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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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78 Squadron Crest
01/02.10.1940 No. 78 Squadron Whitley V P4964 P/O. Andrew

Operation: Sterkrade

Date: 01/02nd October 1940 (Tuesday/Wednesday)

Unit: No. 78 Squadron (4 Group) (motto: Nemo non paratus "Nobody unprepared")

Type: Whitley V

Serial: P4964

Code: EY-?

Base: RAF Dishforth, Yorkshire

Location: Hemmelo, Netherlands

Pilot: P/O. Neville Halsey Andrew 36252 RAF Age 21. Killed

Pilot: P/O. Harry Wright Morgan 43708 RAF Age 27. Killed

Obs: Sgt George Enos Matson 581164 RAF Age 20. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Phillip Hall Richmond 639639 RAF Age 19. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Arthur Roscoe 633114 RAF Age 19. Killed

REASON FOR LOSS:

Leaving RAF Dishforth in Yorkshire at 19:06 hrs briefed to attack synthetic oil installations in the Holten district of Sterkade. Sterkrade lies in western Germany, near the city of Oberhausen, in the very industrial Ruhr-area.

The target was bombed from 10,000 ft with incendiary bombs - we have no results from this operation.

P4964 left the target area and started on their return leg of the operation - a full breakfast was waiting for the crew on their return. But this was not to be, they were picked up by radar guided searchlight batteries based at Giesbeek and Vorden and then attacked by Lt. Hans Georg Mangelsdorf and his radio opener Hubert Winter of 2/NJG-1 in a Bf110. The Whitley exploded in the air - killing all the crew.

Above: Crash site area of P4964 - kindly submitted by Oleg Marin - December 2018

Mangelsdorf and Winter were both killed a fortnight later when they were shot down by a 44 Squadron Hampden I X2910 flown by 23 year old, Sgt. Leonard John Burt 566634 RAF. Sadly 3 of the crew also lost their lives, with one other taken PoW.

Burial details:

On Friday, October 4, 1940 at 15:00 hrs. the 5 crew members were buried at the cemetery in Hummelo with full military honours. Hundreds of people from Hummelo and surrounding villages stood outside the gate during the funeral. Even now, nearly 80 years later the graves of the crew - the only CWGC graves within the cemetery are well maintained and constantly adorned with flowers from the village.

Grave photograph kindly submitted by Peter Hakze - December 2018


P/O. Neville Halsey Andrew. Hummelo-En-Keppel General Cemetery (Hummelo). Collective grave 1-5. Son of Isaac and Edith Alice Andrew, of Ellesmere, Canterbury, New Zealand. 464 Flying hors logged and on his 18th operational sortie.

Right: Memorial plaque placed by 'The Aircraft Research Group - Achterhoek'. (it can be just made out to the left of Peter's photograph above.

P/O. Harry Wright Morgan. Hummelo-En-Keppel General Cemetery (Hummelo). Collective grave 1-5. Son of William Arthur and Florence Jenny Myra Morgan, of Ashburton, Canterbury, New Zealand. 366 Flying hours logged and on his 9th operational sortie.

Sgt George Enos Matson. Hummelo-En-Keppel General Cemetery (Hummelo). Collective grave 1-5. Son of George Enos Matson and Maude S. Matson and husband of Nora Matson, of Ystrad-gynlais, Glamorgan, Wales. Grave inscription reads: "Time Wears Away The Edge Of Grief But Memory Turns Back Every Leaf. Wife And Child". At the date of his loss he had been a Canadian living in Warner, Alberta, Canada. It ws a week before his parents were informed that he was missing in action!

Sgt. Phillip Hall Richmond. Hummelo-En-Keppel General Cemetery (Hummelo). Collective grave 1-5. Son of James and Gertrude Richmond. Grave inscription reads: "His Life A Beautiful Memory".

Sgt. Arthur Roscoe. Hummelo-En-Keppel General Cemetery (Hummelo). Collective grave 1-5. Son of Charles and Bertha Roscoe, of Bolton, Lancashire, England. Grave inscription reads: "Greater Love Hath No Man Than This. He Laid Down His Life For His Country".

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to the research by Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3”, Auckland War Memorial Museum, Weekly News of New Zealand, Peter Hakze for the grave photo - used with permission other sources as quoted below:

KTY 24.12.2018

Pages of Outstanding Interest
History Airborne Forces •  Soviet Night Witches •  Bomber Command Memories •  Abbreviations •  Gardening Codenames
CWGC: Your Relative's Grave Explained •  USA Flygirls •  Axis Awards Descriptions •  'Lack Of Moral Fibre'
Concept of Colonial Discrimination  •  Unauthorised First Long Range Mustang Attack
Acknowledgements
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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