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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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83 squadron badge
14/15.08.1941 No. 83 Squadron Hampden I AE131 OL-W P/O. Slater-Eiggert

Operation: Braunschweig railway station 

Date: 14/15th August 1941 (Saturday/Sunday)

Unit: No. 83 Squadron

Type: Hampden I

Serial: AE131

Code: OL-W

Base: RAF Scampton, Lincolnshire

Location: Pattensen, Germany

Pilot: P/O. Peter Henry Slater-Eiggert 102591 RAFVR Age 23. Killed

Pilot 2: Fl/Sgt. Leonard Samuel Thorrowgood 905008 RAFVR Age 24. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Frank Stephens 983447 RAFVR Age ? Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: F/O. Walter Charles Rasbary 81413 RAFVR Age 38. Killed


On the evening of 14th August 1941, Hampden AE131 of No. 83 Squadron with a crew of four took off from RAF Scampton, at 21.10 hrs to take part in a bombing raid on the city of Braunschweig (Brunswick), Germany. 

Seven out of the 17 aircraft that returned successfully to Scampton said they had bombed Hannover instead of Brunswick due to thick cloud cover over the target. It seems highly likely that AE131 did the same as the plane crashed near Pattensen, which is a town about 12 kilometres south of Hanover. Hannover was known to have a heavy flak belt. The aircraft was shot down by flak killing all crew members. Three were recorded as being killed on the 14th August 1941 and the fourth member of the crew, Walter Rasbary, is recorded as dying on the 15th August 1941.


                   83 Squadron crews in front of Hampden I (courtesy wikipedia)

They are all now buried in the Hanover War Cemetery pictured left (courtesy CWGC)

Burial details:

P/O. Peter Henry Slater-Eiggert. Hanover War Cemetery. Plot 2. Row C. Grave 11. Further information: Son of William Henry and Florence Alberta Slater-Eiggert, of Hampstead, London, England.

Fl/Sgt. Leonard Samuel Thorrowgood. Hanover War Cemetery. Plot 2. Row C. Grave 13. Further information: Son of Charles Francis and Martha Mary Jane Thorrowgood, of Purbrook, Hampshire, England.

Sgt. Frank Stephens. Hanover War Cemetery. Plot 2. Row C. Grave 12. Further information: Next of Kin details not currently available.

F/O. Walter Charles Rasbary. Hanover War Cemetery. Plot 2. Row C. Grave 14. Further information: Son of William George and Harriet Annie Rasbary, husband of Harriet Gordon Rasbary, of Aspenden, Hertfordshire, England.

Researched by Nick Watson (related to Peter Henry Slater-Eiggert). Acknowledgements: Aviation Research Neustadt

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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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