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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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103 Squadron Crest
28/29.04.1943 No. 103 Squadron Lancaster III ED733 PM-X Sgt. Nicholson

Operation: Gardening (see here)

Date: 28/29th April 1943 (Wednesday/Thursday)

Unit: No. 103 Squadron

Type: Lancaster III

Serial: ED733

Code: PM-X

Base: RAF Elsham Wolds, Lincolnshire

Location: North Jordrup, Denmark

Pilot: Sgt. Arthur Dennis Nicholson 1098136 RAFVR Age 21. Killed

Fl/Eng: Sgt. George L.K. McCallum 574552 RAF Age 20. Killed

Nav: F/O. Leonard Meakin 128666 RAFVR Age 27. Killed

Air/Bmr: Sgt. James Charles Lilley 1391041 RAFVR Age ? Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Thomas James Daley 1129286 RAFVR Age 21. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Maurice Dawbry Peters 1323630 RAFVR Age 29. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Abraham Segal 1810747 RAFVR Age 19. Killed


Took off at 20.57 hrs. from RAF Elsham Wolds in Lincolnshire with 4 others from the Squadron. Part of a huge 207 aircraft force on a "Gardening - Tangerines” (Mine laying) operation.

A total of 593 mines were laid off Heligoland, in the river Elbe and in the Great and Little Belts. Low cloud base forced the aircraft to fly very low over the German and Danish coasts.

Because of this they took very heavy flak and also attacks from Luftwaffe night fighters.

Although this was the largest mine laying operation in one night of the whole war it came at a price. A total of 22 aircraft were lost - 9 aircraft were lost by the night fighters and the remainder from the flak.

Flying westwards ED733 was attacked by Oblt. Paul Szameitat (1) of 5./NJG3 at 3,500 mtrs. The aircraft is understood to have crashed at 02:20 hrs north of Jordrup in Denmark. This was the only loss from 103 Squadron

Left: As described (courtesy of the Kracker Archives)

(1) This was the 10th claim for the ace Oblt. Paul Szameitat. He went on to make a total of 29 kills before he lost his life on the 1/2nd January 1944 at Obernkirchen near Bückeburg during an air combat.

Burial details:

Sgt. Arthur Dennis Nicholson. Esbjerg Cemetery (Fourfelt). Grave A.10.4. Son of James Bertram and Mary Florence Nicholson, of Ryton, County Durham, England. His grave inscription reads: “On his soul sweet Jesus, have mercy R.I.P”.

Sgt. George L.K. McCallum. Esbjerg Cemetery (Fourfelt). Grave A.10.5. Son of Dugald and Isabella McCallum, of North Queensferry, Fife, Scotland. His grave inscription reads: “George Mccallum Per Ardua Ad Astra. In Grateful Memory Of The Raf From Railwaymen In Esbjerg”.

F/O. Leonard Meakin. Esbjerg Cemetery (Fourfelt). Grave A.10.6. Son of John and Catherine Meakin, of Gayton, Cheshire, England. His grave inscription reads: “Leonard, Dear Son Of J. And K. Meakin, Heswall, Cheshire, England”.

Sgt. James Charles Lilley. Esbjerg Cemetery (Fourfelt). Grave A.10.8. No further details, are you able to assist?

Sgt. Thomas James Daley. Esbjerg Cemetery (Fourfelt). Grave A.10.7. Son of Thomas and Martha Daley, of Silloth, Cumberland, England. His grave inscription reads: “Beautiful Memories Silently Kept Of One We Loved And Will Never Forget”.

(Sgt. Daley shown right. Courtesy Dawn Nugent)

Sgt. Maurice Dawbry Peters. Esbjerg Cemetery (Fourfelt). Grave A.9.1. Son of Charles Pooley Peters and Elizabeth Jane Peters and husband of D. J. Peters, of Paignton, Devon, England. His grave inscription reads: "At Rest".

Sgt. Abraham Segal. Esbjerg Cemetery (Fourfelt). Grave A.11.2. Son of Lazarus and Fanny Segal, of Southgate, Middlesex, England. His grave inscription reads: “In Proud Memory Of A Beloved Son And Brother Loved By All Mum, Dad, Brothers And Sisters”. The Hebrew letters on his grave T N Ts B H: ‘That His Soul Rest In Eternal Life’ - used on many Jewish tombs.

Researched for Dawn Nugent - relative of Sgt. Thomas Daley and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to sources as shown below. March 2018 - page sponsored by Jim Camwell and family in memory of the pilot and his crew.

KTY - 03.08.2017

KTY - New photo added - 02.12.2020

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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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