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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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207 Squadron Crest
15.08.1944 No. 207 Squadron Lancaster I LM263 EM-N Fl/Lt. Overgaauw

Operation: Deelen Airfield Holland

Date: 15th August 1944 (Tuesday)

Unit: No. 207 Squadron

Type: Lancaster MkI

Serial: LM263

Code: EM-N

Base: RAF Spilsby, Lincolnshire

Location: 3KM SW of Deelen airfield Holland

Pilot: Fl/Lt. Geert Adrainus Cornelis Overgaauw 102525 RAFVR Age 26. Killed

Fl/Eng: Sgt. Percy Arthur Wildsmith 936016 RAFVR Age 25. Killed

Nav: Fl/Sgt. Anthony Leonard Brett 183918 RAFVR Age 19. Killed

Air/Bmr: F/O. William Auld Swinton J/25057 RCAF Age 22. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Huntley David Shaw Mann Jack Mackay 56034 RAFVR Age 24. Killed

Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Alick Watt J/89063 RCAF Age 23. Killed (1)

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Ronald Lee Coaker 1890818 RAFVR Age 19. Killed


Taking off at 09:59 from RAF Spilsby in Lincolnshire.

1,004 aircraft, 599 Lancasters, 385 Halifaxes, 19 Mosquitoes and a single Lightning ordered to attack 9 Luftwaffe airfields in Holland and Belgium. Visibility for this daylight operation were perfect and all the operations were classed as successful.

3 Lancasters were lost all understood to be victims of the fierce ant-aircraft fire from various flak units.

At dawn this day the allies started the rapid invasion in Southern France with troops at Normandy also breaking out. Germany was on the eve of defeat, although it was to be a further 10 months before Germany surrendered. 1000's of servicemen and civilians - from both sides were still to lose their lives during that period.

(1)Watt Lake, Saskatchewan renamed after Fl/Sgt. Alick Watt.

Burial details:

Fl/Lt. Geert Adrainus Cornelis Overgaauw. Arnhem Moscowa General Cemetery. Grave 37. Son of Mr. and Mrs. A. C. Overgaauw, of Amsterdam, Holland.

Sgt. Percy Arthur Wildsmith. Arnhem Moscowa General Cemetery. Grave 35. Son of Albert C. and Florence H. Wildsmith, of Derby, England and husband of Esmie Wildsmith. Grave inscription reads: "We Are Always Together In Memory Lane "Until We Meet Again".

Fl/Sgt. Anthony Leonard Brett. Arnhem Moscowa General Cemetery. Grave 34. Son of William Henry Brett, and of Alcy M. Brett, of West Runton, Norfolk, England. Grave inscription reads: "In Proud And Precious Memory Of My Only Son Anthony. I Remember You Always".

F/O. William Auld Swinton. Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery. Plot XV.C.7. Son of William and Mary Swinton, of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Grave inscription reads: "Lest We Forget".

Fl/Sgt. Huntley David Shaw Mann Jack Mackay. Arnhem Moscowa General Cemetery. Grave 38. Son of Huntley Jack Mackay, and of Sarah Jack Mackay, of Avoch, Ross and Cromarty, Scotland. Awarded Dux Gold Medal, Avoch Junior Secondary School. Grave inscription reads: "I Go To Prepare A Place For You".

Fl/Sgt. Alick Watt. Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery. Plot XV.C.10. The son of John and Helen (née Russell) Watt originally from Scotland but at this time living at Atwater, Saskatchewan, Canada.

Sgt. Ronald Lee Coaker. Arnhem Moscowa General Cemetery. Grave 33. Son of Donald Lee Coaker and A. Coaker; grandson of Mrs. F. Longley, of Canterbury, England Grave inscription reads: "For Peace And Freedom You Died. God Grant For Us That It Be Not Denied".

Researched by Michel Beckers for Aircrew Remembered June 2018. With thanks to J Verhagen-Wouter van Dijken, Des Philppet and Jaap van der Woude for grave photographs, remainder from the collection of Michel Beckers.

MB - 13.06.2018

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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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