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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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102 Squadron Crest
02/03.02.1943 No. 102 Squadron Halifax II W7882 DY-P Fl/Sgt. H.A. Ross Thomson

Operation: Köln

Date: 02/03rd February 1943

Unit: No. 102 Squadron

Type: Halifax II

Serial: W7882

Code: DY-P

Base: RAF Pocklington

Location: Luyksgestel, Netherlands

Pilot: Fl/Sgt. Hugh Alexander Ross Thomson 1330740 RAFVR Age 21. Killed

Fl/Eng: Sgt. Glyndwr Guerrier 568519 RAF Age 23. Killed

Nav: Sgt. Richard William Goffin 1264837 RAFVR Age 31. Killed

Air/Bmr: Fl/Sgt. Douglas Hubert Watt R/67910 RCAF Age 26. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Harry John Naylor 1310478 RAFVR Age ? Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Ronald Frank Lillywhite DFM 1354876 RAFVR Age 20. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Douglas Victor Gwillam 1217158 RAFVR Age 25. Killed


Taking off at 18.53 hrs from RAF Pocklington on an operation to Köln (Cologne) 161 aircraft taking part using new pathfinder techiques. Markers were dropped by both the Mosquitoes and the H2S equipped bombers. Results were not as expected with well scattered bombing.

Left - Right: Sgt. Richard William Goffin, Fl/Sgt. Douglas Hubert Watt, Sgt. Douglas Victor Gwillam (see credits)

Above: 102 Squadron Halifax at Pocklington (courtesy IWM)

Reports from the city state that damage was right across but with no serious damage. The luftwaffe airfield was struck by 6 huge 4,000 lbs. causing medium to severe damage. 65 houses were destroyed and nearly 1,600 damaged - most of this by blast from 15 x 4,000 pounders. 14 people on the ground were killed.

Below area of recovery of many pieces from these aircraft (courtesy Adrian van Zantvoort)

Bomber Command lost 5 aircraft, 28 aircrew killed, 7 taken PoW.

Halifax W7882 collided with a Lancaster W4819 from 44 squadron with both aircraft coming down at Luyksgestel, in the Netherlands. Sadly all 14 crew killed.

Sgt Lillywhite had gained his DFM for outstanding skill and determination on an operation to mannheim in December 1942 (Gazetted 5th January 1943)



Burial details:

Fl/Sgt. Hugh Alexander Ross Thomson. Eindhoven (Woensel) General Cemetery. Plot JJB. Grave 13. Son of Alexander Ross Thomson and Maud Scott Thomson, of Tunbridge Wells, Kent, England. His headstone reads: ‘O valiant heart.’

Sgt. Glyndwr Guerrier. Eindhoven (Woensel) General Cemetery. Plot JJB. Grave 19. Son of Ebenezer and Blodwin Guerrier; husband of G. E. Muriel Guerrier, of Croydon, Surrey, England. His headstone reads: ’No verse can say, no flowers convey. How much we lost on that sad day.’

Sgt. Richard William Goffin. Eindhoven (Woensel) General Cemetery. Plot JJB. Grave 10. Son of Richard Francis Arthur and Lydia Amelia Goffin; husband of Kathleen Ethel Goffin, of Hillingdon, Middlesex, England. His headstone reads: ‘Always with us, in the presence of the dear little daughter you never knew.’

Fl/Sgt. Douglas Hubert Watt. Eindhoven (Woensel) General Cemetery. Plot JJB. Grave 11. Son of James G. and Madeline Watt, of Scudder, Ontario, Canada. No grave inscription.

Sgt. Harry John Naylor. Eindhoven (Woensel) General Cemetery. Plot JJB. Grave 14. Son of Harry and Mary Eleanor Naylor, of Saffron Walden, Essex, England. His headstone reads: ’To be with us in the same old way would be our dearest wish today, R.I.P.’

Sgt. Ronald Frank Lillywhite DFM. Eindhoven (Woensel) General Cemetery. Plot JJB. Grave 16. Son of Alfred Williams Lillywhite and Alice Harriett Jane Lillywhite, of Storrington, Sussex, England. His headstone reads: ‘His work well done, which helped to win the peace - Mum, Dad and Ralph.’

Sgt. Douglas Victor Gwillam. Eindhoven (Woensel) General Cemetery. Plot JJB. Grave 8. Son of Mr. and Mrs. L. A. Gwillam, of Droitwich, Worcestershire, England. His headstone reads: ‘February comes with sad regret, For the son we lost and will never forget.’

Researched for Terry Pratchett and the family of Sgt. Richard Goffin, Grace Johnson and family of Fl/Sgt. Watt, Adrian van Zantvoort for crash site photo and other information, with page dedicated to the relatives of this crew - thanks to Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vol's. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries'(Updated 2014 version), Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Aircrew Remembered own Archives.

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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', 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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