AR banner
Search Tips Advanced Search
Back to Top

Info LogoAdd to or correct this story with a few clicks.
Archive Report: Allied Forces

Compiled from official National Archive and Service sources, contemporary press reports, personal logbooks, diaries and correspondence, reference books, other sources, and interviews.
Check our Research databases: Database List


We seek additional information and photographs. Please contact us via the Helpdesk.

12 Squadron Crest
12/13.12.1944 12 Squadron Lancaster III ND342 PH:U Fg Off. Reginald C. Veitch

Operation: Essen, Germany

Date: 12th/13th December 1944 (Tuesday/Wednesday)

Unit: 12 Squadron, 1 Group

Type: Lancaster III

Serial: ND342

Code: PH:U

Base: RAF Wickenby, Lincolnshire

Location: Düsseldorf-Grafenberg, Germany

Pilot: Fg Off. Reginald Clive Veitch 415208 RNZAF Age 29. Killed

Flt Eng: Sgt. William Nimmo Stevenson 988039 RAFVR Age? PoW *

Nav: Fg Off. Harold Winston Parry 153481 RAFVR Age? PoW *

Bomb Aimer: Flt Sgt. Jack Kenworthy 1672259 RAFVR Age? PoW No. 1289 **

WOp/Air Gnr: Flt Lt. Bertram Edward William Hall J21053 RCAF Age 31. Survived (1)

Air Gnr: Sgt. Leslie Hunt 1577634 RAFVR Age 23. Killed

Air Gnr: Flt Sgt. John Richard Patterson R204436 RCAF Age 21. Killed

* Stalag Luft 1 Barth-Vogelsang, today situated in the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany.

** Stalag Luft 7 Bankau nr. Kreuzburg O.S." (O.S. standing for Oberschlesien, Upper Silesia). Today called Bąków nr. Kluczbork (Poland).


Lancaster III ND342 took off from RAF Wickenby at 16:18 hrs on the 12th December 1944 and joined 540 (a combined force of 512 Lancasters and Halifaxes, together with 28 Mosquitos) aircraft taking part in the mission to bomb targets in Essen.

The detailed circumstances of the loss of ND342 and the fate of the crew have been extensively researched by Sean Feast and Marc Hall in their book Missing Presumed Murdered. (Ref 1)

In summary, ND342 whilst on its bomb run was intercepted by a night fighter and sustained severe damage from cannon fire. FltLt. Hall was wounded in the attack and it was presumed as the mid-upper gunner, Sgt. Hunt and the tail gunner, Flt Sgt. Patterson could not be raised on the intercom that they died in the attack. Although the pilot, Fg Off Veitch, was seen preparing to bail out of the aircraft he also perished. Post-war it was established that three of the crew managed to bail out of the aircraft and became PoW.

ND342 was claimed by Lt. Gustav Moir, his 5th and final Abschuss, from 2./NJG11 in the region of Essen-Duisburg at approximately 19:50 hrs. (Nachtjagd Combat Archive (16 October 1944 - 31 December 1944) Part 5 - Theo Boiten).

Lt. Moir was injured by returning gunfire and attempted to return to base at Biblis in his damaged Bf109 G-6 ‘Red 4’. He was forced to bail out at 20:20 hrs over Grünberg, east of Giessen. He did not return to operational flying before the war ended. (Nachtjagd Combat Archive (16 October 1944 - 31 December 1944) Part 5 - Theo Boiten).

The aircraft that were lost on this mission or crashed on returning to RAF Wickenby were:

77 Squadron Halifax III MZ470 - Flown by Fg Off. Roland Edward Murrell 422428 RNZAF. All the crew survived when the aircraft crashed on return to base.

103 Squadron Lancaster I ME649 - Flown by Fg Off. Philip Mourant Picot 182123 RAFVR. He was killed with one other crew member and five became PoW.

150 Squadron Lancaster I NN743 - Flown by Flt Lt. George Stephen Devereau 129331 RAFVR. All of the crew perished.

460 Squadron Lancaster III PB542 - Flown by Sqn Ldr. James Clark DFC. AFC. MiD 402439 RAAF. All of the crew perished.

578 Squadron Halifax III MZ987 - Flown by Fg Off. D.P. Millard 184177 RAFVR. All the crew survived when the aircraft crashed on return to base.

582 Squadron Lancaster III PB554 (insert link) - Flown by Fg Off. Jack Kinman 150440 RAFVR. All of the crew perished.

635 Squadron Lancaster III PB453 - Flown by Flt Lt. Norman Henry Shaw 108854 RAFVR. All of the crew perished.

(1) The circumstances of Flt Lt. Hall’s death were unknown. However, after hostilities ceased, rumours persisted that he met his death at the hand of German civilians.

The investigation carried out by the Missing Research and Enquiry Service (MRES) concluded that as Flt Lt. Hall was injured during the fighter attack and as the aircraft was undoubtably out of control that he stood little chance of making out it of the aircraft alive. (Ref 1).

The detailed investigation carried out by Sean Feast and Marc Hall came to a different conclusion. They found that in all probability Flt Lt. Hall landed near a farm house north of Hilden where he gave himself up to the residents. A short time later he was picked up by the Ortsgruppenleiter (Head of the local Nazi party) who murdered him and then delivered his dead body to the Hilden communal cemetery during that same night.

This individual was never brought before a court for the circumstances of Flt Lt. Hall’s death to be examined. The details of the investigation can be read in the book, Missing Presumed Murdered. (Ref 1)

Burial details:

Flt Lt. Hall was initially buried at Hilden, some 10 km to the SE of Düsseldorf’s North cemetery where the other three crewmen who perished were buried.

Above: (Credit: Traugott Vitz - Aircrew Remembered)

A Thomas Boller who was a member of a team from the Office for Ground Monument Conservation of the Rhineland Landscape Association excavated what was left of the remains of ND342 in the deer enclosure of a wildlife park. He was instrumental in having a memorial erected at the site.

Above: Fg Off. Veitch Grave marker

Fg Off. Reginald Clive Veitch. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery Grave 8.C.17. Born in 1915. Son of Ernest Andrew and Marion Louise Veitch, of Waimate, Canterbury, New Zealand. Fg.Off. Veitch was a very experience pilot with 1403 flying hours logged and on his 24th operational sortie.

Above: Flt.Lt Hall grave marker and photograph

Flt Lt. Bertram Edward William Hall. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery Grave 1.F.1. Son of Edward Franklin (Ernie) Hall and Margaret Hall, of Toronto, Ontario, and husband of Mary Isobel Hall of Toronto, Canada. Born on the 14th October 1913. Grave inscription reads: "IN LIFE, LOVED AND HONORED; IN DEATH, ALWAYS REMEMBERED. WIFE MARY".

Sgt. Leslie Hunt. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery Grave 8.C.18. Son of Albert and Mary Ellen Hunt, of Derby, England. Grave inscription reads: "HE GAVE HIS LIFE FOR THOSE HE LOVED. SADLY MISSED BY MAM, DAD AND JEAN".

Above: Plt Off. Patteron (from his service file)

Plt Off. John Richard Patterson. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery Grave 1.D.1. Son of J. R. Elbert Patterson and S. Myrtle Patterson, of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Born on the 8th February 1923. Grave inscription reads: "GREATER LOVE HATH NO MAN".

Flt Sgt. Patterson was posthumously promoted to Plt Off with a Service No. of J93274.

Originally researched by Kelvin Youngs and updated by Traugott Vitz and Ralph Snape and dedicated to the relatives of this crew. Thanks also to Traugott Vitz for his work on the ‘VitzArchive’.

Grave photographs courtesy Astrid at FindAGrave. Other sources as quoted.


1. Missing Presumed Murdered - One raid, Two trials, three lost airmen - Sean Feast and Marc Hall.

TV & RS 10.09.2021 - Correction to night fighter claim and other updates

Pages of Outstanding Interest
History Airborne Forces •  Soviet Night Witches •  Bomber Command Memories •  Abbreviations •  Gardening Codenames
CWGC: Your Relative's Grave Explained •  USA Flygirls •  Axis Awards Descriptions •  'Lack Of Moral Fibre'
Concept of Colonial Discrimination  •  Unauthorised First Long Range Mustang Attack
RAAF Bomb Aimer Evades with Maquis •  SOE Heroine Nancy Wake •  Fane: Motor Racing PRU Legend
Sources used by us in compiling Archive Reports include: Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vols. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vols. 1 and 2', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries', Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Tom Kracker - Kracker Luftwaffe Archives, Michel Beckers, Major Fred Paradie (RCAF) and MWO François Dutil (RCAF) - Paradie Archive (on this site), Jean Schadskaje, Major Jack O'Connor USAF (Retd.), Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', Archiwum - Polish Air Force Archive (on this site), Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Franek Grabowski, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of CWGC, UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, New Zealand National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
Click any image to enlarge it

Click to add your info via ticket on Helpdesk •Click to let us know via ticket on Helpdesk• Click to buy research books from Amazon •Click to explore the entire site
If you would like to comment on this page, please do so via our Helpdesk. Use the Submit a Ticket option to send your comments. After review, our Editors will publish your comment below with your first name, but not your email address.

A word from the Editor: your contribution is important. We welcome your comments and information. Thanks in advance.

At the going down of the sun, and in the morning we will remember them. - Laurence Binyon
All site material (except as noted elsewhere) is owned or managed by Aircrew Remembered and should not be used without prior permission.
© Aircrew Remembered 2012 - 2022
Last Modified: 10 September 2021, 11:59

Monitor Additions/Changes?Click to be informed of changes to this page. Create account for first monitor only, thereafter very fast. Click to close without creating monitor