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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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408 squadron badge
12/13.06.1943 408 Squadron Halifax II JB790 EQ:V Flt Lt. Large

Operation: Bochum

Date: 12th/13th June 1943 (Saturday/Sunday)

Unit No: 408 (Goose) Squadron, RCAF

Type: Halifax II

Serial: JB790

Coded: EQ:V

Base: RAF Leeming, Yorkshire

Location: North West of Burgsteinfurt, Germany

Pilot: Flt Lt. George Russell Large J9688 RCAF Age 25. PoW No: 1502. Camp: Stalag Luft Sagan and Belaria (1)

Flt Eng: Sgt. Thomas Leith-Ross 1487121 RAFVR Age 19. KiA

Nav: Sgt. Albert Frederick Rayment R121901 RCAF PoW No: 230 Camp: Stalag Lemsdorf

Bomb Aimer: Fg Off. Francis Lloyd Milburn J20816 RCAF Age 23. Killed (2)

WOp/Air Gnr: Sgt. Norman Bainblatt R133514 RCAF PoW No: 25 Camp: Stalag Lemsdorf

Air Gnr (Mid Upp): Sgt. Joseph Elland Forest R96860 RCAF PoW No: 30 Camp: Stalag Luft Sagan and Belaria

Air Gnr (Rear): Sgt. David Hester Hutchinson R137936 RCAF PoW No: 174 Camp: Stalag Lemsdorf


Took off at 23:39 hrs. from RAF Leeming, Yorkshire to join a massive attack of 503 aircraft on Bochum. Weather conditions were favourable (small amounts of cloud, moderate visibility and a half moon). Some 24 aircraft failed to return home.

Halifax JB790 was shot down by Hptm. Egmont Prinz zur Lippe Weissenfeld of III./NJG1 at 01.22 at 15,000 ft over Sellen, 3 km North West of Burgsteinfurt. He was killed later in the war on 12th March 1944 along with his crew in the Belgian Ardennes during a transit flight in bad weather. Credited with 49 kills.

We have recently been contacted by the daughter of the pilot, Flt Lt. Large, Mrs. Marilyn P. Tompkins. She wrote:

"Sadly my mother never told me any details having remarried when I was 3, but I did "find" lots of family members on a visit in the 80's and retain good contact with them. My 2 sons also have some contact.

I think he was born in Winnipeg and grew up in Makaroff, Manitoba, he had completed 2 years in the agriculture faculty at the university of Manitoba. He joined the R.C.A.F. arriving in england October 1942. My father met and married Isabelle Kathleen Primevere Page in Woodhall Spa, Lincolnshire, where his officer's mess was the Petwood Hotel, which is now much visited for it's connection with the Dambusters squadron.

Canadians from Manitoba Canada, Flt Lt. George Russell Large is shown on this remarkable photograph. middle row, far right. (courtesy Bill Anderson - see foot of page for full description)

Qualified as a first pilot on 13th May 1943, Bochum was only his 4th operational flight. I have a wonderful copy of a diary which Sqn Ldr. John E. Mahoney RCAF kept while he was in Stalag Luft 3 alongside my father. He continued it during the march to Lubeck and up to such time as they arrived home. He describes how my father was taken by ambulance from the march to Hamburg with a suspected strangulated hernia, not to be seen again.

As you record, his grave is at Adagem and there is a lake named after him in Manitoba, for which I have a commemoration certificate. I was in Woodhall Spa today, living only 30 minutes away near Lincoln. His surviving sister, Helen McGregor lives in Brandon, Manitoba, and his surviving brother John Large lives in Victoria."

Mrs. Marilyn P. Tompkins

It is likely that due to the recent visit of relatives to the crash site and the great assistance provided by German researchers further information may well be added to this and other articles.

(1) PoW - Sadly on the 13th April during the 'Long March'' he reported sick and then taken to a German hospital. He died despite treatment on the 18th April 1945. The cause of death is listed as a strangulated hernia with weakness of the circulatory system.

Amazing photographs recently supplied to relatives on a visit to the crash site. (courtesy Hazel Ross-Hughes)

Scene of the crash site 2010. (courtesy Hazel Ross-Hughes)

Hazel Ross-Hughes (left) with eye witness of the crash Herr Werdeling

Left: Police report - translation shown below (courtesy Hazel Ross-Hughes) Right: Egmont Prinz zur Lippe Weissenfeld

Police report (Kindly translated by Rüdiger Kaufmann - a great researcher based in Germany):

Burgsteinfurt, the 13th of June 1943

Concerns: Shooting down of an enemy aircraft

'On 13.6.43, at about 13.30 hrs an enemy airplane was shot down over the city area. This plane crashed near the House side Werding at Stellen No. 101 and burned almost completely out.

Our Fire fighters came immediately to the crash site and fought the fire. Also the Police, Gendamerie, Stadtwacht and Landwacht (Local organisations in City and Country like the Volkssturm in1945) were used for a barrier and searching for jumped out flyers. The airplane dropped their bombs shortly before the crash at farmland near Veltrup in the grounds of farmer Schulze-Veltrup. One of these bombs exploded near the high voltage power line (50000 and 10000 Volts) and cut them out of service. Apart from this there was a unexploded LB30 and other unexploded Bombs at the ground near the Power line.

The VEW (Electricity Company) is still waiting with there until all bombs are eliminated. The bomb squad from Münster was informed immediately. The dangerous area is protected by a guard of the Stadtwacht and signs.

Three enemy flyers were captured at the city area of Emsdetten. A further flyer landed with parachute at the Bauernschaft (area) Hollich near the House side of farmer Tetenborg. Some flyers still not captured. Additionally one flyer was burned in the plane. One dead flyer was found in the woods between Werdeling and Palstring at Stellen.

There must be 7 flyers in this plane. Therefore two flyers are missing. The local Police stations at Borghorst, Neuenkirchen and Wettringen were asked for support. Alerts to the authorities were made by Police officer Husken from Sch. D. R. (Schutzpolizei des Reiches).

Sign Kühn'

Master of the Schutzpolizei

Burial Details:

Fg Off. Francis Lloyd Milburn. Reichswald Forest Cemetery. 24.D.15. Son of Frank and Bena Milburn, of St. Vital, Manitoba, Canada. Grave inscription: 'Our Memories Of Him Are Keepsakes With Which We Will Never Part'.

Flt Lt. George Russell Large. Adegem War Cemetery. X1.H.4. Son of Alexander Russell Large, and of Florence Lillian Large, of Makaroff, Manitoba, Canada, husband of Isabelle Kathleen Large. Grave inscription: 'Greater Love Hath No Man Than This, That He Lay Down His Life For His Country'.

Fg Off. Milburn Commemorative headstone in Canada

(1) Large Lake in Manitoba is named after Flt Lt. Large

(2) Milburn Lake in Manitoba is named after Fg Off. Milburn

Flt Lt. George Russell Large. Adegem War Cemetery. X1.H.4. Son of Alexander Russell Large, and of Florence Lillian Large, of Makaroff, Manitoba, Canada, husband of Isabelle Kathleen Large. Grave inscription: 'Greater Love Hath No Man Than This, That He Lay Down His Life For His Country'.

Operation Record Book Copy and photo of Sgt. Thomas Leith-Ross kindly supplied to Aircrew Remembered by his niece, Hazel Ross-Hughes. Mrs. Marilyn Primevere Tompkins for the photo of her father, Flt Lt. George Russell Large and other information. Dave Champion for details. Tom Kracker - 'Kracker Luftwaffe Archives'.

From Top to bottom and left to right: The old Camphill Chief Mr Friedemann Liebeck his wife Lieselotte, Hermann Werdeling and Hazel Ross

Hermann und Irmgard Werdeling, Regina Hemker -Möllering -Deputy Mayor of Steinfurt

Mr. Reinhard Berger-chief of Camphill, Mrs . Leonie Frenkert-Ghazi - Organised the meeting on the Camphill Farm.

PoW Photograph details: (details courtesy Dave Champion - December 2019)


(1) Plt Off. Don MacDonald PoW No: 115 - sole survivor of 21 Squadron, Blenheim IV L9746. Shot down at St-Aubin-sur-Scie, France 11th June 1940.

(2) Plt Off. Hartley Frank Purvis J19593 PoW No: 4237, of Holland - one of five taken PoW with the two rear gunners killed of 427 Squadron, Halifax III LV968 ZL:L. Suffered severe icing with all loss of control crew forced to bale out. East of Saarbrucken 24th/25th April 1944.

(3) Fg Off. Gordon William Horace Venables J24233, of Winnipeg PoW No. 5129 - one of three taken PoW, with four crew killed of 467 Squadron, Lancaster III DV240 PO:D. Shot down at Westum, 30th/31st March 1944.

(4) Plt Off. Robert Allan Anderson R191468, of Brandon PoW No. 4176 - one of two survivors taken PoW, with three missing, 2 killed of 420 Squadron, Halifax III LW692 PT:V. Hit by A/A fire, crashing at Scie River, Pourville, Dieppe, France 20th/21st April 1944.

(5) Plt Off. John Sidney Acheson J13840, of Winnipeg PoW No. 965 - sole survivor, six crew killed of 408 Squadron, Halifax II HR654 EQ:R. Shot down at Grossolt, 29th/30th March 1943.

(6) Plt Off. John Thomson Glover 41843, Canadian in the RAF, of Winnipeg PoW No. 510 - one of five survivors taken PoW of 102 Squadron Whitley V N1376 DY:O. Hit by A/A fire and abandoned over Holland on 19th/20th May 1940.

(7) Fg Off. Douglas Malcolm King J24073, of Winnipeg PoW No. 4462 - one of three survivors taken PoW, with four others killed of 431 Squadron, Halifax III LK842 SE:N. Shot down over Belgium, 27th/28th April 1944.

(8) Plt Off. James Plant MiD 40258, PoW No. 1126 Canadian in the RAF, Born Winnipeg, 1914, enlisted RAF 1937. MiD awarded for PoW escapade (dressed as a German) - one of five survivors taken PoW of 58 Squadron Whitley V N1442 GE:N. Aircraft lost on operation to Essen 20th/21st June 1940.

(9) Flt Sgt. Charles Witcher R59027 854th Street, Brandon, Manitoba. Born 11th August 1918 Bethany, Manitoba Died January 18th 2008, in Vancouver. R59027 854th Street, Brandon, Manitoba. Born 11th August 1918 Bethany, Manitoba Died January 18th 2008, in Vancouver. No further details found.

(10) Plt Off. Kenneth Arthur Banks J22091, of St. James PoW No. 2349 - one of three survivors taken PoW, four others killed 15 Squadron, Stirling III EF427 LS:A. Hit by A/A fire and crashing at Mannheim, 30th/31st July 1943.

(11) Plt Off. Hubert Percival Clark 42106, DFC Canadian in the RAF, PoW No. 157, born Moose Jaw, SK, 1918. raised in Brandon, Manitoba, enlisted RAF 1939. No. 44 Sqn, shot down 14th August 1940, died Winnipeg 30 November 1987

(12) Plt Off. Edward Eggertson J10894, of Winnipeg PoW No. 732 - one of six survivors taken PoW, one other killed of 405 Squadron, Halifax II W7763 LQ:C. Shot down and crashing at Prattenburg, Holland on 6th/7th October 1942.

(13) Plt Off. Athol Bury Drummond-Hay J21465, of Winnipeg PoW No. 1493 - one of two survivors taken PoW, three others killed of 429 Squadron Wellington X HF457. Shot down and crashing at Houthalen, Belgium on 22nd/23rd June 1943.

(14) Flt Lt. Theodor Ross Kipp J3514 PoW No. 3667 - one of six survivors taken PoW of 405 Squadron Wellington II W5483 LQ:J. Lost on an operation to Berlin 2nd/3rd August 1941. Of 2 Roselyn Place, Winnipeg.

(15) Fg Off. James William Murphy J9664 was from Owen Sound, Ontario PoW No. 773 - one of five survivors taken PoW, three others killed of 10 Squadron, Halifax II W1058 ZA:S. Crashing at Duisdorf on 15th/16th October 1942.


(16) WO. George Horner Groves 652612, of Pine Falls, Canadian in the RAF PoW No. 24791 - one of four survivors taken PoW, two others killed of 12 Squadron Wellington Z8370 PH:Y. Shot down over Terschelling, Holland on 19th/20th January 1942.

(17) Plt Off. Jean Baptiste Roger Joseph Camille Teillet J7218, of St Boniface PoW No. 696 - one of five survivors taken PoW, two others killed of 35 Squadron, Halifax II W7765 TL:T. Shot down and crashing at St-Hilaire-au-Temple on 24th/25th August 1942. Understood to have later served with Canadian government.

(18) Fg Off. William Gordon James Richardson J17693, of Winnipeg PoW No. 2024 - one of three survivors taken PoW of 408 Squadron, Halifax II DT749 EQ:O. Shot down and crashing at Neumunster on 27th/28th July 1943.

(19) WO2 Wilson Samuel Hunter J17545, of Winnipeg PoW No. 1073.

(20) Fg Off. Leslie Stevens J22843, of Rosser PoW No. 3510 - one of two survivors taken PoW, five others killed of 97 Squadron, Lancaster III ND478 OF:Q. Shot down and crashing at Faborg on 15th/16th February 1944.

(21) Fg Off. George Russell Large J9688, of Makaroff PoW No. 1502 - one of five survivors taken PoW, two others killed of 408 Squadron, Halifax II JB790 EQ:V. Shot down and crashing at Sellen on 12th/13th June 1943.


(22) Fg Off. George Leslie Sinclair 41748, DFC, born St. Mary, Kent, home in Bagot PoW No. 2925 - pilot 3 Squadron Typhoon Ib JP755, Shot down by A/A fire at Overflakkee, Netherlands, 4th October 1943

(23) Plt Off. Douglas Scott McKay Sangster J87047, of Hensall PoW No. 659 - one of six survivors taken PoW, two others killed of 419 Squadron, Lancaster X KB711 VR:C. Shot down and crashing at Gent-Rabot on 1st/2nd May 1944.

(24) Plt Off. Alfred Neil Briggs J15116, of Winnipeg PoW No. 544 Born 22nd Apr 1916, Died 2nd September 2000. Observer Coastal Command - 404 Squadron Z6245 26th May 1942.

(25) Plt Off. Stanley Gordon King J/7911, of Winnipeg PoW No. 290 - one of two survivors taken PoW, three others killed of 11 O.T.U. Wellington Ic R1078 TX:Q. Shot down and crashed near Rheine on 25th/26th June 1942.

(26) Fg Off. Douglas Roseberry Thomson C3555 of Winnipeg PoW No. 2676.

(27) Thomas Earl Jackson J16939, of Prince Albert PoW No. 1267 - one of seven survivors taken PoW, one being killed of 419 Squadron Halifax II JB912 VR:B, shot down crashed south west of Stettin on 20th/21st April 1943.

(28) Sqn Ldr. John Robert Beggs J4422, of Winnipeg PoW No. 1775 - one of six survivors taken PoW, one other killed of 428 Squadron Halifax V LK969 NA:G. Shot down and crashing over Frankfurt on 25th/26th November 1943.

KTY Updated 23.12.2019

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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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