24/25 February 1944

Lancaster Mk II - LL644 KO-N

T/O Witchford 2051 - target Schweinfurt, Germany.
Crashed at 00.30 hrs in a forest between Schwebheim and Sennfeld in Germany (map reference L51 N86)"

Info via Chris Thomson, Ontario, Canada, source: Fred Trendle, Germany.
115. Sqn. (RAF) / Avro Lancaster Mk. II / # LL644 / Operation Schweinfurt / Abschuss durch Bf 110 - Feldwebel Rauer - 3./NJG 1 / Absturz bei Schwebheim, Sennfeld, östlich Schweinfurt (Bayern) - Deutschland / Flying Officer Ronald Frank Nice / 7 gefallen.

Also lost on this mission: Lancaster Mk II LL701 KO-F, 7 KIA.

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

734 aircraft - 554 Lancasters, 169 Halifaxes, 11 Mosquitos - carried out the first Bomber Command raid on Schweinfurt, home of Germany's main ball-bearing factories. 266 American B-17s had raided the factories the previous day.

Bomber Command introduced a novel tactic on this night. The Schweinfurt force was split into two parts - 392 aircraft and 342 aircraft, separated by a 2-hour interval. Part of the German fighter force was drawn up by earlier diversions.

The first wave of the Schweinfurt bombers lost 22 aircraft, 5.6 per cent;
the second wave lost only 11 aircraft, 3.2 per cent, and it is believed that only 4 bombers from the second wave were shot down by night fighters.

Total losses were 33 aircraft - 26 Lancasters, 7 Halifaxes - 4.5 per cent of the force.

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

Photos via Maggie Wilkin (nee Nice).
Lancaster LL644Lancaster LL644

Nice Ronald Frank Nice Ronald Frank - Pilot

F/O - Service No 138588

Age: 22

RAFVR

Son of Sidney Herbert and Elizabeth Mary Nice, of Hornchurch, Essex.

Durnbach War Cemetery - collective grave 5.B.6-16.

Source: CWGC - photo via Maggie Wilkin (nee Nice).

Alan Sydney Nice Navigator 519 Squadron My father Alan Nice died last year; he was also in the RAF a Navigator with Coastal Command. (519 Squadron)

He spoke to my brothers and I a lot about Ron, their childhood growing up together and getting up to mischief as brothers do.

He also told me about the last time he spoke to Ron on the phone - he said "I put the phone down and cried because I knew I would never see my brother again".

Dad lost his brother, cousin and best friend during the war (as did many others) and he said on more than one occasion that it was his responsibility to live his life fully.

Dennis Robert George Dennis Robert George - FE

Sgt - Service No 1279754

Age: 23

RAFVR

Son of Thomas Joseph and Jane Dennis, of Cirencester, Gloucestershire.

Durnbach War Cemetery - collective grave 5.B.6-16.

Source: CWGC.

McGuire Patrick Gregory McGuire Patrick Gregory - Nav

F/O - Service No J20897

Age: 20 - °11 November, 1923 Edmonton, Alberta

RCAF

Son of Robert and Mary McGuire of Edmonton, Alberta.

Durnbach War Cemetery - collective grave 5.B.6-16.

Source: CWGC - more info and photo via Canadian Virtual War Memorial

Gardner Carol Ernest Woodridge Gardner Carol Ernest Woodridge - WOP

Sgt - Service No 1320619

Age:

RAFVR

Son of

Durnbach War Cemetery - collective grave 5.B.6-16.

Source: CWGC.

Price Donald Alexander Price Donald Alexander - BA

P/O - Service No J86321

Age:

RCAF

Son of - Husband of Vera, one child named Diane; however 13 days after Diane's birth, Pilot Officer Donald Price would be shot down.

Durnbach War Cemetery - collective grave 5.B.6-16.

Source: CWGC photo and info Canadian Virtual War Memorial

Tobin John Joseph Tobin John Joseph - MUG

Sgt - Service No 627852

Age: 24

RAF

Son of Joseph and Catherine Tobin.
Husband of Constance Sidonia Tobin, of Westbury Park, Bristol.

Durnbach War Cemetery - collective grave 5.B.6-16.

Source: CWGC.

Robinson Dallas Rex Robinson Dallas Rex - RG

P/O - Service No J92149

Age: 22

RCAF

Son of Eugene D. Robinson and Martha L. Robinson, of Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada.

Durnbach War Cemetery - grave 5.B.5.

Source: CWGC - photo via CANADIAN VIRTUAL WAR MEMORIAL