24/25 March 1944

Lancaster Mk II - LL694 KO-N

T/O Witchford 1837 - target Berlin, Germany.
Shot down by Hptm Martin Drewes of the III./NJG1 (his 17th victory) at 0020.
Crashed at Epse 4 km SE of Deventer in vicinity of Gorssell, Netherlands.

Bomb load: 1 x 1000lbs, 780 x 4lbs, 90 x 4lbs, 72 x 30lbs incendiaries.

Fitted: IFF, GEE, ASTRO, MONICA, camera carried.

Source: 115 Squadron Roll of Honour by D. Bruce, W. R. Chorley, J. G. J. de Haan -
info: 3 Group Bomber Command, book Chris Ward.

811 aircraft - 577 Lancasters, 216 Halifaxes, 18 Mosquitos - to Berlin.

This night became known in Bomber Command as 'the night of the strong winds'.
A powerful wind from the north carried the bombers south at every stage of the flight.
Not only was this wind not forecast accurately but it was so strong that the various methods available to
warn crews of wind changes during the flight failed to detect the full strength of it.
The bomber stream became very scattered, particularly on the homeward flight and radar-predicted
flak batteries at many places were able to score successes.
Part of the bomber force even strayed over the Ruhr defences on the return flight.
It is believed that approximately 50 of the 72 aircraft lost were destroyed by flak;
most of the remainder were victims of night fighters. & Needless to say, the strong winds severely affected the marking with,
unusually, markers being carried beyond the target and well out to the south-west of the city.

This was the last major RAF raid on Berlin during the war,
although the city would be bombed many times by small forces of Mosquitos.

72 aircraft - 44 Lancasters, 28 Halifaxes - lost, 8.9 per cent of the force.

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

ORB. 24th MARCH 1943.
18 aircraft were detailed to attack BERLIN. (Take off between 18.34 hours and 18.50 1/2 hours
1 aircraft (A.DS.682 - Captain W/O. HEMMING L.) was hit by Flak in HAMBURG area, port inner engine caught fire
and starboard outer engine unserviceable. Bombed in HAMBURG area.
1 aircraft (W.DS.781 - Captain W/O. TREASURE G.) returned early owing to port inner engine becoming unserviceable.
Bombed Flak position in KIEL area.

4 aircraft were missing from the night's Operations, and, since time of take-off, nothing further has been heard of them.
Lancaster Mk II DS678 KO-J, 5 KIA 2 POW,
Lancaster Mk II LL730 KO-G, 6 KIA, 1 POW,
Lancaster Mk II DS664 A4-K, "Werewolf", 4 KIA, 3 POW.

The remaining aircraft identified the target by means of sky markers and red and green ground markers,
on which they bombed from heights varying between 20,000 and 21,200 feet.
Many crews considered PFF scattered, but definitely good on East side of city.
Glow of fire were seen for half an hour after leaving target. Photographs were attempted.

0226. 12 aircraft had returned to Base.

1 aircraft (G.LL.646 - Captain F/S. CHANTLER R. - Rear turret holed by Flak -
At FLENSBURG at 2131 hours 4 enemy aircraft seen falling in flames - 7 parachutes opened.)

landed at TANGMERE and one
(C.LL.624 - Captain F/S. CAMERON D. - due to petrol shortage) at LUDFORD MAGNA.

Lancaster LL694
Gorssell General Cemetery.

Photo via Kathleen Hudspith, family (uncle)
P/O Vipond Thomas, Thanks.

Vipond Thomas Elliott Vipond Thomas Elliott "Tommy" - Pilot

P/O - Service No 54224

Age: 23

RAFVR

Son of George and Isabella Turnbull, of Gosforth, Newcastle-on-Tyne.

Gorssell General Cemetery - Row A. collective grave 16- 18.

Source: CWGC - Find a Grave.

Diggle ArthurDiggle Arthur Diggle Arthur - FE

Sgt - Service No 1536835

Age: 23

RAFVR

Son of Arthur Beaumont Diggle and Doris Victoria Diggle,
of Gledhow, Leeds, Yorkshire.

Gorssell General Cemetery - Row A. collective grave 16 - 18.

Source: CWGC - Photo: Find a grave by Wouter van Dijken.

Duffy John LaurenceDuffy John Laurence Duffy John Laurence - Nav

F/S - Service No 413046

Age: 26

RNZAF

Son of Michael Duffy and of Agnes McFadden,
of Wellington City, New Zealand.

Gorssell General Cemetery - Row A. collective grave 16 - 18.

Source: CWGC -photo thanks to George Allison - Find a grave by Wouter van Dijken.

Hammond John Edwin Hammond John Edwin - WOP

Sgt - Service No 1576457

Age: 22

RAFVR

Son of William and Daisy L. Hammond, of Market Harborough, Leicestershire.

Gorssell General Cemetery - Row A. collective grave 16 - 18.

Source: CWGC - Photo and more info on Leicestershire war memorials - Find a Grave.

Deemer Edward JohnDeemer Edward John Deemer Edward John - BA

F/O - Service No J22055

Age: 20

RCAF

Son of

Gorssell General Cemetery - Row A. grave 15.

Source: CWGC - Photo: Canadian virtual war memorial by Peter ten Dijke - Find a Grave.

Hull Alexander JohnHull Alexander John Hull Alexander John - MUG

Sgt - Service No 1890106

Age: 19

RAFVR

Son of Bridget Mary Hull, of Golders Green, Middlesex.

Gorssell General Cemetery - Row A. grave 13.

Source: CWGC - Photo: Find a grave by Wouter van Dijken.

Coulter Robert LeslieCoulter Robert Leslie Coulter Robert Leslie - RG

Sgt - Service No R157337

Age: 34

RCAF

Son of Hugh Alexander Coulter and Edna Mabel Coulter,
of Russell, Manitoba, Canada.

Gorssell General Cemetery - Row A. grave 14.

Source: CWGC - Photo: Canadian Virtual War Memorial -
Find a grave
by Wouter van Dijken.