22/23.05.1944 No. 300 Squadron Lancaster III LM487 BH-J F/O. W. Adler
Operation: Dortmund, Germany
Date: 22/23rd May 1944
Unit: No. 300 Squadron (Polish)
Type: Lancaster III
Base: Faldingworth, Lincolnshire.
Location: Krefeld, Germany
Pilot: F/O. Wilmelm Adler PAF. PoW.
Fl/Eng: Sgt. Kazimierza Feliks Kozanecki 780049 PAF Age 31 Killed
Nav: F/O. Mieczyslaw Jozef Bergner P-2097 PAF Age 22 Killed
Air/Bmr: Sgt. Stanislaw Antoni Chabrowski 784982 PAF Age 28 Killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Kazimierz Jankowiak 704737 PAF Age 25 Killed
Air/Gnr: Sgt Leon Winkiel 792294 PAF Age 22 Killed
Air/Gnr: Sgt. Kazimierz Nawratil 703889 PAF Age 24 Killed (1)
REASON FOR LOSS:
Took off at 22.47 Hrs from Faldingworth. Part of a group of 361 Lancaster's and 14 Mosquito's to attack Dortmund. The raid fell mainly in residential areas. 852 houses, 6 industrial buildings were destroyed, a further 788 houses were seriously damaged with a ground loss of 335 Germans and 26 PoW’S killed and a further 1,697 people injured.
Above: Lancaster LM487 (courtesy Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945 - see credits)
18 Lancasters were also lost. Another 300 squadron Lancaster, LL857 BH-B, was lost on this night when it was obliged to return following engine trouble. They partly jettisoned their bomb load over the sea but tragically the underpowered Lancaster collided with the stations gunnery butts. 2 of the crew were killed instantly and another died shortly afterwards. 5 crew survived with injuries.
It is thought that LM487 was shot down on it's homeward bound trip by Hptm. Heinz-Horst Hissbach 5./NJG2 at 01.18 hours at a height of 4,500 mtrs. Although this can not be confirmed. Hptm.Hissbach was later killed by American A/A fire on the 14/15th April 1945 near Geinhausen whilst carrying out a ground strafing sortie (American vehicles destroyed). Hissbach had a total of 26 night kills and a further 4 day time kills at the time of his death.
Grave photos courtesy of our late dear friend Rob Philips (mouse over image)
NoK details for this crew are currently not available - are you able to assist completion of these and any other information?
Sgt. Kazimierza Feliks Kozanecki. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery - Kleve, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany. Plot II Row E Grave 5
Sgt Leon Winkiel. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery - Kleve, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany. Plot II Row E Grave 4.
Right: Lancaster LM487 (courtesy Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945 - see credits) - mouse over image.
Sgt. Stanislaw Antoni Chabrowski. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery - Kleve, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany. Plot II Row E Grave 2.
F/O. Mieczyslaw Jozef Bergner Reichswald Forest War Cemetery - Kleve, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany. Plot II Row E Grave 6.
Sgt. Kazimierz Jankowiak Reichswald Forest War Cemetery - Kleve, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany. Plot II Row E Grave 1.
(1) Sgt. Kazimierz Nawratil Reichswald Forest War Cemetery - Kleve, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany. Plot II Row E Grave 3. He was later exhumed and buried to Escaudain where some of his family had settled after the war.
Researched for relatives of the crew. With thanks to Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945’, Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vol's. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions’. Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries (Updated 2014 version).