30/31.05.1942 22 OTU Wellington IC DV843 OR:Q Plt.Off. 'Boy' Fullerton DFM
Date: 30th/31st May 1942 (Saturday/Sunday)
Unit: 22 Operational Training Unit (OTU)
Type: Wellington IC
Base: RAF Wellesbourne Mountford, Warwickshire.
Location: Dinteloord, Noord Brabant, Netherlands
Pilot: Plt.Off. William Arthur 'Boy' Fullerton DFM. 103507 RAFVR Age 25. Killed
Obs: Fg.Off. Leonard James Tait 82967 RAFVR Age 25. Killed
WOp/Air Gnr: Flt.Sgt. John Kenneth Napier DFM. 974768 RAFVR Age 21. Killed
Air Gnr: Sgt. Robert Alfred Armstrong R53363 RCAF Age 23. Killed
Air Gnr: Flt.Sgt. Ronald Malcolm Sanders 904378 RAFVR Age 25. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Took off from RAF Wellesbourne Mountford, Warwickshire at 22:44 hrs to bomb Cologne (Köln) on a thousand bomber raid made up of 602 Wellingtons, 131 Halifaxes, 88 Stirlings, 79 Hampdens, 73 Lancasters, 43 Manchesters and 28 Mosquitoes. (1,047 aircraft.)
868 aircraft are said to have bombed the main target others bombing other targets. Huge losses were incurred on this raid, 41 aircraft lost which was classed as acceptable at the time!
22 OTU lost 4 aircraft and crews on this raid:
R1714 flown by Flt.Lt. Alwyn Hamman DFC and bar killed with 3 other crew members and one being taken PoW
DV701 flown by Fg.Off. Harold Blake DFC killed with all 5 crew.
R1235 flown by Flt.Sgt. Cyril Mathews killed with all 5 crew. (Further details here)
Wellington DV843 was coned by 11. and 13./IIIFlak Reg.26 and 1. and 2 /schw. Res Flak Abt..447 with the aircraft crashing at Dinteloord at 02:10 hrs. (Nachtjagd Combat Archive (30 May - 31 December 1942) The Early Years Part 3 - Theo Boiten)
Plt.Off. William Arthur 'Boy' Fullerton DFM and original grave marker (courtesy Laurence Walker)
Plt.Off. William Arthur Fullerton DFM. Bergen-Op-Zoom War Cemetery. Grave 3.C.2. Son of William and Nellie Eugenie Fullerton, husband of Cora Eileen Fullerton. (Licentiate of the Royal Academy of Music) Grave inscription: 'At The Going Down Of The Sun And In The Morning We Will Remember Them'.
DFM awarded to 741865 Sgt Fullerton, whilst with 104 Sqn, Gazetted on 23rd September 1941
Fg.Off. Leonard James Tait. Bergen-Op-Zoom War Cemetery. Grave 3.C.4. Son of Leslie and Evelyn Tait, husband of June K. Tait, of Ferring, Sussex, England.
Flt.Sgt. John Kenneth Napier DFM. Bergen-Op-Zoom War Cemetery. Grave 3.D.10. Born 11th September 1921 in Burnley, Lancashire. Son of John and Bertha (née Smith) Napier of Burnley and brother to three sisters, Ivy, Ada and Edith. Husband to Phyllis (née Manlow) Napier of Knaresborough, Yorkshire, England.
DFM awarded to Flt.Sgt Napier, whilst with 51 Sqn, Gazetted on 30th January 1942
Sgt. Robert Alfred Armstrong. Bergen-Op-Zoom Canadian War Cemetery. Grave 12.F.4. Born on the 2nd May 1919, Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland. Son of William James and Maria (née McGonigle) Armstrong of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Grave inscription: 'He Died The Helpless To Defend, A Faithful Soldier's Noble End'.
Flt.Sgt. Ronald Malcolm Sanders. Bergen-Op-Zoom War Cemetery. Grave 3.C.11. Son of Albert and Mildred Sanders, of Bexley, Kent, England. Grave inscription: 'The Soul That Rises With Us, Our Life's Star, Hath Had Elsewhere Its Setting'.
Researched for Laurence Walker, relative of the pilot Plt.Off. Fullerton and dedicated to all relatives of this crew. Thanks to Kenneth Forresfor the NoK details for Flt.Sgt. Napier.