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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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10 Squadron Crest
05/06.06.1942 No. 10 Squadron Halifax II W7696 ZA-H Fl/Sgt. Rochford

Operation: Essen

Date: 05/06th June 1942 (Friday/Saturday)

Unit: No. 10 Squadron 4 Group (motto: Rem acu tangere - 'To hit the mark')

Type: Halifax II

Serial: W7696

Code: ZA-H

Base: RAF Leeming, Yorkshire

Location: Between Liblar and Knapsack

Pilot: Fl/Sgt. Patrick George Rochford DFM 1168914 RAFVR Age 21. Killed

Fl/Eng: Sgt. R.E. Shannon 569436 RAFVR PoW No: 525 Camp: Stalag 357 Kopernikus

Nav: F/O. Edward Basil Hamilton Openshaw NZ/403610 RNZAF Age 33. Killed

Air/Bmr: W/O. E.A Stubley 570365 RAFVR PoW No: 530 Camp: Stalag 357 Kopernikus

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Llewelyn Clifford Matthias 1056236 RAFVR Age 24. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. A.G Hunter R/101656 RCAF PoW No: 510 Camp: Stalag Luft 6 Heydekrug

Air/Gnr: F/O. R.N Speer J/15453 RCAF PoW No: 523 Camp: Stalag Luft 3 Sagan


Taking off at 22:59 hrs from RAF Leeming, Yorkshire to bomb the steel producing town of Essen with 179 others from various squadrons.

It seems that they were hit by flak, coming down between Liblar and Knapsack.

DFM Citation:

"One night in April 1942, Fl/Sgt. Rochford was detailed to attack the German naval base at Trondheim. On arriving over the target he encountered fierce anti-aircraft fire. Fl/Sgt. Rochford dived down to a very low level and pressed home his attack. His aircraft sustained severe damage but he succeeded in returning to base. On the following night he was again detailed to attack the naval base. On the outward journey the rear gunner reported that the guns in the rear turret were unserviceable and beyond his repair. Fl/Sgt. Rochford continued on his mission and pressed home his attack from a low level. His second pilot and first wireless operator were seriously wounded and his aircraft was holed in many places. Fl/Sgt. Rochford has displayed great courage, perseverance and devotion to duty."

Burial details:

Fl/Sgt. Patrick George Rochford DFM. Rheinberg War Cemetery. Grave 1.F.16. Son of Harry and Phyllis Rochford, of Vence, Alpes Maritimes, France. Grave inscription reads: 'Greater Love Hath No Man Than This, That A Man Lay Down His Life For His Friends'.

F/O. Edward Basil Hamilton Openshaw. Rheinberg War Cemetery. Grave 1.F.17. Son of Edward and Muriel Katherine Openshaw, of Marton, Wellington, New Zealand. Attended Wanganui Collegiate School 1926-1927. A total of 351 flying hours logged and having completed 14 operational sorties. (Shown left)

Sgt. Llewelyn Clifford Matthias. Rheinberg War Cemetery. Grave 1.F.18. Son of Edward and Alice Matthias, of Brymbo, Denbighshire. Grave inscription reads: 'He Played His Part Amongst The Brave Now Lies Alone In A Hero's Grave'.

Researched by Jenifer Lemaire of New Zealand for Aircrew Remembered March 2019 and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to sources as shown. Th image of F/O. Openshaw used with permission from the Auckland Library Heritage Collection : 1 July 1942. AWNS19420701-23-2. Grave images courtesy Des Philippet.

JL/KTY 31.03.2019

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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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