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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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405 squadron badge
21/22.01.1944 No. 405 Squadron Lancaster III JB188 P/O. Wilson

Operation: Magdeburg, Germany

Date: 21/22nd January 1944 (Friday/Saturday)

Unit: No 405 (RCAF) Squadron

Type: Lancaster III

Serial: JB188

Code: LQ-S

Base: RAF Gransden Lodge, Cambridgeshire.

Location: Gommerm, Germany

Pilot: P/O. Kenneth Carl Wilson J/18939 RCAF Age 22. Killed

Nav: F/O. Lloyd George Speyer J/16300 RCAF Age 20. Killed (1)

Fl/Eng. Sgt. Norman Pyke 1602985 RAFVR Age 20. Killed

Air/Bmr: Sgt. Wilfred Good 1439501 RAFVR Age ? Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr. Sgt. Reginald Ralph Stevens 1393048 RAFVR Age 22. Killed

Air/Gnr (M/U): Sgt. Bruce Ralph Morrison R/161244 RCAF Age 31. Killed (2)

Air/Gnr (Rear): Sgt. Jack Hastings Paul 1608094 RAFVR Age 20. Killed


Took off at 19.54 hrs. from RAF Gransden Lodge for a bombing raid over Magdeburg, Germany and failed to return.

The majority of this crew had been together since training although their usual navigator P/O. Atkinson was recovering from wounds to his leg received on an operation to Berlin on the 2/3rd January 1944.

The usual wireless operator Sgt. John Joseph Waddell was killed flying with another crew on the 14/15th January 1944. His Lancaster III ND423 LQ-K flown by F/O. Gordon Robert Drimmie DFC was also killed with all 7 crew members.

Above left to right Sgt. Norman Pyke and Sgt. Jack Hastings Paul

A total of 648 aircraft took part in this first major raid of Magdeburg - 421 Lancasters, 224 Halifax and 3 Mosquitoes with a total loss of 8.8 per cent – 35 Halifax and 22 Lancasters. It is estimated that 12 bombers were shot down by Tame Boars somewhere between the German coast and Magdeburg. JB188 was probably shot down by a German night fighter or one of the four hit by flak, as no claims have been identified for this operation.

Sgt. Bruce Ralph Morrison also shown with his sister Phylis

Above: left on both photographs, Sgt. Good with unknown - are you able to assist us with identification? (courtesy Wendy Hulme sent to us to be included on what would have been his 94th birthday today, May 11th 2014)

(2) Sgt. Bruce Morrison's older brother was also killed just a month later. Flying with 429 Squadron, when the Halifax V LK662 AL-Q was lost on an operation to Leipzig. The pilot, F/O. Leslie Fincham along with the flight engineer Sgt. William Cotterill together with navigator 36 year old P/O. Oscar Morrison were killed. The remaining 4 crew members were taken pow.

(1) Speyer Lake in Ontario is named after F/O. Speyer

Burial details:

P/O. Kenneth Carl Wilson. Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery. Grave/Memorial Reference: Coll. Grave. 2. N. 14-19. No further details as yet, but from Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

F/O. Lloyd George Speyer. Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery. Grave/Memorial Reference: 8. H. 27. Further information: Son of Boris and Etta Speyer of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. F/O. Speyer enlisted in the RCAF in 1942 and trained as an Observer at No.7 Air Observer School, Portage la Prairie, Manitoba before being sent overseas in July 1943.

Sgt. Norman Pyke. Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery. Grave/Memorial Reference: 8. H. 35. Son of Herbert Arthur and Norah Pyke of Winchester, Hampshire, England.

Sgt. Wilfred Good. Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery. Grave/Memorial Reference: Coll. Grave 2. M. 14-19. Sgt. Good is also remembered on the Shireoak St Luke War Memorial, Nottinghamshire, England. No further details as yet

Sgt. Reginald Ralph Stevens. Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery. Grave/Memorial Reference: Coll. Grave 2. M. 14-19. Son of Frederick Charles Stevens and Ada Mary Stevens of Hither Green, London, England.

Sgt. Bruce Ralph Morrison. Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery. Grave/Memorial Reference: 8. H. 31. Son of Herman John Morrison and Myrtle Grace Morrison of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Sgt. Jack Hastings Paul. Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery. Grave/Memorial Reference: 8. H. 29. Son of John James Paul and Jennie Paul of Portswood, Southampton, Hampshire, England.

Researched by Mary Jeffrey and submitted to us with the assistance of Kate Tame (researcher and specialist genealogist), with thanks also to Colin Bamford, one of our Canadian researchers, for further information.

Dedicated to the relatives of the crew. With thanks for additional information from Bill Chorley - "Bomber Command Losses Vol. 5", Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vol's. 1 and 2', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - "Bomber Command War Diaries", Les Allison and Harry Hayward - 'They Shall Grow Not Old'. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

Also thanks to Don Clark for further information on his relative. Don is the nephew of Bruce Morrison and kindly supplied us with most of the information and photographs in this page of remembrance. Many thanks to Wendy Hulme, niece of Sgt. Wilfred Good.

Pages of Outstanding Interest
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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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