1940 - 1945
12/13 June 1944
Lancaster Mk I - HK545 KO-E
|T/O Witchford 2332 - target Gelsenkirchen, Germany. Shot down by a night fighter and crashed at Gelsenkirchen-Benzin HQ,3 Km W of Gelsenkirchen.
Source: 115 Squadron Roll of Honour by D. Bruce, W. R. Chorley, J. G. J. de Haan.
303 aircraft - 286 Lancasters and 17 Mosquitos of Nos 1, 3 and 8 Groups,
carried out the first raid of the new oil campaign; the target was the Nordstern synthetic-oil plant at Gelsenkirchen (the Germans called the plant Gelsenberg AG).
The attack opened with exceptional accuracy owing to good work by the Pathfinders and to improved versions of Oboe sets now available. Later phases of the bombing were spoiled by the clouds of smoke from the burning target and by a rogue target indicator which fell 10 miles short of the target and was bombed by 35 aircraft. A German industrial report shows that all production at the oil plant ceased, with a loss of 1,000 tons of aviation fuel a day for several weeks, as well as the loss of other fuels.
17 Lancasters were lost, 6.1 per cent of the Lancaster force.
Source: nationalarchives.gov.uk - Bomber Command - Campaign Diary June 1944.
|Shadforth Wallace Gordon - Pilot
S/L - Service No 61040 - DFC
Son of William and Emily Harriett Shadforth.
Reichswald Forest Cemetery - grave 19. F. 16.
|Veale Alfred Joseph - FE
Sgt - Service No 1853807 - DMF
Son of Joseph and Caroline Veale.
Reichswald Forest Cemetery - grave 19. G. 17.
|Parkyn Ronald - Nav
F/S - Service No 1393242
Son of Mr. and Mrs. J. W. Parkyn, of Crouch Hill, Middlesex.
Reichswald Forest Cemetery - grave 13. C. 9.
|Weir Robert Walker Thomas - WOP
Sgt - Service No 1370487 - DMF
Son of William and Isabella Weir, of Motherwell, Lanarkshire.
Reichswald Forest Cemetery - grave 19. F. 17.
|Townend Gordon Christopher - BA
F/O - Service No 422765
Son of Sherwood and Elizabeth Mary Townend, of Banbury, Oxfordshire, England.
Reichswald Forest Cemetery - grave 19. G. 14.
|Farley Anthony Frederick William - MUG
F/S - Service No 1382100
Son of William Arthur and Rose Ann Farley, of South Lambeth, London.
Reichswald Forest Cemetery - grave 13. C. 10.
|Entwistle Ian William - RG
F/O - Service No 41400
Age: 22 - °9 December 1921, Hawera, Taranaki, New Zealand.
Son of William Entwistle and of Ella Margaret Townsend, of Hawera, Taranaki, New Zealand.
Reichswald Forest Cemetery - grave 19. G. 18.
Source: CWGC photo and info Auckland War Memorial Museum