27/28.08.1943 No. 218 Squadron Stirling III EF448 HA-P Fl/Sgt. Noel M. Davis
Operation: Nürnberg, Germany
Date: 27/28th August 1943 (Friday/Saturday)
Unit: No. 218 Squadron (Gold Coast)
Type: Stirling III
Base: RAF Downham Market, Norfolk, England
Location: Münstermaifeld, Germany
Pilot: Fl/Sgt. Noel Michael Davis AUS/412921 RAAF Age 21. Killed
Fl/Eng: Sgt. George Louis Terry 1800644 RAFVR Age 21? Killed
Nav: Sgt. Daniel Joseph Mullen R/151170 RCAF Age 25. Killed
Air/Bmr: Sgt John Curson 1580055 RAFVR Age 23. Killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. R.H.B. Searle 909387 RAFVR Age ? Pow No further details
Air/Gnr: Sgt. Douglas Alexander Ross R/176649 RCAF Age ? Killed
Air/Gnr: Sgt. J.K. White AUS/418035 RAAF Age 20. Pow No: 222797 Camp: Stalag Muhlberg (Elbe) 4B
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off at 21:35 hrs from RAF Downham Market, Norfolk,- 674 aircraft – 349 Lancasters, 221 Halifaxes and 104 Stirlings. 11 of each type were lost on the raid: 4.9% of the force. The marking of this raid was based mainly on H2S.
47 of the Pathfinders H2S aircraft were ordered to check their equipment by dropping a 1000 lb bomb on Heilbronn while flying to Nüremburg. 28 Pathfinder aircraft were able to carry out this order. Heilbronn reports that several bombs did drop in the north of the town soon after midnight. The local officials assumed that the bombs were aimed at the industrial zone, several bombs did fall around the factory area and other bombs fell further away. No industrial buildings were hit, one house was destroyed but there were no casualties.
In addition the Allies sent four PPF Mosquitoes to make a harassing raid on Duisberg. This was timed badly as the Mosquitoes dropped their bombs some two hours before the main force attacked. Most of the bombers that did not return were attacked during the run in and five were lost on the return trip. Ten German night fighters were shot down during a fierce battle over the bombing area which lasted over thirty minutes.
218 Squadron Stirling III
Nuremburg was found to be free from cloud but it was very dark. The initial Pathfinder markers were accurate but a creepback quickly developed which could not be stopped because so many Pathfinder aircraft had difficulties with their H2S sets.
The Master Bomber (whose name is not recorded) could do little to persuade the Main Force to move their bombing forward, only a quarter of the crews could hear his broadcasts. Bomber Command estimated that most of the bombing fell in open country SSW of the city but the local reports say that bombs were scattered across the SE and eastern suburbs.
The only location mentioned by name is the Zoo, which was hit by several bombs. 65 people were killed.
No claims by Luftwaffe night fighters for the loss of Stirling III EF448 - possible brought down by anti aircraft fire.
Stirling III EF448 HA-P crew graves (courtesy Hans-Werner Huelser and Mitch Buiting - high resolution copies of these are available to relatives free of charge)
Fl/Sgt. Noel Michael Davis. Rheinberg War Cemetery. Collective grave 9.G.21-25. Born on the 28th September 1921 the son of Charles John and Ruth Kendrick Davis, of Waratah, New South Wales, Australia. Grave inscription reads “ Duty Nobly Done”.
Sgt. George Louis Terry. Rheinberg War Cemetery. Collective grave 9.G.21-25. Son of Mabel Terry of Brockley, London, England.
Sgt. Daniel Joseph Mullen. Rheinberg War Cemetery. Collective grave 9.G.21-25. Born on the 20th June 1918 the son of Daniel James and Elizabeth Josephine (née Sharkey) Mullen of St. Peter's Bay, Prince Edward Island, Canada.
Sgt John Curson. Rheinberg War Cemetery. Collective grave 9.G.21-25. Son of James and Rosa Rachel Curson, of Ash Green, Warwickshire, England. Grave inscription reads “Not Just Today But Everyday, We Remember You”.
Sgt. Douglas Alexander Ross. Rheinberg War Cemetery. Collective grave 9.G.21-25. Believed to be from Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada. Next of details not available, are you able to assist?
Researched for Jonathan White - relative of the Flight Engineer, Sgt. George Terry and dedicated to all the relatives of the crew. Sources as quoted below.