27/28.08.1942 142 Squadron Wellington IV Z1338 QT:D Fg Off. Alfred H. Paget
Date: 27th/28th August 1942 (Thursday/Friday)
Unit No: 142 Squadron
Type: Wellington IV
Base: RAF Grimsby, Lincolnshire
Location: Engelbertstraße in Köln, Germany
Pilot: Fg Off. Alfred Henry Paget 103051 RAFVR Age 32. KiA
Obs: Plt Off. Franklyn Richard Samuel Pye J8440 RCAF Age 26. KiA
2nd Obs: Sgt. Eric Tupholme 1107786 RAFVR Age 34. KiA
WOp/Air Gnr: Sgt. James Bellinger 1285151 RAFVR Age 34. KiA
Air Gnr: Sgt. Francis Churchill Weighill R87391 RCAF Age 26. PoW No: 26863 * (1)
* Stalag 8b, in 1943 renamed Stalag 344, Lamsdorf (now called Łambinowice) in Silesia, Lamsdorf (now called Łambinowice) in Silesia.
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off from RAF Grimsby, Lincolnshire. at 20:30 hrs to attack Kassel, a German City located on the river Fulda in Germany. 306 aircraft taking part. 21 Wellingtons, 5 Stirlings, 3 Lancasters, 1 Halifax, 1 Hampden. Weather conditions were perfect for flying with a full moon and fine weather over Germany. That of course contributed to the 58 night fighter interceptions taking place, mainly on their return flight. Widespread damage was caused to the city with 144 buildings destroyed, 317 seriously damaged. Casualties on the ground amounted to 43 killed, 187 civilians 64 Germans soldiers injured.
Z1338 was hit by Flak of 7.Flak Division and crashed in Engelbertstraße in Köln at an unknown time. (Nachtjagd Combat Archive (30 May - 31 December 1942) The Early Years Part 3 - Theo Boiten)
The Allied losses were huge. 33 aircraft were lost either during the operation or during landing on return. 153 aircrew were killed, some taken PoW with 1 evading capture.
One of the PoW’s Flt Lt. Antoni Władysław Kiewnarski MiD P0109 PAF from 305 (Ziemia Wielkopolska) Squadron took part in the mass escape from Stalag Luft , recaptured , then murdered by the Gestapo in 1944.
A very black day for the Squadron losing some 5 crews. The others:
Wellington IV Z1266 QT:M, Flown by Sgt. D.L.F. Toombs 1204587 RAFVR - taken PoW No: 26853 Stalag 344, with 3 other crew (1 crew member held at Stalag Luft 6), 1 KiA;
Wellington IV Z1396 QT:B, Flown by Flt Sgt. Alan Harker 754105 RAFVR from Letchworth, Hertfordshire, England - KiA with all 4 other crew.
Wellington IV Z1411 QT-Z, Flown by Plt Off. Charles William Keddy J16681 RCAF from Saskatchewan, Canada - KiAwith all 4 other crew.
Wellington IV Z1424 QT:F, Flown by Plt Off. Melvin Florin Johnson J7901 RCAF from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada - KiA with all 4 other crew.
(1) Sgt. Weighill Son of Eustace Harrison and Georgina Owena (née Brown) Weighill. Husband to Monica Beryl (née Edwards) Weighill. Born on the 17th December 1916 in Davidson, Saskatchewen. Died on the 6th January 1973 in Regina, Saskatchewen
Above: Fg Off. Paget marker (Courtesy of Des Philippet - FindAGrave), Plt Off. Pye initial grave marker from his service record)
Fg Off. Alfred Henry Paget. Rheinberg War Cemetery. Inscription: 'HE GAVE HIS LIFE FOR OTHERS'. Collective grave 4.A.2-5. Son of Henry Alfred and Grace Paget, husband of Ellen Eveline Paget, of Cheam, Surrey, England.
Plt Off. Franklyn Richard Samuel Pye. Rheinberg War Cemetery. Inscription: 'ETERNAL REST GRANT HIM, LORD; AND LET LIGHT PERPETUAL SHINE UPON HIM'. Grave 4.A.1. Born on the on 5th December 1916 in Nova Scotia. Son of Archibald Alexander and Margaret Jane Florence (née Jewers) Pye of Ecum Secum Bridge, Halifax Co., Nova Scotia, Canada.
His brother R88324 LAC Percy George Pye also served in the RCAF.
Above: Sgt. Tupholme and Sgt. Bellinger grave markers (Courtesy of Des Philippet - FindAGrave)
Sgt. Eric Tupholme. Rheinberg War Cemetery. Collective grave 4.A.2-5. Inscription: 'REMEMBERED WIFE AND CHILDREN'. Son of William Edward and Bertha Tupholme, of Sheffield, Husband of Minnie Tupholme, of Sheffield, England.
Sgt. James Bellinger. Rheinberg War Cemetery. Collective grave 4.A.2-5. Inscription: "THY WILL BE DONE". Born 3rd Qtr 1908 in Dorchester, Dorset. Son to George William and Ada Elizabeth (née Anderson) Bellinger of Dorchester, Dorset. Husband of Jeannette Eileen (née Miller) Bellinger (They were married in the 1st Qtr of 1930 in Dorchester), of Stockwell, London.
His step-daughter, ACW2. Hazel Beatrice Miller, aged 18, died on the 27th July 1941. She was serving as a Cook and Butcher with 15 OTU and died in the RAF Hospital Halton from septicaemia.
Aircraftwoman 2nd Class. Hazel Beatrice Miller 440441. Halton (St. Michael) Churchyard, Plot 2. Row C. Grave 113. Inscription: 'BLESSED ARE THE PURE IN HEART: FOR THEY SHALL SEE GOD’. Born in the 4th Qtr of 1922 in Eastbourne. Step-daughter of Sgt. James Bellinger, RAFVR and of Jeanette Eileen (née Miller) Bellinger, of Stockwell, London.
Although there is a claim that the son of Sgt. James Bellinger coincidently, a Sgt. James Bellinger RAFVR, also died in service there are no records of a son born to James Bellinger nor to Jeanette Eileen Miller. Furthermore given his age and when he married Jeannette it is improbable that a son was born to them who could have served in the RAF. It is suspected that the reference to a son by the CWGC with the same name is in error.
Researched by Mr. J.B. Paget - cousin of Fg Off. Alfred Henry Paget for Aircrew Remembered (Jun 2016). Mr. Paget contacted us by post with these details. With thanks to John Jones for further information on Sgt. Bellinger. Reviewed and updated by Aircrew Remembered (Mar 2023).
Other sources listed below: