26/27.11.1943 No. 50 Squadron Lancaster I DV377 VN-X P/O. E.C. Weatherstone
Date: 26/27th November 1943 (Friday/Saturday)
Unit: 50 Squadron
Type: Lancaster I
Base: RAF Skellingthorpe
Location: RAF Melbourne, Yorkshire
Pilot: P/O. Edward Charles Weatherstone 149521 RAFVR Survived
Fl/Eng: Sgt. D. Gregory RAFVR Survived
Nav: Fl/Sgt. P.E. Thompson RAFVR Survived
Air/Bmr: Sgt. P.H. Lane RAFVR Survived
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. A.D.F. Spruce RAFVR Survived
Air/Gnr: Sgt. H.J. Lineham RAFVR Survived
Air/Gnr: Sgt. Ralph Adey Cuthbert Collingwood RAFVR Survived
REASON FOR LOSS:
Took off at 17.06 hrs from RAF Skellingthorpe, Lincolnshire to bomb Berlin together with a further 442 aircraft. Most of the Luftwaffe thought the main target had been Frankfurt and were diverted there. They intercepted the bomber stream as it passed with several losses to the allies, they were bothered very little by fighters over the target area itself and the main threat were the intensive German radar controlled flak guns.
The Luftwaffe were waiting to hit them on the return - a total of 28 aircraft lost with a further 14 crashing over England.
Berlin was hit again and although no accurate figures are available to this raid alone the damage attributed to these and the other 2 earlier raids stood at 104,613 apartments destroyed (417,665 people made homeless) and the death toll on the ground stood at 4,330 people.
On return they were diverted due to heavy fog and although very short of fuel they made Melbourne but P/O. Douglas Tovey in JA961 VN-A who had just landed, had become bogged down in soft ground - after touching down one of the wheels of DV377 went over a standard 8 van, killing the RAF driver. The Lancaster went on to hit JA961 and despite both aircraft catching fire, all the crew escaped uninjured.
Left: Combat report (National Archives)
On the 30/31st January 1944 on another operation to Berlin the same crew came under attack by night fighters, they corkscrewed starboard with the air gunners opening fire on a Ju88. after a total of 400 rounds fired the rear gunner claimed the Ju88 as destroyed.
Description of Corkscrew Manoeuvre
None - all crew survived.
Sources as quoted below.