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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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427 Squadron Crest
427 Squadron Halifax III LW577 ZL-K Fl/Sgt. Stanley Geddes Dowdell

Operation: Berlin

Date: 24/25th March 1944 (Friday/Saturday)

Unit: No. 427 Squadron

Type: Halifax MkIII

Serial No: LW577

Code: ZL-K

Base: RAF Leeming, Yorkshire

Location: Ahlen, Germany

Pilot: Fl/Sgt. Stanley Geddes Dowdell J/85604 RCAF Age 21. Killed

Fl/Eng: Sgt. John Nesom 1590417 RAF PoW Nr. 4015 Camp: Stalag Luft Barth Vogelsang (1)

Nav: F/O. George Ian MacKay J/22602 Age 24 RCAF Killed

Air/Bmr: F/O. Olavi Leonard Jackson J/25847 RCAF Age 21. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Harry Cyril Webb 1578041 RAF Age 21. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Edwin Joseph Halbert J/88712 RCAF Age 18. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Leonard Joseph Lozo R/190666 RCAF PoW Nr. 4003 Camp: Stalag Luft Barth Vogelsang (1)


Take-off 18.45 Hrs. One of 3 aircraft lost on this raid from 427 Squadron. This aircraft LW577 was on its home run when it was probably shot down by flak, crashing in the vicinity of Ahlen, a town N.E. of the Ruhr, straddling the River Werse Germany.

Above: L to R : P/O. Dowdell, P/O. MacKay, F/O. Jackson, Sgt. Webb, Sgt. Nesom, P/O. Halbert, Sgt. Lozo (courtesy Michel Beckers)

(1) Sgt. Leonard Lozo was from 23 Rowland Avenue, Toronto, Canada. Sgt. John Nesom from 'The Reddings' Growl Thorpe, Ripon, York, England.

Burial Details:F/O. Mackay RCAF and F/O. Jackson RCAF, were buried 29th March 1944 at Ahlen. It is reported that the others killed were buried at Werne 25th March 1944. Their graves are now located, all together, at the Reichswald Forest War Cemetery.

Fl/Sgt. (Later P/O.) Stanley Geddes Dowdell. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery Grave 31.F.3. Born on the 20th June 1918 in Toronto, Canada. Worked as a clerk for British American Oil Company prior to service. Son of Frederick William and Edith Mary Dowdell (née Geddes) of 220 Monarch Park Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

F/O. George Ian MacKay. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery Grave 31.F.4. Born on the 26th October 1919 in Ontario, Canada. Enlisted on the 22nd February 1942. Worked as a clerk for the Bank of Montreal prior to service. Son of John Alexander Mackay (died 1970, age 86) and Janet Sarah Mackay (née Death - died 1976, age 83), of 203 Rothesay Avenue, Hamilton, Port Nelson, Ontario, Canada.

F/O. Olavi Leonard Jackson. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery Grave 31.F.2, Born on the 22nd January 1915. A garage owner prior to service. Enlisted on the 17th June 1942. Son of James Jackson (died in 1921 from Norway and Selma Kallio (née Soini, from Finland). Of 8th Avenue, Haney, British Columbia, Canada.

Sgt. Harry Cyril Webb. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery Grave 31.F.6. Son of Howard Albert and Mary Adalaide Webb, of Vauxhall, Warwickshire.

Sgt. (Later P/O.) Edwin Joseph Halbert. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery Grave 31.F.5. Born on the 24th September 1924 in Simcoe County, Obtatrio, Canada. Enlisted on the 30th September 1942. Son of John Arthur (died 1952, age 73) and Martha Emeline Halbert (née Newton - died 1957, age 71), of Thornton, Ontario, Canada.

Researched by Michel Beckers 427 Historical Unit for Aircrew Remembered in remembrance of the crew lost.

KTY - 07-03-2023 Updated narrative

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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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