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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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207 Squadron Crest
03/04.06.1942 207 Squadron Lancaster IB R5847 EM:Y WO. Colin Wathey

Operation: Bremen

Date: 3rd/4th June 1942 (Wednesday/Thursday)

Unit No: 207 Squadron, 5 Group

Type: Lancaster IB

Serial: R5847

Code: EM:Y

Base: RAF Bottesford, Leicestershire

Location: Zwiggelte, Netherlands

Pilot: WO. Colin Wathey 564896 RAF Age 27. KiA

2nd Pilot: Flt Sgt. Laurence John Lea 748097 RAFVR Age 26. KiA

Navigator: Sgt. Russell Royl Alwyn Jones 404540 RNZAF Age 21. KiA

WOp/Air Gnr: Flt Sgt. Grahame Leveson Musitano 1166720 RAFVR Age 20. KiA

WOp/Air Gnr: Flt Sgt. Thomas Donald Atkinson 621174 RAF Age 22. KiA

WOp/Air Gnr: Sgt. Colin James Murray Hall 933625 RAFVR Age 20. KiA

Air Gnr (Rear): Sgt. Stewart Gray Kerr 1118929 RAFVR Age 19. KiA

Above: Photograph of Course 28, for Observers at 19 OTU on the 18th September 1941. Sgt. Russell Royl Alwyn Jones, standing 1st from the left. (Courtesy of Paul Markham)

Note: the other airmen in the photograph have yet to be identified. Also although Sgt. Jones was a member of the RNZAF his Observer Bevet and shoulder "Eagles" are those for the RAF/RAFVR

Above: Sgt. Jones (Courtesy of Tricia McRae)

Above: Photograph of Course 28, for Wireless Operators/Air Gunners 19 OTU on the 18th September 1941. Flt Sgt. Grahame L. Musitano sitting 4th from the left. (Courtesy of Paul Markham)

Note: the other airmen in the photograph have yet to be identified.


A relative of Flt Sgt. Grahame Musitano is very keen to learn if his name is recorded anywhere on any war memorial - your assistance is appreciated.


REASON FOR LOSS:

Taking off from RAF Bottesford on the Leicestershire - Lincolnshire county border at 23:37 hrs. The first raid on the city since October the previous year with 170 aircraft of various types taking part.

The city reported it as a heavy attack with housing severely hit. The main area of the bombing on the U Boat construction yards and the Focke-Wulf factory described as of suffering no important damage. Some 83 people were killed in the city with a further 29 seriously injured and a further 229 others less so.

The allies suffered the loss of 11 aircraft of which 8 were due to night fighter attacks with the remainder claimed by the flak divisions.

Lancaster R5847 was claimed by the German ace, Major Günther Radusch) of Stab II/NJG3 at 01:14 hrs over Zwiggelte - all the crew lost their lives.

Major Günther Radusch survived the war with 66 victories. He died in Nordstrand, Schleswig-Holstein on July 29th 1988 of natural causes age 75.

Burial Details:

Above: Westerbork General Cemetery. In the north-eastern part are the graves of thirteen airmen; eleven of whom came from the United Kingdom, one from Canada and one from New Zealand. (Courtesy of the CWGC)

WO. Colin Wathey. Westerbork General Cemetery. Plot 33. Collective grave 3-9. Grave inscription: "LOVINGLY REMEMBERED BY WIFE MARY AND SON COLIN. DEAR IN MEMORY STILL". Son of Frank and Hilda Wathey and husband of Mary Wathey, of Stockton-on-Tees, County Durham, England.

Sadly the family were to learn of the loss of his brother just a few months earlier. Listed as missing believed killed on the 12th February 1942. Fg Off. Herbert Wathey DFM 47586 RAF was flying as an observer on a 144 Sqn Hampden AT175 on Operation Fuller.

Flt Sgt. Laurence John Lea. Westerbork General Cemetery. Plot 33. Collective grave 3-9. Grave inscription: "NON OMNIS MORIAR" (Translation: ‘NOT ALL OF ME WILL DIE’). Husband of Dorothy Joan Iris Lea, of Edgbaston, Birmingham, England.

Sgt. Russell Royl Alwyn Jones. Westerbork General Cemetery. Plot 33. Collective grave 3-9. Son of John and Ruby May Jones, of Napier, Hawke's Bay, New Zealand.

A total of 304 flying hours logged and on his 13th operational sortie.

Flt Sgt. Grahame Leveson Musitano. Westerbork General Cemetery. Plot 33. Collective grave 3-9. Grave inscription: "AT THE GOING DOWN OF THE SUN AND IN THE MORNING WE WILL REMEMBER". Son of Major A.E.G. Musitano and Elsie C. Musitano, of Marlborough, Wiltshire, England.

Flt Sgt. Thomas Donald Atkinson. Westerbork General Cemetery. Plot 33. Collective grave 3-9. Grave inscription: "GREATER LOVE HATH NO MAN THAN THIS, THAT A MAN LAY DOWN HIS LIFE FOR HIS FRIENDS". Son of Thomas and Emmie Atkinson, of Heaton Moor, Stockport, Cheshire, England.

Sgt. Colin James Murray Hall. Westerbork General Cemetery. Plot 33. Collective grave 3-9. Grave inscription: "AT THE GOING DOWN OF THE SUN AND IN THE MORNING WE WILL REMEMBER HIM". Son of Joseph Sanderson Hall and Hilda May Hall, of King's Lynn, Norfolk, England.

Sgt. Stewart Gray Kerr. Westerbork General Cemetery. Plot 33. Collective grave 3-9. Born circa 1913 in Glasgow. Are you able to assist with any further information?

Remembered on the Roll of Honour, at the Scottish National War Memorial

Researched by Kelvin Youngs (Webmaster) and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to sources as shown. Also to Shirley Boulton for contacting us in May 2018. Shirley is the only relative who had met him and is keen to find out any details on any war memorial with his name inscribed. Thanks to Paul Markham (77 Squadron Association) for the 19 OTU photographs (Oct 2023). Thanks to Tricia McRae for the photograph for Sgt. Jones

Other sources listed below:

RS 19.10.2023 - Addition of 19 OTU photograph

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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', 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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