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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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61 Squadron crest
05/06.09.1943 No. 61 Squadron Lancaster DV232 QR-K P/O. P.H. Todd

Operation: Mannheim

Date: 05/06th September 1943 (Sunday/Monday)

Unit: 61 Squadron

Type: Lancaster III

Serial: DV232

Code: QR-K

Base: RAF Syerston

Location: River Trent, Nottinghamshire

Pilot: P/O. P.H. Todd RAFVR Survived

Fl/Eng: Sgt. S. Robson RAFVR Survived

Nav: F/O. J. Hodgkinson RAFVR Survived

Air/Bmr: Sgt. V.R. Duvall RAFVR Survived

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. W. Houseley RAFVR Survived

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Patrrick RAFVR Survived

Air/Gnr: Sgt. John Cartwright RAFVR Survived

A local committee are trying to arrange a memorial to be placed in the area and fund raising activities are being coordinated by a Mr Ken Ogilvie. For further details please contact us and details will be forwarded.


Taking off at 20:15 hrs joining 604 aircraft to bomb the city of Mannheim and Ludwigshafen This Lancaster target was Mannheim where although detailed reports were not made available regarding casualties or property damage the damage is thought to have been so severe that normal report gathering was not possible. The town described it as a 'catastrophe!'

The Allies did not come off lightly on this operation. 37 aircraft were lost, 170 aircrew killed, 64 taken PoW and 9 evading capture.

En route to the target the pilot of Lancaster DV232 was forced to return due to severe engine problems (Crews were in fact reluctant to make a return, as it would not count towards their 30 operational tours). Despite nursing the Lancaster back the pilot was forced to ditch at 03:45 hrs into the river Trent just short of its base at RAF Syerston. A remarkable achievement, with no crew member suffering any serious injuries.

Ron Spendlove and Bill Moore, who served with No 58 Maintenance Unit during WWII, recall assisting with the salvaging of this aircraft by floating it downstream from the crash site which was on the north side of the River Trent, and recovering it from the river on the south side near East Stoke.

Burial details:

None - all crew survived this and the war.

With thanks to Ken Ogilvie for supplying the majority of information for this page. Other sources as quoted below.

KTY 19.03.2016

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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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