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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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20th April 1945 622 Squadron Lancaster B.I PA285 Fl/Lt. Robbins

Operation: Regensburg, Germany.

Date: 20th April 1945 (Friday)

Unit: No. 622 Squadron (motto: Bellamus Noctu- 'We wage war by night) 3 Group

Type: Lancaster B.I

Serial: PA285

Code: GI-O

Base: RAF Mildenhall, Suffolk

Location: Regensburg, Germany

Pilot: Fl/Lt. Victor Stanley Robbins 136689 RAFVR Age 28. Killed

Fl/Eng: Sgt. Richard Wallace Reid 1826182 RAFVR Age 21. Killed

Nav: 2nd Lt. Gustav Dietrichson 5781 RNAF Age 23. Killed

Air/Bmr: F/O. Bruce Frederic Scott, NZ/421536 RNZAF Age 23. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: F/O. Hubert Abram Smith 175274 RAFVR Age? Kiled

Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. John Edward Hulland 1410959 RAFVR Age 22. Killed

Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. E Parker RAF Survibed PoW No further details


Weather Fine becoming cloudy in the evening with thunderstorms towards midnight in Suffolk. Taking off at 09:57 hrs, one of 7 aircraft was sent from the squadron joining 97 other aircraft to bomb the fuel storage tanks at Regensburg. This was the only aircraft not to return.

The Operational record book state that moderate, heavy flak was reported with no enemy fighters encountered.

Crew L-R Rear: Fl/Sgt. John Edward Hulland, Fl/Sgt. E Parker. Centre: F/O. Bruce Scott, Fl/Lt. Victor Robbins, F/O. Bruce Scott. Front: Sgt. Richard Reid and 2nd Lt. Gustav Dietrichson.

Weather was clear over target and the whole route. Bombing concentrated but appears to have overshot and undershot, in effect straddling the target. PA285 had just dropped its load of 3 x 1,000 lb ANM, 10 x 500 lb ANM and 1 x 250 Blue S/M bombs when they were hit by flak over the target area at 13:30hrs. 5 parachutes were observed. It is reported that three of the bodies were found in the wreckage, whilst three had been electrocuted on overhead electric cables. Only the rear gunner survived and took PoW.

Burial details:

Initially at the crash site, later reinterred at Drnbach.

Fl/Lt. Victor Stanley Robbins. Durnbach War Cemetery. 5.G.18-20. Son of Albert Henry and Beatrice Rose Robbins. Husband of Betty Gracia Robbins, of South Woodford, Essex. Grave inscription: 'In Loving Memory Of A Beloved Son, Husband And Father. Always In Our Hearts'.

Sgt. Richard Wallace Reid. Durnbach War Cemetery. 5.G.18-20. Son of James Richard and Jane S. Reid, of Dalkeith, Midlothian. Grave inscription: 'Greater Love Hath No Man Than This, That A Man Lay Down His Life For His Friends'.

2nd Lt. Gustav Dietrichson. Durnbach War Cemetery. 5.G.18-20. Born on the 02nd May 1921. From Norway, the son of Liaf Ragnar Dietrichson a well known Norwegian Naval Air Force pilot (missing on the 18th June 1928, age 37) - no further details. Grave inscription: 'Here rests the Norwegian Lieutenant Gustav Dietrichson For Norway'.

Left: Liaf Ragnar Dietrichson (courtesy This day in history)

L-R: Rear;(not known), AC Reid 421532, NC Paul, RB Robertson(?), J Wedgwood, Ken Roberts. Middle; (not known), L Gordon-Stables, DK Sterling, RM Cunningham, Ian Edward Blance 421496, Dennis Gordon Allwright Ritchie 421533, EJE Tompkins. Front; (not known), C Andrew, George Vernon Bentley Patterson 421525, CD Wilson, WB MacKenzie, Bruce Fredric Scott 421536 (not known).

F/O. Bruce Frederic Scott. Durnbach War Cemetery. 5.G.18-20. Born on the 31st October 1922 at Morrinsville. Worked as an electrician prior to service. Enlisted on the 27th of February 1942 at Rongotai. Embarked for Canada on the 12th February 1943. Air bomber badge and commissioned on the 23rd December 1943. Embarked for England on the 20th of January 1944. Further training at 16653 Operational Training Unit on the Stirling. Joined 622 squadron on 07th January 1945 from No. 3 Lancaster Finishing School. Son of Richard Ellis Scott and Doris Marmion Scott (née Friedric - died 14th December 1965, age 68), of Morrinsville, Auckland, New Zealand. 391 flying hours logged and on his 21st operational sortie.

F/O. Hubert Abram Smith. Durnbach War Cemetery. 5.G.18-20. No further details - are you able to assist?

Fl/Sgt. John Edward Hulland. Durnbach War Cemetery. 5.G.21. Born 29th of June 1922 in Bishopsteignton, Devon. Worked as an apprentice plumber before he joined the RAFVR. Son of Edward Charles and Ethel May Hulland (née Taylor), of Bishopsteignton, Devon. Grave inscription: 'Loved And Remembered Always'.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to Jenifer Lemaire and to the extensive research by Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3”, Edward John Ernest Tompkins personal collection, Auckland Library Heritage Collection, Weekly News of New Zealand, This day in history, other sources as quoted below:

KTY 18-03-2022

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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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