Wellington Z1614 30/31 May 1942

Wellington Mk III - Z1614 - KO-R

T/o Marham 2359 - Target Cologne (Germany).
The first 1.000 bomber raid.

Z1614 was intercepted while in Luftwaffe Radar Box 6A by Oblt Barte of the IV./NJG 1 operating from Sint-Truiden.
Crashed at Ticheloven approximately 1 km NW of Wijgmaal, at 0157 hrs.

Z1614 Photo added by K. Nyssen for Hanger Flying

F/S Crampton was shot down on 27 Augustus 1941 while operating with 9 Sqdn
and had evaded and returned to the UK via the "O'Leary Line".

1,047 aircraft were dispatched, this number being made up as follows:
1 Group - 156 Wellingtons
3 Group - 134 Wellingtons, 88 Stirlings = 222 aircraft
4 Group - 131 Halifaxes, 9 Wellingtons, 7 Whitleys = 147 aircraft
5 Group - 73 Lancasters, 46 Manchesters, 34 Hampdens = 153 aircraft
91 (OTU) Group - 236 Wellingtons, 21 Whitleys = 257 aircraft
92 (OTU) Group - 63 Wellingtons, 45 Hampdens = 108 aircraft
Flying Training Command - 4 Wellingtons.

Aircraft totals: 602 Wellingtons, 131 Halifaxes, 88 Stirlings, 79 Hampdens, 73 Lancasters, 46 Manchesters, 28 Whitleys = 1,047 aircraft.
The exact number of aircraft claiming to have bombed Cologne is in doubt;
the Official History says 898 aircraft bombed but Bomber Command's Night Bombing Sheets indicate that
868 aircraft bombed the main target with 15 aircraft bombing other targets.
The total tonnage of bombs was 1,455, two-thirds of this tonnage being incendiaries.
German records show that 2,500 separate fires were started, of which the local fire brigade classed 1,700 as large.
Property damage in the raid totalled 3,330 buildings destroyed, 2,090 seriously damaged and 7,420 lightly damaged.
More than 90 per cent of this damage was caused by fire rather than high-explosive bombs.
Among the above total of 12,840 buildings were 2,560 industrial and commercial buildings,
though many of these were small ones.
However, 36 large firms suffered complete loss of production,
70 suffered 50-80 per cent loss and 222 up to 50 per cent.
The estimates of casualties in Cologne are, unusually, quite precise.
Figures quoted for deaths vary only between 469 and 486.
The 469 figure comprises 411 civilians and 58 military casualties, mostly members of Flak units.
5,027 people were listed as injured and 45,132 as bombed out.

The RAF lost 41 aircraft which were:
29 Wellingtons, 4 Manchesters, 3 Halifaxes, 2 Stirlings, 1 Hampden, 1 Lancaster, 1 Whitley,
3.9 per cent of the bombing force.
Bomber Command later estimated that 22 aircraft were lost over or near Cologne -
16 shot down by Flak, 4 by night fighters and 2 in a collision;
most of the other losses were due to night-fighter action in the radar boxes between the coast and Cologne.

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

ORB. 30th. May, 1942.
18 aircraft (10 from "A" Flight and 8 from "B" Flight)
took off on operations between 2250 and 0021 hours to attack target COLOGNE.
Visibility over the target was found to be good.
Bombs were dropped from heights ranging from 10000 to 15000 feet on the target
which spread until the whole of the town was ablaze.
Leaflets were dropped and photographs attempted.
A/C. R.X.1614 (Captain Sgt. EDWARDS) failed to return from operations.

0510. All the remaining aircraft had returned safely to base after operations.

Thanks to Graham Waterdon we have this photo,

This is the photo of the Davie crew.
Taken spring 1942 at Marham.

As I mentioned in my post, after Davie was posted, Sgt Edwards became their skipper.

All were lost on the Cologne 1000 raid.

The only individual I can identify is the extreme right who is Hubert Croston, the Rear Gunner.
Interesting that the largest man had the
smallest place on the aircraft!

I would like to hear from you if you can identify
any of the others.

Via Mark Every we received new info,
P/O. Howard 2nd left,
F/S. Davie
3rd from left, thanks.

Edwards Emrys Edwards Emrys - Pilot

Sgt - Service No 1379351

Age: 23


Son of Evan William and Margaret Edwards.
Husband of Pamela Edwards, of Catford, London.

Runnymede Memorial - panel RP82

Source: CWGC.

Crampton William Francis Crampton William Francis - Observer

F/S - Service No 988765 - Mentioned in Despatches, No. 9 Squadron.

Age: 26


Son of Frederick and Maud Crampton, of Newton-le-Willows, Lancashire.
Husband of Minnie Crampton, of Newton-le-Willows.

Runnymede Memorial - panel 73

Source: CWGC.

Boyle Malcolm Boyle Malcolm - WOP

Sgt - Service No 1109750

Age: 27


Son of Francis and Mary Ann Boyle, of Glasgow.

Runnymede Memorial - panel 78

Source: CWGC.

Wellington Z1614McLeod William Arnott McLeod William Arnott - FG

Sgt - Service No 745477

Age: 23


Son of William Arnott McLeod and Agnes Lawson McLeod.
He was the son of the owner of MacFisheries.
(See "The Tiller" June 1987, "Coulson painting a Wimpy").

Runnymede Memorial - panel 89

Source: CWGC - photo: Peter Drysdale for findagrave.com

Sproston Hubert Sproston Hubert - RG

Sgt - Service No 1177725

Age: 30


Son of Hubert S. and Florence W. Sproston, of Cleethorpes, Lincolnshire.

Runnymede Memorial - panel 94

Source: CWGC