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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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7 Squadron Crest
27/28.09.1943 No. 7 Squadron Lancaster III JA849 MG-F Flt.Lt. Dennis A. Routen DFM

Operation: Hanover Germany

Date: 27/28th September 1943

Unit: 7 Squadron (Pathfinder)

Type: Lancaster MkIII

Serial: JA849

Code: MG-F

Base: RAF Oakington, Cambridgeshire

Location: Osteressen, Germany

Pilot: Flt.Lt. Dennis Arthur Routen DFM. 148785 RAFVR Age ? Killed

Flt.Eng: Flt.Sgt. John Henry Frewer 1193096 RAFVR Age 33. Killed

Nav: Plt.Off. Cyril Wolstenholme DFM. 155159 RAFVR Age ? Killed

Air/Bmr: Plt.Off. Ludwig Otto Noll 159690 RAFVR Age 34. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Flt.Sgt. John Thompson Simpson 1185795 RAFVR Age ? Killed

Air/Gnr: Flt.Sgt. Geoffrey Woodcock DFM. 1138811 RAFVR Age 21. Killed

Air/Gnr: Flt.Sgt. James Kanelakos DFM. J/18792 RCAF PoW No: Camp: Stalag Luft Sagan and Belaria (L3)


678 Aircraft left this night for an operation against Hanover with JA849 taking off at 19.39 hrs from RAF Oakington, Cambridgeshire. A diversionary force of 27 aircraft separated from the Hanover stream, were sent to Braunschweig. This coupled with the extensive use of ‘Window’ fooled the night fighter units for awhile as they followed them thinking that this was to be the main target. Not until the bomb runs commenced on Hanover did they realise the deception.

The crew of JA849 L-R: Flt.Sgt. Frewer, Flt.Sgt. Kanelakos DFM, Flt.Sgt. Woodcock DFM, Plt.Off. Wolstenholme DFM, Flt.Lt. Routen DFM, Plt.Off. Noll - the photo was taken by the crew’s wireless operator, Flt.Sgt. Simpson (courtesy James Kanelakos)

39 Allied aircraft still failed to return such was the intensity of the newly scrambled units from the Luftwaffe night fighters. JG300 lost 4 Fw190’s during the fierce air battle, with JG301 losing 3. Twin engines losses amounted to 5 from NJG1 and NJG5.

Above left: Flt.Sgt. Geoffrey Woodcock DFM Right: Flt.Sgt. James Kanelakos DFM (courtesy Michel Beckers)

This crew were shot down by Oblt. Werner Baake (1) of 3./NJG1, crashing at 22.40 Hrs at Osteressen, 5 km NNW of Quakenbrück Germany.

(1) Hptm. Werner Baake (shown left - courtesy Kracker Archive) survived the war with a total of 41 abschüsse, becoming a flight captain with Lufthansa. He was killed in an car accident at Heilsbronn on the 15th July 1964.

Notes: The crew had formed whilst training with 12 OTU (Operational Training Unit) based at Chipping Norden, England. First flew on operations with 90 Squadron before being selected for pathfinder training on the Stirling bomber with 7 Squadron. The crew had recently returned from a 3 week leave having completed 35 operations. Flt.Sgt. James Kanelakos DFM, from Smith Falls, Ontario, Canada was severely injured when he was blown out of the aircraft and spent some months in the care of German hospital before transfer to Stalag Luft Sagan and Belaria, he died in 2000.

Burial details:

Flt.Lt. Dennis Arthur Routen DFM. Rheinberg War Cemetery. Coll.Grave 17.C. 11-13. (Understood to be from Coventry, England) Next of kin details unavailable - are you able to assist?

Flt.Sgt. John Henry Frewer. Rheinberg War Cemetery. Joint grave 17.C. 24. Son of Charles Henry and Elsie Frewer, husband of Muriel Rayment Frewer, of Norwich, Norfolk, England.

Plt.Off. Cyril Wolstenholme DFM. Rheinberg War Cemetery. Coll.Grave 17.C. 11-13. (Understood to be from Cardiff, Wales) Next of kin details unavailable - are you able to assist?

Plt.Off. Ludwig Otto Noll. Rheinberg War Cemetery. Coll.Grave 17.C. 11-13. Plt.Off. Noll was born in St. James, Piccadilly, London in 1909. The son of Friedrich Wilhelm and Anne Noll. His German parents applied for naturalisation after arriving in England before starting a family. He was brother to Frederick Hermann Noll. (1911 census: courtesy Caroline Cook)

Flt.Sgt. John Thompson Simpson. Rheinberg War Cemetery. Grave 17.C.7. Next of kin details unavailable - are you able to assist?

Flt.Sgt. Geoffrey Woodcock DFM. Rheinberg War Cemetery. Joint grave 17.C. 24. Son of Fred and Sarah Ellen Woodcock, of Sale Moor, Cheshire, England.

Grave shown right that of Flt.Sgt. Woodcock DFM (courtesy Fred Munckhof)

Researched by Michel Beckers for Aircrew Remembered, December 2014. For further details our thanks to the following, Michel Beckers, James Kanelakos, Fred Munckhof, Jack Simpson. Thanks to Caroline Cook for the NoK details for Plt.Off. Noll.

RS 19.11.2019 - Update to NoK details for Plt.Off. Noll

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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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