AR banner
Search Tips Advanced Search
Back to Top

Info LogoAdd to or correct this story with a few clicks.
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.
Check our Research databases: Database List


We seek additional information and photographs. Please contact us via the Helpdesk.

207 Squadron
29/30.03.1943 207 Squadron Lancaster I W4931 Fg Off. Denys O. Street MiD

Operation: Berlin, Germany

Date: 29th/30th March 1943 (Monday/Tuesday)

Unit No: 207 Squadron

Type: Lancaster I

Serial: W4931

Code: EM:U

Base: RAF Langar, Nottinghamshire

Location: North-west of Rerik, Germany

Pilot: Fg Off. Denys Oliver Street MiD 123026 RAFVR Age 21. PoW No. 992 */ Murdered (4)

Flt Eng: Sgt. Cyril Dudley 988436 RAFVR Age? PoW No. 1008 ** (1)

Nav: Sgt. Bramwell Allenby Rawlinson 985099 RAFVR Age 22. PoW No. 1034 *** (2)

Bomb Aimer: Sgt. Gerald Valentine Eld 1270446 RAFVR Age 22. PoW No. 1011 *** (1)

WOp/Air Gnr: Sgt. William Leslie Blake 1379814 RAFVR Age 26. PoW No. 999 *** (3)

Air Gnr (Mid Upp): Sgt James Earl Taylor R105872 RCAF Age 23. PoW No. 1040 ** (1)

Air Gnr (Rear): Sgt. Bernard Howard Nutt 1578131 Age 19. PoW No. 1031 *** (2)

* Stalag Luft 3, Sagan-Silesia, Germany, now Żagań in Poland. (Moved to Nuremberg-Langwasser, Bavaria).

** Stalag Luft 6, Heydekrug, Memelland (now Šilutė in Lithuania).

*** Stalag 357 (Stalag 11b), Fallingbostel, Lower Saxony, Germany.


W4931 took off from RAF Langar on the 29th March 1943 at 21:32 hrs along with eight other aircraft from the Sqn detailed to bomb Berlin. Two aircraft were cancelled and W4931 failed to return.

W4931 was claimed by Hptm. Rudolf Schoenert his 24th Abschuss from Stab II./NJG5, NW of Rerik, west of Rostock at 6.000m at 01:30 hrs.

Hptm. Rudolf Schoenert was the Kommandeur of II./NJG5. He and his Funker, Fw. Richter achieved the historic "first" shooting down a Lancaster (W4931) with the new Schräge Musik weapons system fitted in his Do217 coded C9+CC. (Nachtjagd Combat Archive (1 January - 22 June) 1943 Part 1 - Theo Boiten)

He received the Deutsche Kreuz in Gold, the Ritterkreuz and the Eichenlaub. In March 1945 he became the last Kommodore of NJG5. He flew 376 combat missions and survived the war as a Maj with 62 Abschüsse, 27 in the west and the remainder in the east. He died on the 30th November 1985. (Luftwaffe ACES - Biographies and Victory Claims (Mathews and Foreman) - Volume 4)

All of the crew safely bailed out of the aircraft and became PoWs.

(1) Sgt. Dudley, Sgt. Eld and Sgt. Taylor were listed as being at Stalag 357 and then at Stalag Luft 6 as Warrant Officers (WO) with Sgt. Taylor as a WO Class 2 (WO2).

(2) Sgt. Rawlinson and Sgt. Nutt were listed as being at Stalag 357 and then as Flt Sgts at Stalag Luft 6.

After the war Flt Sgt. Rawlinson was promoted to Plt Off. (Navigator II) on a short Service Commission of 8 years and 4 years in the Reserve with effect 2nd March 1949. London Gazette 3rd May 1949. He was promoted to Fg Off. on the 2nd March 1950. London Gazette 14th March 1950.

(3) Sgt. Blake was captured on the 3rd April 1943 near Magdeberg. He was at Dulag Luft Oberursel from the 5th April until the 12th April 1943 after which he was transferred to Stalag Luft 3 where he was promoted to Flt Sgt. He was then transferred to Stalag Luft 6 in July 1943.

Stalag Luft 6 was the closest camp to the Russian advance and in July 1944 he was amongst those who was evacuated to Stalag 357, Thorn. The camp was relocated to Oerbke in September 1944. It is not known if he remained at Stalag 357 to be liberated in April 1945 or had to endure a forced marches.

(4) After the prerequisite visit to Dulag Luft Oberursel Flt Lt. Street was transferred to Stalag Luft 3.

Flt Lt. Street earned for himself or was selected on an early position in the line of two hundred hoping to escape from the north compound of Stalag Luft 3.

On the night of the 24th-25th March 1944, 76 officers escaped from the north compound of Stalag Luft 3 which, at that time, held between 1000 and 1500 RAF PoWs. The escape was made by the means of a tunnel. At about 05:00 hrs on the 25th March the 77th PoW was spotted by guards as he emerged from the tunnel.

An overview of the German response to the escape and the subsequent British prosecution of those responsible for the murder of fifty of the escapees is summarised in the report entitled “The Fifty - The Great Escape”.

It is not known when Flt Lt. Street exited the tunnel nor with whom he travelled, if at all. What is known from the trial transcript is that he was captured at or near Sagan. He was one of a number of recaptured officers who were killed by persons unknown some time after the 4th April 1944 and cremated in Breslau. The other officers were:

Flt Lt. A.D.M. Gunn, Plt Off. W.J. Grisman, Lt. C.A.N. McGarr, Flt Lt. H.J. Milford and Flt Lt. J.F. Williams.

No one was formally charged with the actual murder of Flt Lt. Street or the other five officers. Unusually, although his urn was returned to Sagan he was not interred at the Poznan Old Garrison Cemetery.

Burial Details:

Memorial to “The Fifty” near to Żagań (Credit: CSvBibra - Own work, Public Domain)

Above: Grave marker for Flt Lt. Street (Courtesy of TWGPP)

Flt Lt. Denys Oliver Street MiD. Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery 3.A.24. Inscription: "LIKE SO MANY, HE DID HIS DUTY TWICE OVER AND MET DEATH WITH FORTITUDE". Born 2nd Qtr of 1922 in Henson, Greater London. Son of Sir Arthur William Street, GCB, KBE, CIE, CMG, MC, Justice of the Peace, and Lady (née Mantanus) Street, of Mill Hill, Middlesex, England.

Fg Off. Street was promoted to Flt Lt. on the 14th March 1944. London Gazette 31st March 1944.

Flt Lt. Street was Mentioned in Despatches (MiD) recognizing his conspicuous bravery as a PoW because none of the other relevant decorations then available could be awarded posthumously. Promulgated in the London Gazette on the 8th June 1944.

Researched by Ralph Snape and Traugott Vitz for Aircrew Remembered and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with additional thanks to Traugott for his work on the ‘VitzArchive’.

Thanks to ‘The War Graves Photographic Projectfor their great work.

Other sources listed below:

RS & TV 22.08.2022 - Original Upload

Pages of Outstanding Interest
History Airborne Forces •  Soviet Night Witches •  Bomber Command Memories •  Abbreviations •  Gardening Codenames
CWGC: Your Relative's Grave Explained •  USA Flygirls •  Axis Awards Descriptions •  'Lack Of Moral Fibre'
Concept of Colonial Discrimination  •  Unauthorised First Long Range Mustang Attack
RAAF Bomb Aimer Evades with Maquis •  SOE Heroine Nancy Wake •  Fane: Motor Racing PRU Legend
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.
Click any image to enlarge it

Click to add your info via ticket on Helpdesk •Click to let us know via ticket on Helpdesk• Click to buy research books from Amazon •Click to explore the entire site
If you would like to comment on this page, please do so via our Helpdesk. Use the Submit a Ticket option to send your comments. After review, our Editors will publish your comment below with your first name, but not your email address.

A word from the Editor: your contribution is important. We welcome your comments and information. Thanks in advance.

At the going down of the sun, and in the morning we will remember them. - Laurence Binyon
All site material (except as noted elsewhere) is owned or managed by Aircrew Remembered and should not be used without prior permission.
© Aircrew Remembered 2012 - 2024
Last Modified: 23 August 2022, 07:03

Monitor Additions/Changes?Click to be informed of changes to this page. Create account for first monitor only, thereafter very fast. Click to close without creating monitor