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Archive Report: Allied Forces

Compiled from official National Archive and Service sources, contemporary press reports, personal logbooks, diaries and correspondence, reference books, other sources, and interviews.
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426 Squadron Crest
01/02.11.1944 No. 426 Squadron Halifax VII NP709 OW-A F/O. Anderson

Operation: Oberhausen

Date: 01/2nd November 1944 (Wednesday/Thursday)

Unit: No. 426 Squadron

Type: Halifax VII

Serial: NP709

Code: OW-A

Base: RAF Linton-on-Ouse, Yorkshire

Location: South West Duisburg

Pilot: F/O. William Frank Anderson J/29202 RCAF Age 21. Missing - believed killed

Fl/Eng: Sgt. James Langton 1822461 RAFVR Age 20. Killed

Nav: F/O. Gordon Joseph Mullin J/36947 RCAF Age 21. Killed (1)

Air/Bmr: P/O. Cyril Christian Goble J/95159 RCAF Age 22. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Thomas Robert Edgell 1585145 RAFVR Age 22. Killed

Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Leslie George Griffith R/261261 RCAF Age 24. Killed

Air/Gnr: P/O. John Alexander McLea J/95366 RCAF Age 19. Killed


Taking off from RAF Linton-on-Ouse in Yorkshire at 17:44 hrs to bomb Oberhausen under a full moon - bombing taking place between 20:26 hrs and 20:39 hrs - 288 aircraft on this operation.

Bombing was scattered as the target area was covered in cloud. 36 houses were destroyed with 4 people on the ground killed in Oberhausen - other areas may well have also been hit.

The allies lost 5 Halifaxes and 2 Lancasters with 16 crew taken PoW, 20 other crew lost their lives.

Luftwaffe control plotted them as they were flying over Namur and Verdun as early as 19:53 hrs. But the night fighters arrived too late to prevent the bombing with interceptions made during the homebound flights of the bombers. Seven were lost - all claimed by night fighters, although flak units made claims also for several of these aircraft.

It is thought possible that they were intercepted and shot down by the Luftwaffe ace, Lt. Martin Tschiersch (2) from 5./NJG2 South West of Duisburg at 20:32 hrs during the return trip for the crew.

The other aircraft lost from the Squadron on this operationHalifax VII NP711 OW-J Flown by 22 year old, P/O. Rodney Shand Goreham J/88475 RCAF taken PoW with one other crew member, the remaining 5 crew lost their lives.

(1) Mullin Lake south east of Nejanilini Lake, Manitoba, Canada was named after F/O. Gordon Joseph Mullin in 1974.

(2) This was the 9th claim for Lt. Martin Tschiersch - he was killed at 01.58 hours on 21st February 1945 when shot down in Ju88 G6 620543 (4R+DN) of II./NJG2, 20 km. South of Lippstadt. Total claims, 12.

Burial details:

F/O. William Frank Anderson. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 244. Son of John J and Beatrice G.V.Anderson of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Also remembered on a cross at Pine Grove Cemetery, Norland, Ontario, Canada.

Sgt. James Langton. Rheinberg War Cemetery. Grave 11.E.7. Born on the 5th of April 1924 in Dundee Royal Infirmary, Scotland to James and Mary Ann Langton of Linlathen, Angus, Scotland. James had two sisters, Catherine and Isabel. Worked as an engineer before enlisting. Single and very popular with the ladies, with ice skating and dancing as his main hobbies.

F/O. Gordon Joseph Mullin. Rheinberg War Cemetery. Grave 11.E.8. From Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

P/O. Cyril Christian Goble. Rheinberg War Cemetery. Grave 11.E.6. Son of Roy and Esther C. Goble of Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Sgt. Thomas Robert Edgell. Rheinberg War Cemetery. Grave 11.E.5. Son of Thomas William and Rosina Maud Edgell.

Fl/Sgt. Leslie George Griffith. Rheinberg War Cemetery. Grave 11.E.9. Son of Thornton and Elsie Griffith and husband of Tillie Lillian Griffith. Understood to be from Farmington, Michigan, USA.

P/O. John Alexander McLea. Rheinberg War Cemetery. Grave 11.E.10. Son of William and Victoria May McLea of 11 Foster Avenue, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Sgt. McLea was a former sergeant with the 81st Squadron Air Cadets of Canada and also attended the Queen Victoria Public School and the Hamilton Technical Institute. He went on to work at Canadian Comstock at Welland before enlisting in the RCAF in June 1943. A sister, Beatrice and brother William both also served with the RCAF on the West Coast and St. Thomas respectively.

Researched by Linda Ibrom for Aircrew Remembered - May 2017. Page dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to Maureen Little (Niece) for photographs and information on James Langton, John McLenaghan, nephew of John McLea with special thanks to Lisa Sharp.

LI - 01.06.2017

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Sources used by us in compiling Archive Reports include: Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vols. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vols. 1 and 2', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries', Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Tom Kracker - Kracker Luftwaffe Archives, Michel Beckers, Major Fred Paradie (RCAF) and MWO François Dutil (RCAF) - Paradie Archive (on this site), Jean Schadskaje, Major Jack O'Connor USAF (Retd.), Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', Archiwum - Polish Air Force Archive (on this site), Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Franek Grabowski, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of CWGC, UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, New Zealand National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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