14/15.02.1945 No. 432 Squadron Halifax VII RG449 QO-S Sq/Ldr. Thompson
Date: 14/15th February 1945 (Wednesday/Thursday)
Unit: No. 432 Squadron RCAF
Type: Halifax VII
Base: RAF East Moor, North Yorkshire
Location: Schonau an der Brend, Bavaria
Pilot: Sq/Ldr. Jack Harvey Thompson RCAF PoW (From White Rock, British Columbia, Canada)
Fl/Eng: P/O. George Lionel Sorrell 195069 RAFVR Age 36. Killed (See below)
Nav: F/O. John James Serne RCAF PoW (From Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada)
Air/Bmr: F/O. Robert Alexander Adrian Borland RCAF PoW (From Eckhart, Manitoba, Canada)
W/Op/Air/Gnr: F/O. Stanley Armitage Harrison RCAF PoW (From Camlachie, Ontario, Canada)
Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Richard James Stringer RCAF PoW (From Toronto, Ontario, Canada)
Air/Gnr: P/O. Robert Denis Thomson RCAF PoW (From Montreal, Quebec, Canada)
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off from RAF East Moor at 16:49 hrs
The crews were over the target at between 18,000 and 20,000 feet, releasing 431,000 lbs on incendiaries and 291,000 lbs. of high explosives. According to reports, the target was cloud covered with some damage caused.
Believed to have been shot down by Hptm Heinz Rökker of 2./NJG2 flying Ju88G-6 [4R + CK] at 2203, crashing at Schonau an der Brend roughly 11 km NW from Neustadt/Saale. Hptm Rökker, who claimed the bomber as a "Lancaster", reported firing just two bursts of schräge Musik, one of which killed Sgt Sorrell.
The aircraft crashed just west of Schonau an der Brend.
Crew shown L-R: F/O. Borland, P/O. Thomson, Sgt. Worthington, F/O. Harrison. Front: Sq/Ldr. Thompson, Sgt. Sorrell, F/O. Serne.
Notes: Sq/Ldr. Jack Harvey Thompson - Born Vancouver 29 April, 1911. Son of George and Margaret (née Moffet) Thompson. Became a realtor post war. Died 31 January 1989, White Rock, British Columbia. F/O. John James Serne - Born 1912, deceased 1995.
Illustration courtesy Holger Wörner
P/O. George Lionel Sorrell. Hanover War Cemetery. Grave 4J.15. Son of William George Sorrell, and of Amy Louise Sorrell, of Wimbledon Park, Surrey, England. Grave inscription reads: "Though So Far Away My Love And Thoughts Are With You Always. R.I.P. Mother".
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to Holger Wörner and Bill Worthington. Also to Dave Champion for full crew names - February 2018.