14/15.04.1943 No. 214 Squadron Stirling I EF331 BU-H P/O. Leslie Powell
Date: 14/15th April 1943 (Wednesday/Thursday)
Unit: No. 214 Squadron
Type: Stirling I
Base: RAF Chedburgh, Suffolk
Location: Sept-Saulx, Marne, France
Pilot: P/O. Leslie Powell 144037 RAFVR Age 22. Killed
Fl/Eng: Sgt. Thomas Shepherd 573650 RAF Age 21. Killed
Nav: F/O. Edward Henry Scott 127266 RAFVR Age 30. Killed
Air/Bmr: Sgt. Robert Ernest Dutton 1338700 RAFVR Age 27. Killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Harold Charles Dent 1384029 RAFVR Age 26. Killed
Air/Gnr: Sgt. John William Williams 1094029 RAFVR Age 31. Killed
Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Eric Harold Ingram R/119142 RCAF Age 23. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off from RAF Chedburgh in Suffolk at 21:26 to join 462 aircraft - 146 Wellington, 135 Halifaxes, 98 Lancasters, 83 Stirlings to attack Stuttgart again. Not classed as a huge success as the pathfinders although claiming to have placed the markers accurately the main bombing force hit the north east of the target.
Only a few bombs hit the centre of Stuttgart. The old church Gedachtnis was destroyed and a 1 bomb had a direct hit on an air raid shelter packed with French and Russian prisoners of war. 257 Frenchman and 143 Russians were killed. This tragedy brought the total death toll to 619, a new record for raids to Germany.
23 aircraft were lost on this raid.
Stirling was attacked and shot down at 01:59 hrs by Oblt. Kurt Fladrich (1) of 9./NJG4 his 4th claim in the war.
(1) Kurt Fladrich survived the war as an ace. Passed away on the 21st January 1995.
Above: Graves of the crew, the only Commonwealth war graves in the churchyard - well looked after by the local inhabitants.
Left: Sgt. Thomas Shepherd (courtesy Adrienne Elgie)
P/O. Leslie Powell. Sept-Saulx Churchyard. Grave 1. Son of Mark Henry and Gertrude Powell, of Tredegar, Monmouthshire, Wales. Grave inscription reads: “We Often Think Of Days Gone By Leslie When We Were Together Dad, Mam And Betty.”
Sgt. Thomas Shepherd. Sept-Saulx Churchyard. Grave 5. Son of William and Mary Shepherd, of Harraby, Carlisle, England. Grave inscription reads: “We Love Him So But God Who Knows Best Held Out His Arms And Said Come Into Me And Rest.”
F/O. Edward Henry Scott. Sept-Saulx Churchyard. Grave 4. Son of Edward Henry and Edith Scott, husband of Edith Scott (neé Jenkins), of Finsbury Park, Middlesex, England. Grave inscription reads: “In Proud Memory Of A Dear Husband And Son Who Gave His Life That Others Might Live.”
Sgt. Robert Ernest Dutton. Sept-Saulx Churchyard. Grave 2. Son of Ernest Samuel and Sarah Louise Dutton, of Acton, Middlesex, England. Grave inscription reads: “To The World He Was But Me To Those Who Loved Him He Was The Whole World.”
Sgt. Harold Charles Dent. Sept-Saulx Churchyard. Grave 3. Son of Harold Martin Dent and of Francisca Violeta Dent (neé Saenz). of Guatemala City, Central America. Grave inscription reads: “He Left All Dear To Him To Defend Liberty But Lives On In Everlasting Life.”
Sgt. John William Williams. Sept-Saulx Churchyard. Grave 6. Son of Louis Henry and Arabella Williams, husband of Gertrude Jane Williams, of Marchamley, Shropshire, England. Grave inscription reads: “He Gave His All His Unfinished Life.”
Fl/Sgt. Eric Harold Ingram. Sept-Saulx Churchyard. Grave 7. Son of Ernest and Nora J. Ingram, of Campbellford, Ontario, Canada. Grave inscription reads: “While You Dear Eric Rest And Sleep Your Memory We'll Keep.”
Right: Fl/Sgt. Eric Harold Ingram (courtesy Lorraine Wager neé Ingram)
With thanks to Adrienne Elgie for bringing this loss to our attention. Adrienne is the niece of Sgt. Thomas Shepherd. Also to Lorraine Wager who sent in the photo of her relative in November 2015. For further details our thanks to the sources shown below.