22/23.09.1943 No. 428 Squadron Halifax LK635 NA-H F/O. H.E. McRae
Date: 22/23rd September 1943 (Wednesday/Thursday)
Unit: No. 428 Squadron
Type: Halifax V
Base: RAF Middleton St. George, County Durham
Location: Not known
Pilot: F/O. Hector Earl McRae J/20195 RCAF Age 23. Missing - believed killed
Fl/Eng: Sgt. Donald Ernest Jeffery 1862968 RAFVR Age 19. Missing - believed killed
Nav: Sgt. Leonard Cotton 1516171 RAFVR Age 22. Missing - believed killed
Air/Bmr: Fl/Sgt. Walter Edward Dickson R/156913 RCAF Age 22. Missing - believed killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Arthur Reginald Bohn 1415741 RAFVR Age 22. Missing - believed killed
Air/Gnr: Sgt. James Wright 1590868 RAFVR Age 30. Missing - believed killed
Air/Gnr: Sgt. Edward George Miller R/183626 RCAF Age 19. Missing - believed killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Took off at 18.28 hrs. RAF Middleton St. George, County Durham to attack the German city of Hanover. The first major air raid on Hanover for 2 years. 322 Lancasters, 226 Halifaxes, 137 Stirlings and 26 Wellingtons took part.
26 aircraft would not return. 155 crew members lost their lives and a further 48 made prisoners of war. (5 USAAF B-17's also joined which was their first night raid on Germany)
Visibility in the target area was good but stronger winds than forecast caused the marking and the bombing to be concentrated between 2 and 5 miles south south-west of the city centre. It is unlikely that serious damage was caused.
No details how this aircraft was lost and no night fighter claims have been made. The Squadron lost another crew during this operation, the other:
Halifax V LK914 NA-K Flown by F/O. Kenneth William Jones 120550 RAFVR from Kingswood, Gloucestershire, England killed with 5 other crew, 1 crew member survived, Sgt. E.G. Bartram 1258355 RAFVR taken PoW.
No known burials, but some reports state that they are buried as unknown in Hanover War Cemetery.
F/O. Hector Earl McRae. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 174. Son of Gordon and Gertrude Sarah May (née Marshall) McRae, of Huxley, Alberta, Canada.
Sgt. Donald Ernest Jeffery. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 155. The son of Ernest Charles Grace Jeffery and Hilda Olive (née Stevens) of 267 Clockhouse Road, Beckenham, Kent, England.
Sgt. Leonard Cotton. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 146. Son of Leonard and Nellie Cotton (née Sanders), of 63 Canada Street, Sheffield, England.
Fl/Sgt. Walter Edward Dickson. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 181. Born on the 21st June 1921, the son of Harold Edward and Mabel Lillian Dickson from 379 Woodbine Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Sgt. Arthur Reginald Bohn. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 143. The son of Frederick William Bohn and Matilda (née Webb) of 14 Oval Mansions, Kennington, London, England.
Sgt. James Wright. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 170. Son of James and Florence (née Bassett) Wright and husband of Rhoda (née Hutchinson) Wright, of Hull, England.
Sgt. Edward George Miller. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 186. Son of Ferdinand Jacob and Charlotte Ann Miller (née Coxhead), of Mitchell, Ontario, Canada.
Researched for Gerald Dickson nephew of the Air Bomber, Fl/Sgt. Walter Dickson. Gerald's daughter Heather Dixon informed us that her father passed away in 2019. With thanks also to David Champion for crew photographs - dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to sources as shown below.