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
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
REASON FOR LOSS:
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.
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.