Wellington BK127 3/4 February 1943

Wellington Mk III - BK127 - KO-D

T/O East Wretham 1842 - target Hamburg.
Distress calls heard at 2311, 2320 and 2344. Hull DF plotted
a/c position as 5114N 0207E, approximately 40 miles off Dover.

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

263 aircraft - 84 Halifaxes, 66 Stirlings, 62 Lancasters, 51 Wellingtons -
provided by all groups on the first 200-plus raid for more than 2 weeks for a raid on Hamburg.
Icing conditions in cloud over the North Sea caused many aircraft to return early.
The Pathfinders were unable to produce concentrated and sustained marking on H2S and the bombing of the Main Force was scattered.
The results in Hamburg were no better than the attack by a much smaller force a few nights earlier.
The German night fighters operated effectively, despite the bad weather, and 16 bombers were lost -
8 Stirlings, 4 Halifaxes, 3 Wellingtons and 1 Lancaster, 6.1 per cent of the force.

8 Wellingtons minelaying off Lorient and St Nazaire, 4 OTU sorties.
1 Wellington minelayer lost.

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

ORB. 3rd Feb., 1943.
5 aircraft took off between 17.30 and 17.40 hours on MINELAYING OPERATIONS (Area Lorient)
and 7 aircraft took off between the hours of 18.30 hours and 18.55 hours to attack target HAMBURG.

Of the 5 aircraft detailed for MINELAYING, 4 successfully dropped their mines in the allotted area by pinpoint of
PORNICHET, ST. GILDAS POINT or POINT DU PAIN CHATEAU, from heights ranging between 650 feet and 1,000 feet.
One of these (A/C. Q.B.J.756 - Captain F/O. J. F. ANDREWS, swung off runway) owing to shortage of petrol landed on return at
HARROWBEER, damaging on landing both propellers and nose.
The remaining (one) aircraft ( A/C. B.X.3924 - Captain Sgt. RODGERS. J.) was forced to abandon the sortie due to inability of aircraft
to climb and returned to base early bringing back its mines.

Of the 7 aircraft detailed to attack HAMBURG
1 failed to return from operations,
(Captain P/O. C. TUMA, an aircraft was seen to go down in sea ten miles from coast off MANSTON.
Air sea rescue party went out in search but were unsuccessful.)

1 was forced (A/C. M.B.J.879 - Captain F/S. THURSTON. C.) to abandon the sortie due to starboard engine trouble and
returned to base early after jettisoning its bombs safe in the sea,
and 2 attacked alternative targets, due to engine trouble, one (A/C. U.Z.1609 - Captain P/O. F. B. BALDWIN) bombing the town of
HOYA from a height of 13,000 feet without observing any results and the other
(A/C. N.B.K.495 - Captain F/O. W. L. FARQUHARSON) dropping its incendiaries on the aerodrome at GILZE-RIJEN
from a height of 11,000 feet, causing scattered fires and extinguishing the aerodrome lights.

The 3 aircraft which were successful in locating the target HAMBURG, observed marker flares & dropped their bombs
& incendiaries from heights ranging between 12,000 feet & 13,000 feet without observing any results.
One of these aircraft (A/C. C.B.K.166 - Captain Sgt. ROSS. H.) was attacked three times by a ME110 which was only shaken
off with difficulty, and returned to base with starboard aileron partly shot away.

00.45 11 aircraft had returned safely to base.

Tuma CharlesWellington BK127 Tuma Charles - Pilot

P/O - Service No J16242

Age: 24


Son of Charles and Bessie Tuma, of Churchbridge, Saskatchewan, Canada.

Runnymede Memorial - panel 178

Source: CWGC - photo via Canadian fallen heroes - Canadian virtual war memorial.

Spooner Kenneth Spooner Kenneth - Observer

Sgt - Service No 1231251

Age: 21


Son of Harry and Elsie Spooner, of Blackpool, Lancashire.

Runnymede Memorial - panel 165

Source: CWGC.

Pollard Maurice Arthur Pollard Maurice Arthur - WOP

Sgt - Service No 1434975

Age: 22


Son of Arthur Stephenson Pollard and Elsie Maude Pollard, of Mossley Hill, Liverpool.

Runnymede Memorial - panel 162

Source: CWGC.

Potter Frank Slaney Potter Frank Stanley - BA

P/O - Service No 130724

Age: 26


Son of Horace Lionel Potter, and of Florence Jane Potter, of Weybridge, Surrey.

Runnymede Memorial - panel 133

Source: CWGC.

McKay Harry Robertson Wellington BK127McKay Harry Robertson - RG

F/S - Service No R115725

Age: 20


Son of Dr. Edward Robertson McKay and Amy Maud McKay, of Biggar, Saskatchewan, Canada.

Runnymede Memorial - panel 184

Source: CWGC - Photo via Canadian virtual war memorial.