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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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104 Squadron Crest
104 Squadron Wellington II W5532 EP-M Sgt. William Stephenson

Operation: Köln

Date: 16/17th August 1941 (Saturday/Sunday)

Unit: No. 104 Squadron

Type: Wellington II

Serial: W5532

Code: EP-M

Base: RAF Driffield, Yourkshire

Location: South Leverton, Lincolnshire

Pilot: Sgt. William Thomas Ross Stephenson R/52876 RCAF Age 29. Killed

Pilot 2: Sgt. John Walter Nowlan 928472 RAFVR Age 21. Killed

Obs: Fl/Sgt. Stanley Charles Steward 755954 RAFVR Age 21. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Kenneth Hutchinson 961049 RAFVR Age 24. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Ivor Howard Arthur Henderson 918442 RAFVR Age 23. Killed

Air/Gnr: P/O. Patrick Joseph Murphy 106682 RAF Age ? Killed


Taking off at 23:27 hrs from RAF Driffield in Yorkshire on an operation to Cologne (Köln) - Just over an hour into the journey when they were attacked by Lt. Hans Hahn of 3./NJG2 who managed to shoot them down at 00:53 hrs, the first of 11 aircraft lost on this operation.

Note this crew (slightly different) escaped an earlier crash landing on the 05/06th August 1941. After being hit by flak over the target area of Saabrücken crash landed their Wellington W5517 at Horsham St. Faiths in Norfolk - all crew escaped injury but the aircraft was written off.

Pieces of the Wellington struck the Ju88 but Lt. Hahn managed to return to his base on one engine.

Lt. Hans Hahn - born on the 09th February 1919 at Rheydt in Rheinland. Already a night fighter ace at this early stage of the war - this being his 11th identified claim. Went on to claim 2 more before he was killed with his crew in Ju 88 C-4 (W.Nr. 0851) R4+NL just two months later on the 11/12th October 1941 after colliding with an RAF Oxford II AB767 from No. 12 Flying Training School at Barrowby over Grantham in Lincolnshire. Also killed with Lt. Hahn were his flight engineer, Uffz. Helmut Scheidt and his wireless operator, Uffz. Ernst-Wilhelm Meissler.

The crew of the Oxford - Pilot 19 year old, Sgt. Thomas Daye Graham 1101590 RAFVR from Bearsden, Glasgow, Scotland and pupil Pilot U/T, 29 year old, Cpl. Samuel John Edwards 655962 RAF from Fishponds, Bristol, England were both also sadly killed.

Above left: Sgt. William Thomas Ross Stephenson. Right: Fl/Sgt. Stanley Charles Steward (courtesy Neil Harvey)

Burial details:

Sgt. William Thomas Ross Stephenson. Scampton Churchyard (St. John the Baptist). Old Part. Grave 29. Born on the 14th July 1913 in Omemee, Ontario, Canada. Son of William G. Stephenson (died 1949, age 76) and Florence I. Stephenson (née Macpherson - died 1956, age 76), of Omemee, Ontario, Canada. Epitaph: Faithful Unto Death.

Sgt. John Walter Nowlan. Eltham Churchyard (St. John The Baptist) Sec. A. Grave 448F. Born on the 29th December 1919 in Windsor, Berkshire. Son of Robert Blaker Nowlan and Ellen Elizabeth Jessica Nowlan, of Eltham Park, Greenwich, England. Epitaph: Being Found Pleasing Unto God, He Was Blessed Of Him

Fl/Sgt. Stanley Charles Steward. Scampton Churchyard (St. John the Baptist). Old Part. Grave 21. Son of Sydney Charles and Ellen Sarah Steward, of Bromley, Kent, England. Epitaph: Some Day, Some Time, We'll Understand Why You Were Called To A Better Land.

Sgt. Kenneth Hutchinson. Long Eaton Cemetery. Sec. B.2. Grave 62. Son of Edgar and Catherine Hutchinson, of Long Eaton, husband of Nellie Irene Hutchinson, of Niton, Isle of Wight, England. Epitaph: Underneath Are The Everlasting Arms.

Sgt. Ivor Howard Arthur Henderson. Chickerell Churchyard (St. Mary) North part. Born in 1918 in Dorset Son of Henry Howard Henderson and Jane Eliza Henderson, of Chickerell, husband of Dorothy May Henderson, of Chickerell, Dorset, England. Epitaph: He Died That We Might Live.

P/O. Patrick Joseph Murphy. Scampton Churchyard (St. John the Baptist). Old Part. Grave 28. No further details - are you able to assist?

Researched for Neil Harvey - relative of Fl/Sgt. Stanley Steward who contacted us in December 2016. For further details our thanks to the following sources.

KTY 30.06.2022 - Updated narative

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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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