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.

78 squadron badge
12/13.06.1944 78 Squadron Halifax III LV820 EY:F Fg.Off Hills

Operation: Amiens

Date: 12th/13th June 1944 (Monday/Tuesday)

Unit: 78 Squadron

Type: Halifax III

Serial: LV820

Code: EY:F

Base: RAF Breighton

Location: Bosc-Mesnil, North East Rouen, France.

Pilot: Fg.Off. Henry Thomas Hills 151071 RAFVR Age 26. killed

Flt.Eng: Sgt. Robert Jackson Campbell MiD. 917815 RAFVR Age 24. Killed

Nav: Fg.Off. Kenneth Charles Morris Hayman 153006 RAFVR Age 22. Killed

Bomb Aimer: Fg.Off. Eric Albon 152969 RAFVR Age 21. Missing - believed killed

WOp/Air Gnr: Sgt. William McKay Biehl 622666 RAF Age 26. Killed

Air Gnr: Sgt. Maurice Francis Dilkes 1584011 RAFVR Age 20. Killed

Air Gnr: Sgt. Stanley George Rayner Barham 1307841 RAFVR Age 23. Killed

REASON FOR LOSS:

Took off at 22:13 hrs. from RAF Breighton to bomb the communication / rail facilities at Amiens. 671 aircraft took part in this and other raids during the night. Bombing of this target had been classed as reasonably accurate.

The losses from Bomber Command though were huge with 30 aircraft lost. A total of 140 aircrew were killed, 22 being made PoW, however, a further 31 managing to evade capture. 78 Squadron lost 3 aircraft during this raid, the other two:

Halifax III LV915 EY:H Flown by 28 year old, Fg.Off John Frederick Wyllie J25814 RCAF from Saskatchewan, Canada - Killed with all 7 crew.

Halifax III MZ631 EY-Y Flown by 29 year old, Flt.Sgt. Stanley Allan Rae 423420 RNZAF from Grey Lynn, Auckland, New Zealand - Killed with all 7 crew.

This Halifax LV820 was intercepted at 2,000 mtrs and was thought to have been shot down at around 00:35 - 00:40 hrs by Ofw. Reinhard Kollak of 8./NJG4 (He shot down 2 Halifaxes between these times) The aircraft crashed between 5 - 35 kilometres north, north east of Rouen. (See map)

Claim by Uffz Johann Werthner 7/NJG2 - 20-30km West of Amiens: 800m at 00:21/22. (Nachtjagd Combat Archives 1944 Part 3 - Theo Boiten). Crashed Bosc-Mesnil (Seine-Maritime) 4km ESE of St Saens.

According to Theo Boiten Kollak's claim at 00:22. was not identified.

Silk evasion maps recovered from the crash site.

Burial details:

Fg Off. Henry Thomas Hills. Poix-De-Picardie Churchyard Row C. Joint Grave 18. Son of Thomas William and Gertrude Hills, of Richmond, Surrey, England.

Sgt. Robert Jackson Campbell MiD. Poix-De-Picardie Churchyard Row C. Joint Grave 18. Son of Robert E. and Helen R. Campbell, of Feltham, Middlesex, England.

F/g.Off. Kenneth Charles Morris Hayman. Poix-De-Picardie Churchyard Row D. Grave 32. Son of Frederick and Ada Nellie Hayman, husband of Edna Muriel Hayman, of Great Sutton, Cheshire, England.

His older brother, 29 year old, Engineer Officer Harold John Hayman Merchant Navy, was killed on the SS. Oronsay 09th October 1942 when the unescorted ship was torpedoed southwest of Freetown, Africa.

Fg.Off. Eric Albon. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 204. Son of Albert and Lily Albon, of Halifax, husband of Audrey Albon, of Halifax, England.

Sgt. William McKay Biehl. Poix-De-Picardie Churchyard Row C. Grave 24. Understood to be a Canadian from Morden, Manitoba, Canada. Enlisted in July 1938 as ground crew. Remastered as Air gunner in 1942. Commended for his actions in rescuing people who were buried in rubble after an air raid in London. Biehl Lake northwest of Sprott Lake was named after Sgt. William McKay Biehl in 1995. This was his 29th operation. Next of kin details not available as yet - are you able to assist?

Sgt. Maurice Francis Dilkes. Poix-De-Picardie Churchyard Row D. Grave 14. Son of Christopher and Gertrude Dilkes, of Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, England. Peter Inman was his best friend and his son, Bob, sent in additional details and photographs in January 2018:

05/11/42 – posted to Hereford for Armourer’s course - 26/11/42 – passed A.C.S. Board Medical - 4/1/43 – started 20mm Hispano cannon training- 14/1/43 – started in hangars (?) - 25/2/43 – started on carriers (?) - 4/3/43 – started on pyrotechnics - 15/4/43 – passed Armourer’s Track Test Board as Armourer - 21/4/43 – left Hereford - 30/7/43 – heard that Maurice was posted to ACRC (Air Crew) - 7/10/43 – posted to 11 Air Gunnery School of Training Command at RAF Andreas, I.O.M - 3/12/43 – passing out parade as Air Gunner at RAF Andreas.
Peter Inman continued supporting the war effort as a valued armourer with 95 squadron. It is sad that the ground crew who, after all, made all the air operations work are hardly recognised.
Without them, without the WAAF's who packed parachutes, others who packed the crew sandwiches for the long bomber flights - we would simply have not overcome the threat!

Sgt. Stanley George Rayner Barham. Poix-De-Picardie Churchyard Row C. Grave 34. Son of John Robert and Matilda Alice Eva Barham of Shoreditch, London, England. Had worked with Liverpool Insurance and also played in a band.

Researched for Jan Spink, niece of Sgt. Stanley Barham (who has also supplied us with further information) Mr Alan Brier, relative of Fg.Off. Albon, Beverley Hooper relative of Sgt. Robert Jackson Campbell MiD. With thanks also to Miles Dilkes who contacted us in November 2016 and advised correct spelling of Sgt. Maurice Dilkes dedicated to all relatives / friends of the crew. Thanks to John Jones for the update to the German night-fighter claim (Mar 2021). Sources as quoted below.

RS 30.03.2021 -Correction to night-fighter Claim

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.
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 - 2021
Last Modified: 30 March 2021, 16:35

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