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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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R.A.F. Crest
30/31.05.1942 No. 1652 H.C.U. Halifax I L9605 GV-Y Fl/Lt. S.G. Wright

Operation: Köln

Date: 30/31st May 1942

Unit: No. 1652 Conversion Unit

Type: Halifax I

Serial: L9605

Code: GV-Y

Base: Marston Moor (Tockwith - changed name to avoid confusion with RAF Topcliffe) Yorkshire

Location: 4 Km. South South West Venlo, Holland

Pilot: Fl/Lt. S. G. Wright 60115 RAFVR PoW No: 387. Camp: Stalag Luft 3 Sagan and Belaria

Fl/Eng: Sgt. Hugh Percival Lowman 570626 RAF Age 25 PoW No: 431 Camp: Stalag Luft 6 Heydekrug (1)

Obs: F/O. D.G. Cookson NZ/404532 RNZAF PoW No: 401 Camp: Stalag Luft 3 Sagan and Belaria

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. R.J. Tavener 964024 RAFVR PoW No: 447 Camp: Stalag Kopernikus

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Kenneth James Arthur Manley 951350 RAFVR Age 23. Killed


Took off at 23:59 hrs. from Marston Moor, Yorkshire to bomb Cologne (Köln) on a thousand bomber raid made up of 602 Wellingtons, 131 Halifaxes, 88 Stirlings, 79 Hamdens, 73 Lancasters, 43 Manchesters and 28 Mosquitoes. (1,047 aircraft.)

868 aircraft are said to have bombed the main target others bombing other targets. Huge losses were incurred on this raid with 41 aircraft lost which was classed as acceptable at the time!

Left: Sgt. Kenneth James Arthur Manley

Halifax L9605 was shot down by a German night fighter ace from Stab I./NJG1 Oblt. Reinhold Knacke at 02:04 hrs at a height of 4,500 mtrs. The area of combat was reported as 3 km. East South East of Weert.

All but one of the crew managed to bale out of the stricken Halifax, sadly, Sgt. Kenneth Manley was found dead, still at his gun in the rear of the aircraft.


Lt. Knacke became a night fighter ace with over 44 kills. He was killed on the 3/4th February 1943 from return fire from a Stirling near Achterveld/Ede 

(1) During the last weeks of the war Sgt. Hugh Percival Lowman - Later made W/O, was killed on the 19th April 1945 when allied fighter bombers strafed the prisoner of war column in which he was marching.



Burial details:

Sgt. Kenneth James Arthur Manley. Jonkerbos War Cemetery. Grave 16. H. 3. Son of Frederick George and Minnie Louisa Manley, husband of Margaret Hilda Manley, of Lockwood, Huddersfield, England.

Sgt. Hugh Percival Lowman. Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery. Grave 11.N.11. Son of Percival Rodd Lowman and Maud Mary Lowman, of Paignton, Devon, England.

Researched with assistance from Tony Cantlow. Thanks also to Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vol's. 1 and  2', Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vol's. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions' other sources as quoted.

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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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