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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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90 Squadron crest
12/13.05.1943 90 Squadron Stirling III BF523 WP:G Flt Sgt. Wesley Morey

Operation: Duisberg, Germany

Date: 12th/13th May 1943 (Wednesday/Thursday)

Unit No: 90 Squadron, Bomber Command

Type: Stirling III

Serial: BF52

Code: WP:G

Base: RAF Ridgewell, Essex

Location: IJsselmeer, Holland

Pilot: Flt Sgt. Wesley Morey R120226 RCAF Age 20. KiA

Flt Eng: Sgt. Royce Selwyn Shaw 575244 RAF Age 19. KiA

Nav: Sgt. Basil Albert Bacon 1320220 RAFVR Age 20. KiA

Bomb Aimer: Sgt. William Brown Murray 658018 RAF Age 24. KiA

WOp/Air Gnr: Sgt. Edward William Eke 1332191 RAFVR Age 20. KiA

Air Gnr (Mid Upper): Sgt. Arthur John Buxton 785082 RAFVR Age 26. KiA

AirGnr (Rear): Sgt. Charles Green 614909 RAF Age 23. KiA

Above left to right: Flt Sgt. Morey, LAC Murray, probably taken whilst under training (Courtesy of a close family member via Robert Brown, Flt Lt. Ret’d), Sgt. Green (Courtesy of Revd. Alan Brodie)


Took off at 00:30 hrs from RAF Ridgewell, Essex to bomb the German city of Duisberg with 572 aircraft taking part (238 Lancasters, 142 Halifaxes, 112 Wellingtons, 70 Stirlings and 10 Mosquitoes). This was the fourth raid on the city so far, with the others being only partially successful. The marking on this raid was near perfect resulting in the bombing being well concentrated.

The centre of the city and the port area just off the river Rhine (the largest inland port area in Germany) suffered enormous damage.

1,596 buildings totally destroyed, 273 people on the ground killed, 4 steel factories were damaged. In the port area, 21 barges and 13 other ships (18,921 tons) were sunk with a further 60 ships (41,000 tons) damaged) Duisberg was considered not necessary to attack again for a while.

It didn't go all well though, with Bomber Command losing some 38 aircraft during this operation. A total of 214 aircrew were killed, with 32 more being made PoW.

During this operation another 90 Squadron Stirling was also lost, with all 7 crew. Flown by 21 year old, Plt Off. Joseph Isador Gedak J17721 RCAF. No bodies recovered.

Stirling BF523 was shot down by Uffz. Emil Heinzelmann of 8./NLG1 during combat taking place at 2,200 mtrs. with the aircraft crashing at 03:28 hrs. (see Kracker Luftwaffe Archive on this site)

This was the third victory for Uffz. Emil Heinzelmann. He was killed later on the 13th/14th December 1944 after a failed belly landing during a practice flight after an engine fire. Total victories for him at that time were 5.

Simon Glancey contacted the RAF Museum regarding the restored rear undercarriage unit. The RAF Museum responded with the following information:

"Part of a No 90 Squadron Short Stirling III BF523, based at RAF Ridgewell, Essex; lost over Holland on the night of 12/13 May 1943-only her second operational mission, being one of 572 aircraft despatched to attack Duisberg; shot down by a Bf110G; entire crew lost.Recovered by Royal Netherlands Air Force from crash site in the polder South Flevoland, Holland in June 1972; originally delivered by RAF to RAFM Hendon. Moved to the Medway Aircraft Preservation Society (MAPS) at Rochester during 1999; Restoration by MAPS 2011-2012: to Manston Museum January 2013 for display. The unit has since moved to the Michael Beetham Conservation Centre where it is being prepared for display in Hangar 3 at Cosford."

During 1972/1973 during partial draining of the Polders in the South Flevoland area, the Royal Netherlands Airforce were called in to identify / salvage wreckage found. Identification led by the Salvage officer Mr. Gerrit J. Zwanenburg with his team, recovered items such as the twin tail wheels, engines and propellers as well as many pieces of alloy.

Stirling BF523 Rear under-carriage recovered (source unknown but believed to be taken at a Dutch Museum - if you know further please contact us and we will credit accordingly - Mr. Gard van Brakel who lives close to the area where it crashed, advised us that he had heard it is now in the RAF Museum in London - May 2018)

The remains of Flt Sgt. Morey, Sgt. Shaw, Sgt. Bacon and Sgt. Green were also recovered and buried. A film ‘Some Of Our Airman Are No Longer Missing’ was made, the recovery being part of it. (Directed by Douglas Stanley and narrated by Leo McKern)

Some of Our Airman Are No Longer Missing Video

Burial Details

Short video commemorating Sgt. William Brown Murray taken at the Harderwick General Cemetery. (The video was provided to Robert Brown by Henk Meijer, a retired Department Head of a University in the Netherlands)

Flt Sgt. Wesley Morey. Jonkerbos War Cemetery Grave 23.J.4. Grave inscription: "MISSING IN ACTION SINCE 13TH MAY 1943 BUT NEVER FORGOTTEN - FEBRUARY 1973". Born on the 22nd March 1923 in Montreal, Quebec. Son of Guy and Grace (née Willets) Morey of Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Originally remembered on the Runnymede Memorial

Sgt. Royce Selwyn Shaw.Jonkerbos War Cemetery Grave 23.J.3. Grave inscription: "IN MEMORY OF A DEARLY LOVED SON ALWAYS IN OUR THOUGHTS". Son of John W and Livinia Shaw, of Doncaster, Yorkshire, England.

Originally remembered on the Runnymede Memorial

Sgt. Basil Albert Bacon. Jonkerbos War Cemetery Grave 23.J.2. Grave inscription: "IN PROUD AND EVERLOVING MEMORY OF OUR BELOVED BASIL MUM, DAD, BABS AND BERYL". Son of Ernest Herbert and May Gladys Bacon of Leytonstone, Essex, England.

Originally remembered on the Runnymede Memorial

Sgt. William Brown Murray. Harderwick General Cemetery. British Plot 1. Grave 24. Grave inscription: "AS FOR GOD, HIS WAY IS PERFECT HE IS A BUCKLER TO ALL THAT TRUST IN HIM". Son of William Venters Murray and Margaret Rollo Murray, of Kirkcaldy, Fife, Scotland.

Sgt. Edward William Eke. Amersfoort (Oud Leusden) General Cemetery. Plot 13. Row 7. Grave 131. Grave inscription: "IN LOVING MEMORY OF THE DEAR BROTHER OF ENID AND BELOVED NEPHEW OF DAISY". Born in 3rd Qtr of 1922 in Holbeach, Lincolnshire. Son of Edgar John (deceased in Oct 1940) and Mary Ann (née Loveday)(deceased in Oct 1923) Eke of Lincolnshire, England.

Sgt. Arthur John Buxton. Amersfoort (Oud Leusden) General Cemetery. Plot 13. Row 7. Grave 132. Grave inscription: "A TOKEN OF REMEMBRANCE OF A SON WE SHALL NEVER FORGET. MUM, DAD AND FAMILY". Son of William Joseph and Lottie Elizebeth Buxton, of Walthamstow, Essex, England.

Sgt. Charles Green. Amsterdam New Eastern Cemetery Plot 69. Row C. Coll. Grave 14. Grave inscription: "A DAY OF REMEMBRANCE SILENTLY KEPT NO NEED FOR WORDS WE NEVER FORGET". Born in 1919 in Ravensdale, Nr. Tunstall, Stoke-On-Trent. Son of James and Sarah Ann (née Atkins) Green of Staffordshire, England.

Originally remembered on the Runnymede Memorial

For Robert Brown (Sgt. William Murray) - Revd. Alan Brodie (Sgt. Charles Green) and for all relatives of the crew. With thanks to the following: Mr. Gerrit J. Zwanenburg and the RDAF Recovery Team, also thanks to Dave Champion for details and photo of the pilot (Jun 2018). Thanks to Simon Glancey for the information regarding the restored undercarriage unit. (July 2019). Thanks to Robert Brown for the image of Sgt. Murray and the short video (Dec 2019). Thanks to Revd. Alan Brodie for the photograph of Sgt. Green. (Mar 2024).

Other sources as quoted below:

RS 01.03.2024 - Addition of Sgt. Green photograph

Pages of Outstanding Interest
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CWGC: Your Relative's Grave Explained •  USA Flygirls •  Axis Awards Descriptions •  'Lack Of Moral Fibre'
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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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