James and Jane Amn Kydd Whamond.
Sgt. Douglas John Lawler. Runnymede Memorial Panel 233. Son of Patrick and Nellie Lawler, husband of Stella Zoe Lawler, of Ipswich, Suffolk, England.
Sgt. George James Ware. Runnymede Memorial Panel 239. Son of George Anthony and Alice Emma Ware, of Bromley, Kent, England.
Sgt. John McMinn. Runnymede Memorial Panel 233. Son of John and Ada Annie McMinn, of Carlisle, England.
Sgt. Frederick Ralph Hardy. Runnymede Memorial Panel 231. Son of Fred and Ethel Hardy, born in Nottinghamshire, England.
Sgt. Roland Fitchett. Runnymede Memorial Panel 229. Son of Percy and Violet Fitchett, of Grimsby, Lincolnshire, England.
Researched for Stewart McCallum relative of the flight engineer Sgt. David Lumgair Whamond and dedicated to all relatives of the crew. With thanks also to Andrew Macdonald, Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - "Nightfighter War Diaries Vol's. 1 and 2", Weekly News for photo of the pilot, 'Kracker Luftwaffe Archives'. Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries (Updated 2014 version), Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vol's. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', ‘Bomber Command Database’.