Mission: Wuppertal

Date: 24/25th June 1943 (Thursday/Friday)

Unit: No. 7 Squadron

Type: Stirling III

Serial: EF392

Code: MG-N

Base: Oakington, Cambridgeshire

Location: North Sea

Pilot: Sq/Ldr. John Ronald Savage AUS402882 R.A.A.F Age 26. Killed.

Pilot 2: P/O. Frederick John Haines 149607 R.A.F.V.R Age ? Killed

Fl/Eng: Fl/Sgt. Godfrey Hippesley Cox 569405 R.A.F Age 23. Killed

Nav: Fl/Sgt. Sidney James Barnes 656215 R.A.F Age 23. Killed

Air/Bmr: Sgt. Sydney Arthur Errington 1507631 R.A.F.V.R. Age ? Killed

W/Op: Sgt. Arthur Ashton Caley 1377873 R.A.F.V.R Age 27. Killed

Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Norman Robert Morrison R/140004 R.C.A.F Age 19. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Derek Richard Spanton 1323191 R.A.F.V.R Age 21. Killed


Took off at 2328 from RAF Oakington to attack the Elberfeld half of Wuppertal, the Barmen half of the town having been devastated at the end of May. The Pathfinder marking was accurate and the Main Force bombing started well but the creep-back became more pronounced than usual. 30 aircraft bombed targets in more western parts of the Ruhr (Wuppertal was at the eastern end of the area). A total of 171 factories and businesses were destroyed and another 53 seriously affected. There was also an estimated 18.000 people lost their lives.

Believed to be shot down by Lt. Heinz Strüning of 2./NJG1 at 03:02 over the Dutch coast, crashing into the North sea. The body of Fl/Sgt. Barnes was eventually washed ashore and is buried in Bergen General Cemetery, the others have no known graves.

One of three 7 Squadron Stirlings lost on this operation.
Stirling R9281 MG-V flown by F/O. Arthur J. Davis, killed along with his 6 other crew members.
Stirling ED595 MG-Q flown by W/Cmdr. Robert G. Barrell D.S.O. D.F.C. and bar, killed with 2 other crew members with a further 3 made pow's and another escaping capture. 3 D.F.M's and 2 D.F.C's held by members of this crew.

7 Squadron Stirling EF392 MG-N S:Ldr  John Ronald  Savage
Sq/Ldr John Ronald Savage (courtesy Australian War Memorial).

Stirling 7 Squadron
7 Squadron Stirling (archives)

Lt. Heinz Strüning 2.:NJG1
Lt. Heinz Strüning (archives)

Runnymede Memorial
Runnymede Memorial and Bergen General Cemetery Courtesy C.W.G.C.)

Burial Details:

Sq/Ldr. John Ronald Savage. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 187
Son of William and Daisy Louise Savage, of Balgowlah, New South Wales, Australia; husband of Wilhelmina Eugenie Savage, of Tullibegerri, New South Wales, Australia.

P/O. John Frederick Haines. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 131.
No further details

F//Sgt. Godfrey Hippesley Cox.. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 135..
Son of Austin Bernard and Kathleen Cox, of Newport, Monmouthshire.

Fl/Sgt. Sidney James Barnes. Bergen General Cemetery. Plot 2. Row C. Grave 9..
Son of Henry James Barnes and Louisa Elizabeth Barnes, of Greenford, Middlesex.

Sgt. Sydney Arthur Errington. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 148.
No further details.

Sgt. Arthur Ashton Caley Runnymede Memorial. Panel 144.
Son of Arthur Henry and Gladys Violet Caley; husband of Mary Maxima Caley, of Shilton, Oxfordshire.

Fl/Sgt. Norman Robert Morrison. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 185.
Son of Norman Morrison, and of Gladys E. Morrison, of Vulcan, Alberta, Canada.

Sgt. Derek Richard Spanton. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 165..
Son of Richard and Dorothy Ellen Spanton, of Copnor, Hampshire.

Researched by Mike Harrison and dedicated to relatives / friends of the crew.