Date: 30/31st March 1944
Unit: No. 207 Squadron
Type: Lancaster III
Base: RAF Spilsby
Location: Ober-Moos area, Freiensteinau, Germany.
Pilot: P/O. Bertram Challis Riddle NZ/424547 RNZAF Age 22. Missing
Fl/Eng: Sgt. Frederick Keightley 994243 RAFVR Age 24. Missing
Nav: Fl/Sgt. George Frederick Clulow 1391077 RAFVR Age 20. Missing
Air/Bmr: F/O. John Larsenius Larsen 151852 RAFVR Age 21. Missing
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. David Angus Anderson 1317943 RAFVR Age 20. Missing
Air/Gnr: Sgt. Stanley Jones 2211337 RAFVR Age ? Killed
Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. John William James Buckland AUS/429495 RAAF Age 20. killed
Local residents from the area erected a memorial to the crew, unveiled in June 2014. Relatives are encouraged to contact us for further details.
REASON FOR LOSS:
Leaving Spilsby at 22.11 hrs. to join a further 795 aircraft, mainly Lancasters, a really enormous bomber force - sadly, also one of the costliest in the history of Bomber Command with 105 aircraft lost and over 500 aircrew killed!
Left: New Zealand pilot P/O. Bertram Challis Riddle (see credits)During the outbound trip from RAF Spilsby, Lancaster LM436 was attacked and shot down by a night fighter over Freiensteinau, Germany. It was the 12th confirmed abschüsse for the nightfighter ace, Hptm. Gustav Tham (1) of 11./NJG5. (2 on this operation, both from the same squadron)
The other Lancaster III, ND568 EM-L Flown by Canadian P/O. Jack Hardy Thornton J/19631 RCAF crashed near Schweinfurt with the loss of all 7 crew. Buried at Dürnbach War Cemetery.
(1) Hptm. Gustav Tham survived the war with a total of 15 kills, mostly as a night fighter.
The idea of the memorial was initially proposed by Martin Oechler who personally chose the natural local stone on which the plaque, also designed and made by him, has been placed. His reason: "To show future generations that the war also created victims (of other nations) in our homeland"
Relatives of the crew attend the memorial unveiling (courtesy Alan Baldwin)
Crash site 2014 (courtesy Alan Baldwin)Burial details:
P/O. Bertram Challis Riddle. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 263. Son of David Bertram and Mabel Mary Riddle, of Fairlie, Canterbury, New Zealand.
Sgt. Frederick Keightley. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 232. Son of James and Mary Ellen Keightley, of Leeds, Yorkshire, England.
Fl/Sgt. George Frederick Clulow. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 216. Son of John George and Annie Eliza Clulow, of Bow, London, England.
F/O. John Larsenius Larsen. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 207. Son of Larsenius and Sarah Evelyn Larsen, of Nuneaton, Warwickshire, England.
Sgt. David Angus Anderson. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 224. Son of William Henry Anderson, and of Margaret Anderson, of Bideford, Devon, England.
Sgt. Stanley Jones. Hanover War Cemetery. Grave 1.G.16. NoK details currently not available - are you able to assist completion of these and any other information?
Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. John William James Buckland. Hanover War Cemetery. Grave 1.G.15. Son of William and Emily Phyliss Buckland, of Toowomba, Queensland, Australia.
Carsten Eigner, Ralf Gressman, Martin Oechler, Joyce Szameitat, Armin Muller who have organised the memorial (courtesy Alan Baldwin)
At the going down of the sun, and in the morning we will remember
them. - Laurence
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