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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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Squadron badge
29.01.1944 No. 15 Squadron Lancaster ED610 LS-C Fl/Lt. Woodruff D.F.C.

Mission: Berlin

Date: 29th January 1944 (Saturday)

Unit: No. 15 Squadron

Type: Lancaster

Serial: ED610

Code: LS-C

Base: R.A.F. Mildenhall, Suffolk

Location: Lost without trace

Pilot: Fl/Lt. Dennis Charles Woodruff. D.F.C. 156311. R.A.F.V.R. Age 28. Killed

Fl/Eng: Sgt. Eric Ernest Appleby. 1583410. R.A.F.V.R. Age 20. Killed

Nav: P/O. Alfred John Burcham. 162551. R.A.F.V.R. Age 26. Killed

Air/Bmr: F/O. John Eric Hussey. 132848. R.A.F.V.R. Age 23. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: P/O. Raymond Victor Newlyn. 161648. R.A.F.V.R. Age 21. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Raymond John Batham. 1851000. R.A.F.V.R. Age 19. Killed

Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Philip Kenneth Ross Gericke. D.F.M. 417298. R.A.A.F. Age 20. Killed

Took off from R.A.F. Mildenhall at 00.10hrs. to bomb Berlin. Nothing was heard from this aircraft after takeoff. The reason for the loss of Lancaster ED610 has never been established. In 1948 the wallet of Sgt. Appleby was found by the Captain of a Danish trawler on the South West coast of Denmark. It is assumed that the crew lost their lives in the North Sea


          Philip Kenneth Ross Gericke


         D.F.M. Fl/Sgt.Gericke    Fl/Lt. Woodruff. WW2 memorial plague Mayfield School, Portsmouth

Burial details:

Fl/Lt. Dennis Charles Woodruff. D.F.C. Runnymede Memorial, Surrey. Panel 204
Son of Charles Turner Woodruff and Nora Woodruff. Husband of Phyllis Mary Woodruff of North End, Portsmouth. Dennis’s widow Phyllis and his mother Nora went to Buckingham Palace to receive his posthumous D.F.C. award from the King. Dennis is remembered on the war memorial plaque in the old Northern Grammar School, Portsmouth now Mayfield School

Sgt. Eric Ernest Appleby. Runnymede Memorial, Surrey. Panel 224
Son of Cyril and Irene Appleby of Featherstone, Yorkshire.

P/O. Alfred John Burcham. Runnymede Memorial, Surrey. Panel 210
Son of Alfred and Florrie Burcham. Husband of Nanette Burcham of Gateshead, Co. Durham. At the time of Alfred’s death his address was 5 Rosecroft Walk, Pinner, Middlesex

F/O. John Eric Hussey. Runnymede Memorial, Surrey. Panel 207
Son of William and Edith Hussey of Hazlemere, Buckinghamshire. At the time of his John’s death his address was Corona Dedman Dene, Hazlemere, Buckinghamshire

P/O. Raymond Victor Newlyn. Runnymede Memorial, Surrey. Panel 212
Son of George Robert and Edith May Newlyn of Welling, Kent. At the time of his death Raymond’s parents were living at 223 Gramond Avenue, Welling, Kent. Raymond travelled to Marwell Field, Montgomery, Alabama in 1941 for aircrew training

Sgt. Raymond John Batham. Runnymede Memorial, Surrey. Panel 224
Son of Elsie Batham of Lower Weston, Bath, Somerset

Fl/Sgt. Philip Kenneth Ross Gericke. D.F.M. Runnymede Memorial, Surrey. Panel 260
Son of David Philip and Millie Gericke of Naracoorte, South Australia. Philip was born on the 22nd September 1923 in Naracoorte. He enlisted on the 28th March 1942 at No 5 Recruiting Centre, Adelaide. In 1944 Fl/Sgt. Gericke was awarded the D.F.M. London Gazette 15th February 1944. The citation “ As a rear gunner Fl/Sgt. Gericke has participated in very many sorties againts enemy targets. He is cool, confident and resolute gunner and his skill has, on more than one occasion, contributed materially to the safe return of his aircraft. On one occasion, in an attack on Kasell, his aircraft was attacked by a Junkers 88. Although his reflector sight was hit by a bullet and rendered useless, Fl/Sgt. Gericke coolly withheld his fire until the attacker came into close range and then with a well placed burst of fire, shot the enemy aircraft down. Fl/Sgt. Gericke’s determination and efficiency have set an excellent example” At Government House on Friday 15th February 1946 His Excellency the Governor (Sir Willoughy Norrie) presented the D.F.M. to Mr P. D. Gericke (father of the late Fl/Sgt. P. K. R. Gericke)

Researched by: Kate Tame for and for all the relatives of the crew

Acknowledgements: Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Australian War Memorial, W. R. Chorley Bomber Command Losses, Trove Digitised Newspapers

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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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