AR banner
Search Tips Advanced Search
Back to Top

• Kracker Archive
• Allied Losses
• Archiwum Polish
• Paradie Canadian
• Searchable Lists

Info LogoAdd to or correct this story with a few clicks.
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.
Check our Research databases: Database List


We seek additional information and photographs. Please contact us via the Helpdesk.

7 Squadron Crest
08/09.10.1943 No. 7 Squadron Lancaster III JB181 MG-V F/O. Macpherson

Operation: Hannover

Date: 08/09th October 1943 (Friday/Saturday)

Unit: No. 7 Squadron

Type: Lancaster III

Serial: JB181

Code: MG-V

Base: RAF Oakington, Cambridgeshire, England.

Location: Westervelde, Netherlands

Pilot: F/O. Bruce Edwin Cornwall Macpherson 140922 RAFVR Age 21. Killed

Fl/Eng: Sgt. Frederick Reginald Brine 1604770 RAFVR Age 21. Killed

Nav: F/O. Sydney George Burnam-Richards 139960 RAFVR Age 21. Missing

Air/Bmr: Sgt. Thomas Roy Spencer 1438166 RAFVR Age 22. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Maxwell George Smallridge 1314228 RAFVR Age 21. Missing

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Eric Alfred Brinton 1850112 RAFVR Age 17. Missing (1)

Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Chris Zane Robert Christianson R/159411 RCAF Age 21. Killed


Taking off from RAF Oakington in Cambridgeshire at 22:59 hrs. to bomb Hannover.

Of all the raids on Hannover, the one launched by Bomber Command on the night of 8/9 October, 1943, was the most destructive and caused the greatest loss of life in a single operation against the city.

The crew of Lancaster JB181 - identified by Gerrit Hazenberg, January 2020: Sgt. Eric Alfred Brinton, F/O. Sydney George Burnam-Richards, Sgt. Thomas Roy Spencer, Sgt. Maxwell George Smallridge, Sgt. Frederick Reginald Brine, Fl/Sgt. Chris Zane Robert Christianson and in the from kneeling, F/O. Bruce Edwin Cornwall Macpherson. (courtesy Barbara Cowtan)

Many thousands more inhabitants were injured and made homeless by the fires that consumed over 3,900 homes. The old city centre was accurately marked by the Pathfinders and the resulting bombing destroyed vital services such as the railway station, electricity, water and telephone systems. The Continental tire factory and the Hanomag factory producing military vehicles were also badly damaged.

The city was heavily defended by flak batteries and night fighters, and although a diversionary raid against Bremen was carried out, the German air defence controllers were not to be misled. Of the 504 aircraft that took off, 14 Lancasters and 13 Halifaxes were shot down over the target area or during the trip back to base.

Lancaster JB181 was the first to be shot down on the outbound route. Engaged by the German night fighter ace, Ofw. Heinze Vinke (2), shot down over Norg whilst flying at 5,000 metres. The action took place at 00:27 hrs with the aircraft crashing at Westervelde.

All the crew were killed, only four bodies were recovered and buried, the remainder are immortalised on the Runnymede Memorial in Surrey.

Above, pilot F/O. Macpherson on the steps of a Stirling on 3rd March 1943 (2) and right portrait of F/O. Bruce Macpherson (courtesy Barbara Cowtan)

(1) At just 17 years old, Sgt. Eric Brinton was probably the youngest aircrew member to have been killed with Bomber Command.

(2) This Stirling was in fact lost in September 1943 whilst with 149 Squadron

Above left: Uffz. Heinz Vinke and his W/Op/Gnr. Karl Schödel (courtesy Tom Kracker Archives) See Kracker Archive on this site.

(2) Heinz Vinke went missing on the 26th February 1944 some 15 km. north west of Dunkirk after being shot down by two Typhoons from 198 Squadron - Fl/Lt. Cheval L'Allemand and F/O. George Hardy.

The Crew who's bodies were recovered, are buried at the Norg General Cemetery. (courtesy of Mr. Peter van Buiten) We have these beautiful grave photographs available at a higher resolution, Peter has granted us permission to release them to any relative who would like a copy. Please email us.

Left: One of the many panels at the Runnymede Memorial (archives)

Burial details:

F/O. Bruce Edwin Cornwall Macpherson. Norg General Cemetery. Plot 6 South. Row 2. Grave 1. Son of Bruce Murray Macpherson and Bernice Olive Macpherson, of Regents Park, London, England. His grave family inscription reads ‘Let them wake whole again to new dawns, fired with sun, not war.’

Sgt. Frederick Reginald Brine. Norg General Cemetery. Plot 6 South. Row 2. Grave 4. Son of James C. and Mabel Brine, of Crewkerne, Somerset, England. His grave family inscription reads: ‘But O for the touch of a vanished hand. And the sound of a voice that is still.’

F/O. Sydney George Burnam-Richards. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 123. Son of Frederick and Lilian M. Burnham-Richards, of South Molton, Devon, England.

Sgt. Thomas Roy Spencer. Norg General Cemetery. Plot 6 South. Row 2. Grave 2. Son of William and Elizabeth May Spencer, of Stockton Heath, Cheshire, England. His grave family inscription reads ‘At the going down of the sun, and in the morning, we will remember them.’

Sgt. Maxwell George Smallridge. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 165. Son of Frederick George and Hilda Winnifred Smallridge, of Barnstaple, Devon, England.

Sgt. Eric Alfred Brinton. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 143. Son of Edgar William and Annie Brinton, of Newton Abbot, Devon, England.

Fl/Sgt. Chris Zane Robert Christianson. Norg General Cemetery. Plot 6 South. Row 2. Grave 3. Son of Charles James Christianson and Ruth Christianson, husband of Veronica Christianson, of Liverpool, England. Originally from Duchess, Alberta, Canada. His grave family inscription reads: ‘Most screed heart of Jesus, have mercy on him’ ‘Rest in peace, loving wife and son.’

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew, including the niece of the pilot, F/O. Bruce Macpherson, Barbara Cowtan, who supplied us with the crew photographs, with thanks to Mr. Peter van Buiten from the Netherlands who visited the graves on our behalf and took the photographs, John Hayes for log book entry for Sgt. Smallridge. Further information courtesy of sources mentioned below.

The final log book entry for Bruce Macpherson (courtesy Barbara Cowtan)

The final logbook entry for Maxwell Smallridge (courtesy John Hayes)

KTY 17.07.2015 Log book details for Sgt. Smallridge.

Pages of Outstanding Interest
History Airborne Forces •  Soviet Night Witches •  Bomber Command Memories •  Abbreviations •  Gardening Codenames
CWGC: Your Relative's Grave Explained •  USA Flygirls •  Axis Awards Descriptions •  'Lack Of Moral Fibre'
Concept of Colonial Discrimination  •  Unauthorised First Long Range Mustang Attack
RAAF Bomb Aimer Evades with Maquis •  SOE Heroine Nancy Wake •  Fane: Motor Racing PRU Legend
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.
Click any image to enlarge it

Click to add your info via ticket on Helpdesk •Click to let us know via ticket on Helpdesk• Click to buy research books from Amazon •Click to explore the entire site
If you would like to comment on this page, please do so via our Helpdesk. Use the Submit a Ticket option to send your comments. After review, our Editors will publish your comment below with your first name, but not your email address.

A word from the Editor: your contribution is important. We welcome your comments and information. Thanks in advance.

At the going down of the sun, and in the morning we will remember them. - Laurence Binyon
All site material (except as noted elsewhere) is owned or managed by Aircrew Remembered and should not be used without prior permission.
© Aircrew Remembered 2012 - 2024
Last Modified: 21 March 2021, 12:05

Monitor Additions/Changes?Click to be informed of changes to this page. Create account for first monitor only, thereafter very fast. Click to close without creating monitor