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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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78 crest
78 Squadron Halifax II JB845 Fl/Lt. Thomas Herbert Ottewill Richardson

Operation: Essen

Date: 03/04th April 1943 (Saturday/Sunday)

Unit: No. 78 Squadron. 4 Group. (motto: Nemo Non Paratus - 'nobody unprepared')

Type: Halifax II

Serial: JB845

Code: EY-M

Base: RAF Linton-on-Ouse

Location: Colusdijk, Nederweert (near Limburg)

Pilot: Fl/Lt. Thomas Herbert Ottewill Richardson 88657 RAFVR Age 28. Killed (1)

Fl/Eng: Sgt. Robert Osbourne Mitchell Dunlop R/70006 RCAF Age 28. Killed

Nav: F/O. Charles Robert Cecil Aust Allberry 127293 RAFVR Age 31. Killed

Air/Bmr: Sgt. Reginald John Kernick 1338395 RAFVR Age 20. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: F/O. Lancelot Rodney Cayley Shadwell 49298 RAF Age 33. Killrf

Air/Gnr: Sgt. John McCormick 639959 RAF Age ? Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Thomas Henry Webb 1382258 RAFVR Age 22. Killed


12 aircraft were detailed to carry out this operation, with JB845 taking off at 20:00 hrs

Nine aircraft bombed the target successfully but the failed to return.

Shot down by night fighter pilot Oblt. Eckart-Wilhelm von Bonin of the 6./NJG 1, flying Bf 110 G-4 G9+CP from St Trond airfield, Belgium.

The other two aircraft missing:

Halifax II W7937 Flown by P/O. 21 year old, Thomas Noble Forster 125685 RAFVR from Co. Longford, Republic of Ireland.Six crew PoW, one missing. Shot down bynight fighter ace, Hptm. Hans-Dieter Frank of 2./NJG1 at 22:25 hrs south west of Den Haag, Holland .

Halifax II DT780 Flown by 20 year old, P/O. George Rich 141465 RAFVR from Glasgow. Six crew taken PoW, two crew killed. Hit by 1-4./schw. Flak Abt. 471 and 1. and 3./schw. Flak Abt. 382, crashed at Hervest near Dorsten at 23.32 hrs.

Above: Eckart-Wilhelm von Bonin and Hans-Dieter Frank (Courtesy Kracker Archive)

The remaining nine aircraft returned safely by 02:00 hrs.

Above: Halifax II JB845 (Courtesy Luchtoorlog 1939-1945)

(1) Thomas Herbert Ottewill Richardson. Having studied at Edinburgh Academy, Tommy later lived in St. Albans and began to develop a keen interest in aviation much like his father, who had also been a keen amateur aviator. He received his first pilots Certificate of Competency on the12th March 1927 in London, and when not flying, he also enjoyed building and improving aeroplane engines. To that end he submitted various letters patent for a new, more efficient design of a carburettor in July 1927. His progress as an aviator was not all plain sailing, however, and on the 03rd June 1928 his Avro 548 (G-EAAL) hit a tree after an engine failure on take-off, although Tommy escaped unhurt.

Above: Avro 548 (Courtesy Their Flying Machines)

His medals sold at auction for £850.00 (Courtesy Morton and Eden Auctioneers)

Despite these challenges he continued undeterred, and some years later he took part in the Kings Cup of 1936. A contemporary report noted that Tommy Richardson: owned an Avro and is a consistent and capable amateur with no previous record of indulgence in racing or spectacular flying of any sort. Succumbed to competitive urge early1936]and bought a Comper Swift previously His Majesty's (Edward VIII) when Prince of Wales.

He was invited to take part in the Kings Cup race of 1939, but soon after he enlisted for service with the RAFVR upon the outbreak of hostilities in WW2. Commissioned as a Pilot Officer (on probation) on the 14th December 1940, he was promoted to Flying Officer on the 29th November 1941, and to Flight Lieutenant on the 29th November 1942.

Burial details:

Fl/Lt. Thomas Herbert Ottewill Richardson. Eindhoven General Cemetery (Woensel). Plot JJB. Grave 50. Born on the 02 January 1906 in Felixstowe, Suffolk, England. Son of Commissioner John Walter (of Swatow, China - died on the 29th September 1951) and Jessie Augusta Richardson (née Ottewill), of Barton-on-Sea, Hampshire. Epitaph: 'Tommy. Beloved By Us All At Becton House, Barton On Sea, Hampshire'. His sister Joan Porter Bayley (née Richardson, died 2002 - married to Captain Clive Cyril Anthony Bayley GC - see citation below) wrote a poem on his loss. Reproduced in our poetry section.

Sgt. Robert Osbourne Mitchell Dunlop. Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery. Graver XVI.F.6. Also remembered on family grave at Woodland Cemetery, Hamilton, Canada. Born on the 28th December 1914 in Scotland. Worked as a diesel engineer for International Harvester in Hamilton. Enlisted on the 05th August 1940. Son of James (died 1953, age 76) and Mary Dunlop (née Mitchell died 1955, age 69), of 230 Balmoral Avenue, Hamilton, Ontario. Epitaph: 'Sleep On, Beloved, And Take Thy Rest, They Miss Thee Most Who Loved Thee Best'.

F/O. Charles Robert Cecil Aust Allberry. Eindhoven General Cemetery (Woensel). Plot JJB. Grave 51. Born on the 09 November 1911 in Forest Hill, London. Son of William Harry and Hilda Allberry; husband of Patricia Katherine Grace Allberry, of South Wootton, Norfolk. M.A. (Cantab.): Fellow of Christ's College. Epitaph: 'Eternal Rest Give Unto Him, O Lord; And Let Perpetual Light Shine Upon Him'.

Sgt. Reginald John Kernick Eindhoven General Cemetery (Woensel). Plot JJB. Grave 57. Born in 1923 at St. Austell, Cornwall. Son o.f Frederick John and Amy J. Kernick, of St. Austell, Cornwall, England. Epitaph: 'Though I Fall, Yet Shall I Arise'.

F/O. Lancelot Rodney Cayley Shadwell. Eindhoven General Cemetery (Woensel). Plot JJB. Grave 49. Born in April 1912 in Broadstairs, Kent. Son of Lancelot Cayley Shadwell, and Dorothy Shadwell, of Kingston Deverill, Wiltshire. Epitaph: 'He Sleeps, Wings Folded, Where He Fell To Wake Once More Who Wrought So Well'.

Sgt. John McCormick. Eindhoven General Cemetery (Woensel). Plot JJB. Grave 54. Friend of Cpl. B.I Roberts WAAF, 609 Service Echelibm, RAF Manston, Ramsgare, Kent, England. No further information available, are you able to assist?

Sgt. Thomas Henry Webb. Eindhoven General Cemetery (Woensel). Plot JJB. Grave 52. Born 1921 in Dagenham, London. Son of Thomas Henry and Emma Webb, of Dagenham, Essex. Epitaph: 'In This Strange Soil An English Airman Lies, A Hero In The Battle Of The Skies'.

Above: Memorial to the crew (Courtesy Luchtoorlog 1939-1945)

His medal along with other photographs sold at auction for £11,0000 (Courtesy Morton and Eden Auctioneers)

Commissioner John Walter Richardson, born on the 6th April 1867 at Swatow, China: Chinese Imperial Maritime Customs Service. The son of a British merchant based in Swatow, China, after his graduation from Oxford he joined the Chinese Maritime Customs Service on the 01st September 1888 at Tientsin as a 4th Assistant. He was serving as Chief Accountant at the time of the Boxer Uprising in 1900, during which time he volunteered to defend the Foreign Legations Quarter at Peking and was wounded in action - having received a bullet to the neck. He continued to serve as a Customs Officer (latterly serving as Commissioner at Kiachow) until he was finally invalided on the 31st January 1925, having been awarded the Order of the Golden Grain, 3rd and 2nd classes, during the course of his career, comprising: China 1900, single clasp, Defence of Legations (J. W. Richardson. Chinese Customs)

Returning to England in later life, he died on th 29th September 1951 at Becton House, Barton-on-Sea, Hampshire. Jack Richardson was father of Flight Lieutenant Thomas Richardson, and the father-in-law of Captain Clive Bayley, G.C.

His medal along with other photographs sold at auction for £19,000 (Courtesy Morton and Eden Auctioneers)

Clive Cyril Anthony Bayley G.C - Citation - London Gazette of 24 July 1931:

'On the night of the 18/19th April, a party of insurgents attacked the armoury at Chittagong, Bengal, and subsequently fled into the hills. During the afternoon of the 22nd April, 1930, information was received as to their whereabouts and a troop of the Surma Valley Light Horse and about 20 Eastern Frontier Rifles were despatched at once to the village of Jijiriabahtali in motor cars. After this force had moved into the jungle for about three quarters of a mile, the insurgents were found to be occupying a wooded hill. Trooper Bayley was in one of the two sections which were sent up on the left flank. Being the extreme left hand man himself, he worked round under heavy fire through the thick jungle to within about 30 yards of the insurgents’ position, and succeeded in killing three of them, including one of their leaders, besides wounding several others. Bayley himself was not actually hit though his helmet was shot off his head.

Soon after this reception at Buckingham Palace, Clive travelled to Lagos, Nigeria, departing on 24 September 1947 aboard the Accra of the Elder Dempster Lines. Travelling ‘first-class’ as a Development Officer, he arrived in Nigeria and was based near Owo serving with the

Conservator of Forests (Mr MacIntosh). Tragically, when Clive Bayley was due to fly home to Oxford for a course, he supposedly went fora swim near Lagos during a flight delay and drowned under mysterious circumstances on the 30th June 1949, age 41 - circumstances which remain unresolved, we understand his body has never been recovered. Born on the 17th October 1907 in India. Clive Bayley was the son-in-law of Commissioner John Walter Richardson

Researhed and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to the National Archive.s Kew. Air 27-660-68/69. Krackrt Luftwaffe Archives, Paradie RCAF Archives, Government of Canada WW2 Service records. Morton and Eden Auctioneers. Milton Milton Heritage Society. Their Flying Machines. International Bomber Command Centre. Luchtoorlog 1939-1945

KTY 21-05-2024

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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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