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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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514 Squadron Crest
07/08.06.1944 514 Squadron Lancaster II DS822 JI:T Plt Off McGown

Operation: Massy-Palaiseau rail yards

Date: 7th/8th June 1944 (Wednesday/Thursday)

Unit No: 514 Squadron (motto: Nil Obstare Potest - 'Nothing can withstand')

Type: Lancaster II

Serial: DS822

Code: JI:T

Base: RAF Waterbeach, Cambridgeshire

Location: La Celle-Les-Bordes

Pilot: Plt Off. William Lachlan McGown 174120 RAFVR Age 28. Evader

Flt Eng: Sgt. John (Jack) Clarke 1581581 RAFVR Age? PoW, Id No. 78385 *, PoW No. 8032 ** (1)

Nav: WO. Archibald Norman Durham 413305 RAAF Age 24. Evader

Air Bmr: Plt Off. Lyndon Warwick Clive Lewis 173388 RAFVR Age? PoW No: 5860 *** (2)

WOp/Air Gnr: Plt Off. Kenneth Edward Bryan 410529 RAAF Age 21. KiA

Air Gnr (Mid Upp): Flt Sgt. John George Shepherd Boanson 1873573 RAFVR Age 21. KiA

Air Gnr (Rear): Flt Sgt. Robert Calder Guy 156396 RAFVR Age 21 KiA (3)

* Buchenwald concentration camp established on Ettersberg hill near Weimer, Germany in July 1937.

** Stalag Luft 3, Sagan-Silesia, Germany, now Żagań in Poland. (Moved to Nuremberg-Langwasser, Bavaria).

*** Stalag Luft 1 Barth-Vogelsang, today situated in the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany.


Taking off at 00:37 hrs from RAF Waterbeach in Cambridgeshire to bomb the rail facilities at Massy-Palaiseau

DS822 was claimed by Uffz Kurt Stockbauer 4./NJG4 – Limours/Bretigny area (BE): 1,000m at 02:15. (Nachtjagd Combat Archives 1944 Part 3 - Theo Boiten). Four of the crew managed to bale out of the aircraft after the pilot issued orders to abandon.

One other aircraft was lost from the squadron during this operation:

Lancaster II LL727 JI:C2 Flown by Fg Off. Louis Greenburgh DFC. 49803 RAFVR Evaded capture with 4 others from the crew, 3 made PoW with the only casualty, 19 year old, Flt Sgt. Gordon Henry Stromberg 1386539 RAFVR from Watford in Hertfordshire. Killed, buried in St. Pierre Cemetery, Amiens: Plot 7, Row E, Grave 13. Grave inscription reads: “Our Youngest And Dearest, Loved By All; Proudly We Remember, Sadly We Miss”.

(1) Whilst evading he was betrayed and arrested by the Gestapo then and taken to the Fresnes prison located to the south of Paris. This was were French political prisoners were held and ordinarily Allied airmen, after questioning, were moved to a PoW Camp. In the summer of 1944, with the Allies having liberated Paris and closing in, the Gestapo guards started reducing the prison population by execution, and then relocating surviving prisoners to various concentration camps east of France. On the 15th August 1944 he were amongst 169 Allied PoWs and hundreds of French men and women who were packed into a freight train and transported to Buchenwald concentration camp on a journey lasting five days. Buchenwald was located 8 km north of Weimar, in the German province of Thüringen.

Note: Fg Off. J.M. Stevenson C27788 RCAF escaped from the train and successfully evaded.

Sqn Ldr. Lamason and Fg Off. Chapman succeeded in getting all but two of the Allied PoWs transferred to Stalag Luft 3. Two airmen, 1st Lt. Levitt Clinton Beck Jr. O-736945, US AAF and Fg Off. Philip Derek Hermmens, 152583, RAFVR, died in the camp hospital

Under an agreement signed with West Germany in June 1964, one million pounds became available to British victims of Nazi persecution. The British KLB (Konzentrationlager Buchenwald) airmen received a basic compensation payment of 183.50 pounds for their time spent in Buchenwald. Some of the former airmen gave media interviews at the time... John Clark from Leicestershire was able to receive a little more money from the compensation fund. 'I was in Buchenwald for three months and doctors say my health is permanently affected. It seems I had TB when I was in the camp. Even now if I get a cold I just collapse. I've had more from the fund than many of the others. I've had £1,100, but I think this may be because I've never had any disability allowance. Compared with some of the other lads in Buchenwald, I've been lucky.' (information - see credits)

(2) Flt Sgt Lyndon Warwick Clive Lewis: commissioned and promoted on the 3rd March 1944 as 173388 Plt Off Lewis and following repatriation from Germany in May 1945, ceased being a Bomb Aimer and transferred to the RAF Police Provost Branch. He retired from the RAF on 1st Dec 1969 as a Wg Cdr and died on the 13th March 2007. (information - see credits)

(3) Sadly his twin brother, Charles Mathieson Guy also serving within the same squadron was lost on the 30th July 1944 whilst aboard Lancaster II LL733 JI:S.

Burial details:

The bodies of Plt Off. Kenneth Bryan and Flt Sgt Robert Guy were found on the day of the crash and buried on the 10th June,. That of Flt Sgt John Boanson found on the 16th June and buried on the 17th.

Plt Off. Kenneth Edward Bryan. La Celle-Les-Bordes Communal Cemetery. Grave 1. Born on the 13th July 1922 at Camberwell. Epitaph reads: “DEATH IS NOT THE END; THERE IS NO DEATH”. Son of Ronald Ernest and Mamie Albertha Bryan, of Geelong East, Victoria, Australia.

Flt Sgt John George Shepherd Boanson. La Celle-Les-Bordes Communal Cemetery. Grave 2. Born on the 22nd June 1922. Epitaph reads: “IN LOVING MEMORY OF OUR DEAR SON GEORGE ALWAYS IN OUR THOUGHTS. MAM, DAD AND TOM”. Son of Thomas William and Florence Boanson, of Ivinghoe Aston, Buckinghamshire, England.

Flt Sgt Robert Calder Guy. La Celle-Les-Bordes Communal Cemetery. Grave 3. Born on the 15th September 1922 at Cambuslang. Epitaph reads: “HIS BROTHER CHARLES, SERGEANT, RAF WAS KILLED ON THE 30TH JULY 1944, BURIED AT SEA”. Son of Colin Calder Guy and Margaret Park Mathieson Guy, of Glasgow, Scotland.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to Roger Guernon for his great research and photographs supplied to Aircrew Remembered - September 2017. With thanks to Col. Bruggy and Norman Hood of the RAF Commands Forum for information (Jan 2019). Thanks to Roger Guernon for pointing out the misspelling of Plt Off. McGown's name (Jun 2019). Thanks to John Jones for the German night-fighter claim details (Mar 2021). Update to include Buchenwald information (Dec 2022).

Other sources as listed below.

RS 29.12.2022 - Update with Buchenwald information

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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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