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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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156 Squadron
23/24.06.1944 156 Squadron Lancaster III JB230 GT:S Plt Off. Langford DFC

Operation: Ecques, Coubronne, Pas-de-Calais, France

Date: 23rd/24th June 1944 (Friday/Saturday)

Unit: 156 Squadron

Type: Lancaster lll

Serial: JB230

Code: GT:S

Base: RAF Upwood, Cambridgeshire

Location: Zuytpeene, Nord, France

Pilot: Plt Off. Denis Langford DFC. 171907 RAFVR Age 21. Killed

Flt Eng: Flt Lt. Robert Edward Manvell DFC, DFM. 51737 RAF Age? Killed

Nav: WO1. Henry William Davy DFC. R107107 RCAF Age 22. Killed

Bomb Aimer: Flt Sgt. John Eric Price 177570 RAFVR Age? PoW No 279. Stalag Luft 7

WOp/Air Gnr: Flt Sgt. Fred Urch 1382396 RAFVR Age 28. Killed

Air Gnr (Mid Upp) Flt Sgt. Edward Bonsor Riley 1815835 RAFVR Age 20. Killed

Air Gnr (Rear): Flt Sgt. George Arthur Wilby 1590994 RAFVR Age? Killed

Relatives of the pilot contacted us in April 2016 and would very much like to make contact with relatives of Flt Sgt. John E. Price - please contact us in the first instance.

Took off from RAF Upwood at 23:54hrs. on a bombing raid of the V1 site in the village of Ecques, Coubronne, France. Nothing was heard from this aircraft after takeoff. It may have been shot down by a night fighter or hit by flak.

In total 412 aircraft took part in this operation to attack 4 flying bomb sites. 226 Lancasters, 164 Halifaxes, 22 Mosquitoes of No. 3, 4, 6 and 8 Groups. All sites were hit, but with a loss of 5 Lancasters

V1 ramp at Coubronne Reconstruction of a V1 ramp and detailed description of a flying bomb, France

JB230 was claimed by Ofw Herbert Altner, his 13th Abschuss, from 8./NJG5 , South East of Calais at 2,500m at 01:11hrs. Also claimed by Flak of 1/gem Flak Abt 651 (o) (“Lancaster Zuytpeene 00:26). Flak claim marked VNE by OKL and probably rejected. Victory for Ofw Altner confirmed on 18th October 1944. (Nachtjagd Combat Archive (12 May 1944 - 23 July 1944) Part 3 - Theo Boiten)

Burial details:

Zuytpeene Churchyard 2nd and 3rd rows

Plt Off. Denis Langford. DFC. Runnymede Memorial, Panel 211. Son of Albert Charles and Daisy Rhoda Langford of Portsmouth, Hampshire, England. Denis is remembered on the War Memorial plaque in the old Northern Grammar School, Portsmouth (now Mayfield School)

His DFC was awarded posthumously, London gazette 25th January 1946

Above: Memorial plaque in Mayfield School, Portsmouth

Flt Lt. Robert Edward Manvell. DFC. DFM. Zuytpeene Churchyard, Nord, France. Row C. Grave 1. Son of Albert Edward and Alice Elizabeth Manvell of New Eltham, London, England.

While serving with 97 Sqn Sgt. R. E. Manvell was awarded the DFM London Gazette 14th May 1943. Acting Flt Lt. Manvell was awarded the DFC. while serving with 156 Sqn. London Gazette 6th June 1944

WO1. Henry William Davy. DFC. Zuytpeene Churchyard, Nord, France. Row C. Grave 4. Son of Henry William and Louise Agnes Davy of Bend, Oregon, U.S.A. Henry was born on the 23rd October 1921 in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Canada.

WO1. Davy was awarded the DFC while serving with 156 Sqn. London Gazette 30th June 1944. Davy Lake in Canada was named after WO1. Henry William Davy DFC.

Above: Grave marker for WO1 Davy

Flt Sgt. Fred Urch. Zuytpeene Churchyard, Nord, France. Row D. Grave 1. Son of William James Urch and Mary Anne Urch of Llanhilleth, Monmouthshire. Fred was born in 1915 in Bedwellty, Monmouthshire, Wales.

Flt Sgt. Edward Bonsor Riley. Zuytpeene Churchyard, Nord, France. Row C. Grave 2. Son of Edward Herbert and Elizabeth Riley of Humberstone, Leicester. Edward was born in 1924 in Leicester, Lincolnshire, England.

Flt Sgt. George Arthur Wilby. Zuytpeene Churchyard, Nord, France. Row C. Grave 3. No further information as yet - are you able to assist?.

Researched by: Kate Tame of Aircrew Remembered and for all the relatives of the crew. Acknowledgements: With special thanks to Bill Barry Saskatchewan Virtual War Memorial and Laurent Bailleul, Pierre Ben Somme Aviation 39-45. Thanks to John Jones for the German fighter claim (Oct 2021). Other updates by Aircrew Remembered (Oct 2021).

RS 09.10.2021 - German fighter claim and other updates

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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