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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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635 Squadron Crest
05/06.07.1944 No. 635 Squadron Lancaster III ME621 F2-R P/O. Weaver

Operation: Wizernes

Date: 05/6th July 1944 (Wednesday/Thursday)

Unit: No. 635 Squadron

Type: Lancaster III

Serial: ME621

Code: F2-R

Base: RAF Downham Market, Norfolk

Location: North Sea / Strait of Dover

Pilot: P/O. Arthur John Weaver 175501 RAFVR Age 23. Missing - believed killed

Fl/Eng: Sgt. Douglas Harold Beresford 1098060 RAFVR Age 21. Missing - believed killed

Nav: P/O. Nicolas Arthur Ireland 174243 RAFVR Age 21. Missing - believed killed

Air/Bmr: F/O. Robert Sanford 141567 RAFVR Age 30. Missing - believed killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: F/O. John Datson 1393998 RAFVR Age 21. Missing - believed killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Denis Alfred Ellicott 1806072 RAFVR Age ? Missing - believed killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Roy William Patrick Gillham 1800716 RAFVR Age 21. Missing - believed killed

The daughter of Sgt. Douglas Harold Beresford, Jo Horton would like anyone who may have known her father to contact her. She also contacted the Daily Mail and with the help of Monica Porter from the paper placed us in touch with her. The article is shown on the page and can also be expanded by clicking the image.


Further attack continued trying to eliminate the flying bomb menace that was causing heavy destruction and loss of life to the civilians in the south of England. 542 aircraft made up of 321 Lancasters, 201 Halifaxes and 20 Mosquitoes from 3, 4, 6 and 8 Groups attacked several sites with all the target being hit on this clear night with bright moon.

Lancaster ME621 took off from RAF Downham Market in Norfolk at 23:10 hrs and nothing was heard from them. It was shot down by a night fighter, possibly by Uffz. Gottfried Schneider of 3./NJG3 at 00:32 hrs with the aircraft coming down in the sea. Although there are some others who it has been impossible to place a positive identification. All the aircraft shot down during this operation came down in the sea.

Above as described - below with his newly wed wife, Margaret (courtesy Mr. Joseph Adamo - his nephew)

The Squadron lost another crew on this operation:

Lancaster II ND895 F2-W Flown by 29 year old, Sq/Ldr. Wilfred Cyril Riches DFC and Bar 121448 RAFVR from Eastborne in Sussex, England - killed with five others from his crew, one evaded capture and returned to United Kingdom. The brother of Sq/Ldr Riches, 24 year old Aubrey Eugene Riches 267559 a Lieutenant in the Royal Artillery attached to the Essex regiment was also killed, just 4 weeks later!

Burial details:

P/O. Arthur John Weaver. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 213. Son of Edward and Hilda Weaver, and husband of Margaret Weaver of Cliffe-at-Hoo, Kent, England. Pilot Officer Weaver is commemorated on the Kidderminster war memorial and also the St. Barnabus Church WW2 memorial.

Sgt. Douglas Harold Beresford. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 225. Son of Harold and Nellie Beresford, brother of Iris and Frances of Sheffield and husband of Frances K. Beresford of Welby, Lincolnshire and father of Jo. Sgt. Beresford was recruited at 3RC Padgate on 20.3.1941, serving in 24 Squadron, and 51 Squadron at Snaith before joining 635 Squadron at Downham Market in April 1944. He is also commemorated on the Sheffield war memorial and is believed to have worked as an electrician in the coal mines in the area.

P/O. Nicolas Arthur Ireland. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 211. Son of Nicolas and Beatrice Emily Ireland of Winchester, England.

F/O. Robert Sanford. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 209. Son of William and Emma Sanford and husband of Eileen Ruby of Stretham, England.

F/O. John Datson. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 216. Son of Mrs M. Datson of Greenwich, London, England.

Sgt. Denis Alfred Ellicott. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 228. Son of Herbert Edward and Frances Winifred Ellicott of Romford, Essex, England.

Sgt. Roy William Patrick Gillham. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 230. Son of Ralph Ewart and Lilian Dorothy Gillham of Little Common, Sussex, England.

Researched by Linda Ibrom for Aircrew Remembered, July 2017 and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to Jo Horton, daughter of Sergeant Beresford for information and photo. e relatives of this crew with thanks to Jo Horton, daughter of Sergeant Beresford for information and photo. We are also in contact with the nephew of the pilot, Mr. Joseph Adamo, who kindly provided permission to use his photograph. Also to Monica Porter of the Daily Mail, ”Missing” section.

LI 12.07.2017

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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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