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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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51 Squadron Crest
30/31.03.1944 No. 51 squadron Halifax III LV857 MH-H2 Sgt. Binder

Operation: Nurnberg

Date: 30/31st March 1944 (Thursday/Friday)

Unit: No. 51 Squadron

Type: Halifax III

Serial: LV857

Code: MH-H2

Base: RAF Snaith, Yorkshire

Location: Rossbach, Germany

Pilot: Sgt. Jack Percival George Binder 1337685 RAFVR Age 21. Killed

Fl/Eng: Sgt. James Brear 1521636 RAFVR Age 22. Killed

Nav: Fl/Sgt. Walter Austin Guy 1029598 RAFVR Age 23. Killed

Air/Bmr: Fl/Sgt. Raymond Hathaway Wilson R/162866 RCAF Age 22. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Edmund Joseph Paul Monk 1390097 RAFVR Age 19. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Frank Kasher 1592239 RAFVR Age ? Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Basil Hughes Menary 1237634 RAFVR Age 22. Killed

REASON FOR LOSS:

Taking off from RAF Snaith in Yorkshire at 22:11 hrs for a major operation on the city of Nuremberg.

Part of a huge raid of over 795 aircraft, mainly Lancasters, also one of the costliest in the history of Bomber Command in a single operation with 105 aircraft lost (including accidents on take off and landing) with over 500 aircrew killed! 6 lost from this squadron alone. They began their bombing run at around 01:28 hrs. on the morning of the 31st. March over Nuremberg.

Above the brothers: L-R: Larry, Edmund, Frank and Arthur Monk

The majority of the bomber stream were intercepted during the outbound flight (over 80 lost during this phase) The actual raid on Nürnberg was classed as a failure with many bombers missing the target area.

Halifax LV857 was intercepted and shot down by Obit. “Tino” Martin Becker (1) of I/NJG6 in his Me110 at 00:23 hrs using his forward firing ornament rather than the ‘Schräge Musik’ upward firing guns.

Left: A detailed account of this operation has been described in Martin Middlebrooks publication ‘The Nuremberg Raid’ ISBN-13: 978-1844158751 (Also available in softcover)

51 Squadron suffered badly during this operation, losing some 6 aircraft, the others:

Halifax III LV822 MH-Z2 Flown by Fl/Sgt. Edward Wilkins AUS/414442 RAAF - Killed with all of his 6 crew. Halifax III LV777 MH-F2 Flown by Sq/Ldr. Frederick Peter Hill DFC 60532 RAFVR - Killed with all of his 6 crew. Halifax III LW537 MH-C2 Flown by Fl/Sgt. Malcolm Maos Stembridge 1452226 RAFVR - Killed with 1 other crew member, 5 others PoW. Halifax III LW544 MH-Q2 Flown by Fl/Sgt. Geoffrey Graham Brougham AUS/421885 RAAF - Killed with 4 of his crew, 2 PoW. Halifax III LW579 MH-V Flown by P/O. James Brooks 159065 RAFVR - Killed with all of his 6 crew.

(1) Obit. “Tino” Martin Becker: Born 12th April 1916 at Weisbaden, Germany. He joined the Luftwaffe in 1940 initially with a reconnaissance unit before transferring in early 1943 to the Nachtjagd. From then until 1945 he flew 83 night fighter missions and claimed an incredible 58 victories. He was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with its higher grade Oak Leaves in recognition of extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership. Halifax LV857 was his 21st. victory. He died at Oberneisen, Rhein-Lahn-Kreis, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany on 8 February 2006, aged 89.

Right: Obit. “Tino” Martin Becker (courtesy Kracker Archive)


Burial details:

Sgt. Jack Percival George Binder. Hannover War Cemetery. Grave 4.H.13. Born in New Zealand, the son of Cecil George and Winifred Grace (née Scarff) Binder, and brother of Frederick, of Moulton, Northamptonshire, England.

Sgt. James Brear. Hannover War Cemetery. Grave 4.H.16. Son of Walter and Florrie Brear of Doncaster, England. Grave inscription reads: ”He Gave His Life That We Might Live In Peace May It Not Be In Vain”.

Fl/Sgt. Walter Austin Guy. Hannover War Cemetery. Grave 4.H.19. Son ofThomas and Louisa Guy and husband of Elizabeth of Lancaster, England.

Fl/Sgt. Raymond Hathaway Wilson. Hannover War Cemetery. Grave 4.H.14. Son of John Hathaway and Ruby Helene, brother of Noel Hathaway Wilson and Helen Rosemary Wilson of Peachland, British Columbia, Canada. Grave inscription reads: “There Is A Divinity That Shapes Our Ends”.

Sgt. Edmund Joseph Paul Monk. Hannover War Cemetery. Grave 4.H.18. Born on on the 26th September 1924, in Epsom,Surrey, the son of Joseph and Phyllis Grace (née Stallard) Monk of Hove, Sussex and brother to Winifred, Frank, Arthur, Vera, Lawrence and Christina. The family were informed by the Air Ministry in a letter dated July 20th 1944, that Edmund would be listed as “missing, presumed killed” until confirmed.They had to wait nearly six more months from the end of March, before they could assume that he had been killed. A terrible wait for all the families. Sgt. Monk is noted as being Lay secretary of the sword of the Spirit RAF Branch, Blackpool, Lancashire, England. Grave inscription reads: “Come We To Seek. The Vision Of The High To See Our Dead In Joy Of Gods Fair Eye”.

Sgt. Frank Kasher. Hannover War Cemetery. Grave 4.H.15. Son of James and Edith Kasher (née Feetham) of Auckland, County Durham, England. He was the only child.

Sgt. Basil Hughes Menary. Hannover War Cemetery. Grave 4.H.17. Son of George Menary and and Alice Watmough (died during childbirth of Basil) and stepson of Lily Menary and husband of Mary Menary of Lidget Green, Bradford, Yorkshire, England. Mary was pregnant with their daughter, Yvonne when he was killed. Enlisted on the 26th March 1941 and initially based in Blackpool. Grave inscription reads: “Treasured Memories Of A Dear Sweet Heart And Husband.Mary And Yvonne,”Baby”.


Researched by Linda Ibrom for Aircrew Remembered in May 2017 and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to sources as shown below. Thanks to Peter Staveley for information on Jack Binder, David Watnough for sending us the photographs of Sgt. Basil Menary, Teresa Menary niece of Basil Menary also to Monica Porter and Janet Gardner of the Daily Mail for their tremendous assistance with this and making the page of remembrance possible. Finally Barbara Paul, (niece of Sergeant Edmund Monk) and family for photographs and information. Also many thanks to David Champion for further crew details and photograph of Fl/Sgt. Raymond Hathaway Wilson.

LI - 07.05.2017 - Updated 10.05.2017

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 and Fred Paradie - Paradie Archive (both on this site), 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', Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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