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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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156 Squadron Crest
27/28.05.1943 No. 156 Squadron Lancaster I W4943 Flt.Sgt. David Lawson Wallace

Operation: Essen

Date: 27/28th May 1943 (Thursday/Friday)

Unit: No. 156 Squadron

Type: Lancaster I

Serial: W4943

Code: GT-Q

Base: RAF Warboys, Huntingdonshire

Location: Otterlosche Buurtbosch, Netherlands

Pilot: Flt.Sgt. David Lawson Wallace 415060 RAAF Age 23. Killed

Fl/Eng: Sgt. R.J. Jackson 1172279 RAFVR PoW No: 178 Camp: Stalag Kopernikus

Nav: Sgt T.H. Harvey 1391148 RAFVR PoW No: 162 Camp: Stalag Kopernikus

Air/Bmr: Sgt. R.J. Twinn 1386995 RAFVR PoW No: 50 Camp: Stalag Kopernikus (1)

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. W.H.G.I. Moore 1213493 RAFVR PoW No: 213 Camp: Stalag Luft Heydekrug

Air/Gnr: Flt.Sgt. David Ross 412844 RAAF Age 23. Killed

Air/Gnr: Flt.Sgt. Hilton Arthur Lister 415538 RNZAF Age 26. Killed


518 aircraft left to bomb Essen between 00:44 hrs and 01:38 hrs. Lancaster W4943 left RAF Warboys at 23:12 hrs.

Weather conditions had been heavy cloud and with no moon - keeping the Luftwaffe night fighter activity minimal. They still counted for 18 losses but mainly over the Netherlands and Western Germany.

Research conducted by family members established that the night fighter attack severely damaged W4943 and as a consequence the pilot ordered the crew to bail out. However, the intercom was disabled and one of the crew went back though the aircraft to pass on the message. Sgts Harvey, Moor and Twinn left the aircraft through the forward hatch. Flt.Sgt. Jackson returned to the rear of the aircraft at the request of the pilot to ensure that the gunners had bailed out.
He found that Flt.Sgt. Lister had suffered a severe head wound and was unresponsive. Flt.Sgt. Ross was also severely injured and incoherent but Flt.Sgt. Jackson clipped on his parachute and on a static line and pushed him out of the aircraft then followed him out. Sadly Flt.Sgt. Ross was found on the ground with his parachute unopened. The remains of Flt.Sgt. Wallace and Flt. Sgt Lister were recovered from the aircraft wreckage. (Extract from Flight Sergeant David Ross, RAAF, 412844 - A Brief History)

The survivors manage to remain free for 3 days before capture and taken away to the various PoW camps. It is understood that another aircraft had come in the same area shortly before. We think that this was 51 Squadron Halifax II HR750 MH-W Flown by W/O. H.A. Beeston 993396 RAFVR - he survived as a PoW along with all his crew.

(1) Sgt. R.J. Twinn was treated for TB and gastric enteritis at the RAF Hospital in Wroughton on his release in May 1945.

(2)This was the 49th abscüsse for Maj. Werner Streib who went on to make a total of 65 abscüsse before the end of the war. After which he worked in the grocery business before joining the Bundeswehr on 16th March 1956.

Right: Major Werner Streib of Stab I./NJG1 (courtesy Kracker archive)

For three years he commanded the pilot school in Landsberg am Lech, equipped with the T-6 Texan and responsible for training pilots in the Luftwaffe. Brigadegeneral Streib's military career ended with his retirement on 31st March 1966. His last position was Inspector of Flying Forces. He died on the 15th June 1986 - buried in Munich, Germany.

Burial details:

Flt.Sgt. David Lawson Wallace. Ede General Cemetery. Row H. Joint Grave 5. Born on the 03rd April 1920 at Edinburgh, Scotland, the son of Thomas Ford Wallace and Isabella Miller Wallace, of 178 Eigth Avenue, Inglewood, Perth, Western Australia. Farmer prior to service.

Flt.Sgt. David Ross. Ede General Cemetery. Row H. Grave 4. Born on the 06th November 1919 at Swan Hill, Victoria, the son of David Alexander Ross and Jessie Elizabeth Ross, of Crescent Street, Narrandera, New South Wales, Australia.

Flt.Sgt. Hilton Arthur Lister. Ede General Cemetery. Row H. Joint Grave 5. Son of Charles Glifton Lister and of Alice Martha Lister (née Baxter), of New Plymouth, Taranaki, New Zealand, stepson of Ida Marion Lister, of New Plymouth, New Zealand. His 5th operation with a total of 300 hrs flying experience.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to the research by Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3”, Auckland War Memorial Museum, Weekly News of New Zealand, our thanks also to Des Philipet for grave photos and the sources shown below. Thanks also to Stew Ross for a copy of "Flight Sergeant David Ross, RAAF, 412844 - A Brief History".

RS 27.08.2019 - Addition of information provided by Stew Ross

Pages of Outstanding Interest
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CWGC: Your Relative's Grave Explained •  USA Flygirls •  Axis Awards Descriptions •  'Lack Of Moral Fibre'
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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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