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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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97 Squadron crest
20/21.10.1941 No. 97 Squadron Manchester I L7462 OF-Z P/O. Noble

Operation: Bremen

Date: 20/21st October 1941 (Monday/Tuesday)

Unit: No. 97 Squadron

Type: Manchester I

Serial: L7462

Code: OF-Z

Base: RAF Coningsby, Lincolnshire.

Location: North Sea - off the Norfolk coast.

Pilot: P/O. William Gershon Noble 45723 RAF Age 27. Missing - believed killed

Pilot 2: Fl/Sgt. Lester Louis Harrison NZ/402184 RNZAF Age 26. Missing - believed killed

Obs: Sgt. Arthur Francis George Redwood 1185406 RAFVR Age 21. Killed (1)

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Nigel Frederick Hunt 923092 RAFVR Age ? Killed (2)

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Charles Caesar Kolar 929438 RAFVR Age 21. Missing - believed killed

Air/Gnr: F/O. Lionel Abel John Mills DFC. 79190 RAFVR Age 34. Missing - believed killed (3)

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Robert Muirhead Colin Worthington 1056815 RAFVR Age 21. Missing - believed killed


Taking off at 18:30 hrs. from RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire to bomb the railway yards in Bremen. It was reported that they had bombed the target and that they were returning back to the base.

Above: Manchester I, co-pilot Fl/Sgt. Lester Harrison (courtesy Auckland Museum/Weekly News)

At 00:30 hrs. they called to say that they had trouble with the wireless equipment, this was the last message received and they were posted as ‘Missing’.

(1) On the 4th November 1941, RAF Coltishall contacted 97 Squadron to inform them that the body of Sgt. Arthur Hunt had been recovered off the Norfolk coast.

(2) RAF Martlesham Heath also contacted 97 Squadron informing them of the same for Sgt. Nigel Hunt.

(3) F/O. Lionel Mills DFC. escaped from an earlier incident on the 14/15th July 1941 with 7 Squadron on a Stirling N6022 MG-D. (His DFC. awarded on 26th August 1941)

Burial details:

P/O. William Gershon Noble. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 34. Son of Frank and Catherine E. Noble (nee Dickinson) of Darfield, Yorkshire, husband of Marjorie Joyce Noble, of 204 Rotherham Road, Maltby, Yorkshire, England. Born on 17th July 1914 at Darfield, Yorkshire. Enlisted in January 1931 to train as an instrument maker based at Cranwell.

Fl/Sgt. Lester Louis Harrison. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 63. Son of Charles Edgar and Ruby Ellen Harrison, of Scargill, North Canterbury, New Zealand. Born 12th August 1915 at Christchurch, New Zealand. Farmer prior to enlistment in the RNZAF in April 1941. Served with both 83 and 97 Squadrons.

Sgt. Arthur Francis George Redwood. Oxford (Rose Hill) Cemetery. Sec. J.2. Grave 65. Son of Arthur Francis and Mary Redwood, of Oxford, England.

Sgt. Nigel Frederick Hunt. Scottow Cemetery. Grave 262. N.o.K details currently not available - are you able to assist completion of these and any other information?

Sgt. Charles Caesar Kolar. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 46. Son of Charles and Amilee Kolar - no further details - are you able to assist with these?

F/O. Lionel Abel John Mills DFC. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 30. Son of William Thomas Mills and Lucie Mills, of Crouch Hill, Islington, London, England.

Sgt. Robert Muirhead Colin Worthington. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 55. Son of John and Letitia Worthington, of Huyton, Lancashire, England.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to Ian Davenport for detailed information, Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vol's. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries', Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Aircrew Remembered own Archives. Rotherham War Memorials, Auckland Museum. Weekly News.

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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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