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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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No. 550 Squadron
23/24.12.1943 550 Squadron Lancaster III ED730 BQ:G2 Sgt. Woods

Operation: Berlin

Date: 23rd/24th December 1943 (Saturday/Sunday)

Unit: 550 Squadron

Type: Lancaster III

Serial: ED730

Code: BQ:G2

Base: RAF Grimsby, Lincolnshire

Location: Near Fulstow, Lincolnshire

Pilot: Sgt. Hubert Frederick John Woods 1339079 RAFVR Age 21. Killed

Flt Eng: Sgt. David Gwyn Davies 1135384 RAFVR Age 22. Killed

Nav: Sgt. Montague Ewart Giles 1322691 RAFVR Age 22. Killed

Air Bmr: Flt Sgt. Joseph Reginald Evariste Legere R99179 RCAF Age 24. Killed

WOp/Air Gnr: Sgt. Leonard Frederick Wright 1199164 RAFVR Age 23. Killed

Air Gnr: Flt Sgt. John Carman Atherton 426486 RAAF Age 30. Killed

Air Gnr: Sgt. John McConnell 1822623 RAFVR Age 19. Killed


Took off from RAF Grimsby at 00:07hrs for a night bombing raid over Berlin. On a clear and starlit night Lancaster ED730 collided at 12,000 feet with Lancaster III ND327 also from 550 Squadron at 00:40hrs. Both aircraft were lost near Fulstow, Lincolnshire and all 14 crew lost their lives (Lancaster III ND327)

Above: Log Book for Flt Sgt John Atherton

Cambridge Cemetery 1943

Sgt. John McConnell death notice, acknowledgment and family headstone

Burial details:

Sgt. Hubert Frederick John Woods. Bristol (Arnos Vale) Cemetery, Gloucestershire. Plot TTT. Grave 101. Son of Mary Jane Woods of Bedminster, Bristol. Hubert was born in 1922 Bristol, England.

Sgt. David Gwyn Davies. Neath (Llantwit) Cemetery, Glamorganshire. Sec. P. Grave 49. Son of David and Hannah Davies of Neath. Husband of Gwendoline Marion Davies of Neath, Wales.

Sgt. Montague Ewart Giles. Gloucester Old Cemetery, Gloucestershire. Plot B. Grave 9978. Son of Montague George and Dora Winifred Giles of Gloucester, England.

Flt Sgt. Joseph Reginald Evariste Legere. Cambridge City Cemetery, Cambridgeshire. Grave 13934. Born on the 3rd April 1918 in Westmorland, New Brunswick. Son of Anselme (Samuel) Léger and Eugenie (née Thibodeau) Legere of Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada. Joseph was buried with full service honours at 11:30 Hrs on 30th December 1943.

Sgt. Leonard Frederick Wright. Hereford Cemetery, Herefordshire. Plot. (Non Conformist) Grave 6051. Born on the 29th October 1920 in Kingston, Surrey. Son of Leonard Thomas and Bessie Sophia (née Newell) Wright from Kingston, Surrey, England. His mother predeceased him in Jul-Aug-Sep 1943.

Flt Sgt. John Carman Atherton. Cambridge City Cemetery, Cambridgeshire. Grave 13734. Son of John Grainger Atherton and Gertrude Olive Atherton of Teneriffe, Queensland, Australia. John was born 19th January 1913 in Chillagoe, Queensland, Australia and enlisted in Brisbane on the 17th July 1942. He is remembered on the Roll of Honour, Brisbane, Queensland. John was buried with full service honours at 11:30a Hrs on 30th December 1943.

Sgt. John McConnell. Dalziel (Airbles) Cemetery, Lanarkshire. Sec. G. Grave 514. Son of James and Jessie McConnell of Motherwell. John is remembered on the Motherwell War Memorial, Scotland.

Researched by: Kate Tame for Aircrew Remembered and for all the relatives and friends of the crew. Updated by Aircrew Remembered (Mar 2021).

RS 13.03.2021 - Update to NoK details

Acknowledgements: 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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