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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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57 Squadron Crest
09/10.01.1943 57 Squadron Lancaster I ED319 DX:H Sgt. David S. Warlow

Operation: Essen, Germany

Date: 9th/10th January 1943 (Saturday/Sunday)

Unit No: 57 Squadron

Type: Lancaster I

Serial: ED319

Code: DX:H

Base: RAF Scampton, Lincolnshire

Location: Haarzuilens, Holland

Pilot: Sgt. David Stanley Warlow 414705 RNZAF Age 26. KiA

Flt Eng: Sgt. Vincent John Mervyn Donaldson 574813 RAF Age 20. KiA

Nav: Sgt. Alexander Jacobsen 1318066 RAFVR Age 19. KiA

Bomb Aimer: Sgt. Robert Elwyn Roberts 1389926 RAFVR Age 31. KiA

WOp/Air Gnr: Sgt. Jack Webber 1377524 RAFVR Age 31. KiA

Air Gnr (Mid Upp): Flt Sgt. William Albert Gillen R135059 RCAF Age 23. KiA

Air Gnr (Rear): Sgt. George Roe 1576603 RAFVR Age 21. KiA

Above Sgt. Warlow taken from a larger image of the class of 6 Advanced Flying Unit (AFU), RAF Little Rissington, May 1942 (Courtesy of the Air Force Museum of New Zealand)


Taking off from RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire at 17:22 hrs to join 2 Pathfinder Mosquitoes and 50 Lancasters from 5 Group to attack Essen.

Reports from the city stated that the bombing was concentrated in or near the centre with 127 buildings destroyed or seriously damaged - 28 people killed on the ground. 20 allied aircrew killed with just one surviving as a PoW from 3 Lancasters lost during this operation.

During the inbound flight over Holland the bomber stream encountered Luftwaffe night fighters. Lancaster ED319 was intercepted by Lt. Erich Richter of 2./NJG1 his 2nd claim of the war and shot down at 20:02 hrs - the aircraft crashing at Haarzuilens in the Netherlands with the loss of all the crew.

Lt. Erich Richter was killed the following week on the 17/18th January 1943 after baling out south of Houten with his Bordfunker Karl Pöttker in his Bf110-4 G9+GK Wnr. 4752. (see Kracker Luftwaffe Archive on this site)

Burial details:

Sgt. David Stanley Warlow. Amersfoort General Cemetery (Old Leusden) Plot 13. Row 5. Grave 78. Son of John and Mary E. Warlow, of St. Martins, Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand.

A total of 386 flying hours logged, thought to be his 8th operation.

Sgt. Vincent John Mervyn Donaldson. Amersfoort General Cemetery (Old Leusden) Plot 13. Row 5. Grave 79. Grave inscription: 'GREATER LOVE THAN THIS NO MAN HATH, THAT A MAN LAY DOWN HIS LIFE FOR HIS FRIENDS'. Son of Robert and Alfreda Anna Donaldson, of Harrow, Middlesex, England.

Sgt. Alexander Jacobsen. Amersfoort General Cemetery (Old Leusden) Plot 13. Row 5. Grave 80. Grave inscription: IN LOVING MEMORY OF MY DEAR SON ALEXANDER. MAY HIS BRAVE YOUNG SOUL REST IN PEACE’. Son of Sam and Kitty Jacobsen, of Stamford Hill, London, England.

Sgt. Robert Elwyn Roberts. Amersfoort General Cemetery (Old Leusden) Plot 13. Row 5. Grave 76. Grave inscription: 'A DEVOTED SON, AN AFFECTIONATE BROTHER, A LOYAL FRIEND. AT REST WITH GOD'. Son of David E. and Jane A. Roberts, of Rhyl, Flintshire, North Wales.

Sgt. Jack Webber. Amersfoort General Cemetery (Old Leusden) Plot 13. Row 5. Joint grave 77. Grave inscription: 'GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN'. Son of Leslie A. and Edith Webber, husband of Dorothy Rose Webber.

Flt Sgt. William Albert Gillen. Amersfoort General Cemetery (Old Leusden) Plot 13. Row 5. Joint grave 77. Born on the 23rd February 1917 in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. Son of John Edward (deceased) and Mary Agnes (née Huntress) Gillen of Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.

Was a Cpl. serving in the reserve of the United States Marine Corps (USMC) prior to enlisting in the RCAF on the 1st October 1941.

Sgt. George Roe. Amersfoort General Cemetery (Old Leusden) Plot 13. Row 5. Grave 75. Grave inscription: 'A SMILING FACE, A HEART OF GOLD, ONE OF THE BEST THIS WORLD COULD HOLD'. Son of George William and Alice Roe, of Northampton, England.

Researched by Kelvin Youngs (Webmaster) and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to Neville Warlow, nephew of the pilot who contacted us in October 2016. Thanks to Paul Markham for the image of Sgt. Warlow which has been added to the updated report (Feb 2024)

Other sources listed below.

RS 28.02.2024 - Sgt Warlow photograph added to updated report
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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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