Wellington X3721 1/2 June 1942

Wellington Mk III - X3721 - KO-F

T/O Marham 2255. Target Essen, Germany. Lost without trace

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

This was the second raid carried out by the 'Thousand Force' although the full 1,000 aircraft could not be provided on this night.
956 aircraft were dispatched:
545 Wellingtons, 127 Halifaxes, 77 Stirlings, 74 Lancasters, 71 Hampdens, 33 Manchesters and 29 Whitleys.
The plan was similar to the recent raid on Cologne except that many more flares were dropped by the raid leaders,
Wellingtons of 3 Group. Crews experienced great difficulty in finding the target,
the ground was covered either by haze or a layer of low cloud. Bombing was very scattered.
Essen reports only 11 houses destroyed and 184 damaged, mostly in the south of the city,
and one prisoner of war working camp burnt out.
Casualties were 15 people killed and 91 injured. Bombs also fell on at least 11 other towns in or near the Ruhr.
Particularly heavy bombing occurred in Oberhausen with 83 people killed,
Duisburg with 52 killed, and Mülheim with 15 killed.

31 bombers were lost: 15 Wellingtons, 8 Halifaxes, 4 Lancasters, 1 Hampden, 1 Manchester, 1 Stirling, 1 Whitley.
This was 3.2 per cent of the force dispatched.

Source: nationalarchives.gov.uk - Bomber Command - Campaign Diary June 1942.

ORB. 1st. June, 1942.
18 aircraft (10 from 'A' Flight and 8 from 'B' Flight)
took off between 2255 and 0013 hours to attack target ESSEN.
13 of the aircraft successfully located and attacked target and bombing from heights ranging
between 12500 and 19000 feet dropped their bombs in poor visibility and mostly on T.R. and D.R. fixes.
Some bursts were seen in build up areas and several large fires were seen burning.
One aircraft (A/C. K.X.3540 - Captain Sgt. DUNN, as Fr. Gunner, Sgt. FLORENCE, was taken ill))
attacked an aerodrome at GELDEN but the bomb overshot (due to bomb release gear defect)
and fell outside the drome.
Two aircraft were forced to jettison their bombs
(A/C. L.X.3412 - Captain P/O. FELT - jettison at KREFELD) due to T.R. and
hydraulic failure and
(A/C. Y.X.3351 - Captain Sgt. MCKEE) inability to gain height.
One aircraft (A/C. V.X.3601 - Captain F/S. HUTCHISON) brought all its bombs back.
A/C. F.X.3721 (Captain F/O. WILLIAMS) failed to return to base after operations.

All the aircraft with exception of A/C. F.X.3721 (Captain F/O. WILLIAMS)
had returned safely to base after operations by 0502 hours.

Williams Lyn Collis Williams Lyn Collis - Pilot

F/O - Service No 44362

Age: 28


Son of Collis and Winifred Ann Williams.
Husband of Sylvia Elaine Williams, of Westfield, Surrey.

Runnymede Memorial - panel 68

Source: CWGC.

King Douglas George King Douglas George - Observer

P/O - Service No 404378

Age: 23 - °born in Palmerston North


Son of Arthur James King (army officer) and Lily Holding.
Was also the half brother of Jessie C. King and Albert J. King.

Runnymede Memorial - panel 116

Source: CWGC.

McKellar John Campbell McKellar John Campbell - WOP

Sgt - Service No 1062986

Age: 34


Son of John Campbell McKellar, and of Jean Ross McKellar, of York.

Runnymede Memorial - panel 88

Source: CWGC.

Hepple Thomas Hepple Thomas - FG

Sgt - Service No 1378983

Age: 29


Son of Michael and Mary Hepple.
Husband of Rita D. Hepple, of Middle Herrington, Co. Durham.

Runnymede Memorial - panel 85

Source: CWGC.

Strain John Lawrence Strain John Lawrence - RG

Sgt - Service No 1357040

Age: 28


Son of W. A. and Violet C. Strain, of Ladywood, Birmingham.

Runnymede Memorial - panel 94

Source: GWGC.