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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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466 Squadron Crest
13/14.05.1943 No. 466 Squadron Wellington X MS473 HD-Q P/O. Sampson

Operation: Bochum

Date: 13/14th May 1943 (Thursday/Friday)

Unit: No. 466 Squadron. 4 Group (motto: 'Brave and true')

Type: Wellington X

Serial: MS473

Code: HD-Q

Base: RAF Leconfield, Yorkshire

Location: North Sea, west of Kijkduin

Pilot: P/O. Thomas Sampson NZ/411032 RNZAF Age 22. Killed

Obs: Sgt. Charles William Jones 1382389 RAFVR PoW No: 1184 Camp: Stalag Luft Heydekrug

Air/Bmr: F/O. John Frederick Cahill AUS/403633 RAAF PoW No: 1173 Camp: Stalag Luft Sagan

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Kevin Stanislaus Murphy AUS/403621 PoW No: 1191 Camp: Stalag Luft Heydekrug

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Roy John Thomas Lester 1282544 RAFVR PoW No: 1181 Camp: Stalag Luft Barth Vogelsang


The Squadron dispatched 14 aircraft of this 442 aircraft raid.

It seems that their take off at 23:56 hrs had been delayed by some 15 minutes and so they were forced to run the engines on maximum power to get into position. After they crossed the Dutch coast the engines forced them to lose height, but they decided to continue to the target at Bochum and drop their 4,000 lb bomb.

They continued to lose height on their return flight and when at 5,000 ft the pilot ordered the crew to bale out. Almost immediately the engines then picked up again and the order was retracted.

The engines soon faltered again and the order was then repeated, four of the crew baled out whilst the pilot kept the aircraft straight and level.

It is not known if the pilot later baled out and landed in the sea or was killed during ditching. His body was recovered on the 10th August by a German fishing vessel and buried at Westuin the following day.

The Squadron very nearly lost another crew on this operation:

Wellington X HZ271 Flown by Sgt. Edward Francis Hicks CGM 846405 RAFVR crash landed near Winterton in Lincolnshire on return, all the crew escaped injury.

Burial details:

P/O. Thomas Sampson. The Hague General Cemetery (Westduin) Allied Plot. Row 4. Grave 72. Born on the 19th April 1921 at Ashburton, the son of William John and Lilian Annie Sampson (née Dunning), of Ashburton, Canterbury New Zealand. A truck driver for Mid-Canterbury Transport Company prior to service. A total of 470 flying hours logged and having completed 20 operational sorties.

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”, Auckland Library Heritage Collection, Weekly News of New Zealand, other sources as quoted below:

KTY 06.11.2019

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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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