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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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166 squadron
29/30.08.1944 No. 166 Squadron Lancaster I PD261 Fl/Lt. Dunton crew loss

Operation: Stettin, Germany

Date: 29/30th August 1944 (Tuesday/Wednesday)

Unit: No. 166 Squadron

Type: Lancaster I

Serial: PD261

Code: AS-S

Base: RAF Kirmington, Lincolnshire

Location: Stettin, Germany/Poland

Pilot: Fl/Lt. "Derry" Frederick Ross Dunton 126830 RAFVR Age 22. Killed

Fl/Eng: Sgt. Charles Malachi Murray 535937 RAFAge 27. Killed

Nav: Fl/Sgt. Robert Edward Harding AUS/433103 RAAF Age 19. Killed

Air/Bmr: Sgt. Trevor Hugh Davis 617912 RAF Age ? Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. David Kingsley Powers AUS/430051 RAAF Age 20. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. James Henry Peake 1533257 RAFVR Age 22. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. John James Carey 1069049 RAFVR Age ? Killed


Lancaster PD261 took off from RAF Kirmington at 21:10hrs for a night bombing raid on Stettin.

This Lancaster was part of a large force sent on this raid with 402 Lancasters and 1 Mosquito from 1, 3, 6 and 8 group. The total loss for this mission was 23 Lancasters

This was a very successful bombing raid on Stettin and a German report confirms that 565 houses, 23 industrial premises and 7 ships were damaged and a 1,569 and a 2,000 ton ship, 1,569 houses and 32 industrial premises were destroyed.

Lancaster PD261 was almost shot certain to have been shot down by a night fighter. Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie have described it as being one of a possible three, Lt. Kurt Welter, Hptm. Rudolf Altendorf or Oblt. Scholl. All claims were in the Stettin area and at between 01:55 hrs and 02.:12 hrs.

Crew Graves at Poznan (courtesy John Valentine)

Burial details:

All the crew were first interred in a communal grave in Stettin Central Cemetery, Germany

Fl/Lt. "Derry" Frederick Ross Dunton. Poznan Old Garrison Cemetery. Coll. Grave 6.A.15. Son of Arnett Richardson Dunton and Sylvia May Dunton of Paignton, Devon. Exhibitioner at Christ's College, Cambridge, England. Frederick Dunton was in School House, (a Boarding House at Malvern College) from 1935 till 1940. He was Junior Chapel Prefect and Head of House. He won a History Exhibition to Christ's College Cambridge. At the time of his death Frederick's parents were living at Sunnyside, Bentinck Road, Altrincham, Cheshire. Frederick Ross Dunton Memorial Prize is still awarded at the college every year.

Sgt. Charles Malachi Murray. Poznam Old Garrison Cemetery. Coll. Grave 6.A.15. Son of Patrick and Emily Murray of Acton, Co. Armagh, Northern Ireland

Fl/Sgt. Robert Edward Harding. Poznan Old Garrison Cemetery. Coll. Grave 6.A.15. Son of Arthur Alexander and Jean Elizabeth Harding of Woolwich, New South Wales, Australia. Robert was born on the 14th February 1925 in Woolwich, New South Wales and enlisted in Sydney on the 25th February 1943. At the time of his death Roberts parents were living at 7 Elgin Street, Woolwich, New South Wales. Robert is remembered on the Hunters Hill War Memorial Honour Roll which is in the main meeting room of the Hunter Hill Council Office

Sgt. Trevor Hugh Davis. Poznan Old Garrison Cemetery. Coll. Grave 6.A.15. No further information as yet

Fl/Sgt. David Kingsley Powers. Poznan Old Garrison Cemetery. Coll. Grave 6.A.15. Son of Frank and Myrtle Gwendoline Powers of North Brighton, Victoria, Australia. David was born on the 20th August 1924 in Kew, Victoria and enlisted in Melbourne on 4th December 1942.

Sgt. James Henry Peake. Poznan Old Garrison Cemetery. Coll. Grave 6.A.15. Son of Thomas Henry and Sarah Peake of Wednesbury, Staffordshire, England

Sgt. John James Carey. Poznan Old Garrison Cemetery. Coll. Grave 6.A.15. No further information as yet

Researched by Aircrew Remembered, researcher and specialist genealogist Kate Tame for John Valentine and all relatives of this crew. With thanks to Bill Chorley - "Bomber Command Losses Vol. 5", Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - "Bomber Command War Diaries", Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - "Nightfighter War Diaries Vol's. 1 and 2", Commonwealth Graves Commission.

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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