29/30.08.1941 No. 103 Squadron Wellington Ic R1213 P/O. Oldfield
Date: 29/30th August 1941 (Friday/Saturday)
Unit: No. 103 Squadron
Type: Wellington Ic
Base: RAF Elsham Wolds, Lincolnshire
Location: Valkenisseweg, Netherlands
Pilot: P/O. William Oldfield 86693 RAFVR PoW No: 3760 Camp: Stalag Luft Sagan and Belaria
Pilot 2: Sgt. Gregory Percival Williams AUS/402428 RAAF Age 23. Killed
Obs: Sgt. Arthur Harry Figg R/60716 RCAF Age 21. Killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Hugh Alphonsus Kelly 971259 RAFVR Age 30. Killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. John Grassom 974494 RAFVR Age 24. Killed
Air/Gnr: Sgt. Harry Dunn 1378581 RAFVR PoW No: 39395 Camp: Stalag Luft Heydekrug
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off at 20:30 hrs from RAF Elsham Wolds in Lincolnshire on an operation to Mannheim - some 94 Wellingtons taking part in an operation undertaken in extremely bad weather conditions. So bad that no Luftwaffe night fighters were sent to intercept.
Bombing was reported as very scattered with poor results, 5 commercial firms reported damage with a slight loss of production. 1 person on the ground was injured.
The aircraft is reported to have been hit by lightning and crashed in the area as shown on the map.
An entry on the North Lincs Website provides more detail to P/O W.R. Oldfield and the crew of 103 Squadron Wellington Ic R1213.
Three aircraft were lost on this operation, the others:
Wellington Ic X9826 Flown by 20 year old, Sgt. John Kemp Murdoch 930728 RAFVR from 115 Squadron. All the crew were to lose their lives when they were attacked by a night intruder over Martlesham Heath in Suffolk. Wellington IC R1604 Flown by 20 year old, Sgt. Edward Wilson Foxlee R/58084 RCAF - all his crew also lost their lives in the same area as R1213 and is thought by the same cause. (The brother of this pilot, 27 year old, P/O. William Royston Foxlee 120920 RAFVR was classed as missing the following year on the 04th September 1942)
Sgt. Gregory Percival Williams. Flushing Northern Cemetery (Flushing) Row B. Grave 9. Born on the 17th June 1918 the son of Thomas James Williams and Daisy Williams, of 15 Wheeler Parade, Dee Why, New South Wales, Australia. Prior to service worked as a shop assistant - enlisted in Sydney on the 19th August 1940.
Sgt. Arthur Harry Figg. Flushing Northern Cemetery (Flushing) Row B. Grave 7. Son of Ernest A. and Ethel Figg, of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, husband of Marie Boyd of 84th Avenue. Edmonton, Canada.
Sgt. Hugh Alphonsus Kelly. Flushing Northern Cemetery (Flushing) Row B. Grave 10. Son of Patrick and Mary Kelly, of Ballymena, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland.
Sgt. John Grassom. Flushing Northern Cemetery (Flushing) Row B. Grave 8. Son of John and Elizabeth Grassom, of Grangemouth, Stirlingshire, Scotland.
For further details our thanks to John Grassom Laird who has researched this loss and supplied the photographs also to the following sources. Thanks to David Fell of the North Lincs website for permission to add a link to the story of P/O W.R. Oldfield and his crew.