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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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156 Squadron Crest
24/25.06.1943 No 156 Squadron Lancaster III EE127 GT-X P/O. Brown

Operation: Wuppertal

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

Unit: No. 156 Squadron (Pathfinders)

Type: Lancaster III

Serial: EE127

Code: GT-X

Base: RAF Warboys, Cambridgeshire

Location: North Sea, West of Katwijk / Schouwen

Pilot: P/O. Leo Frederick Joseph Brown AUS/416018 RAAF Age 21. Missing - believed killed

Fl/Eng: Sgt. Ivor Hall Bradley 569239 RAF Age ? Missing - believed killed

Nav: Fl/Sgt. Albert Victor Newell 1391936 RAFVR Age 33. Missing - believed killed

Air/Bmr: P/O. Robert Franklin Worthington J/17985 RCAF Age 25. Missing - believed killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. John Malpass 1207245 RAFVR Age 28. Missing - believed killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Ronald Gilbert 1264739 RAFVR Age 23. Missing - believed killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Cecil Easton 1330123 RAFVR Age 20. Missing - believed killed

REASON FOR LOSS:

Taking off from RAF Warboys in what was then Huntingdonshire at 23:13hrs. 630 heavy aircraft took part in the bombing of the Elberfeld region of Wuppertal. The other region of the town Barmen, had been devastated at the end of May.

The Pathfinders marked the target with great accuracy with a reported 94% of the target destroyed with the allied force bombing between 01:01 and 01:47 hrs. 815 tons of high explosive bombs fell, together with over 330,000 incendiaries. 171 Industrial premises as well as about 3,000 houses destroyed. A further 53 Industrial buildings and 2,500 houses damaged. It is estimated that 1,800 people were killed on the ground with a further 2,400 suffering injuries.

The nightfighter of the Luftwaffe and the anti-aircraft units managed to bring down some 33 heavy bombers most during the outbound part of the operation.

It is reported that EE127 was shot down by either Hptm. Wittgenstein (above left) of Stab. IV/NJG5 on detachment from 1/.NJG1 at 02:25 hrs 30 km west of Katwijk. Or, Lt. Heinz Struning (above right) of 2./NJG1 30 km west of Schouwen at 02:49 hrs. It was initially claimed by a Kriegsmarine floating artillery platform MFA810, but later credited to the Luftwaffe. (Further details on these German Aces please see Kracker Archive on this website)

156 Squadron lost another crew on this operation:

Lancaster III ED858 GT-R Flown by 21 year old, P/O. Richard Julian Hudson AUS/403742 RAAF, lost with all other 6 other crew.

Burial details:

P/O. Leo Frederick Joseph Brown. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 190. Born on the 26th December at Sterling West, South Australia, the son of Joseph Henry and Emily Edith Brown and husband of Erica Jean Brown, of Port Lincoln, South Australia.

Sgt. Ivor Hall Bradley. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 143. No further details - are you able to assist?

Fl/Sgt. Albert Victor Newell. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 138. Son of Albert Victor Newell, and of Mary Jane Newell, of Muswell Hill, Middlesex, England.

P/O. Robert Franklin Worthington. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 178. Born in 1918 and graduated from the Gordon Bell High School. Prior to service worked at the Canada Packers company as a livestock buyer. Joined the RCAF in 1941 and after training as a Navigator/Air Bomber he joined 156 Squadron. From Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

Worthington Lake, south of Wells Lake, Manitoba was named after P/O. Robert Worthington in 1994.

Sgt. John Malpass. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 158. Son of John Leighton Malpass and Lilian Mary Malpass, of Audley, Staffordshire, England, and husband of Ivy Malpass.

Sgt. Ronald Gilbert. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 150. Son of Major H. H. Gilbert, M.M., Royal Engieers, and of Mrs. E. Gilbert, of Gillingham, Kent, England.

Sgt. Cecil Easton. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 148. Son of Charles Henry and Edith Sarah Easton, of Edmonton, Middlesex, England.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to sources shown.

KTY 21.11.2018

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', 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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