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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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No. 83 Squadron
30/31.01.1944 83 Squadron Lancaster Mk III JB352 OL-C Flt.Lt. Sambridge DFC

Operation: Berlin, Germany

Date: 30/31st January 1944 (Sunday/Monday)

Unit: 83 Squadron

Type: Lancaster Mk III

Serial: JB352

Code: OL-C

Base: RAF Wyton, Cambridgeshire

Location: Berlin, Germany

Pilot: Flt.Lt. Albert Henry John Sambidge. DFC. 126974 RAFVR Age 33. Killed (1)

Pilot: Plt.Off. Thomas Ernest Wilkins. 159932 RAFVRAge 22. Killed

Flt.Eng: Plt.Off. Harry Owen Scatchard. 546413 RAFVR PoW No. 3471. Camp Stalag Luft L3 (Spandau) (2)

Air/Bmr: Flt.Sgt. John Robert Maycock. 1391763 RAFVR Age 26. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Flt.Sgt. James Jenkins Taylor. 1377207 RAFVR Age 31. Killed

Air/Gnr: Flt.Sgt. John Booth Gilbertson. 1698349 RAFVR Age 20. Killed

Air/Gnr:Plt.Off. Raymond Cass. 158903 RAFVR Age 33. Killed


Lancaster JB352 took off from RAF Wyton at 1712hrs for a night bombing raid on Berlin. On approaching the target area at 18.000 feet the aircraft was attacked from astern by a German night fighter and dived out of control and crashed. This Lancaster was one of 534 aircraft that took part in this mission and much damaged was caused with extensive fire damage and the loss of many lives. Thirty three aircraft were lost that night.

The loss of this aircraft was a probable claim by Fw Gunther Bahr 3/NJG6 - Marwitz near Velten NW Berlin at 2014 hrs.

(1) Flt.Lt. Sambidge was awarded the DFC whilst with 83 Sqn (effective from the 29th January 1944). Gazetted on the 1st June 1945.

(2) Plt.Off. Scatchard managed to open the forward escape hatch and baled out. He was captured later.

Lancaster Mk III

Burial details:

Flt.Lt. Albert Henry John Sambidge. DFC. Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery. Coll. Grave 5. F. 3-6. Son of Albert and Susannah Sambidge. Husband of Ada Lillian Sambidge of Sunbury-on-Thames, Middlesex. At the time of his death Albert's address was 20 Bedford Road, Ilford, Essex. Albert H. J. Sambidge had completed half of his PFF tour of duty

Plt.Off. Thomas Ernest Wilkins. Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery. Joint Grave 5. F. 1-2. Son of Thomas Alfred and Eleanor Wilkins of Choriton-cum-Hardy, Manchester

Flt.Sgt. John Robert Maycock. Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery. Coll. Grave 5. F. 3-6. Son of George Robert Maycock and of Louie Bridson Maycock of Padgate, Lancashire

Flt.Sgt. James Jenkins Taylor. Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery. Coll. Grave 5. F. 3-6. Son of James Jenkins Taylor and Mary Taylor. Husband of Gwendoline Mary Taylor of Greenford, Middlesex. James was born in 1913 in Grarmouth and had worked for McVitie and Price in London for 8 years. James is remembered on the Lossiemouth War Memorial

Flt.Sgt. John Booth Gilbertson. Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery. Coll. Grave 5. F. 3-6. Son of John Robert and Eva Gilbertson of Egremont, Cumberland. At the time of his death John's address was 19 Main Street, Egremont, Cumberland

Plt.Off. Raymond Cass. Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery. Joint Grave 5. F. 1-2. Son of Arthur and Beatrice Maud Cass of Hull. Husband of Olive Cass of Hull. At the time of his death Raymond's address was 8 Parkfield Drive, Anlaby Road, Kingston-upon-Hull

Researched by: Kate Tame for aircrewremembered and for all the relatives and friends of the crew

Acknowledgements: With special thanks to Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - Bomber Command Diaries 1939-1945, W. R. Chorley - Bomber Command Losses 1944, Donald Stewart - Lossiemouth War Memorial Book of Remembrance 1939-1945, Imperial War Museum. Thanks to John Jones for the German fighter claim information.

RS 6.12.2019 - Addition of German fighter claim

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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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