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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.
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635 Squadron Crest
26/27.08.1944 635 Squadron Lancaster III ND950 F2:M Flt Lt. Wheble

Operation: Kiel

Date: 26th/27th August 1944 (Saturday/Sunday

Unit: 635 Squadron (Pathfinder Force - 8 Group)

Type: Lancaster III

Serial: ND950

Code: F2:M

Base: RAF Downham Market, Norfolk

Location: South Schleswig, Germany

REASON FOR LOSS:

Pilot: Flt Lt. Lionel James David Wheble DFC. 130648 RAFVR Age? PoW No: 5392, Stalag Luft 1, Barth Vogelsang (1)

Flt Eng: Flt Sgt. Peter Burt 1551748 RAFVR Age 21. Killed

Nav: Sqn Ldr. Herbert Cecil Lobb DFC, MiD. 104336 RAFVR Age 32. Killed

Bomb Aimer: Flt Lt. John Sinclair Gordon J18335 RCAF Age? PoW No: 5384, Stalag Luft 1 Barth Vogelsang

WOp/Air Gnr: WO. George Thomas Levick 1431244 RAFVR Age? PoW No: 5292, Stalag Luft 1 Barth Vogelsang

Air Gnr: Flt Sgt. Robert Charles Pitcon 1653141 Age 20. RAFVR Killed

Air Gnr: Flt Sgt. Robert Cadman 1739534 Age 21. RAFVR Killed

Taking off from RAF Downham Market in Norfolk at 20:16 hrs - 372 Lancasters and 10 Mosquitos of Nos 1, 3 and 8 Groups despatched to Kiel. 17 Lancasters lost, 4.6 per cent of the Lancaster force.

The Pathfinder marking was hampered by smoke-screens but the local report tells of a very serious raid with heavy bombing in the town centre and surrounding districts and widespread fires fanned by a strong wind. The Rathaus was completely burnt out and many other public buildings were destroyed or seriously damaged. Some 134 people on the ground were killed with a further 1,002 suffering various degrees of injuries.

Lancaster ND950 was claimed by Fw. Gottfried Schneider, his 14th Abschuss and 2nd of three this night, from 1./NJG3 - North of Schleswig: 5.000m at 23:17 hrs. (Nachtjagd Combat Archive (24 July 1944 - 15 October 1944) Part 4 - Theo Boiten)

Schneider survived the war with a total of 18 claims.

The squadron lost two other aircraft during this operation:

Lancaster III ND355 F2:W Flown by Flt Lt. R.J. Barker 124917 RAFVR taken PoW with 4 other crew, 2 others killed ND355 was a probable claim by Gottfried Schneider, his 13th and 1st of three claims this night, from 1./NJG3 - North of Schleswig: 5.500m at 23:12hrs. Coned by Flak searchlight (“Lancaster Damp” 23:10”) (Nachtjagd Combat Archive (24 July 1944 - 15 October 1944) Part 4 - Theo Boiten).
Lancaster III ND693 F2:B Flown by WO. George Frederick C. Grandfield Shirley 1202160 RAFVR killed with 5 other crew, his flight engineer survived as PoW.

(1) Flt Lt. Wheble was awarded the DFC whilst with 635 Sqn, London Gazette 15th September 1944

Burial details:

Flt Sgt. Peter Burt. Kiel War Cemetery. Joint grave 4.E.1-2. Born during 1923 in Shotts, Calderhead, Lanarkshire. Son of Andrew and Elizabeth Frame (née Brown) Burt of 22 Wilderhaugh, Galashiels, Scottish Borders.

Sqn Ldr. Herbert Cecil Lobb DFC, MiD. Kiel War Cemetery. Grave 4.E.3. Born on the 15th July 1912 in Eastbourne. Son of Herbert Charles and Lily Gertrude (née Hendly) Lobb. Husband to Amy Emily (née Clark) Lobb of Eastborne, Sussex, England.

Sqn Ldr. Burt was awarded the DFC whilst with 635 Sqn, London Gazette 15th September 1944. he was Mentioned in Despatches (MiD). London Gazette 1st January 1946

Flt Sgt. Robert Charles Pitcon. Kiel War Cemetery. Grave 4.E.4. Born in 3rd Qtr of 1924 in Cardiff, Glamorgan, Wales. Son of Claud and Minnie May (née Wills) of Cardiff, Glamorgan, Wales.

Above Flt Sgt. Picton (courtesy Valerie David)

Flt Sgt. Robert Cadman. Kiel War Cemetery. Joint grave 4.E.1-2. Born on the 18th February 1923 in Wolverhampton. Son of Frederick T. and Ellen (née Roberts) Cadman. Husband to Margaret Mary (née Simper) Cadman of West Heath, Birmingham, England.

Researched for relatives of Flt Sgt. Robert Charles Pitcon, Valerie David via Josh Stewart and dedicated to the relatives of this crew. Thanks to John Jones for the German night fighter update (Oct 2021). Other updates by Aircrew Remembered (Oct 2021). Thanks to sources as shown.

RS 09.10.2021 - German Night fighter claim update and other updates

Pages of Outstanding Interest
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Acknowledgements
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.
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