Lancaster DS669 29 June 1943

Lancaster Mk II - DS669 KO-B

T/O East Wretham 00.25 - target Cologne, Germany.

Shortly after bombing the target this a/c was attacked by two FW190 "Wild Boar" fighters.
One fighter broke away after the gunners opened fire and was not seen again.
The second FW190 attacked persistently at close range hitting the rear turret, killing Sgt White
and setting the fuselage on fire behind the bulkhead door.
Sgt Hall continued to return fire and the FW190 was last seen by the bomb aimer,
Sgt Gourlay, on fire and in a steep dive.
Sgt Hall with the aid of the wireless operator, Sgt Crowther, managed to subdue the flames and
when the smoke cleared they found the rear turret containing the body of Sgt White has been completely shot away.
The body of Sgt White was never found.

Sgt Jolly, despite damaged controls flew the Lancaster back to base.
Sgts Jolly and Crowther were given immediate awards of the DMF,
and the award of the CGM to Sgt Hall was gazetted on 23 July 1943.

See pages 180-181 of volumes 21-22 of "Pictorial History of the war" (Hutchinson) and "In Action with the Enemy" by Alan Cooper (Kimber 1986).
Source: 115 Squadron Roll of Honour by D. Bruce, W. R. Chorley, J. G. J. de Haan.

608 aircraft - 267 Lancasters, 169 Halifaxes, 85 Wellingtons, 75 Stirlings, 12 Mosquitos to Cologne.

The circumstances of this raid did not seem promising.
The weather forecast said that Cologne would probably be cloud-covered although there might be a break;
the Pathfinders had to prepare a dual plan.
The target was cloud-covered and the less reliable skymarking system had to be employed.
Only 7 of the 12 Oboe Mosquitos reached the target and only 6 of these were able to drop their markers.
The marking was 7 minutes late in starting and proceeded only intermittently.
Despite all these setbacks, the Main Force delivered its most powerful blow of the Battle of the Ruhr.

25 aircraft - 10 Halifaxes, 8 Lancasters, 5 Stirlings, 2 Wellingtons - lost, 4.1 per cent of the force.

Source: nationalarchives.gov.uk - Bomber Command - Campaign Diary June 1943.

ORB. 29th June, 1943.
15 aircraft took off between 00.10 hours & 00.30 hours to attack target COLOGNE.
3 aircraft were forced to abandon the sortie due to shuddering of controls (U.D.S.670 - Captain P/O. J. B. SMALL) ;
intercommunication (Rear gunner & Air Bomber positions) being unserviceable (V.D.S.673 - Captain Sgt. BENNETT. R.) ; &
(X.D.S.664 - Captain Sgt. WOLFSON. F.) starboard outer & inner engine trouble respectively
and all returned to Base early, two after jettisoning the whole bomb load & the other after jettisoning
its 4,000 lb. H.C. but bringing back its incendiaries.
The remaining 9 aircraft located the target by means of yellow tracking flares & release point flares &
bombed the latter from heights ranging between 16,500 feet & 21,500 feet.
Results were unobserved owing to cloud but the glow of fires was seen & black smoke was emitted through the clouds.
2 large explosions were seen 80 miles away at 02.25 hours.
Leaflets were dropped & photos attempted.
1 aircraft sustained damage to rear turret & rudders due to enemy fighter attack & the Rear Gunner (Sgt. WHITE. G.)
was reported missing believed killed.
2 other aircraft (K.D.S.658 - Captain F/S. NEWTON. I., Small holes in inport tail plane & starboard tail plane) /
(H.D.S.630 - Captain W/O. NOXON. E., wind screen) sustained damage due to Flak.

04.45. All the aircraft had returned safely to Base.

Jolly William Porter Jolly William Porter - Pilot

Sgt - Service No 1346616 - DFM

Age:

Son of

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

Crowther Ray Kingsley Crowther Ray Kingsley - WOP

Sgt - Service No 1078262 - DFM

Age:

Son of

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

Gourlay Gourlay - BA

Sgt - Service No

Age: 20

Son of

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

Hall Edwin Thomas George Hall Edwin Thomas George - MUG

Sgt - Service No 1308178 - Conspicuous Gallantry Medal (CGM).

London Gazette – 23 July 1943.

Age:

Son

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

Conspicuous Gallantry Medal (CGM) Hall Edwin Thomas George
photo: Sgt. E. T. G. Hall CGM (3rd from left)
and crew at Buckingham Palace.

Book: Bravery Awards for Aerial Combat:
Stories Behind the Award of the CGM (Flying) by Alan W. Cooper.

Lancaster DS669 White George - RG

Sgt - Service No 1308157

Age: 21

RAFVR

Son of John William and Kate White, of Thornton-le-Dale, Yorkshire.

Runnymede Memorial - panel 169

Source: CWGC - Photo: Harland military antiques