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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
17/18.08.1943 No: 115 Squadron Lancaster II DS630 KO-H F/O. Pusey

Operation: Peenemünde Germany

Date: 17/18th August 1943 (Tuesday/Wednesday)

Unit: No. 115 Squadron

Type: Lancaster MkII

Serial: DS630

Code: KO-H

Base: RAF Little Snoring

Location: Baltic Sea 1 nautical mile south east of Gedser, Danmark

Pilot: F/O. Frederick Ronald Charles Pusey 120587 RAFVR Age 23. Missing - believed killed

Fl/Eng: Sgt. Thomas Marshall Leonard 1678529 RAFVR Age 23. Missing - believed killed

Nav: F/O. Cecil Gilbert Bruton J/22495 RCAF Age 23. Missing - believed killed

Air/Bmr: P/O. John Duncan Skelton Cable 139683 RAFVR Age 19. Missing - believed killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Leslie Pinnington Howard 1029361 RAFVR Age 32. Missing - believed killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt Mervin George McKibbon R/129152 RCAF Age 30. Missing - believed killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt John Joseph Corbett 1321331 RAFVR Age 20. Missing - believed killed


Taking off from RAF Little Snoring in Norfolk at 21:38 hrs. on an operation to destroy the secret research centre at Peenemünde where the Germans were developing the V2 rocket.

The raid was a success and delayed production of the V2. DS630 was probably shot down by a German Nightfighter Oblt. Paul Zorner of 3./NJG3 and his wireless operator, Heinrich Wilke, in a Me BF-110 at 01:53 hrs.

(1) Oblt. Paul Anton Guido Zorner, already a night fighter ace at this time (this one his 11th) went on to claim a total of 59 night victories. He survived the war - imprisoned by the Soviets until 1949 he went on to work for Hoechst as their Chief Engineer before retiring in 1981. He died in Hamburg on the 27th January 2014 age 93. (Information courts Kracker Archive on this website.

Burial details:

F/O. Frederick Ronald Charles Pusey. Runnymede Memorial - panel 129. Son of Frederick William and Ethel Henrietta Pusey, of Wotton-under-Edge, Gloucestershire, England.

Sgt. Thomas Marshall Leonard. Runnymede Memorial - panel 156. Son of Thomas Phillips Leonard and Dorothy Leonard, of Prudhoe, Northumberland, England.

F/O. Cecil Gilbert Bruton. Runnymede Memorial - panel 173. Understood to be from Oronos, Ontario, Canada - no further details are you able to assist?

P/O. John Duncan Skelton Cable. Runnymede Memorial - panel 131. Son of Eric Grant Cable and Nellie Margaret Cable, of Radlett, Hertfordshire, England.

Sgt. Leslie Pinnington Howard. Runnymede Memorial - panel 154. Husband of Winifred F. Howard, of Tue Brook, Liverpool, England.

Sgt Mervin George McKibbon. Runnymede Memorial - panel 186. Runnymede Memorial - panel 186. Son of William Edward and Nellie McKibbon, of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Sgt John Joseph Corbett. Runnymede Memorial - panel 146. Son of Florence Ellen Corbett and stepson of Richard Alfred Thurston, of South Lopham, Norfolk, England.

Researched Michel Beckers for Aircrew Remembered - September 2018. Photographs from the Michel Beckers collection. Also thanks to Graham Sturrock who contacted us in January 2019 with pilot photograph. Ralph Snape for correction details.

MB/KTY 23.09.2018

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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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