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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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57 Squadron Crest
14/15.03.1945 No 57 Squadron Lancaster I NG398 DX-N F/O. Claude D. Pauline

Operation: Lutzkendorf

Date: 14/15th March 1945 (Wednesday/Thursday)

Unit: 57 Squadron

Type: Lancaster I

Serial: NG398

Code: DX-N

Base: RAF East Kirkby

Location: Ettlingen 4 miles South East of Karlsrhue, Germany

Pilot: F/O. Claude Desmond Pauline AUS/423007 RAAF Age 26. Killed

Fl/Eng: Sgt. John Davies 2211499 RAFVR Age 19. Killed

Nav: Fl/Sgt. Clifford Frederick John Hole 1322482 RAFVR Age 20. Killed

Air/Bmr: Fl/Sgt. Gordon Cartwright 1489925 RAFVR Age ? Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Raphael Michael Cocozza 1890967 RAFVR Age ? Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Charles Quinn Rafferty 2219105 RAFVR Age 21. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. James Frederick Shearon 1897280 RAFVR Age 21. Killed


Taking off at 17:00 hrs from RAF East Kirkby in Lincolnshire to bomb the synthetic oil plant at Wintershall (2). 244 Lancasters with 11 Mosquitoes from 5 Group taking part in what has been described as a “moderately successful operation, although some 18 Lancasters were lost.

The bomber stream approached the target from the south west with the Luftwaffe night fighters hunting the stream - 7 Lancasters and Fortress were shot down.

During the homeward bound trip they attacked again, shooting down a further 6 aircraft with Lancaster NG398 being claimed as a ‘probable’ by Hptm. Gerhard Friedrich (1) of Stab I./NJG6 at 23:24 hrs. (Others being claimed by the fierce anti-aircraft batteries)

(1) This was Hptm. Gerhard Friedrich’s 29th claim of the war. He went on to claim a total of 30 kills before he was himself killed on the 16/17th March 1945 near Stuttgart after a collision with a 576 Squadron Lancaster PB785 UL-L2. See Kracker Archive on this site.

The pilot of that aircraft Fl/Lt. Frank Dotten J/12642 RCAF and all 7 crew were also killed. (6 Canadians and 1 British)

(2) 2016: Wintershall Holding GmbH is Germany's largest crude oil and natural gas producer. The company is based in Kassel, Germany. Wintershall is a wholly owned subsidiary of BASF, based in Ludwigshafen.

The name Wintershall is derived from the surname of the enterprise co-founder Carl Julius Winter and the Old High German word for salt (hall) together. The company made a profit of 2.4 billion euros in 2011. In 2012, the company had 2164 employees worldwide. The Chairman of the board of Executive Directors is Mario Mehren.

Burial details:

F/O. Claude Desmond Pauline. Durnbach War Cemetery. Grave 9.H.11. Born on 11th August 1918 in Paddington, New South Wales Australia, the son of George William and Esther Hannah Pauline, of North Bondi, New South Wales, Australia.

Sgt. John Davies. Durnbach War Cemetery. Grave 9.H.12. Son of John and Beatrice Davies, of Monsall, Manchester, England.

Fl/Sgt. Clifford Frederick John Hole. Durnbach War Cemetery. Collective grave 9.H.13-15. Son of Christopher Peter Fred and Edith Ellen Hole, of Sutton, Surrey, England.

Fl/Sgt. Gordon Cartwright. Durnbach War Cemetery. Collective grave 9.H.13-15. No further details - are you able to assist?

Fl/Sgt. Raphael Michael Cocozza. Durnbach War Cemetery. Collective grave 9.H.13-15. No further details - are you able to assist?

Sgt. Charles Quinn Rafferty. Durnbach War Cemetery. Collective grave 9.H.13-15. Son of James and Catherine Rafferty, of Willington, Northumberland, England.

(Left: Courtesy: Andy Plant) Sgt. James Frederick Shearon. Durnbach War Cemetery. Collective grave 9.H.13-15. Son of James Shearon, and of Catherine Shearon, of Leadgate, Co. Durham, England. Note: some publications have his name spelt Shearron and Sheardon.

Researched for Lucia Gartland, niece of Sgt. James Sharon. Page dedicated to all the relatives of the crew. Sources as quoted below. We recommend reading Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vol 2', where a full description by one of the Luftwaffe pilots who took part, is described. With thanks to our David Franklin for Cemetery photograph.

RS 18.10.2019 - Addition of image for Sgt. Shearon

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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', 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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