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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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51 Squadron Crest
16/17.01.1945 No. 51 Squadron Halifax III LW461 MH-Y F/O. Ernest M. Popplewell

Operation: Magdeburg

Date: 16/17th January 1945 (Tuesday/Wednesday)

Unit: No. No: 51 Squadron

Type: Halifax III

Serial: LW461

Code: MH-Y

Base: RAF Snaith, Yorkshire

Location: Dalum near Meppen, Germany

Pilot: F/O. Ernest Malcolm Popplewell 151802 RAFVR Age 24. Killed

Fl/Eng: Fl/Sgt. John Joffre Atkinson 1591782 RAFVR Age 19. Killed

Nav: Fl/Sgt. David Lewis Johns 1423534 RAFVR Age ? Killed

Air/Bmr: P/O. Andre Jean Julius Hisette J/95273 RCAF Age 22. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Arthur Alfred Muddiman 752418 RAFVR Age ? Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. R.A Boydell 2211805 RAFVR PoW (1)

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Leslie Annis 1676376 RAFVR Age 21. Killed


Left RAF Snaith at 18:48 hrs to bomb the city go Magdeburg with 370 other aircraft from 4, 6 and 8th groups. The allies claimed the operation a success with over 44% of the built up area destroyed.

Halifax LW461 was ‘probably’ shot down on its return leg by Fw. Hans Sieben of 3./NJG1. The aircraft crashing at Dalum at 22:50 hrs.

(1) Sgt. Boydell understood to have been injured, first taken to Oberursel near Franfurt and was still in hospital on liberation. No further information available.
(2) This was the second and final abschüsse for Fw. Hans Sieben, he survived the war, no further details available.

Burial details:

F/O. Ernest Malcolm Popplewell. Becklingen War Cemetery. Collective grave 13.D.9-14. Son of George Ernest and Jane Anne Popplewell, husband of Margaret Lund Popplewell of Elvington, Yorkshire, England.

Fl/Sgt. John Joffre Atkinson. Becklingen War Cemetery. Collective grave 13.D.9-14. Son of William and Mary Atkinson of Bridlington, husband of Dorothy N. Atkinson of Bridlington, Yorkshire, En

Fl/Sgt. David Lewis Johns. Becklingen War Cemetery. Collective grave 13.D.9-14. No further details as yet are you able to assist?

P/O. Andre Jean Julius Hisettel. Becklingen War Cemetery. Collective grave 13.D.9-14. Son of Georges and Germaine Hisette, husband of Edna May Hisette of Cornwallis, Nova Scotia, Canada, P/O. Hisette held a Bachelor of Arts degree.

Fl/Sgt. Arthur Alfred Muddimanl. Becklingen War Cemetery. Collective grave 13.D.9-14. Arthur Muddimans service number indicates that he had been accepted for pilot training with the pre-war Royal Air Force (Volunteer Reserve), though as will be realised, he was to subsequently qualify as a wireless operator

Sgt. Leslie Annis. Becklingen War Cemetery. Collective grave 13.D.9-14. Born on the 04th April 1925 the son of Henry and Elsie Annis, brother of Peter, Elsie, Joan, Noreen and Betty Annis of 90 Granville Street, Grimsby England. Worked at Grimsby Post Office where he is remembered on a plaque dedicated to all who worked there and lost their lives during the war.

Researched by Aircrew Remembered volunteer, researcher and specialist genealogist Linda Ibrom for relatives of this crew. With thanks to Martin Cuthbert and the Annis family for photographs and information. Also to Gareth Hansen for sending the photo of the pilot and his wife - January 2018. Also to the York Evening Press.

KTY - 02.01.2018 New photo added

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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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