27/28 April 1944

Lancaster Mk III - ND803 A4-B

T/O Witchford 2209 - target Friedrichshafen, Germany. This a/c was believed to have strayed over the Swiss border and was shot down by Swiss flak, crashing at/in the Bodensee on the Swiss border.

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

322 Lancasters and 1 Mosquito of Nos 1, 3, 6 and 8 Groups.

This was a raid with some interesting aspects. The Air Ministry had urged Bomber Command to attack this relatively small town in moonlight because it contained important factories making engines and gearboxes for German tanks. But the flight to this target, deep in Southern Germany on a moonlit night, was potentially very dangerous; the disastrous attack on Nuremberg had taken place only 4 weeks previously in similar conditions. However, Friedrichshafen was further south and on the fringe of the German night-fighter defences; because of this and the various diversions which confused the German controllers, the bombers reached the target without being intercepted. However, the German fighters arrived at the target while the raid was taking place.

1,234 tons of bombs were dropped in an outstandingly successful attack based on good Pathfinder marking; Bomber Command later estimated that 99 acres of Friedrichshafen, 67 per cent of the town's built-up area, were devastated. Several factories were badly damaged and the tank gearbox factory was destroyed. When the American bombing survey team investigated this raid after the war, German officials said that this was the most damaging raid on tank production of the war.

8 Lancasters were lost, 5.6 per cent of the force.

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

Claim by Hptm Leopold Fellerer Stab II/NJG5 - Bodensee (ET 7): 4,800m at 02:20.
Also claimed by Flak of 2, 5, 7 & 8/schw Flak Abt 705, 2/schw Flak Abt 241 and 1-4/schw Flak Abt 455.

("Halifax Bodensee 02:10-15"). Victory confirmed for Hptm Fellerer on 18 August 1944. Crashed in Bodensee. Nachtjagd Combat Archives 1944 Part 2 Theo Boiten.

Info via John Jones

Stewart Robert Henderson Stewart Robert Henderson - Pilot

P/O - Service No 174930

Age: 22


Son of Edward H. and Margaret Stewart, of Lochee, Dundee.

Runnymede Memorial - panel 212

Source: CWGC.

Lees John Richard Lees John Richard - FE

Sgt - Service No 1821316

Age: 27


Son of John and May Lees, of Blantyre, Lanarkshire.

Durnbach War Cemetery - grave 4. C. 30.

Source: CWGC.

Lewis John Iorwerth Gedrych Lewis John Iorwerth Gedrych - Nav

F/O - Service No 147660

Age: 24


Son of David and Gladys Lewis.
Husband of Joan Gray Lewis, of Whitchurch, Glamorgan. Married on 7 April 1944.

Runnymede Memorial - panel 207

Source: CWGC.

Gommo John Gommo John - WOP

Sgt - Service No 1585090

Age: 21


Son of John Victor and Daisy Ada Millicent Gommo, of Bristol.

Runnymede Memorial - panel 289

Source: CWGC.

Wooden Kenneth George Wooden Kenneth George - BA

Sgt - Service No 1324073

Age: 23


Son of William Charles and Nellie Wooden, of Egham, Surrey.
Husband of Molly Wooden, of Egham.

Durnbach War Cemetery - grave 4. C. 28.

Source: CWGC.

Lodge Vincent Lodge Vincent - MUG

Sgt - Service No 1592543

Age: 19


Son of Edgar and Clara Lodge, of Halifax.

Runnymede Memorial - panel 233

Source: CWGC.

Thompson Robert John Thompson Robert John - RG

Sgt - Service No 3005260

Age: 18


Son of Robert and Phoebe Ann Thompson, of Dalston, London.

Runnymede Memorial - panel 239

Source: CWGC.