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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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218 Squadron Crest
01/02.10.1942 No. 218 Squadron Stirling I W7613 HA-N W/Cdr. Montagu F.B. Read

Operation: Lübeck Germany

Date: 1/2nd October 1942 (Thursday/Friday)

Unit: No. 218 Squadron

Type: Short Stirling MkI

Serial: W7613

Code: HA-N

Base: RAF Downham Market

Location: Juvre Dyb at Rømø Denmark

Pilot: W/Cmdr. Montagu Francis Baldwin Read 33076 RAFVR Age 30. Killed

2nd Pilot: Fl/Lt. Johannes Christiaan Frederick Du Toit 110826 RAFVR Age 26. Killed

Fl/Eng: Sgt. John William Dawson 941538 RAFVR Age 29. Missing - believed killed

Nav: Sgt. John Randal Drake 115207 RAFVR Age 33. Missing - believed killed

Air/Bmr: Sgt. Kenneth John Cooper 1261844 RAFVR Age 20. Missing - believed killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. James Speed 1293315 RAFVR Age 20. Missing - believed killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Alan Irwin Parkinson NZ/411774 RNZAF Age 22. Killed

Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Joseph Donat Romeo Menard R/54985 RCAF Age 20. Missing - believed killed


25 Stirlings from 3 group taking part in this operation. W7613 taking off from RAF Downham Market at 19:48 hrs.

The crew were shot down at 01:04hrs by Maj Gunther Radusch of Stab II./NJG3, it was Radusch 13th victory. There were no survivors from the crew and only the bodies of the pilot, W/Cdr. Read, 2nd pilot Fl/Lt. Du Toit and air gunner Sgt. Parkinson were recovered. The bodies of Fl/Lt. Du Toit and W/Cdr. Read were found on the beach at Hviding on October 20th while Sgt. Parkinson’s was discovered on the beach at Vejers on October 30th.

Sadly until only recently Wing Commander Reads brief command went unrecognised in the vast majority of Bomber Command related books.

218 Squadron lost another crew on this operation:

Stirling I N3763 HA-Q Flown by Sgt. Maldywyn Griffiths 1379390 RAFVR - killed with all 6 other crew. Initially buried at Vorwerk north of Lübeck, after the war bodies moved to the Hamburg Cemetery.

Burial details:

W/Cmdr. Montagu Francis Baldwin Read. Esbjerg Cemetery. Denmark. Grave AIII. 9. Son of George Baldwin Read and Gwendoline Read, of Hull, Province of Quebec, Canada, husband of Nodja Ruby Read.

Fl/Lt. Johannes Christiaan Frederick Du Toit. Esbjerg Cemetery. Denmark. Grave AIII. 9. Son of Paul Willem Du Toit, and of Helena Du Toit, of Benoni, Transvaal, South Africa.

Sgt. John William Dawson. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 81. Son of John and Margaret Ann Dawson, of Keighley, husband of Hilda Dawson, of Keighley Yorkshire, England.

Right: Runnymede Memorial panels.

Sgt. John Randal Drake. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 66. Son of John Bernard Drake and Beatrice Louisa Drake, husband of Sonia Drake, of Victoria, London, England.

Sgt. Kenneth John Cooper. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 80. Son of George Ralph and Rose Grace Cooper, of Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire, England.

Sgt. James Speed. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 94. Son of Thomas William and Minnie Speed, of Seven Kings, Essex, England.

Sgt. Alan Irwin Parkinson. Esbjerg Cemetery. Denmark. Grave AIII.8.3. Son of Alan Ross Parkinson and Irene Althea Parkinson, of St. Albans, Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand. His 18th operation with a total of 226 hours noted in his log book.

Fl/Sgt. Joseph Donat Romeo Menard. Malta Memorial. Panel 5, Column 2. From Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Not further details, are you able to assist. No reason has been established why he is entered on the Malta Memorial rather than Runnymede? Are you able to assist in this?

Researched by Michel Beckers for Aircrew Remembered, December 2015. With thanks to Du Toit and Parkinson, Steve Smith No. 218 (Gold Coast) Association Historian, Billy Darby, Helmut Scheufen.

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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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