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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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7 crest
7 Squadron Lancaster III ND736 Sq/Ldr. Ivor Douglas Oliver MiD. DFC

Operation: Cap Gris-Nez

Date: 19/20th May 1944 (Friday/Saturday)

Unit: No. 7 Squadron (motto: er diem, per noctem - 'By day and by night'). 8 Group

Type: Lancaster III

Serial: ND736

Code: MG-G

Base: RAF Oakington, Cambridgeshire

Location: Landrethun-le-Nord

Pilot: Sq/Ldr. Ivor Douglas Oliver MiD. DFC. 84308 RAFVR Age 28. PoW Stalag Luft Sagan and Belaria/Stalag Luft Luckenwalde (1)

Pilot 2: Fl/Lt. Robert Bell Hunt J/21890 RCAF Age 34. Killed

Fl/Eng: Fl/Sgt. Alan Douglas Heath 994607 RAFVR Age 24. Killed

Nav: F/O. Ronald Stuart Roe 144200 RAFVR Age 28. Killed

Air/Bmr: P/O. Alan Field Grant Smart 137311 RAFVR Age 22. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: W/O. Allan Little 927007 RAFVR Age 22. Killed

Air/Gnr: P/O. William Hamish MacDonald NZ/417219 RNZAF Age 21. Killed

Air/Gnr: F/O. Edmund Thornley Lund 158000 RAFVR Age 29. Killed


Taking off at 22:58 hrs, one of 10 aircraft sent to bomb the Radar Station at Cap Gris-Nez Pas-de-Calais in France. 44 aircraft were sent to bomb various locations in France during this night.

ND736 was hit by flak and exploded in mid-air, the wreckage falling at Landrethun-le-Nord, 7km NE of Marquise. Sq/Ldr. Oliver was thrown out as the bomber blew up, surviving, injured, to be taken prisoner. His seven comrades were buried on the 22nd at Marquise, the RCAF 2nd pilot later being reinterred in the Canadian War Cemetery at Calais.

Claim by Flak of 1-4/gem Flak Abt 5901. Crashed Freques at 00:10 hrs.

Above and below images of the crash site ND376 (Courtesy John Jones)

(1) Sq/Ldr. Ivor Douglas Oliver MiD. DFC. Also served with 106 squadron. DFC Gazetted 23rd December 1941. MiD Gazetted 02nd June 1943. Born on the 16th February 1916 - died 07th February 1973, at the young age of 56. Cremated at Chilterns Crematorium.

Burial details:

Fl/Sgt. Alan Douglas Heath. Marquise Communal Cemetery. Plot 1, Row B, Grave 25. Son of Hainsworth and Jane Elizabeth Heath, of Foxholes, Driffield, Yorkshire, England. Epitaph: 'The Trumpets Sounded For Him On The Other Side'.

F/O. Ronald Stuart Roe. Marquise Communal Cemetery. Plot 1, Row B, Joint grave 23. Son of Stanley Henson Roe and Mabel Kate Roe; husband of Edith Elizabeth Roe, of Crewkerne, Somerset, England. Epitaph: 'Always In Our Thoughts'.

Fl/Lt. Robert Bell Hunt. Calais Canadian War Cemetery. Plot 2, Row H, Grave 12. Son of Harry Bell Hunt (died 14th January 1944, age 70) and Harriet Ann Hunt (née Wright - died 18th August 1964, age 83) husband of Alice Mildred Eleanor Hunt (née Thresher, later Gregory - died 29th August 1994, age 81), of Coutts, Alberta, Canada. Initially buried in Marquise Communal Cemetery. Reinterred on the 14th August 1945

P/O. Alan Field Grant Smart. Marquise Communal Cemetery Plot 1, Row B, Grave 24. Son of Peter Grant Smart and Kate Grant Smart; husband of Violet Lilian Grant Smart, of Thorpe Bay, Essex, England. Epitaph: 'In Everloving Memory Of Our Dear Alan. Honoured And Remembered Always'.

W/O. Allan Little. Marquise Communal Cemetery Plot 1, Row B, Grave 22. Son of William Herbert and Alice Maud Little, of Carlisle, England. Epitaph: 'Until The Day Breaks'.

P/O. William Hamish MacDonald. Marquise Communal Cemetery Plot 1, Row B, Grave 23. Born on the 06th September 1922 in Wanganui Educated at Wanganui Collegiate. A farmer on his father's farm at Mangamahu. Enlisted at Levin as Wireless Operator/Air Gunner uunder training on the 27th December 1941, Embarked for Canada on the 02nd March 1942, Air Gunners Badge and promoted to sergeant on the 04th December 1942, Embarked for England on the 29th December 1942. 75 squadron on the 15th June 1943, Awarded commission on the 08th November 1943. Joined 7 squadron on the 24th March 1944. Son of William Alexander MacDonald (died 20th May 1945, age 56) and of Marjorie Leila MacDonald (née Campion), of Wangaehu Valley, Wellington, New Zealand.

F/O. Edmund Thornley Lund. Marquise Communal Cemetery Plot 1, Row B, Grave 26. Awarded commission on the 23rd July 1943. Completed a tour with 61 before going 7 squadron.Son of Charles Edward Lund, and of Ruth Lund, of Nelson, Lancashire, England. Son of Charles Edward Lund, and of Ruth Lund, of Nelson, Lancashire, England. Epitaph: 'Thy Will Be Done'.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to John Jones and to the extensive research by Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3”, New Zealand Cenotaph, Weekly News of New Zealand, Air Museum of New Zealand, Nachtjagd Combat Archives 1944 Part 3 - Theo Boiten, Air-27-101-9/10 National Archives, Museum of Transport and Technology, Auckland.

Other sources as quoted below:

KTY - 29-01-2023

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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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