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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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78 Squadron Crest
08/09.05.1941 No. 78 Squadron Whitley V T4147 EY-D Sgt. Lawrence Thorpe

Operation: Hamburg

Date: 08/09th May 1941 (Thursday/Friday)

Unit: No. 78 Squadron

Type: Whitley V

Serial: T4147

Code: EY-D

Base: RAF Middleton St. George, County Durham

Location: Between Heisfelde and Nüttermoor, Germany

Pilot: Sgt. Lawrence Thorpe 748308 RAFVR Age 20. Killed

Pilot 2: P/O. Ronald Walter Wallis-Stolzle 80064 RAFVR Age 33. Killed

Obs: Sgt. Peter James Lewis 955758 RAFVR Age ? Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Herbert Eric Bailey 971793 RAFVR Age 24. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Peter William Reynolds Emmett 909056 RAFVR Age 23. Killed (1)

If anyone has any further information on this or indeed photographs of the crew Marten Klose would be very interested to hear further from you (see credits)


Taking off from RAF Middleton St. George in County Durham at 22:25 hrs to bomb Hamburg - 188 aircraft taking part - 100 Wellingtons/Whitleys, 78 Hampdens, 9 Manchesters with 1 Stirling. 

Bombing was reported as successful - 83 fires started, 38 of these classed as large. 185 people in the city were killed, 518 injured with 1,966 people bombed out of their homes. This was the largest fatal casualty of the war in Germany to date.

Sgt. Lawrence Thorpe shown front row - extreme right during No. 10 Pilots course (courtesy Marten Klose)

Whitley T4147 was shot down by Fw. Heinrich Säwert of 3./NJG1 with the aircraft crashing on the Hammrich (Meadow or pastures) between Heisfelde and Nüttermoor at 02:30 hrs. This was his first abschuss of the war. He was killed on the 22/23rd August 1944 during a strafing attack on Parndorf airfield - credited between 11/16 abschüsse.

Whitley T4147 crash site  (courtesy Marten Klose)

(1) Sgt. Peter William Reynolds Emmett survived an earlier training accident on 17th January 1941. On Whitley V N1494, whilst with 10 OTU, one of 2 crew who survived the crash that killed 4 others.

Burial details:

Sgt. Lawrence Thorpe. Sage War Cemetery. Coll. Grave 5.E.5-7. Son of Fred and Elsie Mina Thorpe, of Leytonstone, Essex, England.

P/O. Ronald Walter Wallis-Stolzle. Sage War Cemetery. Grave 11.A.7. Son of Mr. Gustav Adolf Otto Wallis-Stolzle and Elizabeth Mary (nee Wallis), of Whitstable, Kent, England. Also commemorated on the Whitstable Royal British Legion memorial. His brother, 23 year old Otto Wallis-Stolzle 197899 Royal Engineers, was killed on the 25th April 1917 in a motor accident near Varennes, France. His father was of Austrian descent.

Sgt. Peter James Lewis. Sage War Cemetery. Coll. Grave 5.E.5-7. No further information, are you able to assist?

Fl/Sgt. Herbert Eric Bailey. Sage War Cemetery. Coll. Grave 5.E.5-7. Son of Herbert Bailey, and of Elizabeth H. Bailey, of Ystradmynach, Glamorgan, Wales.

Sgt. Peter William Reynolds Emmett. Sage War Cemetery. Coll. Grave 5.E.5-7. Son of William Thomas Jonothan and Ivy Constance Emmett, of Brighton, Sussex, England. (Mother is understood to have died in the Royal Sussex Hospital on the 8th December 1960)

Researched by Kate Tame for Marten Klose. Marten is gathering information for a book that he is preparing (June 2013). Additional details added by the webmaster. For further details our thanks to the sources shown below.

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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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