Lancaster ND913 20/21 July 1944

Lancaster Mk III - ND913 A4-M
"Popeye"

T/O Witchford 2230 - target Bottrop Oil Plant near Homberg, Germany.
Crashed at Papendrecht/Sliedrecht, Netherlands at 0500 hours.

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

147 Lancasters and 11 Mosquitos of Nos 1, 3 and 8 Groups,

Attacked the oil plant at Homberg and caused severe damage.
German documents show that the production of aviation fuel, which had stood at nearly
6,000 tons per day at the end of April, was now fluctuating between 120 and 970 tons per day,
following Bomber Command and American Eighth Air Force raids.
But German night fighters caught the Homberg bomber force.

20 Lancasters were lost. No 75 (New Zealand) Squadron, from Mepal, lost 7 of its 25 aircraft on the raid.

6 aircraft - 5 Halifaxes and 1 Lancaster - were shot down.

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

ORB 20th July, 1944.
22 aircraft (23 aircraft - 7 from "A" Flt., 8 from "B" Flt., & 8 from "C" Flt.)
were detailed to attack HOMBERG and took off between 22.47 hours and 23.30 hours
One aircraft failed to return from operations - no news being received.
The remainder identified the target by means of red & green indicator markers on which they
bombed from heights ranging between 17,500 feet and 20,000 feet.
Bomb bursts were followed 01.21 hours by an orange red explosion with much black smoke
and a shower of sparks. Bombing was well concentrated.
After the bombing run, one aircraft (K.LM.510 - Captain F/S. GASTON, J.) was attacked by an enemy aircraft
which appeared starboard quarter down, firing one minute later - oxygen in Pilot's cockpit caught fire,
Pilot's instrument panel shot up and compasses made unserviceable. Aircraft corkscrewed all way back,
course being steered by navigational GEE and later by North Star.
Aircraft eventually crashed at R.A.F. WOODBRIDGE, the undercarriage (starboard) collapsed
causing damage to fin rudder and starboard propellers.
In the attack the WOP/Air (Sgt. REED, D.) and Rear Gunner (Sgt. HELLAMY, W. H.) were killed
and remainder of the crew were slightly wounded or slightly injured.
Lancaster Mk III LM510 KO-K, 2 KIA, 5 survived.
Another aircraft (A/C. F.HK.556 - Captain W/O. HOLDER, D.)
sustained extensive damage due to cannon fire from enemy aircraft.

02.40 1 aircraft crashed at R.A.F. WOODBRIDGE.
03.48 20 aircraft had returned safely to base after operation.

Lancaster ND913The only know photo from the complete crew and their "Popeye".
Ted Line is the second of left.
This photo was made between March and July, 1944.

Source: photo and more info Dorpsbehoud Papendrecht

The remains of the Lancaster were excavated by the Dutch Royal Air force, 2001/2002.

These photos we received from Peter Jan van der Giesen.
Left: On July 21st there was a remembrance service to honour the crew.
Photo right: via newspaper BN. De Stem, courtesy: Arie Verhoeven,
L to R, Erwin van Wijngaarden, Margré van Wijngaarden and Peter Jan van der Giessen, from the Lancaster Popeye team.

Lancaster ND913 Lancaster ND913

Clarey Colin MervynClarey Colin Mervyn Clarey Colin Mervyn - Pilot

F/O - Service No 426312

Age: 30

RAAF

Son of Alexander William and Clarice Leila Clarey.
Husband of Ida Vivian Orchard x21 May 1938 (°1915 - +2000),
of Graceville, Queensland, Australia.
Their sons, Peter +2000, John 2015). Daughter Judith died in 2016.

Papendrecht General Cemetery - grave Plot G. Row 1. Grave 9.

Source: CWGC - photo via Peter Jan van der Giessen - Find a grave by LANC.

Luton Herbert CharlesLuton Herbert Charles Luton Herbert Charles - FE

Sgt - Service No 542814

Age: 25

RAF

Son of William Retford Luton and Lucy Jane Luton,
of Brislington, Bristol.

Papendrecht General Cemetery - grave Plot G. Row 1. Grave 12.

Source: CWGC - photo via Peter Jan van der Giessen - Find a grave by Bert de Lange.

Line Edward JohnLine Edward John Line Edward John "Ted" - Nav

Sgt - Service No 1579769

Age: 21

RAFVR

Son of Mr. and Mrs. H. Line.
Husband of Marie Ballinger x16 May 1944,
of Potterspury, Northamptonshire.

Papendrecht General Cemetery - grave Plot G. Row 1, Grave 6.

Source: CWGC - photo: Find a grave by Martin Carrack - Bert de Lange.

Hancock DouglasHancock Douglas Hancock Douglas - WOP

Sgt - Service No 1337513

Age: 20

RAFVR

Son of Mr. and Mrs. James Hancock, of Tredegar, Monmouthshire.

Papendrecht General Cemetery - grave Plot G. Row 1. Grave 10.

Source: CWGC - photo via Peter Jan van der Giessen - Find a grave by Bert de Lange.

Kirkland Samuel EdwardKirkland Samuel Edward Kirkland Samuel Edward - BA

F/S - Service No 1581273

Age: 20

RAFVR

Son of Nathaniel and Violet Kirkland, of Stockingford, Warwickshire.

Papendrecht General Cemetery - grave Plot G. Row 1. Grave 7

Source: CWGC - photo via Peter Jan van der Giessen - Find a grave by Bert de Lange.

Middleton Arthur WalterMiddleton Arthur Walter Middleton Arthur Walter - MUG

Sgt - Service No 1569017

Age: 21

RAFVR

Son of Ernest and Margaret R. Middleton, of Sherburn, Co. Durham.

Papendrecht General Cemetery - grave Plot G. Row 1. Grave 11.

Source: CWGC - photo via Peter Jan van der Giessen - Find a grave by Bert de Lange.

Barlow Charles AlfredBarlow Charles Alfred Barlow Charles Alfred - RG

F/S - Service No 427790

Age: 19

RAAF

Son of Charles Percival and Beatrice Adeline Barlow,
of Mount Hawthorn, Western Australia.

Papendrecht General Cemetery - grave Plot G. Row 1. Grave 8.

Source: CWGC - photo via Peter Jan van der Giessen - Find a grave by Bert de Lange.