The information on this page could not have been completed without the help and assistance of the following -
Larry Wright of Canada http://www.lancaster-archive.com/
And the owner of - http://www.lostbombers.co.uk/
Harry Green http://www.firebynight.co.uk/Wigsley%20crew.html
Son of James and Sarah Jane Birkett, of Keswick, Cumberland.
620 Squadron, Formed as a heavy bomber unit within No 3 Group at Chedburgh on 17 June 1943 equipped with Stirlings. It only operated as a bomber unit until November that year. In five months of bomber operations, the squadron had lost a total of twenty six aircraft. it was then transferred to No 38 Group, moving to Leicester East.
31 August/1 September 1943
622 aircraft - 331 Lancasters, 176 Halifaxes, 106 Stirlings, 9 Mosquitos carried out a further attack on Berlin.
Stirling EH946 QS-P delivered to No.620 Sqdn 26 Jul 1943.
Airborne 20.12 31st Aug 1943 from Chedburgh. Shot down by a night-fighter and crashed at Looberghe (Nord), 12 km SSW of Dunkirk, where three of those killed are buried in the Town Cemetery. Sgt Taylor and Sgt Whitfield have no known graves. P/O Campbell came from Port Macquarie, New South Wales, and when choosing his first name, his parents settled on Macquarie.
P/O M.J.Campbell RAAF KIA
Sgt W.D.Whitfield KIA
F/O H.G.F.Cox RNZAF PoW
F/S A.H.Smith RNZAF PoW
Sgt S.E.Birkett KIA
Sgt T.H.Loke KIA
MARK WATSON CARTMELL Flt/Engr R.A.F.V.R. 103 sqn 27th November 1943
Son of Thomas S. Cartmell and Constance M.
Cartmell, of Keswick. Buried St Johns, Keswick
Mark was killed in action along with all but one
of his crew when their Lancaster III ED417 out of Elsham Wolds
Collided with Halifax II serial JN966 code NA-V from 428 Squadron
out of Middleton St George on their return from Ops to Stuttgart
. They had taken off at 17.31 one of four 103 Sqd Lancasters
lost on this op.
Members of the crew of Lancaster ED417 were as follows -
443 Lancasters and 7 Mosquitos to Berlin and Stuttgart (diversion). Both forces flew a common route over Northern France and on nearly to Frankfurt before diverging. The German controllers thought that Frankfurt was the main target until a late stage and several bombers were shot down as they flew past Frankfurt. Only a few fighters appeared over Berlin, where flak was the main danger, but the scattered condition of the bomber stream at Berlin meant that bombers were caught by fighters off track on the return flight and the casualties mounted. 28 Lancasters were lost, 6.2 per cent of the force, and 14 more Lancasters crashed in England. The weather was clear over Berlin but, after their long approach flight from the south, the Pathfinders marked an area 6-7 miles north-west of the city centre and most aircraft bombed there. Because of Berlin's size, however, most of the bombing still fell within the city boundaries and particularly on the semi-industrial suburb of Reinickendorf; smaller amounts of bombing fell in the centre and in the Siemensstadt (with many electrical factories) and Tegel districts. The Berlin Zoo was heavily bombed on this night. Many of the animals had been evacuated to zoos in other parts of Germany but the bombing killed most of the remainder. Several large and dangerous animals - leopards, panthers, jaguars, apes - escaped and had to be hunted and shot in the streets.
101 Squadron was Bomber Command's first electronic counter-measures squadron. Many of its aircraft flying with an extra crew member, the special equipment operator, whose job it was to use transmitters on the aircraft to jam German night fighter radio frequencies."Serial range W4761 - W5012 This aircraft was one of 200 Lancasters ordered from Metro-Vick in 1940 and built as 170 Mk.1s (W4761-W4982) with Merlin 20 engines and 30 Mk.111s (W4983-W5012) with Merlin 28 engines from Sep42 to May43. They were transported to Woodford for final assembly and flight testing. W4796 was delivered to 101 Sqdn 18Nov42. W4796 took part in the following Key Operations: Stuttgart 22/23Nov42; Turin 28/29Nov42; Frankfurt 2/3Dec42 - Aborted with frozen bomb release mechanism, hit by Flak and lost one engine. W4796 returned on three engines and landed with a full bomb load in 200 yards visibility using SBA. P/O H.E.Dabbs was awarded an immediate DFC; Essen 4/5 Jan 1943-Lost.
When lost on the raid to Essen this aircraft had a total of 47 hours.
airborne 17.30 4th January 1943 from Holme-on-Spalding Moor. Lost without trace. all are commemoraated on the Runnymede Memorial. P/O Brodie was a Graduate from edinburgh University.
F/S L.J.Waterhouse RNZAF KIA
sgt E.J.Dollard KIA
P/O J.D.Brodie KIA
Sgt J.W.C.Clark KIA
Sgt L.Davies KIA
Sgt J.Perry KIA
Sgt G.F.Roberts KIA
WILLIAM J. EWART age 25 P/O R.A.F.V.R 2nd June 1942
23 OTU. Killed in Wellington IC (Z8867) which crashed on a raid to Essen. Took off at 22:55 from Stradishall and came down near Heer, Netherlands. Crew initially buried at Venlo. Other crew killed were P/O R A Minchin, Flt Sgt D R Stuart, P/O G Gascoyne & P/O R Scriven.
LESLIE DENT Sergeant (W.Op./Air Gnr.) R.A.F.V.R. 18th June 1941
Buried at Crosthwaite, 14 OTU. Killed in Hampden I (P1211) which crashed on approach at Cottesmore at 09:20 hrs. Pilot Officer A A Cooke also killed.
MARY EVANS age 24 ACW 1st class W.A.A.F 12th February 1945
Daughter of Walter and Josephine Evans, of Keswick. Buried St Johns, Keswick. Based at R.AF Weeton, Mary was a clerk, she died of meningitis in Blackpool Victoria Hospital.
I was called up to serve in the WAAF in 1943. My
trade was that of telephonist which saw me posted to RAF Weeton
in Lancashire where I had two very good friends, one a fellow
telephonist was Hilda Brown and the other, a clerk, was Mary
Evans from Keswick where her parents had a private hotel.
I recall after being at Weeton only a few months, how Mary complained of severe headaches so we advised her to report sick which she did and was admitted to the Sick Quarters for observation and further treatment. From there she was transferred to the Victoria Hospital in Blackpool where she fell into a coma. All this happened very quickly, over a matter of several days with her parents not being informed of the seriousness of her condition by the Service Authorities. In retrospect they were aggrieved at not being informed until it was too late.
Both Hilda and I knew Mary was seriously ill but that was all. We learned later that she had contracted meningitis. We were informed of her death by an officer and that Hilda and I, being her closest friends, had to represent the Service at her funeral accompanied by an officer. Her parents wanted no other contact with the WAAF as they were very bitter over the delay in informing them of the seriousness of Mary's condition and we were the only people requested to attend by her parents.
I remember the journey from Weeton to the funeral at Keswick very clearly. The three of us, Hilda, I and the officer had each to carry two huge wreaths. The officer travelled first class and we noticed her packed lunch was not the same as ours as it was wrapped in a white napkin and ours was old cheese in thick bread wrapped in greaseproof paper and nothing to drink with it. We tried to eat the sandwiches but eventually gave up on them.
It was with great relief that we stopped at Carnforth Station where ladies of the WVS, as it was then, were handing out jam jars of lovely hot tea to Service personnel which was most welcome. I remember thinking at the time, that if my mother, who was only a few miles away in Lancaster, could have seen her well brought up daughter drinking tea from a jam jar on Carnforth Station she would have been most upset!.
As the train arrived late we had to run into Keswick from the station still carrying our huge wreaths. I recall as we turned a street corner we bumped into several small boys playing. One turned and looked directly at me and I recognised Mary's little brother who I'd met before, it was a horrible experience. I couldn't control my tears or wipe them away as I was carrying Mary's wreaths.
Being late the cortege was leaving the house as we arrived so we joined the rear of the procession until Hilda and I were ordered to 'slow march' each side of our friend's coffin to the graveside. At the burial we had to stand and salute as the coffin was slowly lowered into the grave, a terrible experience I shall never forget as we were all such close friends barely out of our teens.
Courtesy of Joan Woodhouse/BBC Peoples
GEORGE EDWARD GILPIN Sgt Air/Gnr R.A.F. 50 Sqd 4th May 1944
ED870 was initially
issued to 97 Sqdn May 1943 before joining 50 Squadron Sep 1943 as
VN-I or VN-J.
ED870 took part in the following Key Raids: With 50 Sqdn - Berlin 22/23Nov43; Berlin 23/24Nov43; Berlin 2/3Dec43; Berlin 16/17Dec43; Berlin 29/30Dec43; Berlin 1/2Jan44; Berlin 2/3Jan44; Berlin 27/28Jan44; Berlin 30/31Jan44; Berlin 15/16Feb44; Leipzig 19/20Feb44;Nuremberg 30/31Mar44; Schweinfurt 26/27Apr44. ED870 completed 59 operations, and when lost had a total of 598 hours. ED870 was one of four 50 Squadron Lancasters lost on this operation. See: LM437; LM480; ND953.Lancaster Mark 3 ED870
Take off 21.58
Skellingthorpe. Part of a force of 360 aircraft - 346 Lancasters,
14 Mosquitoes, tasked to attack the German military camp situated
close the French village of Mailly. Two
Master Bombers where use to control the raid; the first the "Marker Leader" assessed the initial target marking to be accurate and transmitted this to the "Main Force Controller" who was then advised that the main force bombers to come in and bomb. However, "Main Force Controller's" VFH radio could not transmit as it had been incorrectly tuned and was being drowned out by an American forces broadcast. The main force by this time had arrived on schedule and began to circle awaiting the "Main Force Controller's" order to bomb, which he could not transmit. Finally, the "Deputy Main Force Controller" took over the raid and some 1,500 tons of bombs were accurate placed causing heavy damage. Local reports record 114 barrack buildings, 47 transports sheds and several buildings used to store ammunition being hit and 102 vehicles which included 37 tanks as destroyed. The delay in bombing allowed the German night-fighter's to arrive and combats began even as the force continued to circle;and then continued along the homebound leg. 42 aircraft, 11.60 percent of the force were lost - 42 Lancasters.
As the Lancaster approached the aiming point it was shot down and crashed at Poivres (Aube) approximately 20 km's NNE of Arcis-sur-Aube. All of the crew are buried in the Poivres Churchyard. Sgt. White, RCAF was flying as mid-upper gunner. At the time of its loss the aircraft had accumulated a total of 538 hours on its airframe.
reported to have completed 59 operational
P/O A.Handley KIA
Sgt C.t.Brown KIA
F/O T.E.Archard KIA
F/S R.S.Garrod KIA
Sgt C.Whitelock KIA
Sgt J.M.White ECAF KIA
Sgt D.Bisset KIA
GEORGE D. KIRKBY age 22 F/sgt R.A.F.V.R. 144 Sqn 4th Sept 1942
Son of George and Daisy Kirkby, of Grasmere
Part of 5 group, the squadron continued to operate out of North Luffenham until April 1942, when it’s role changed to torpedo bombing and it joined Coastal Command at RAF Leuchars 21 Apr 1942 - Sep 1942. 144 Sqn was the RAF Hampden Squadron to incur the most operational losses while operating the type, suffering a total of 109 aircraft lost.
JOSEPH HENRY PEILL Flt/ Sgt R.A.F. 50 Sqn 5th January 1945
This aircraft was one of 200 Lancaster Mk.1s ordered Apr 1943 from Metro-Vick and delivered from June 1944 to Dec 44 with Merlin 24 engines. PD292 was delivered to 50 Squadron August 1944. No other operational history.
Lancaster MK1 PD292, take off 00.59 Skellingthorpe. Part of a force of 354 aircraft - 347 Lancasters, 7 Mosquitoes, tasked to attack Royan. With the objective of 'softening up' the German Garrison which held the town and prevented the Allies for gaining access to the port of Bordeaux; the target was attacked in two waves separated by one hour. Bombing is reported to have been extremely accurate and the 1,576 tons of bombs are estimated to have destroyed between 85 to 90 percent of the town. This is a controversial raid as many French civilians remained in the town, but information passed to Allied Supreme Headquarters stated that all remaining French citizens remaining were considered to be German collaborators. This information was proved incorrect as each, after being given the opportunity to leave by the German Commander, had decided to remain in order to protect their properties. Bomber Command was cleared of all accusations and the officer who requested the raid take placed and supplied the information regarding the French citizens was removed from his command. The German garrison finally surrendered on 18 April 1945. 4 aircraft, 1.13 percent of the force were lost - 4 Lancasters. The aircraft was lost without trace. All of the crew have no known graves and are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.
F/O V.G.Sagar KIA
Sgt A.Jones KIA
F/S D.Jackson KIA
F/S J.C.McFee RCAF KIA
F/S W.R.Dawes KIA
F/S J.H.Peill KIA
F/S J.H.Goddard KIA
Son of George and Ann Ellen Richardson; husband of Kathleen Richardson, of Keswick. Buried St Johns, Keswick
ERIC SANDERSON age 26 Flt/ Lt R.A.F.V.R 97 sqn 29th June 1943
Son of Percy and Edith Mary Sanderson, of Brigham, Cumberland; husband of Frances Louisa Sanderson.
28/29 June 1943 Cologne
Lancaster LM323U This aircraft was one of 350 Lancasters ordered from A.V.Roe (Yeadon) as Mk.111 except for the first ten as Mk.1 (LM301-LM310) delivered from Oct42 to Oct44. Mk.1s had Merlin 20 engines and the Mk.111s Merlin 38 engines initially installed. LM323 was delivered to 97 Sqdn 22 May 1943. LM323 was not involved with any other Key Operation. When lost this aircraft had a total of 27 hours.
Airborne 22.51 28th June 1943 from Bourn, Bomb load 1 x 4000lb 12 SBC . Shot down by a night-fighter (Lt Heinz-Wolfgang Schnaufer, 11/NJG1) crashing 01.30 29th June 1943 at Solwaster and on the western side of the Hautes Fagnes 12 km SE of Verviers. Taken first to St-Truiden, they have been subsequently re-interred in the Heverlee War Cemetery.
F/L F.P.Seward KIA
Sgt B.E.Lewis KIA
F/O E.Sanderson KIA
F/O E.E.Lawton KIA
F/S K.I.Smith KIA
Sgt A.Monaghan KIA S
gt M.D.Horner KIA
STEPHENSON age 20 Sgt/ Air Gunner 218 Sqn Royal Air
Force 19th May 1942
Son of John W. and Sarah J. Stephenson, of Bridge End Cottage, Thirlmere, Cumberland. Before the war was a fitter at Keswick Gas Works.
Commemerated on the Runnymede Memorial.Stirling Mk.1. DJ977 delivered to No.218 Sqdn 22nd Aprl 1942.
Airborne 23.16 on 19th May 1942 from Marham, 9 miles south east of Kings lynn on a operation to Mannheim.
Lost without trace. All are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.
F/S S.A.Coggin KIA
Sgt R.P.M.Parker KIA
Sgt J.H.Stephenson KIA
Sgt P.H.Ward KIA
Sgt T.McDonagh KIA
F/S H.A.Worthington KIA
F/S W.H.Goodrum KIA
F/S F.N.Hanish KIA
The Bomber Command Report for the raid :
19/20 May 1942 Mannheim
197 aircraft - 105 Wellingtons, 31 Stirlings, 29 Halifaxes, 15 Hampdens, 13 Lancasters, 4 Manchesters.
11 aircraft - 4 Halifaxes, 4 Stirlings, 3 Wellingtons - lost.
155 aircraft reported hitting Mannheim but most of the bombing photographs showed forest or open country. The Mannheim reports described the long delay before the attack developed, with aircraft at greater heights than in previous raids passing to and fro searching for the target. When the raid did begin, bombs approximately equivalent to no more than 10 aircraft loads fell in the city. A concentrated group of about 600 incendiaries in the harbour area on the Rhine burnt out 4 small industrial concerns - a blanket factory, a mineral-water factory, a chemical wholesalers and a timber merchants. Only light damage was caused elsewhere in the city.
MAURICE NOEL GRAHAM SWINDLE age 20 Sgt Flt/Eng R.A.F.V.R. 22nd November 1943
Son of Isaac Clark Swindle and Florence Mary Swindle, of Keswick. Buried St Johns, Keswick
1664 HCU. Killed in Halifax V (EB150) which
crashed at night on training flight at Blue Anchor Farm, near
Others killed were F/O J V Williamson, Flt Sgt S T Litynesky RCAF, WO2 S R Doney RCAF, Sgt R B Sellars & Sgt N J Collins RCAF. Flt Sgt J H Milroy RCAF survived injured.
THOMAS E. THOMPSON age 21 Sgt R.A.F.V.R 37 Sqn 20th February 1943
Son of Daniel Robinson Thompson and Jessie Thompson, of Keswick, Cumberland. Commemorated Alamein Memorial, 37 Squadron flying Wellingtons served in the Middle East from November 1940 to December 1943 when they transferred to Italy.
JOHN FISHER THWAITE age 22 Bomb Aimer R.A.F.V.R. 22 October 1943
Son of Fisher and Agnes Thwaite, of Mount Pleasant, Braithwaite. Buried at Newlands, killed on training flight.
LANCASTER L7575 - HCU 1654
Crashed on training exercise 22nd October 1943, entire crew killed
Took off at 18.55 hrs RAF Wigsley, five miles west of Lincoln. Meanwhile, eighteen Luftwaffe aircraft crossed the south-east coast for targets in the London area. L7575's scheduled route is unknown but evidence from the inquest implied a turning point in the Watford-St Albans area. L7575 arrived in the area at about 1955 hrs just when the air raid alert was on. It crashed on Colney Heath killing all the crew.
Pilot: P/O Ewan TaylorFlight Engineer: Sgt Albert Rooks
Navigator: F/O Eric Williams
Bomb Aimer: Sgt John Fisher Thwaite
W/OP: Henry Thomas Green, "Tom"
Mid-Upper Gunner: Sgt Edward Stock
Rear gunner: F/Sgt Bruce Davies
Details courtesy of Harry Green - http://www.firebynight.co.uk/Wigsley%20crew.html
JOHN ( JACK ) WILSON TYSON age 22 F/Sgt R.A.F. 23rd October 1942
Son of Robert Wilson Tyson and Eliza Maggie Tyson, of Keswick, Cumberland.
462 SQUADRON RAAF
Date of Death: 23 October 1942
Serial No:W 7659
Radio call sign:– F
462 Sqn RAAF - 6 Sept 1942 : Sqn formed at Fayid Egypt being an amalgamation of 10, 76 and 227 Sqns (RAF). The personnel were nearly all RAF personnel. The Sqn was equipped with Halifax A/c and served in the Mediterranean Air Command.
Halifax W7659 took off from Fayid at 21.35 hours on the night of 23/24th October 1942 to bomb dispersal aircraft at Maleme aerodrome, Crete. Two aircraft of the Squadron took part in the raid and W7659 failed to return. While on route W7659 ran into a heavy snowstorm and the aircraft crashed into the sea when the controls and instruments froze. Sgt Simpson who became a POW floated on a petrol tin for eight hours before being rescued and was the only survivor.
RAAF 402790 Flt Sgt A G Declerck, Captain (Pilot)
RAF Flt Sgt K H Whitmore, (Observer)
RAF Sgt L W Giles, (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)
RCAF Flt Sgt A H Pepper (Mid Gunner)
RAF Flt Sgt J W Tyson (Tail Gunner)
RAF Sgt G F Simpson, (Flight Engineer)
The names of the five crew members who lost their lives at sea are commemorated on the Alamein Memorial, Egypt, as having no known grave.
FRANK BIRKETT WALKER age 23 Sgt Flt/Eng 44 Sqn 27 Apr 1944
Son of William and Alice Walker, of Derwent Lodge, Portinscale, Cumberland.
This aircraft was one of 450 Lancasters ordered from Armstrong Whitworth Aircraft Apr42 and delivered as 100 Mk.11 with Hercules XV1 engines and 350 Mk.1 with Merlin 24 engines initially installed. LL920 was a Mk.1 and was delivered to 44 Squadron Apr44. LL920 was one of two 44 Squadron Lancasters lost on this operation. See ME730. LL920 was lost on her first operation.
Airborne 21.39 26th April 1944 from Dunholme Lodge. Collided in the air with a
F/O G.W.Oldham DFC KIA
Sgt F.B.Walker KIA
F/S J.A.McKerrow KIA
F/O L.W.Petts KIA
Sgt W.F.Williams KIA
Sgt R.D.Frame KIA