Lancaster DS690 13/14 July 1943

Lancaster Mk II - DS690 KO-C

T/O East Wretham 23u.45 - target Aachen, Germany.
Shot down by night fighter Hauptmann August Geiger of the I./NJG 4.
Crashed at La Cornette, Bouillon (Province Luxembourg).

Source: 115 Squadron Roll of Honour by D. Bruce, W. R. Chorley, J. G. J. de Haan - Photo: Hangar flying.eu

374 aircraft - 214 Halifaxes, 76 Wellingtons, 55 Stirlings, 18 Lancasters, 11 Mosquitos ordered to Aachen.

A strong tail wind brought the first waves of the Main Force into the target area before Zero Hour with the result that,
when the first Pathfinder markers were released, an unusually large number of aircraft bombed in the first minutes of the raid.
The visibility was good and large areas of Aachen appeared to burst into flame at once.
In the words of the report from Aachen, 'A Terrorangriff [Terrorattack] of the most severe scale was delivered.'
2 Oboe Mosquitos carried out a diversion for the Aachen raid by dropping target indicators over Cologne.

20 aircraft - 15 Halifaxes, 2 Lancasters, 2 Wellingtons, 1 Stirling - lost, 5.3 per cent of the force.

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

Footage from the 70th Remembrance Ceremony at Bouillon et Paliseul, July 13 2013 (French spoken)

Lancaster DS690ORB. 13th July, 1943.
17 aircraft took off between 23.55 hours & 00.35 hours to attack target AACHEN.
2 aircraft were forced to abandon the sortie, one
(L.D.S.680 - Captain F/S. PEATE. R.) due to developing
of violent shudder & the other
(B.D.S.691 - Captain Sgt. JOLL. W.) due to inability to climb & starboard outer engine
overheating & losing power, & both returned to Base early after jettisoning their
8,000 lb. H.C., safe (but seen to explode) and bringing back their incendiaries.
15 aircraft located the target by means of the tracking flares & bombed the red & green
target markers from heights ranging between 16,000 feet & 21,000 feet.
A few concentrated fires & a large explosion at 01.46 hours were seen
(H.D.S.630 - Captain W/O. NOXON. E.)
but most of the results were unobserved due to cloud,
although the glow of fires was seen through the clouds.
Leaflets were dropped & photographs attempted.
1 aircraft sustained holes in fuselage & rear turret due to flak. (X.D.S.664 - Captain F/S. WOLFSON. F.,
also fires & explosions were observed from 50 miles away.)

2 aircraft failed to return from Operations. Lancaster Mk II DS660 KO-P, 7 KIA.

05.00. 15 aircraft had returned safely to Base.

Baird Robert Alexander Baird Robert AlexanderBaird Robert Alexander G. (The Hon.) - Pilot

Squadron Leader - Service No 70789

Age: 33 - a copy his Birth Certificate - courtesy of Phil Ball

Royal Air force

Les Hayons Churchyard - Coll. grave

Son of John Lawrence Baird, P.C., G.C.M.G., D.S.O., 1st Viscount Stonehaven,
and of Viscountess Stonehaven (nee Keith Falconer).
Husband of Dormigelda Malvina Baird, of Great Waltham, Essex.

Source: CWGC. - Photo: Lancaster verliezen in België 1941-1945 - Wim Govaerts, via A. Flower
- ww2 cemeteries Les Hayons churchyard - Find a Grave.

Odendaal Johannes Odendaal Johannes Ernest Conraad - FE

Sgt - Service No 777926 / 4B(83699)

Age: - °13th Nov 1922 at Broken Hill, Zambia*

RAF

POW - no 83699 - Stalag Mülberg-Elbe

Married in Epsom Surrey England to Sergeant No 448748 Pearl Margaret Simpson,W.A.A.F.
+ Kariba Zimbabwe, 2nd Aug 1995, buried at Chimanimani Zimbabwe.
I am one of seven children living in Scotland.

*Source: Deon M. Dennis, eldest granchild of the eldest child of his maternal grandparents.
His mother was Joan Odendaal born in 1946.

Moorcroft WilliamMoorcroft William James Moorcroft William James - Nav

F/O - Service No 127974

Age: 22

RAFVR

Son of Robert and Elizabeth Margaret Moorcroft, of Maghull, Lancashire.

Les Hayons Churchyard - colective grave

Source: CWGC - Photo: Lancaster verliezen in België 1941-1945 - Wim Govaerts, via A. Flower
- ww2 cemeteries Les Hayons churchyard - Find a Grave.

Walker Robert "Bobby" AlfredWalker Robert Walker Robert "Bobby" Alfred - AB

F/Sgt - Service No 1235107

Age: 21

RAFVR

Son of Horace Thomas Walker and Alice Isobel Walker,
of Ramsey, Isle of Man.

Les Hayons Churchyard - collective grave

Source: CWGC. - Photo: Lancaster verliezen in België 1941-1945 - Wim Govaerts, via A. Flower)
- ww2 cemeteries Les Hayons churchyard - Find a Grave.

Smith EdwinSmith Edwin Smith Edwin - WOP

Sgt - Service No 1330882

Age: 20

RAFVR

Son of Douglas and Margaret Smith, of Sheffield, Yorkshire.*

Les Hayons Churchyard - colective grave

Source: CWGC - Photo: Lancaster verliezen in België 1941-1945 - Wim Govaerts, via A. Flower -
ww2 cemeteries Les Hayons churchyard - * info via Phil and Julie Ball - Find a Grave.

Robinson Nicholas Auber BenjaminRobinson Nicholas Auber Benjamin Robinson Nicholas Auber Benjamin "Ben" - MUG

F/Sgt - Service No 406795

Age: 31

RAAF

Son of Auber Benjamin and Elizabeth Margaret Ivy Robinson,
of Esperence, Western Australia.

Les Hayons Churchyard - collective grave

Source: CWGC - photo via Pierre Michiels - ww2 cemeteries Les Hayons churchyard - Find a Grave.

Matthews HaroldMatthews Harold Matthews Harold - BG

Sgt - Service No 1318179

Age: 19

RAFVR

Son of George and Alice M. Matthews, of South Croydon, Surrey.

Les Hayons Churchyard - collective grave

Source: CWGC. - Photo: Lancaster verliezen in België 1941-1945 - Wim Govaerts, via A. Flower)
- ww2 cemeteries Les Hayons churchyard - Find a Grave.