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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 No 57 Squadron Lancaster I ED319 DX-H Sgt. David S. Warlow

Operation: Essen, Germany

Date: 09/10th 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 NZ/414705 RNZAF Age 26. Killed

Fl/Eng: Sgt. Vincent John Mervyn Donaldson 574813 RAF Age 20. Killed

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

Air/Bmr: Sgt. Robert Elwyn Roberts 1389926 RAFVR Age 31. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Jack Webber 1377524 RAFVR Age 31. Killed

Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. William Albert Gillen R/135059 RCAF Age 23. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. George Roe 1576603 RAFVR Age 21. Killed


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 (1) 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.

(1) 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. 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. 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. 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. Son of Leslie A. and Edith Webber, husband of Dorothy Rose Webber.

Fl/Sgt. William Albert Gillen. Amersfoort General Cemetery (Old Leusden) Plot 13. Row 5. Joint grave 77. Born on the 23rd February 1917 the son of Mary A. Gillen, of Rumford, Rhode Island, USA.

Sgt. George Roe. Amersfoort General Cemetery (Old Leusden) Plot 13. Row 5. Grave 75. Son of George William and Alice Roe, of Northampton, England.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to Neville Warlow - nephew of the pilot who contacted us in October 2016. Further sources as quoted below.

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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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