08/09.04.1945 9 Squadron Lancaster I NG235 WS:H Fg Off. Bernard S. Woolstencroft
Date: 8th/9th April 1945 (Sunday/Monday)
Unit No: 9 Squadron
Type: Lancaster I
Base: RAF Bardney
Location: Kappellendorf, Germany
Pilot: Fg Off. Bernard Selby Woolstencroft 410826 RAAF Age 21. KiA
Flt Eng: Sgt. William Charles Lewis 1607234 RAFVR Age? KiA
Nav: Flt Sgt. Lindsay Arthur Bayley 432092 RAAF Age 29. KiA
Bomb Aimer: Fg Off. Christopher Paul Wyeth Warren 165534 RAFVR Age 20. KiA
WOp/Air Gnr: Flt Sgt. Leslie Robinson 946897 RAFVR Age? KiA
Air Gnr (Mid Upp): Sgt. Geoffrey Terence Greenwood 1593603 RAFVR Age 20. KiA
Air Gnr (Rear): Sgt. Elias Williams 1117559 RAFVR Age? PoW/Injured no details available
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off at 18:26 hrs to bomb the oil refinery at Lützkendorf in Germany. This, together with an operation to Hamburg being the last major operations of the war with some 242 aircraft detailed to attack (440 to Hamburg). Bombing started at 22:44 hrs and completed at 22:53 hrs. This was the second consecutive night the oil refinery was bombed rendering it inactive.
Area of operations with insert, Fg Off. Christopher Paul Wyeth Warren (courtesy Sherborne School-see credits)
NG235 had left the target after releasing it bomb load when it was hit by anti-aircraft fire. The aircraft caught fire and the pilot ordered the crew to abandon the Lancaster. The rear gunner made a statement that he had heard cries for help from the forward part of the aircraft. Sgt. Williams baled out and was captured by the Germans suffering from various injuries.
9 Squadron Lancaster WS:H at RAF Bardney
Sherborne School, Dorset - Any further information that you are able to assist them with fallen former pupils from all wars, we would be pleased to pass onto them.
Crew initially buried at Kappellendorf Cemetery - reinterred in 1948 after investigators from No. 4 MREU led by Flt Lt. B. Aptroot in January 1948 and Flt Lt. John R. Hughes DFM in June 1948.
Fg Off. Bernard Selby Woolstencroft. Berlin 1939-45 War Cemetery. Grave 7.D.2. Born on the 6th June 1923. Son of Bernard Woodall Woolstencroft and Isobel Selby Woolstencroft, of 5 Junction Street, Newport, Victoria, Australia.
Sgt. William Charles Lewis. Berlin 1939-45 War Cemetery. Coll. Grave 7.D.4-6. Next of kin details unavailable - are you able to assist with this?
Above: Lindsay Arthur Bayley from his Service File
Flt Sgt. Lindsay Arthur Bayley. Berlin 1939-45 War Cemetery. Coll. Grave 7.D.4-6. Born on the 20th May 1915 in Ashfield, New South Wales. Son of John Edwin and Lena Ammie Bayley, of Coogee, New South Wales, Australia, husband of Valma Eileen Bayley, of Coogee, Australia.
Fg Off. Christopher Paul Wyeth Warren. Berlin 1939-45 War Cemetery. Grave 7.D.3. Further information supplied by Sherborne School Archives: son of Harold William Warren (Old Shirburnian) and Agnes Leslie Warren, of Shawford, Hampshire, England.
Attended Sherborne School (Abbey House) 1938-1942; upper 6th
Obituary, 'The Shirburnian', December 1945: 'It would be easy enough to detail Christopher Warren's school achievements - such as his prefect-ship, his athletic and musical ability - for they were clear for all to read in any contemporary record; but these would give only an inadequate picture of one whose nature was not revealed by them to any extent. He was a great lover of beauty in all its forms, as his poems, many of which appear in 'The Shirburnian', and his appreciation of music showed, but more than that he seemed always to be striving towards some rather distant ideal, which he may have only attained at the last. He left school in September 1942 to join the RAF, where he was awarded his commission as an air bomber. In January of this year he joined a famous bomber squadron which was then engaged on precision bombing raids. From one of these he failed to return. His squadron leader wrote that Christopher had shown himself to be a good operational bomber, and that his loss was a great blow to them all. His was a peculiarly sensitive nature, and, though it might seem strange for him to have chosen flying as his war service, anyone who knew his strong courage would know that he found in the RAF. a very real happiness. In him Sherborne has lost a loyal and honourable son.'
Flt Sgt. Leslie Robinson. Berlin 1939-45 War Cemetery. Coll. Grave 7.D.4-6. Next of kin details unavailable - are you able to assist with this?
Sgt. Geoffrey Terence Greenwood. Berlin 1939-45 War Cemetery. Grave 7.D.1. Son of Herbert and Mabel Louise Greenwood, of Bradford, Yorkshire, England.
With thanks to Sherborne School Archives for additional information. Also to the Australian Archives. Thanks to Mark Hanson for the correction and update to details for Sgt. Williams (Nov 2022).