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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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630 Squadron Crest
31/01.01.1945 No. 630 Squadron Lancaster I PB894 W/O. Edward A. Thomas

Operation: Gardening

Date: 31/01st January 1945 (Sunday/Monday)

Unit: No. 630 Squadron

Type: Lancaster I

Serial: PB894

Code: LE-?

Base: RAF East Kirkby, Lincolnshire

Location: North Sea, 50 km. North West Hanstholm, Denmark

Pilot: W/O. Edward Ainsley Thomas 132619 RAFVR Age 26. Missing

Fl/Eng: Sgt. David Daniel Jones 1404691 RAFVR Age 31. Missing

Nav: Fl/Sgt. William Henry McDonald Marshall 1564879 RAFVR Age 23. Missing

Air/Bmr: Fl/Sgt. Eric Leese 1579463 RAFVR Age 23. Missing

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Joseph Henry Jones 1316189 RAFVR Age 23. Missing

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Bernard John Phillips 1897422 RAFVR Age 30. Missing

Air/Gnr: Sgt. George Rex Boden 16953052 RAFVR Age 22. Missing

Relatives of W/O. Edward Ainsley Thomas are keen to find a photo of him and perhaps the crew - are you able to assist?


Took off at 16:20 hrs. from RAF East Kirkby for operations over the Kattegat. 26 aircraft took part in this magnetic mine laying operation during 20:12 hrs and 22:28 hrs.

Above left: Sgt. George Rex Boden (courtesy Andrew Swann) Right: Fl/Sgt. Joseph Henry Jones (courtesy Trevor Clark)

Only one aircraft was lost, Lancaster PB894 intercepted at 2.800 mtrs. and shot down by Hptm. Eduard Schröder (1) of 3./NJG3. The aircraft crashed at 21:00 hrs into the North Sea some 50 km. North West of Hanstholm.

(1) This was the 18th abschuss of Hptm. Eduard Schröder who went on to claim another 7 before war end. He survived. (see Kracker Archive on this site)

Burial details:

W/O. Edward Ainsley Thomas. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 268. Son of John and Mary Jane Thomas, husband of Clarice Mary Warr Thomas of Iwerne Minster, Dorset, England.

Sgt. David Daniel Jones. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 275. Son of Daniel John and Cordelia of Morriston, Glamorgan, Wales, husband of Nancy Jones.

Right: Runnymede Memorial panels (September 2014)

Fl/Sgt. William Henry McDonald Marshall. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 272. Son of William Henry and Ethel Marshall of Newcastle on Tyne, England.

Fl/Sgt. Eric Leese. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 271. Son of Harry and Elsie Leese of Burslem, Staffordshire, England.

Fl/Sgt. Joseph Henry Jones. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 271. Son of Daniel and Alice Maud Jones of Clydach Vale, Glamorgan, Wales.

Sgt. Bernard John Phillips. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 276. Son of William Bernard and Annis Phillips of Bellingham, London, England.

Sgt. George Rex Boden. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 273. Son of John Thomas and Margaret Boden of Hednesford, Staffordshire, England, husband of Ethel Brenda Boden.

Researched by Aircrew Remembered, researcher and specialist genealogist Linda Ibrom for relatives of this crew. Sharon Anderson is keen to find a photo of the pilot and or the crew. Thanks also to the following for information supplied: Trevor Clark - nephew of Fl/Sgt. Joseph H. Jones. Also to Andrew Swann, nephew of the rear gunner Sgt. George Boden who contacted us via help desk in July 2016. Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vol's. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', ‘Bomber Command Database’, Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vols. 1 and 2', 'Kracker Luftwaffe Archives'. Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries (Updated 2014 version), ‘Runnymede Memorial Database’, Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

KTY - 28.07.2016 Further crew member photo added.

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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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