8 June 1944

Lancaster Mk I - HK548 KO-W

T/O Witchford 0023 - target Chevreuse, France.
Shot down by a night fighter and crashed at Massy 28 Km NE of Rouen.

The crew of this aircraft took of a 0023 hours on the morning of Thursday 8th June to bomb a target at Massy Palaiseau.
Whilst over France and on the run in to the target the crew came under attack by two night fighters.
The fighters shot up the port inner engine which caused a fire, which was quickly extinguished. The starboard inner engine had also been
hit during the attack, and the fire spread across the starboard wing and could not be extinguished.
The order was given to abandon aircraft. Flight Sergeant Nurse bailed out at about 6000 feet, and after landing safely was unable to
contact any other member of his crew, except his pilot, Pilot Officer Law, who informed him that Sergeant Parkinson,
Flight-Sergeant Washbourne and Sergeant Russel had all baled out.

Later on the ground Sgt Parkinson had met up with F/S Washbourne about ten minutes after landing, and both airmen had spent the
night together in a house at Chatenay, which was about six miles from Paris. Flight Sergeant Washbourne was suffering from a
sprained ankle and was unable to move immediately. However, he left the next day (9 June) with a young 18 year old Frenchman
who was to be his guide and was under the instructions of the French Resistance.
Sgt Parkinson was later advised that F/S Washbourne and his young French guide had been picked up and arrested by a German
soldier in Paris, and that F/S Parkinson hads been wearing civilian clothes when captured.
It appears F/S Parkinson had been shot at some time after being arrested. The British War office made an official enquiry to the
German Government as to ascertaining the circumstances regarding Flight Sergeant Washbournes death whilst in custody but,
the Germans did not reply.

Source sas.raf38group.org/forum

German documents recorded that Flt Sgt Washbourne had been shot as he tried to escape capture on 8 June 1944.
No trace of his grave has been found.

Source WW2 Talk

The target was a major road bridge in Paris between Massy and Palaiseau.
Its destruction would seriously hamper the movement of reinforcements to the invasion Front.
To avoid loss of French cicilian life orders were to wait for the Master Bomber to verify that
the markers were correct before bombing took place.
There was thick ground haze and the Master Bomber went u/s.
The deputy took some time to get it all together and in the meantime the force of 337 bombers
sent to various targets around Paris waited.
It was a clear night and the night fighters descended.

Source: 115 Squadron Roll of Honour by D. Bruce, W. R. Chorley, J. G. J. de Haan.

337 aircraft - 195 Halifaxes, 122 Lancasters, 20 Mosquitos.

Attacks railway targets at Achères, Juvisy, Massey Palaiseau and Versailles.
Bombing conditions were better than on the previous night.
All targets were accurately bombed and, although no details are available,
it is probable that fewer civilians were killed.
The targets were mostly more distant from the battle front than those recently
attacked and German night fighters had more time to intercept the bomber forces.

17 Lancasters and 11 Halifaxes were lost, 8.3 per cent of the forces involved.

Source: nationalarchives.gov.uk - Bomber Command - Campaign Diary June 1944.

ORB 8th June 1944.
18 aircraft (5 from "A" Flt., 7 from "B" Flt;, & 6 from "C" Flt.)
were detailed to attack CHEVREUSE and all took off between 00.20 hours and 00.40 hours.
6 aircraft -
H.ND.790 (Captain P/O. S. FRANCIS), Lancaster Mk III ND790 KO-H, 7 KIA
J.HK.552 (Captain P/O. J. TODD), Lancaster Mk I HK552 KO-J, 6 KIA, 1 POW
W.HK.548 (Captain P/O. E. A. LAW),
C.ND.761 (Captain F/L. P. W. NORBURY), Lancaster Mk III ND761 A4-C, 7 KIA
H.LL.864 (Captain P/O. MAUDE) Lancaster Mk I LL864, A4-H2, 7 KIA &
K.ND.760 (Captain P/O. C. H. QUINTON), Lancaster Mk III ND760 A4-K, 7 KIA
failed to return from Operations and no news was received from them.
The remainder identified the target by means of red & green indicator markers on which they
dropped their bombs from heights ranging between 4,000 feet & 6,500 feet.
All the bombs bursts appeared to be concentrated around markers.
Many combats were seen. Photographs attempted

04.03. 12 aircraft had returned safely to Base after Operations.

Lancaster HK548 Law E. A. - Pilot

P/O - Service No

Age: - EVA

RAAF

Son of

Source: 115 Squadron Roll of Honour by D. Bruce, W. R. Chorley, J. G. J. de Haan.

Lancaster HK548 Russel W. (Archibald ?)- FE

Sgt - Service No

Age: - EVA

Son of

Source: 115 Squadron Roll of Honour by D. Bruce, W. R. Chorley, J. G. J. de Haan.

Lancaster HK548 Parkinson J. - Nav

Sgt - Service No

Age: - EVA

Son of

Source: 115 Squadron Roll of Honour by D. Bruce, W. R. Chorley, J. G. J. de Haan.

Lancaster HK548 Nurse J. - WOP

F/S - Service No

Age: - EVA

RAAF

Son of

Source: 115 Squadron Roll of Honour by D. Bruce, W. R. Chorley, J. G. J. de Haan.

Washbourne Gordon Washbourne Gordon - BA

F/S - Service No 427175

Age: 20

RAAF

Son of Frederick and Florence Washbourne, of Perth, Western Australia.

Runnymede Memorial - panel 262

Source: CWGC - photo via his file National Archives of Australia, Botanic Gardens & Park Authority

Lancaster HK548 Murphy P. - MUG

Sgt - Service No

Age: - EVA

Son of

Source: 115 Squadron Roll of Honour by D. Bruce, W. R. Chorley, J. G. J. de Haan.

Newton Harry Lancaster HK548Newton Harry - RG

Sgt - Service No 1896256

Age: 35

RAFVR

Son of William Robert and Elizabeth Emma Newton, of Colliers Wood, Surrey.

Massy Communal Cemetery, Departement Seine-et-Oise - grave 4. 3. 4. 61.

Source: CWGC - photo: MASSY Communal Cemetery by Pierre Vandervelden.