3/4 July 1943
Lancaster Mk II - DS662 KO-L
|T/O East Wretham 2357 - target Cologne, Germany.
Route 5122N 0320E - 5028N 0632E - COLOGNE - 5047N 0723E - 5012N 0644E - 5020N 0132N. The a/c went down somewhere between the Dutch/German border and the target.
Source: 115 Squadron Roll of Honour by D. Bruce, W. R. Chorley, J. G. J. de Haan - 3 Group Bomber Command by Chris Ward
653 aircraft - 293 Lancasters, 182 Halifaxes, 89 Wellingtons, 76 Stirlings, 13 Mosquitos returned to Cologne.
The aiming point for this raid was that part of Cologne situated on the east bank of the Rhine. Much industry was located there. Pathfinder ground marking was accurately maintained by both the Mosquito Oboe aircraft and the backers-up, allowing the Main Force to carry out another heavy attack on Cologne.
30 aircraft - 9 Halifaxes, 8 Lancasters, 8 Wellingtons, 5 Stirlings - lost, 4.6 per cent of the force.
This night saw the first operations of a new German unit, Jagdgeschwader 300, equipped with single-engined fighters using the Wilde Sau (Wild Boar) technique. In this, a German pilot used any form of illumination available over a city being bombed - searchlights, target indicators, the glow of fires on the ground - to pick out a bomber for attack. Liaison with the local flak defences was supposed to ensure that the flak was limited to a certain height above which the Wild Boar fighter was free to operate. The new German unit claimed 12 bombers shot down over Cologne but had to share the 12 available aircraft found to have crashed with the local flak, who also claimed 12 successes.
Source: nationalarchives.gov.uk - Bomber Command - Campaign Diary July 1943.
|Stokes-Roberts Bennett - Pilot
Sgt - Service No 1239665
Son of Charles Edward and Elizabeth Myfanwy Stokes-Roberts, of Erdington, Birmingham.
Runnymede Memorial - panel 166
|Wilcox David Oliver - FE
Sgt - Service No 567872
Son of William Henry and Eunice May Wilcox, of Barry, Glamorgan.
Runnymede Memorial - panel 169
|Donovan Robert Leonard - Nav
F/O - Service No 132034
Son of Richard Henry and Eva Eliza Donovan, of Beckenham, Kent.
Runnymede Memorial - panel 124
|Crowsley Dennis Arthur - WOP
Sgt - Service No 1319268
Son of Thomas and Hilda Crowsley, of Wood Green, Middlesex.
Runnymede Memorial - panel 146
|Shevels T. F. - BA
Sgt - Service No 1493760
Age: - POW
Source: 115 Squadron Roll of Honour by D. Bruce, W. R. Chorley, J. G. J. de Haan
|Thomson George - MUG
Sgt - Service No 1562966
Runnymede Memorial - panel 167
|Finch Stanley Eric - RG
Sgt - Service No 1413665
Son of James Stanley and Winifred Maud Finch, of Salisbury.
Rheinberg War Cemetery - grave 4.F.24.
Source: CWGC - photo via Find a grave, by Des Phillippet