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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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463 Squadron crest
No. 463 Squadron Lancaster I LL844 Fl/Lt Le Page Langlois

Operation: Gilze Rijen, Holland (Airfield)

Date: 15th August 1944 (Tuesday)

Unit: No. 463 Squadron

Type: Lancaster I

Serial: LL844

Code: JO-R

Base: RAF Waddington

Location: Gilze Rijen, Holland

Pilot: Fl/Lt. Eric LePage Langlois AUS/416685 RAAF Age 30. Safe - returned

Fl/Eng: Sgt. John Scott 1591065 RAF Age 19. Safe - returned

Nav:F/O. Alan Frank Reid AUS/421050 RAAF Age 28. Safe - returned

Air/Bmr: F/O. Lloyd E.W. Baines J/35083 RCAF Age ? Safe - returned

F/O. Evan Charles Patten AUS/409437 RAAF Age 22. Safe - returned

Air/Gnr: F/O. Charles Jackson Cameron AUS/434868 RAAF Age 30. Safe - returned

Air/Gnr: F/O. Mervyn Edgar Hamilton AUS/414232 RAAF Age 22. Missing - believed killed


Lancaster LL844 took off from RAF Waddington at 09:21hrs on a day light raid to Gilze Rijen airfield.

The pilot reported that in the run up to the target area aircraft from another Squadron became mixed up with his own and these aircraft took up a position slightly above them. Visibility was good and the bomb load was successfully dropped at 12:10hrs.

The pilot was holding the aircraft steady to obtain a bomb damage photo when he felt a severe bump. It was thought that the aircraft had been hit by flak but the Mid Upper Gunner F/O. Cameron reported that the aircraft had been hit by a bomb from one of the aircraft flying above us and that he thought that the rear turret had been knocked off.

Still photo taken from a film of the raid on the Luftwaffe Night-fighter base at Gilze Rijen, Holland, 15th August 1944 (courtesy I.W.M.)

After clearing the target area the Bomb Aimer was sent back to report on the damage to the aircraft and reported that F/O. Hamilton was missing from the turret. The aircraft completed the mission and returned to base at 13:21hrs. Seventeen aircraft from the Squadron took part in this raid and all returned safely.

Sadly, all the surviving members of this crew apart from this Canadian Air Bomber, were lost the following year whilst with 467 Squadron on Lancaster PB806 PO-W.

Left: Rear Gunner, F/O. Mervyn Edger Hamilton. right: Pilot, Fl/Lt Eric Le Page Langlois.

Burial details:

F/O. Mervyn Edgar Hamilton, Runnymede Memorial, Panel 257. Born on the 10th January 1922 at Brisbane, Queensland, the son of Edward Leslie Hamilton and Ellen Jane Hamilton of Bulimba, Queensland, Australia.

Researched by Aircrew Remembered, researcher and specialist genealogist Kate Tame for relatives of this crew. Peter Powe (Brother of Mervyn Edger Hamilton) and Dianne Le Page Dunn nee Langlois (Niece of Eric Le Page Langlois) With thanks to the other sources shown.

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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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