01/02.04.1942 No. 57 Squadron Wellington III X3607 Fl/Sgt. John Nevill
Date: 01/02nd April 1942 (Wednesday/Thursday)
Unit: No. 57 Squadron
Type: Wellington III
Base: RAF Feltwell, Norfolk.
Location: Woods, East of Lorsch, Germany
Pilot: Fl/Sgt. John Oliver Nevill R/80124 RCAF Age 25. Killed (1)
Pilot 2: Sgt. Henry Eric Cruze 1187096 RAFVR Age 22. Killed
Obs: Sgt. Basil Lyne Randall 1182222 RAFVR Age 21. Killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Stanley Jones 630638 RAF Age ? Killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Gerald Grant Giroux R/62704 RCAF Age ? Killed
Air/Gnr: Sgt. Michael O’Brien 1312845 RAFVR Age 23. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Took off from RAF Feltwell, Norfolk at 22:05 hrs to bomb the Hanau-Lorh rail junctions together with 48 other aircraft of 35 Wellingtons and 14 Hampdens.
The Hampdens attacked low at 750 ft between 21.53 and 23:40 hrs losing one by a night fighter. The Wellingtons bombed between 22:46 and 02:15 hrs bombing from between 3.500 - 4500 ft.
They were operating under a full moon and were very vulnerable to the Luftwaffe night fighters who claimed 12 aircraft (confirmed) as shot down.
No night fighter claim has been identified for the loss of Wellington X3607. It is known though that it crashed in woods to the East of Lorsch, Germany One of five lost from the Squadron this night:
X3410 Flown by 28 year old, New Zealander, Sq/Ldr. Guy De Laval Harvie, killed with all 5 other members of his crew. Further information on Guy Harvie can be read on Christ Church, Oxford Website with whom we work with.
X3425 Flown by 26 year old Sgt. Thomas Roper from Cumberland, killed with all 5 other members of his crew.
X3748 Flown by 29 year old, New Zealander, Fl/Sgt. Reginald Eric Knobloch, killed with his observer, 4 others made PoW.
Z1565 Flown by 22 year old, New Zealander, Sgt. William John Paterson, 4 crew killed, 1 taken PoW.
(1) Neville Lake, East of Nejanilini Lake, Manitoba Canada was named after Fl/Sgt. John Oliver Nevill in 1974.
Durnbach War Cemetery - The quality of these photographs shown here can not be fully appreciated when the size is reduced for the web page - scroll to the bottom of the page to see a sample of the detail. (courtesy David Franklin - David has kindly provided us with permission to release high definition copies to relatives)
Fl/Sgt. John Oliver Nevill. Durnbach War Cemetery. Coll. Grave 2.f.10-18. Son of Thomas Nevill, and of Henrietta Maria Nevill (nee Varrelman). Silver Medallist, Manitoba Agricultural College.
Sgt. Henry Eric Cruze. Durnbach War Cemetery. Coll. Grave 2.F.10-18. Son of Henry Thomas Cruze and Olive May Cruze, of Devonport, England.
Sgt. Basil Lyne Randall. Durnbach War Cemetery. Coll. Grave 2.F.10-18. Son of George and Florence Victoria Randall.
Fl/Sgt. Stanley Jones. Durnbach War Cemetery. Coll. Grave 2.F.10-18. N.o.K details currently not available - are you able to assist completion of these and any other information?
Fl/Sgt. Gerald Grant Giroux. Durnbach War Cemetery. Grave 2.F.7. Husband of Mary Elizabeth Giroux.
Sgt. Michael O’Brien. Durnbach War Cemetery. Grave 2.F.8. Son of Johannah Allen, of Mountain Ash, Glamorgan, Wales.
Researched for relatives of the crew. Acknowledgements: Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vol's. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', Les Allison and Harry Hayward - 'They Shall Grow Not Old', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries', Commonwealth War Graves Commission. With additional details from Aircrew Remembered own archives.