Wellington X3726 21/22 July 1942

Wellington Mk III - X3726 - KO-A

T/O Marham 2349. Target Duisburg, Germany.
Hit over the target by flak while flying at 8,000 feet wich set the flares alight.
The fire was soon out of control which forced the crew to bale out..

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

291 aircraft - 170 Wellingtons, 39 Halifaxes, 36 Stirlings, 29 Lancasters, 17 Hampdens.

253 returning crews reported that they had bombed and started many fires but photographs
showed that the flares of the leading aircraft, dropped by Gee, were not accurate and part of
the bombing fell in open country over the Rhine to the west.
This large raid was possibly sent on a moonless night to avoid the German night fighters.
It is interesting to note that bombing results were better than on many moonlit raids but the
bomber casualties, at 4.1 per cent, were heavier than normal.
Returning crews reported that Duisburg's Flak and searchlight defences were not as fierce as in
recent raids to that target because of the haze and most of the bomber losses were suffered in the coastal fighter belt.
Duisburg reports much damage in housing areas, 94 buildings being destroyed and 256 seriously
damaged, with 49 people killed.
What Bomber Command documents describe as 'ground sources' later stated that the
Thyssen steelworks and 2 other important war industries were hit.

12 aircraft - 10 Wellingtons, 1 Halifax, 1 Hampden - lost.

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

ORB. 21st. July, 1942.
16 aircraft (9 from 'A' Flight and 7 from 'B' Flight)
took off between 2349 and 0015 hours,
14 to attack target DUISBERG and 2 for MINELAYING operations.
8 of the aircraft attacking DUISBERG successfully located and attacked target and
bombing from heights ranging between 12500 and 14800 feet dropped their bombs on
the docks and build up areas between the docks and railway yards.
Several fires were observed and fires started.
Photographs were attempted and leaflets dropped.
1 of the remaining aircraft (A/C. H.Z.1605 - Captain Sgt. GLAUSER - A/C. sustained several small damages)
attacked the alternative target DORTMUND, evasive action over DUISBERG having caused change of course.
2 aircraft were forced to jettison their bombs due to
(A/C. D.Z.1624 - Captain P/O. FRY) engine overheating in one case and
(A/C. H.B.J.660 - Captain P/O. GRIMSTON) electrical failure (port propeller) in the other.
3 of the aircraft failed to return.
the 2 remaining aircraft detailed for MINELAYING operations dropped their mines successfully in the allotted positions.

0434. All the aircraft with the exception of
A/C. X.X.3561 (Captain P/O. FREEGARD) Wellington Mk III X3561 KO-X - 3 KIA, 2 POW ,
A/C. A.X.3726 (Captain P/O. STANFORD) and
A/C. B.X.3750 (Captain Sgt. FLETCHER) Wellington Mk III X3750 KO-B - no survivors,
had returned safely to Base after operations.

(A/C. G.B.J.616 - Captain Sgt. SMITH - A/C. was damaged by Flak in the port wing,
fuselage and pilots hatch, T.R. was unserviceable)

The crew boarding their Wellington on 21 July 1942, the evening they were shot down.
Sgt Maurice Colclough and Sgt Fred Cooper stand together in the far right of the photo,
Sgt Colclough extreme right.
Source: Jonathan Cooper. Wellington X3726

Stanford Stanford K. J. - Pilot

P/O - Service No NZ401293 - DMF - 57 Squadron, 1941.

Age:

RNZAF

POW - No 585 Stalag Luft 3.

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

Butler R Butler R. F. - 2nd Pilot

Sgt - Service No 1376499

Age:

RAFVR

POW - No 25102

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

Darlington L Darlington L. F. G. - Observer

Sgt - Service No 126698

Age:

RAFVR

POW - landed in the river Rhine and nearly drowned,
No 25052 Stalag Luft 4. - Commissioned while POW.

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

Cooper Fred - WOP

Sgt - Service No 1112152

Age: 21 - °18th April 1921, Bacup, Lancashire.
+22nd December 1986, Stourport-on-Severn, Worcestershire*.

RAFVR

POW - No 25101

Source: 115 Squadron Roll of Honour by D. Bruce, W. R. Chorley, J. G. J. de Haan -
*Photo via his son, Jonathan Cooper.

Colclough Maurice James Colclough Maurice James - FG

F/S - Service No 1265631

Age: 32 - °1st November 1909, Marylebone, London.

RAFVR

Son of James and Edith Colclough.
Husband of Edith May Colclough, of Great Yarmouth, Norfolk.

Reichswald Forest War Cemetery - 9. B. 9.

Source: CWGC - Photo and info, thanks to Jonathan Cooper. - Find a Grave by Honour those who fell.

Gardiner D Gardiner D. - RG

Sgt - Service No 1344495

Age:

RAFVR

POW - No 25056 Stalag VIIIB (344)

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