05/06.09.1943 No. 61 Squadron Lancaster DV232 QR-K P/O. P.H. Todd
Date: 05/06th September 1943 (Sunday/Monday)
Unit: 61 Squadron
Type: Lancaster III
Base: RAF Syerston
Location: River Trent, Nottinghamshire
Pilot: P/O. P.H. Todd RAFVR Survived
Fl/Eng: Sgt. S. Robson RAFVR Survived
Nav: F/O. J. Hodgkinson RAFVR Survived
Air/Bmr: Sgt. V.R. Duvall RAFVR Survived
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. W. Houseley RAFVR Survived
Air/Gnr: Sgt. Patrrick RAFVR Survived
Air/Gnr: Sgt. John Cartwright RAFVR Survived
A local committee are trying to arrange a memorial to be placed in the area and fund raising activities are being coordinated by a Mr Ken Ogilvie. For further details please contact us and details will be forwarded.
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off at 20:15 hrs joining 604 aircraft to bomb the city of Mannheim and Ludwigshafen This Lancaster target was Mannheim where although detailed reports were not made available regarding casualties or property damage the damage is thought to have been so severe that normal report gathering was not possible. The town described it as a 'catastrophe!'
The allies did not come off lightly on this operation. 37 aircraft were lost, 170 aircrew killed, 64 taken PoW and 9 evading capture.
En route to the target the pilot of Lancaster DV232 was forced to return due to severe engine problems (Crews were in fact reluctant to make a return, as it would not count towards their 30 operational tours). Despite nursing the Lancaster back the pilot was forced to ditch at 03:45 hrs into the river Trent just short of its base at RAF Syerston. A remarkable achievement, with no crew member suffering any serious injuries.
Ron Spendlove and Bill Moore, who served with No 58 Maintenance Unit during WWII, recall assisting with the salvaging of this aircraft by floating it downstream from the crash site which was on the north side of the River Trent, and recovering it from the river on the south side near East Stoke.
None - all crew survived this and the war.
With thanks to Ken Ogilvie for supplying the majority of information for this page. Other sources as quoted below.