01/02.02.1945 467 Squadron RAAF, Lancaster I NG197, Flt Lt. James K. Livingstone DFC
Operation: Siegen, Germany
Date: 1st/2nd February 1945 (Thursday/Friday)
Unit No: 467 Squadron RAAF, 5 Group
Type: Lancaster I
Serial No: NG197
Location: 10 to 20 km north of Koblenz, Germany
Base: RAF Waddington, Lincolnshire, England
Pilot: Flt Lt. James Keith Livingstone DFC 155465 RAFVR Age 22. Murdered (3)
2nd Pilot: Flt Lt. Roy William George Eagle 432138 RAAF Age 20. PoW *
Flt Eng: Fg Off. Edwin George Parsons DFC 53553 RAF Age 20. PoW ** (1)
Nav: Sqn Ldr. Desmond Ossiter Sands 102110 DSO, DFC RAFVR Age 33. PoW ** (2)
Bomb Aimer: Fg Off. William Dominic McMahon 412818 RAAF Age 30. PoW **
WOp/Air Gnr: Fg Off. John Prendergast 182270 RAFVR Age 24. PoW **
Air Gnr (Mid Upp): Fg Off. Raymond Novarro Brown(e) 172986 RAFVR Age? PoW ***
Air Gnr (Rear): Fg Off. Elias Charles Ellis 418931 RAAF Age 31. PoW **
* Stalag Luft 3, Sagan-Silesia, Germany, now Żagań in Poland. (Moved to Nuremberg-Langwasser, Bavaria), (Belaria satellite compound) and 3a Luckenwalde.
** Unknown PoW Camp.
*** Stalag 13d, Nuremberg, (Nürnberg Langwasser), Germany. Also known as Oflag 73, Bavaria.
REASON FOR LOSS:
On the 1st February 1945 the Sqn detailed 22 aircraft on a mission to join a force of 271 Lancasters and 11 Mosquitoes to bomb to railway marshalling yard at Siegen, Germany.
The aircraft took off from RAF Waddington from 15:57 hrs to 16:21 hrs. Due either to strong winds which carried the target markers away from Siegen or to dummy markers and a decoy fire, most of the raid’s bombs fell in country areas outside Siegen.
NG197 was one of 3 Lancasters and 1 Mosquito that failed to return from this mission.
Either 50 Sqn Lancaster PD346 or NG197 was claimed by Hptm. Heinz Rökker, his 46th Abschuss, from 2./NJG2 around 10 km to 20 km north of Koblenz at 2.500 m at 19:56 hrs. (Nachtjagd Combat Archive (1 January 1945 - 3 May 1945) Part 6 - Theo Boiten).
Hptm. Rökker survived the war with 61 confirmed and 4 unconfirmed Abschüsse. He later served in the Bundes Luftwaffe (Luftwaffe ACES - Biographies and Victory Claims (Mathews and Foreman) - Volume 3).
The location of the crash site is not known, however, it is probable that it came down somewhere close to the position where the aircraft was intercepted and shot down.
The entire crew was known to have bailed out of the aircraft.
(1) Fg Off. Parsons was awarded the DFC whilst with 467 Sqn RAAF. London Gazette 13th November 1944.
(2) Plt Off. Sands was awarded the DFC whilst with 44 Sqn. London Gazette 28th April 1942.
Citation for a number of individual awards for the cited mission reads: “On the 17th April, 1942, a force of twelve Lancaster heavy bombers was detailed to deliver an attack in daylight on the diesel engine factory at Augsburg in Southern Germany. To reach this highly important military target, and return, a most daring flight of some 1,000 miles over hostile country was necessary. Soon after entering enemy territory and whilst flying at a very low level the force was engaged by 25 to 30 enemy fighters. Later, the most intense and accurate anti-aircraft fire was encountered. Despite this formidable opposition 8 of the bombers succeeded in reaching the target and in delivering a successful attack on the factory. The following officers and airmen who participated, in various capacities, as members of the aircraft crews, displayed courage, fortitude and skill of the highest order.”
Acting Sqn Ldr. Sands was Mentioned in Despatches (MiD) which was promulgated in the London Gazette on the 8th June 1944.
Acting Sqn Ldr. Sands was awarded the DSO whilst with 467 Sqn, RAAF. London Gazette 27th April 1945.
Citation reads: "This officer has completed many sorties on his second-tour of operational duty. Throughout these operations, most of which have been against strongly defended targets, Squadron Leader Sands has displayed the highest standard of determination, and devotion to duty. By his undoubted ability as navigator, and his efficiency as captain, this officer has played a good part in the successes obtained. His services have been invaluable."
Desmond Ossiter Sands was born in Albany, Western Australia on the 11th December 1911 and passed away on the 16th November 1999, aged 87, in Cottesloe, Western Australia.
(3) The circumstances leading to the death of Flt Lt. Livingstone were determined in the 2nd and 3rd of three trials convened in Hamburg between the 25th and 30th June 1947.
Six German nationals where charged in three trials (cases):
SS-Obersturmbannführer (Lt Col) Wilhelm Wiebens who was the head of the SD detachment at Straßenhaus;
SD-Hauptsturmführer (Capt) Hermann Kagel;
SD-Obersturmführer (1st Lt) Otto Bauhofer;
SD-Obersturmführer (1st Lt) Hans Werner Pausebach;
SD-Unterscharführer (L/Cpl) Cornelius Kayser;
SD-Oberscharführer (Sgt) Heinrich Herzog.
SD= Sicherheitsdienst was the Security service for the SS = Schutzstaffel.
In the 3rd Case Charge 2, Wiebens and Bauhofer and in the 2nd Case, Kayser and Pausebach were charged in that they in the neighbourhood of Rengsdorf, Germany, on or about 31st January 1945 in violation of then laws and usages of war, were concerned in the killing of an Allied airman PoW believed to be Flt Lt. J.K. Livingstone RAF.
In the 3rd Case Charge 1, Wiebens, Bauhofer and Kagel were charged in that they in the neighbourhood of Rengsdorf, Germany, on or about 22nd December 1944 in violation of the laws and usages of war, were concerned in the killing of an Allied airman PoW believed to be 1st Lt. John Edward McDonnell, USAAF.
In the 1st Case, Herzog was charged in that he in the neighbourhood of Rengsdorf, Germany, on or about 15th February 1945 in violation of the laws and usages of war, was concerned in the killing of an Allied airman PoW believed to be 2nd Lt. C.W. Heline, USAAF.
The court heard that after Flt Lt. Livingstone had bailed out he landed in the neighbourhood of Rengsdorf. He was seen by a farmer hiding in some woods which he reported to the SD headquarters (HQ) at the ‘Zur Post’ hotel in Straßenhaus.
Rengsdorf is some 6½ km by road south of Straßenhaus.
Wiebens ordered all personnel at the HQ to search for the airman who when found was brought to the SD HQ. He had some difficulty in walking.
He was interrogated by Pausebach in Wiebens’ office after which Bauhofer claimed that when he asked Wiebens what to do with the airman he was led to understand that the airman was to be killed. He also claimed that on Wiebens orders he told Kayser to prepare a car. Bauhofer, Kayser who also knew that the airman was to be killed, and Pausebach drove away with the airman.
Wiebens in his sworn affidavit denied that he ordered, gave permission or agreed to the shooting of Allied airmen.
They headed towards Rengsdorf and shortly before arriving at the town the car was stopped by Kayser, who was driving, ostensibly because of Allied aircraft overhead. Bauhofer claimed that they all exited the car and moved into the woods. Kayser further claimed that the airman had made a run into the woods in an effort to escape. Kayser said he called out for the airman to halt before firing 4 or 5 shots from his pistol killing him.
However, Pausebach in his sworn affidavit stated that he had to support the airman because he was limping with a foot injury. He also had an emergency dressing on his left wrist. Pausebach was still supporting the airman when Kayser shot him. He also stated that the airman made no attempt to escape. Pausebach remained with the body whilst Bauhofer and Kayser returned to the SD HQ and reported to Wiebens that the airman had been shot when he tried to escape.
The court rejected the defence that the airman was shot whilst trying to escape and found Wiebens, Bauhofer and Kayser guilty of the charge.Pausebach was acquitted.
Wiebens was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment at the Allied prison in Werl. He was released on the 7th May 1955.
Note: Wiebens’ sentence was also for his his role in the death of 1st Lt. John Edward McDonnell, USAAF.
Bauhofer was sentenced to death by shooting on this charge and that of the murder of 1st Lt. John Edward McDonnell, USAAF. (Insert Link) He was executed at Hamburg on the 23rd October 1947 at 07:00 hrs.
Kayser was sentenced to death by hanging. He was executed at Hameln prison on the 14th November 1947 at 15:08 hrs.
Flt Lt. Livingstone was initially buried in Rengsdorf Cemetery grave number 2.
Above Grave marker for Flt Lt. Livingstone DFC. (Courtesy of Des Philippet - FindAGrave)
Flt Lt. James Keith Livingstone DFC. Reinterred at the Rheinberg War Cemetery 11.A.25 Inscription: "THE DEARLY LOVED AND ONLY SON OF TRUDA AND ERNEST. SO SADLY MISSED". Born in 4th Qtr 1922 in Preston, Lancashire. Son of Ernest and Gertrude (née Orton) Livingstone, of Blackpool, Lancashire, England.
The DFC was awarded to Plt Off. Livingstone whilst with 9 Sqn. London Gazette 10th December 1943.
Researched by Ralph Snape and Traugott Vitz for Aircrew Remembered with additional thanks to Traugott for his work on the ‘VitzArchive’.