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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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115 Squadron Crest
21/22.07.1941 115 Squadron Wellington Ic Z8788 KO-H Sgt. Payne

Operation: Mannheim, Germany

Date: 21/22nd July 1941 (Monday/Tuesday)

Unit: No. 115 Squadron

Type: Wellington IC

Serial: Z8788

Code: KO-H

Base: RAF Marham, Norfolk

Location: Ijzerwegstraat, Snaaskerke Belgium

Pilot: Sgt. Frank Stubbington Payne 906880 RAFVR Age 22. Killed

2nd Pilot: Sgt. Norman Lachlan Johnston R/56091 RCAF Age 22. Killed

Obs: Sgt. Richard Stanley Saunders 924676 RAFVR Age 23. Killed

Air/Bmr: Sgt. Howard Tucker 1252293 RAFVR Age 21. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Hubert Vernon 1165333 RAFVR Age 19. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Bernard William O'Hara 1186872 RAFVR Age ? Killed


The aircraft took off from RAF Marham at 22:39 hrs on 21st July 1941 on operation to Mannheim. Some 36 Wellingtons and 8 Halifaxes taking part. Reports from the city state that only 4 high explosive and 17 incendiary bombs fell, causing little damage.

Wellington Z8788 was the only aircraft that failed to return, shot down by Flak Battery 252 which was positioned at the Alfa Hotel at Mariakerke (photo above).

Burial details:

Sgt. Frank Stubbington Payne. Coxyde Military Cemetery Belgium. Coll. grave I.A.21-26. (He was recommended for a DFM which was not awarded) Son of Albert and Marguerite Payne of Shanklin, Isle of Wight.

Sgt. Norman Lachlan Johnston. Coxyde Military Cemetery Belgium. Coll. grave I.A.21-26. Son of David Ward Johnston and Agnes Milligan Johnston, of Westmount, Province of Quebec, Canada. (shown above)

Sgt. Richard Stanley Saunders. Coxyde Military Cemetery Belgium. Coll. grave I.A.21-26. Son of Frederick Joseph and Ellen Eliza Saunders, of Horsham, Sussex, England.

Sgt. Howard Tucker. Coxyde Military Cemetery Belgium. Coll. grave I.A.21-26. Son of John Rees Tucker and Edith Tucker, of Risca, Monmouthshire, Wales.

Sgt. Hubert Vernon. Coxyde Military Cemetery Belgium. Coll. grave I.A.21-26. Son of Sydney and Emily Vernon, of Bulwell, Nottinghamshire, England.

Sgt. Bernard William O'Hara. Coxyde Military Cemetery Belgium. Coll. grave I.A.21-26. No further details - are you able to provide any information?

Researcher - Michel Beckers for Aircrew Remembered, March 2017. With thanks to Peter Simoens for portrait of Johnson, the remainder from the Michel Beckers collection.

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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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