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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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214 Squadron Crest
12/13.08.1943 No. 214 Squadron Stirling I EF390 BU-A P/O. Frederick G. Matthews

Operation: Torino

Date: 12/13th August 1943

Unit: No. 214 Squadron

Type: Stirling I

Serial: EF390

Code: BU-A

Base: RAF Chedburgh

Location: La Bussière-sur-Ouche

Pilot: P/O. Frederick George Matthews AUS/412465 RAAF Age 25. Killed

Fl/Eng: Sgt. John Geoffrey Knight 963535 RAFVR Age 27. Killed

Nav: Fl/Sgt. Alistair Frederick Rose NZ/416542 RNZAF Age 20. Killed

Air/Bmr: F/O. Frank Wilfred Holland 132094 RAFVR Age 32. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Kenneth James Cork 1331079 RAFVR Age 21. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Henry George Ott 1333605 RAFVR Age 19. Killed

Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Albert Douglas Harris NZ/415529 RNZAF Age 23. Killed


Taking off at 21:53 hrs from RAF Chedburgh south west of Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk, joining a force of 656 aircraft on an operation to Turin and Milan. 

Hptm. Hans von Niebelschütz (1) of 5./NJG4, taking off from Dijon-Longvic airfield engaged this aircraft between 3,000 - 3,500 mrs - after it had been hit by flak. He is creditted as shooting down the Stirling at 02:42 hrs. The aircraft crashed on a hill overlooking La Bussière-sur-Ouche on the west bank of the River Ouche.

Another 214 Squadron aircraft crashed shortly after take off. Stirling I R9257 BU-Y flown by 20 year old, Sgt. Norman James Tutt (2) 176275 RAFVR - all crew survived injury.

(1) Hptm. Hans von Niebelschütz was killed on the 02/03rd January 1944 in a crash at Eygelsdorf near Leipzif, after being hit by flak. A total of 10 abschüsse.

(2) Sadly this pilot 21 year old, P/O. Norman James Tutt 176275 RAFVR of Maidstone, Kent, England, was killed the following year on the the 16th June 1944 whilst with 582 squadron. Shot down over the suburbs of Arras, France - all (6) but one crew killed, Fl/Sgt. R.F. Boots RAFVR evaded capture.

(3) On 7 September 1942 South of the Bury Road, RAF Chedburgh opened, in No. 3 Group RAF Bomber Command. Major construction work was carried out by John Laing and Son Ltd., and built to Class A standard, the airfield had three concrete runways, 05-23 at 2,000 yards and 12-30 and 17-35 both at 1,400 yards. In October 1942 214 Squadron moved in flying Short Stirling bombers. Various squadrons followed until December 1946. The airfield site was sold in October 1952, although some hangars were still visible in the 1970s. The Bury Road Business Park is located on the former technical site.

Burial details:

The crew were buried on the 14th August where a large crowd attended the funeral - many wreaths and flowers were placed on the graves in total defiance by the occupying forces. During the ceremony, three young girls stood side by side outside the church dressed in red white and blue (our thanks to Errol Martin for this information)

P/O. Frederick George Matthews. La Bussiere-Sur-Ouche Communal Cemetery. Grave 1. Son of Jewell and Lydia Jane Matthews, of Yanco, New South Wales, Australia. Born 05th May 1918 in Leeton NSW, Australia. Enlisted in Sydney, Australia. Grave inscription reads: ‘Safe With The Lord’.

Sgt. John Geoffrey Knight. La Bussiere-Sur-Ouche Communal Cemetery. Coll. Grave 3-4. Son of Joseph and Violet Knight, of Birmingham, England. Grave inscription reads: ‘At The Going Down Of The Sun And In The Morning We Will Remember Them’.

Fl/Sgt. Alistair Frederick Rose. La Bussiere-Sur-Ouche Communal Cemetery. Coll. Grave 3-4. Son of Alexander Frederick and Mary Rose, nephew of Charlotte Aitken, of Gisborne, Auckland, New Zealand. This was his 14 operation of the war and had 410 flying hours logged.

F/O. Frank Wilfred Holland. La Bussiere-Sur-Ouche Communal Cemetery. Coll. Grave 3-4. Son of Frank and Emma Holland, of Brighton, Sussex, England. Grave inscription reads: ‘He Never Knew Fear’.

Sgt. Kenneth James Cork. La Bussiere-Sur-Ouche Communal Cemetery. Coll. Grave 3-4. Son of James F. Cork and Florence Cork, of Norwich, Norfolk, husband of Elsie Maud Cork, of Norwich, Norfolk, England. Grave inscription reads: ‘We Cannot With Our Loved One Be But Trust Him Father Unto Thee’.

Sgt. Henry George Ott. La Bussiere-Sur-Ouche Communal Cemetery. Coll. Grave 3-4. Son of Henry George and Florence Ada Ott, of Woolwich, London, England. Grave inscription reads: ‘We Miss His Smile So Good So Kind A Beautiful Memory Left Behind’.

Fl/Sgt. Albert Douglas Harris. La Bussiere-Sur-Ouche Communal Cemetery. Grave 2. Son of Frederick John Linton Harris and Amelia Rose Harris, of Huntly, Auckland, New Zealand. His 6th operation of the war and had 219 hours flying hours logged.

With thanks to Amanda Perkins of Norwich, relative of Sgt. Kenneth J. Cork who supplied some of the photographs and graves in August 2015. For further details our thanks to the sources shown below.

KTY 21.08.2015

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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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