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Archive Report: Allied Forces

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50 Squadron Crest
12/13.10.1941 No. 50 Squadron Hampden I AE367 P/O. Waddell

Operation: Hülls

Date: 12/13th October 1941 (Sunday/Monday)

Unit: No. 50 Squadron 5 Group (motto: Sic fidem servamus - 'Thus we keep faith')

Type: Hampden I

Serial: AE367

Code: VN-?

Base: RAF Swinderby, Lincolnshire

Location: Düsseldorf-Oberbilk, Germany

Pilot: P/O. John Marshall Waddell NZ/402230 RNZAF Age 22. Killed

Pilot: P/O. Walter Edmund Hinchliffe 61296 RAFVR Age ? Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Ronald William Curtis 961776 RAFVR Age 21. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Neil Rolf Lawson 627244 RAFVR Age 22. Killed


Fourteen aircraft from 50 Squadron taking part in an operation to bomb the synthetic rubber plant at Hülls - 90 aircraft made up the Bomber force. Each aircraft carrying 250 lb. incendiaries and a 1900 lb. bomb.

50 Squadron ORB reports:

Visibility deteriorated as the target was neared; four aircraft returned early with unserviceable engine-driven generator, intercom or radio systems. The target was heavily defended with flak and barrage balloons.

Two aircraft hit balloon cables causing damage, AE369 hitting two cables in succession causing it to spin down to around 1000 feet before breaking. This unfortunate crew were then engaged by flak which jammed the bomb doors preventing the release of the 1900 lb bomb which was safely brought back to Base; ten further flak hits were taken.

AE184 was hit by flak returning safely. Only four aircraft reported pinpointing the target with any certainty, and only one confirmed the results of the attack. Others bombed targets of opportunity in the area.

AE367 was the only aircraft not to return. Coned by 2/Flakscheinw Abt 648. Hit by 4 and 5/Res Flak Abt 141. 5/Res Flak Abt 251 and 2/Res Flak Abt 407. Crashed at Dusseldorf-Oberbilk.

Burial details:

P/O. John Marshall Waddell. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. Grave 11.A.15. Born on the 27th November 1918 at Christchurch, the son of John and Catherine Mary Waddell (née McLean), of Auckland City, New Zealand.

P/O. Walter Edmund Hinchliffe. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. Collective grave 11.A.16. No further details, are you able to assist?

Sgt. Ronald William Curtis. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. Collective grave 11.A.16. Son of Nellie Curtis, of Newnham, Cambridge, England.

Sgt. Neil Rolf Lawson. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. Grave 11.A.16. Son of William and Lilian Lawson, of Ilford, Essex, England.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to the research by Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3”, Auckland Library Heritage Collection, Weekly News of New Zealand, Theo Boiten publication, Nachtjagd Combat Archives 1941 The Early Years Part 2, other sources as quoted below:

KTY 02.11.2019

Acknowledgements: 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', 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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