Mission: Nienberg

Date: 17/18th December 1942 (Thursday/Friday)

Unit: No: 44 Squadron (Rhodesia)

Type: Lancaster I

Serial: W4126

Code: KM-B

Base: R.A.F. Waddington, Lincolnshire.

Location: Texel, Netherlands

Pilot: F/O. Lawrence Gerard Lyons McNamara 80193 R.A.F.V.R. Age 27. Killed

Fl/Eng: Sgt. G.A. Read P.O.W. No: 27313 Camp: Stalag Lamsdorf (344) Poland

Obs: F/O. Raymond Norman McCleery J/11118 R.C.A.F. Age 28. Killed

Obs: F/O. James William Loree J/11109 R.C.A.F. Age 24. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Kenneth Robert Macleod 1058806 R.A.F.V.R. Age 21. Killed

Air/Gnr (mid upper): Sgt. Geoffrey Beckett 622136 R.A.F. Age 21. Killed

Air/Gnr (rear): Sgt. Gordon William Jones 1395418 R.A.F.V.R. Age 19. Killed


Took off from R.A.F. Waddington, Lincolnshire - part of a group of 8 raids on various small German towns.

A costly failure with losses amounting to 3 Lancasters lost from 44 Squadron.

Details of other two lost:
Lancaster 1 R5666 KM-F Flown by F/O. Michell. 2 crew members killed, 5 taken p.o.w.
Lancaster I ED355 KM-D Flown by Fl/Sgt. Dening R.A.A.F. with all 7 crew members killed.
It is understood that W4126 was hit by Kriegsmarine flak
(1) and crashed at 18.45 hrs on the island of Texel. Sgt. Read on his release stated that the aircraft was on fire when he baled out.

The Germans provided a funeral with full military honours on Tuesday, 22nd December.

44 Squadron Lancaster W4126 Sgt. Gordon William Jones
Sgt. Gordon William Jones (Courtesy Paul Baker)

44 Squadron Lancaster W4126 F:O. Lawrence Gerard Lyons McNamara
F/O. Lawrence Gerard Lyons McNamara (Source unknown)

44 Squadron Lancaster W4126 Sgt. Geoffrey Beckett
Sgt. Geoffrey Beckett (Source unknown)

Lamsdorf Camp 344
Entry to Stalag Lamsdorf (Courtesy of Philip Baker)

Texel (Den Berg) Gen Cem
Texel (Den Burg) Cemetery (Courtesy C.W.G.C)

(1) Kriegsmarine - German Navy
Burial details:

F/O. Lawrence Gerard Lyons McNamara. Texel (Den Burg) Cemetery. Plot K. Row 1. Grave 4
Son of Lt.-Col. John Daniel McNamara and Winifred Sarah McNamara; husband of Frederica Eileen McNamara, of Bulawayo, Southern Rhodesia.

F/O. Raymond Norman McCleery. Texel (Den Burg) Cemetery. Plot K. Row 1. Grave 14
Son of Capt. Edward J. McCleery and Jessie Isobel Olga McCleery, of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. School Teacher.

F/O. James William Loree. Texel (Den Burg) Cemetery. Plot K. Row 1. Grave 6
Son of James E. and Hazel V. Loree, of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Sgt. Kenneth Robert Macleod. Texel (Den Burg) Cemetery. Plot K. Row 1. Grave 12
Son of Robert Thallon MacLeod and Alice Jane MacLeod, of Edinburgh.

Sgt. Geoffrey Beckett. Texel (Den Burg) Cemetery. Plot K. Row 1. Grave 10
Son of Edward Fisher Beckett and Lottie May Beckett, of Buxton, Derbyshire.

Sgt. Gordon William Jones. Texel (Den Burg) Cemetery. Plot K. Row 1. Grave 8
Son of Albert and Bertha Jones, of Gravesend, Kent.

For Paul Baker (relative of Sgt. G.W. Jones), dedicated to all members of the crew.

Acknowledgments: With thanks to the following: Bill Chorley - "Bomber Command Losses" Vol 3, Theo Boiten - "German Nightfighter War Diaries" Vol 1, Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt "Bomber Command War Diaries", the work of the C.W.G.C.