29/30.08.1944 No. 50 Squadron Lancaster I ED588 VN-G F/O. Anthony H. Carver
Operation: Konigsberg, Germany.
Date: 29/30th August 1944 (Tuesday/Wednesday)
Unit: No. 50 Squadron
Type: Lancaster I
Location: East Hälsingborg, Sweden.
Pilot: F/O. Anthony Hugh Carver 176877 RAFVR Age ? Killed
Fl/Eng: Sgt. Ronald Henry Clifford 220679 RAFVR Age ? Killed
Nav: Sgt. Frederick George Plowman 1522065 RAFVR Age 33. Killed
Air/Bmr: Fl/Sgt. Donald Alistair Macdonald R/176939 RCAF Age 23. Killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Ernest Mutch 1850302 RAFVR Age 20. Killed
Air/Gnr: Sgt. William Robert Campbell 1853822 RAFVR. Age ? Killed
Air/Gnr: Sgt. Raymond Walter Bysouth 1867078 RAFVR Age 19. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
The city was almost totally destroyed by this raid of 189 Lancasters which for this trip operated on their extreme range (950 miles for some). For this reason only a small amount of bombs were carried, (480 tons).
The problem of the range was compounded by the presence of low cloud and the bomber force had to wait for half an hour, wasting precious fuel until the marker aircraft could find a break in the clouds. 17 aircraft were lost on this raid with four from 50 squadron alone. ED588 took off from Skellingthorpe (Skelly) Lincolnshire at 20:58 hrs.
Lancaster ED588 lost with all crew on this day. (courtesy of Michael Abbott)
A very defensive German night fighter force met the formation because of the delay and fierce fighting occurred over the target area. ED588 was intercepted by Maj. Werner Husemann of I./NJG3 over Sweden which was very unusual as the German night fighters were instructed normally to stay over Germany due to the secret radar they carried.
The Lancaster was shot down at 00:48hrs at 3.500m - all the crew were lost. Maj. Husemann was already a night fighter ace with 27 kills up to this raid. He survived the war with a total of 32 kills.
Sgt. Ronald Henry Clifford (courtesy of his brother Derek) Right: Maj. Husemann shown here in the centre with his crew and ground crew. L to R: Ogefr. Meisolle, mechanic, Ofw. H.G. Schierholz, BF, Husemann, FW. Moller, BS, FW. Fehmannn 2nd BF. (courtesy of Soren Flensted)
Crash site of Lancaster ED588 East Hälsingborg, Sweden (courtesy of Derek Clifford)
Memorial to the crew with locals from the village of Vittsjo (courtesy of Derek Clifford)
Above left: Details on the memorial slate, mounted on the Propeller support shown on the B/W image above (Courtesy of Derek Clifford)
Staffan Hassby, a Swedish researcher and author lives near to the crash site of Lancaster ED588. He contacted us in 2013 as he is publishing an article on this loss. He visited the crash site that year and sent a few photographs of both the crash site and fragments that he recovered from the surface. (As shown in photographs)
Crew graves at Helsingborg (Palsjo) Municipal Cemetery (courtesy Staffan Hassby)
F/O. Anthony Hugh Carver. Helsingborg (Palsjo) Municipal Cemetery Coll. grave Sec. XV. 76-80. Son of the late Burton and Gertrude Carver of Northfield, Birmingham, England
Sgt. Ronald Henry Clifford. Helsingborg (Palsjo) Municipal Cemetery Coll. grave Sec. XV. 76-80. Son of Henry and Nellie Clifford, Birmingham, England
Sgt. Frederick George Plowman. Helsingborg (Palsjo) Municipal Cemetery Coll. grave Sec. XV. 76-80. Son of Frederick and Mary Ellen Plowman, of Ardwick, Manchester, England.
Fl/Sgt. Donald Alistair Macdonald. Helsingborg (Palsjo) Municipal Cemetery Coll. grave Sec. XV. 76-80. Son of Louis James and Georgina Josephine, of Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada.
Sgt. Ernest Mutch. Helsingborg (Palsjo) Municipal Cemetery. grave Sec. XV. 73. Son of Robert Bruce and Beatrice May Mutch, of Wyke Regis, Weymouth, Dorsetshire, England.
Sgt. William Robert Campbell. Helsingborg (Palsjo) Municipal Cemetery Coll. grave Sec. XV. 76-80. N.o.K details currently not available - are you able to assist completion of these and any other information?
Sgt. Raymond Walter Bysouth. Helsingborg (Palsjo) Municipal Cemetery. grave Sec. XV. 17. Son of Joseph George William and Daisy Alice Bysouth, of Romford, Essex, England.
Photo courtesy David Archer - Operation Picture Me
For Derek Clifford (Brother of Ronald Henry Clifford) and to relatives of the other crew members. With thanks to Lars Ahikvist and Staffan Hassby from Sweden for providing further information. Photographs of Sgt. Ronald Henry Clifford, the crash site and the memorial sent to us in February 2010 by his brother Derek. Many thanks to Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vol's. 1 and 2', Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vol's. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', and to Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries', - for information on the operation. Commonwealth War Graves Commission.