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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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Bomber Command Crest
24.02.1945 No. 415 Squadron Halifax III NP936 6U-P P/O. Lewis A. Russell

Operation: Kamen

Date: 24th February 1945 (Saturday)

Unit: No. 415 Squadron (RCAF)

Type: Halifax III

Serial: NP936

Code: 6U-P

Base: RAF East Moor, Yorkshire

Location: Target area?

Pilot: P/O. Lewis Alexander Russell J/94268 RCAF Age 22. Killed

Fl/Eng: Fl/Sgt. Lawrence Trowsdale 1540203 RAFVR Age ? Killed

Nav: P/O. James Gallagher J/95305 RCAF Age 21. Killed

Air/Bmr: F/O. Paul Pokryfka J/39383 RCAF Age 22. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: P/O. Charles Cleghorn Brockie Craigie J/95231 RCAF Age 21. Killed

Air/Gnr: P/O. Raymond Clifford Brown J/95211 RCAF Age 20. Killed

Air/Gnr: P/O. William Harvey Jones J/95347 RCAF Age 19. Killed


Took off at 13:09 hrs from RAF East Moor. Daylight raid on the synthetic oil works at Kamen in the Bergkamen district.

340 aircraft took part in this operation during which the target was covered in cloud - reports state that heavy damage was incurred in several places of the town. It seems that the main damage however, was caused in the centre of Kamen with most of the churches destroyed and also a hospital was hit.

232 people were killed on the ground - Halifax NP936 was the only aircraft lost. No confirmation on how, but recorded in another 415 squadron logbook to have been hit by another aircraft's bomb load!

Brown Lake East of Whitefish Lake was renamed after P/O. Raymond Clifford Brown in 1995.

Burial details:

P/O. Lewis Alexander Russell. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery Coll. Grave 18. G.2-4. From Brussells, Ontario, Canada. Next of kin details unavailable - are you able to assist?

Fl/Sgt. Lawrence Trowsdale. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery Coll. Grave 18.G. 2-4. No further details as yet - are you able to assist?

P/O. James Gallagher. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery Grave 18.G. 1. From Swift Current, Saskatchewan, Canada. Next of kin details unavailable - are you able to assist?

F/O. Paul Pokryfka. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery Grave 18.G. 5. Born on the 21st November 1921 at Kitchener, Ontario, Canada. Son of Frank (originally from Galicia, Austria) and Katherine of 79 Strange Street, Kitchener, Ontario, Canada. (courtesy John Jones - May 2018)

P/O. Charles Cleghorn Brockie Craigie. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery Grave 18.G. 2-4. Son of Charles N. Craigie, and of Elizabeth C. Craigie, of Ludlow, Massachusetts, USA. Pictured left (courtesy Roberta Cye via Mike Harrison)

P/O. Raymond Clifford Brown. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery Grave 18.G. 2-4. Born on the 25th March 1925 Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Son of Clifford and Olga Brown (originally from Vienna, Austria) of 474 Elgin Avenue Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Husband of Helen Brown. (courtesy John Jones - May 2018)

P/O. William Harvey Jones. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery Grave 18.G. 2-4. Son of Henry John and Elizabeth Jones, of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Researched for relatives / friends of the crew. With thanks to sources as quoted below. Also to John Jones for detailed information - May 2018

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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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