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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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431 Squadron crest
12/13.05.1943 No. 431 Squadron Wellington X HE440 SE-Y Sgt. George R.Y. Wood

Operation: Duisberg

Date: 12/13th May 1943 (Wednesday/Thursday)

Unit: No. 431 Squadron (RCAF) 

Type: Wellington X 

Serial: HE440

Code: SE-Y

Base: RAF Burn, Yorkshire. 

Location: Huppel, Netherlands. 

Pilot: Sgt. George Robert Yorston Wood 658403 RAF Age 23. Killed

Nav: Sgt. Edward Leo Gummer 1379214 RAFVR Age 20. Killed

Air/Bmr: Sgt. Innis Edward Mobley 1575533 RAF Age 21. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Andrew Cresswell 1210978 RAFVR Age 23. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Thomas Haig Smith 993817 RAFVR Age 26. Killed 

We would like to invite any other relatives of the crew to contact us with any additional information - full credits provided of course.


Took off at 23.45 hrs. and joined 571 other aircraft heading for Diusberg. 

Approximately four hours later, just short of the Dutch/German border HE440 was attacked and shot down by an M110 flown by Oblt. Manfred Meurer of 3/NJG1 (2). HE440 caught fire and crashed in a wood at Huppel, near the Dutch town of Winterswijk at 02.25 hrs. on 13th May 1943. Sgt. Mobley managed to bale out of the aircraft but was too low for his parachute to deploy. His body was found some distance from the crash site.

Believed to be members of the crew of HE440 (courtesy Peter Rhebergen)

Above and below crash site - with photos taken at great risk by very brave Dutch patriots (courtesy Peter Rhebergen)

Sgt. Innis Edward Mobley and grave (courtesy Peter Rhebergen)


(1) Sgt. Innis Edward Mlbley was a pupil of Moseley Grammar School from 1933 to 1938. 

(2) This was the 24th of Oblt. Manfred Meurer’e 65 confirmed kills before he died on 24th January 1944 in a midair collision with a Lancaster. He had been awarded the Knights Cross with Oak Leaves.

Winterswijk Cemetery (courtesy Peter Rhebergen)

Burial details:

Sgt. George Robert Yorston Wood. Winterswijk Cemetery Grave 27. Son of William Mitchell Wood and Lena Lydia Wood, of North Shields, Northumberland, husband of Olive Wood, of North Shields, England.

Sgt. Edward Leo Gummer. Winterswijk Cemetery Grave 26. Son of Edward Joseph and Mary Ellen Gummer, of Accrington, Lancashire, England.

Sgt. Innis Edward Mobley. Winterswijk Cemetery Grave 28. Son of Arthur P. and Norah E. Mobley, of Yardley Wood, Birmingham, England.

Sgt. Andrew Cresswell. Winterswijk Cemetery Grave 24. Son of Andrew and Elsie May Cresswell, of Wolverhampton, England.

Sgt. Thomas Haig Smith. Winterswijk Cemetery Grave 25. Son of Thomas and Lily Smith, nephew of Elizabeth Bromilow, of Leigh, Lancashire, England.

Researched by: Peter Rhebergen, Netherlands and Keith Townsend, historian of Moseley School war memorial records.

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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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