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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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207 Squadron Crest
30/31.03.1944 No. 207 Squadron Lancaster III LM436 EM-G P/O. Bertram C. Riddle

Operation: Nürnberg

Date: 30/31st March 1944

Unit: No. 207 Squadron

Type: Lancaster III

Serial: LM436

Code: EM-G

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.


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)

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to Alan Baldwin, Carsten Eigner, Ralf Gressman, Martin Oechler, Joyce Szameitat, Armin Muller who have organised the memorial. Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vol's. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vol's. 1 and  2', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries', Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Tom Kracker - 'Kracker Luftwaffe Archives'. Aircrew Remembered own Archives. Weekly News and NZ Auckland Cenotaph.

Pages of Outstanding Interest
History Airborne Forces •  Soviet Night Witches •  Bomber Command Memories •  Abbreviations •  Gardening Codenames
CWGC: Your Relative's Grave Explained •  USA Flygirls •  Axis Awards Descriptions •  'Lack Of Moral Fibre'
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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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