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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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150 squadron crest
15/16.10.1942 No. 150 Squadron Wellington III X3552 Sgt. Eric N. Smith

Operation: Köln

Date: 15/16th October 1942 (Thursday/Friday)

Unit: No. 150 Squadron

Type: Wellington III

Serial: X3552

Code: JN-?

Base: RAF Snaith, Yorkshire.

Location: 35 Kms. West of Goeree, Holland

Pilot: Sgt. Eric Norman Smith 1294712 RAFVR Age 20. Missing

Pilot 2: P/O. Douglas Leonard Hemming 123945 RAFVR Age 22. Missing

Obs: Sgt. Philip Charles Harrison 1025321 RAFVR Age 22. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Donald Lloyd Morrow R/81473 RCAF Age 21. Missing

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Peter Worthington Samuel Varley 921823 RAFVR Age 20. Missing


Took off from RAF Snaith in Yorkshire at 18:30 hrs to attack Köln. (Cologne) 289 aircraft took part (109 Wellingtons, 74 Halifaxes, 62 Lancasters and 44 Stirlings.)

Not a huge success as only 1 of the 71 x 4,000 lb. hit the target, 3 other high explosive bombs out of 231 and 210 incendiary bombs out of 68,590 landed with little effect. The German reports state that 226 houses were damaged and only 2 of these were classed as serious - 4 people on the ground were injured.

The allies lost 18 aircraft. 107 aircrew were killed and a further 15 made PoW. The majority were taken down by the German night fighters.

Nothing further was heard from this Wellington and it is presumed to have come down in the sea off Holland. However, a report that this aircraft was shot down probably by Hptm. Dr. Horst Patuschka (1) from 4./NJG2 with interception taking place at 4,500 mts. 35 Kms. West of Goeree, Holland at 00.25hrs.

Left: Hptm. Dr. Horst Patuschka of 4./NJG2

(1) Hptm. Dr. Horst Patuschka was already an ace at this time with 19 confirmed claims. He went on to have a confirmed total of between 23 and 25 kills before he was killed on the 6/7th March 1943 at Moggendorf - 10 miles South West of Bayreuth in an air combat. (see Kracker Luftwaffe Archive on this site)

CWGC graves Wellington X3552

Runnymede in the snow

Runnymede Memorial in the snow. This image has been reproduced with courtesy of Antony McCallum. Anthony does supply various services to relatives of servicemen for the photography of the memorial panels. Please contact him via his website.

Burial details:

Sgt. Eric Norman Smith. Runnymede Memorial. Panel: 93. Son of Frank and Ivy Lilian Florence Smith, of Hythe, Kent, England.

P/O. Douglas Leonard Hemming. Runnymede Memorial. Panel: 70. Son of Benjamin Herbert and Daisy Lilian Hemming, of Wallington, Surrey, England.

Sgt. Philip Charles Harrison. The Hague (Westduin) General Cemetery. Allied Plot. Row 2. Grave 37. Son of Charles and Hilda R. Harrison, of Northenden, Lancashire, England.

Fl/Sgt. Donald Lloyd Morrow. Runnymede Memorial. Panel: 105. Son of Ernest A. and Amelia Morrow, of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Fl/Sgt. Peter Worthington Samuel Varley. Runnymede Memorial. Panel: 76. Son of Samuel Cyril and Dorothy Ellen Varley, of Harleston, Norfolk, England.

Researched for Carol Berbridge, niece of P/O. Hemming and all the relatives of the crew. With thanks to Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vol's. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vol's. 1 and 2', Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries’.

KTY 06.11.2015 - Serial number corrected - courtesy Jack Brook. 2017-08-11 SY minor changes

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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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