01/02.10.1942 405 "Vancouver" Squadron Halifax II W7710 LQ-R F/O Edward Carl Olsen
Operation: Flensburg, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany
Date: 1/2 October 1942 (Thursday/Friday)
Unit: 405 "Vancouver" Squadron - Motto: Ducimus ("We Lead")
Squadron Badge: An eagle's head erased, facing to the sinister and holding in the beak a sprig of maple
Type: Handley Page Halifax Mark II
Serial: W7710 (the first Ruhr Valley Express)
Base: RAF Topcliffe, North Riding of Yorkshire
Location: Niehuus, Germany
Pilot: F/O Edward Carl (Ed) Olsen J/8777 RCAF (previously R/101171) Age 22 - Killed (1)
Fl/Eng: Sgt. Ben Bales Copeland R/79564 RCAF Age 21 - Missing believed killed (2)
Nav: P/O. John Colwell (Jack) Kitchen J/15997 RCAF Age 22 - Killed (3)
Air/Bmr: Fl/Sgt. Aaron Joseph Ronnie Vineberg 1066449 RAFVR Age 21 - Missing believed killed (4)
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Albert Martin Carter R/91412 RCAF Age 22 - Killed (5)
Air/Gnr: P/O. Arthur Monson Greene J/16009 (previously R/65371) RCAF Age 20 - Killed (6)
Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. William Grainger McCron R/91332 RCAF Age 21 - Killed (7)
405 Squadron was formed at RAF Driffield in the North Riding of Yorkshire on 23 April 1941. Equipped with Vickers Wellington II bombers it was the first of many Canadian heavy bomber squadrons that would eventually form all of No.6 Group of Bomber Command. It flew the RCAF's first bombing operation ten weeks later on 12/13 June, attacking the railway marshalling yards at Schwerte. A week later the Squadron re-located to RAF Pocklington in the East Riding of Yorkshire where it was re-equipped with the Halifaxes B. Mk. II in April 1942 and on the night of 30/31 May 1942 took part in the historic 1,000-bomber raid on Cologne.
On 7 August 1942 the Squadron moved to RAF Topcliffe, some 20 miles northwest of York: Pilot Officer Edward Olsen and his crew were posted there 5 days later.
Like most others, the crew was a product of the time honoured self-selection process of 'crewing up' that took place at Operational Training Units (OTU) all over the country. In this case it was 22 OTU based at RAF Wellesbourne Mountford, Warwickshire.
The circumstances are not known, but pilot Ed Olsen had been there since 22 March 1942, two months before the others, who arrived on 26 May and would in due course become Ed's crew.
Ed Olsen was in fact, an American. Born in Pendleton, Oregon, where his father ran an Automobile business, Ed had left the Eastern Oregon College and crossed into Canada to join the RCAF. Armed with his private pilot's licence all he wanted to do was fly and he saw the RCAF as an ideal opportunity to fulfil his dream.
Of the others, three were Canadian. Jack Kitchen was 21 and a navigator from Fredericton, New Brunswick; he had also left college in the USA to enlist in the RCAF. Likewise air gunner Arthur Greene from Bear River, Nova Scotia had left the local Digby Academy to enlist when he was 18 years old. The other Canadian was wireless operator Albert Carter, a former assistant Foundry Superintendent from Orillia, Ontario aged 22. The only non-Canadian was 21 year old Geordie, Ronnie Vineberg, the bomb aimer.
Training on Vickers Wellingtons was almost complete when on 31 July the crew were one of those detailed for an operation to bomb Düsseldorf. A total of 630 bombers of various types was mustered for the raid, a maximum effort operation, necessitating the training units making a not insignificant contribution. Losses were heavy with a total of 29 aircraft lost representing 4.6% of the force, but more significantly 11 of the losses were from 92 (OTU) Group being 10.5% of its 105 aircraft on the raid.
On 6 August with OTU training behind them the crew went on leave until 12 August when it was posted to 405 Squadron at RAF Topcliffe. At Topcliffe they joined the Conversion Flight for training on the Handley Page Halifax four engine heavy bombers.
To fly the larger bomber the crew required two more members, a flight engineer and second air gunner. Canadian Ben Copeland was allocated to the crew as flight engineer. Ben hailed from Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan and had joined the RCAF as an airframe mechanic when he was 19 years old after completing an 18 week Dominion-Provincial Youth Training Programme Aircraft Mechanics course. Although he had been with 405 Squadron since November 1941 he had only recently qualified as a flight engineer on 3 July 1942. The additional air gunner was Sgt. Stanley Peel RAFVR. Stanley was a member of the recently formed 425 Squadron whose crews were attached to 405 Squadron to gain operational experience on the Halifax. 425 Squadron were not equipped with Halifax bombers until December 1943.
Training on the Halifax occupied the crew until the end of the month, but on the night of 1/2 September their captain Ed Olsen was detailed to fly as second pilot with Fl/Sgt. Palmer on a raid to Saarbrücken.
The crew were naturally quite concerned for their skipper, until they saw him arrive back unscathed at 0544 on the following morning. Their relief was short-lived as he was off again that night to Karlsruhe and on 4 September to Bremen, this time as number 2 to John Thompson Campbell. However on this occasion, the artificial horizon and boost gauges became unserviceable: they were forced to jettison the bomb-load and return to base early.
Ed was with John Campbell again on 6 September for his final operation as second dickey. It was a raid on Duisberg. They bombed the target and set out for home without mishap but whilst crossing the Dutch coast the port outer failed when the reduction gear was stripped and they were forced to land at RAF Martlesham Heath in Suffolk.
On the night of 13/14 September Ed and his crew were detailed for their first operational flight, a raid on Bremen. They returned safely to base after a five and a half hour round trip.
The night of 16/17 September saw them on a raid to Essen but probably due to electrical failure guns in all turrets went unserviceable. Consequently they were forced to jettison the bombs and return to base.
On 19/20 September they completed an uneventful trip to bomb Saarbrücken.
On 23/24 September they one of a small force of 28 Halifaxes of 4 Group despatched to raid Flensburg. Unfortunately Ed and the crew 'failed to pin point the Danish coast and aircraft thought to be N of actual track. Run in across coast at 1000 feet and down Kiel Fjord. Attacked flak and searchlight concentration with no results observed. Two ammunition belts in rear turret shot up and several flak holes in aircraft. Port outer engine unserviceable.'
Although they landed back at base safely, 5 other Halifaxes, representing almost 18 per cent of the total force, failed to return.
The crew were not called upon again until the night of 1/2 October when they were detailed for another attack on the naval base at Flensburg. Like that of 23/24 September the raid was to undertaken by a comparatively small force with just 27 Halifaxes being detailed, 8 of them from 405 Squadron.
On this occasion, air gunner Stanley Peel was to fly with the crew of John Thompson Campbell, his 425 Squadron skipper. His place with Ed Olsen's crew was to be taken by Canadian William Grainger McCron. A former grocery worker from Toronto, Bill McCron had enlisted when he was 19 and he had been posted to 405 Squadron straight from gunnery school at Stormy Down in South Wales on 14 July 1942. This would be his first operational flight.
For this operation Ed and the crew were allocated Halifax W7710 LQ-R Robert. This Halifax B. Mark II aircraft, had been taken on charge by 405 Squadron on 23rd May 1942 and had taken part in the famous 1000 bomber raid on Cologne of 30/31 May 1942 (see earlier). On return the crew began painting nose art of a train chasing the obese Luftwaffe chief and captioned 'Hey Goering, R-Robert is here again.' Named the 'Ruhr Valley Express' another truck was added to the train after each raid, the artwork having become famous throughout the RCAF.
All eight Halifaxes of 405 Squadron were to carry identical bomb loads, i.e. 6 x 1000 lb RDX 11 seconds delay (For security reasons Britain termed cyclonite Research Department Explosive i.e. RDX and more powerful than TNT) and 2 SBCs (Small bomb containers) 8 x 30 lb incendiary.
In addition to the bomb load all eight aircraft were to carry Nickels (leaflets), A, E and G were to carry 3 x D.6 and L was to carry 1 x D.6 all to be dropped over Denmark, the rest, including R-Robert were to carry 3 x G.55 to be dropped over Germany. No cameras were to be carried on any of the aircraft.
REASON FOR LOSS
Fourth in line, with Ed Olsen at the controls, Halifax W7710 took to the air at precisely 1753 and exactly five minutes later all eight aircraft of 405 Squadron were airborne embarking on this, the Squadron's 131st Operation. Among them R-Robert, sporting the Ruhr Valley Express artwork set out on the 400 mile trip across the North Sea towards the target.
At 2018 hours, for reasons unknown, one of the eight was forced to jettison its bomb load in the North Sea and return to base.
Only three of the 405 Squadron Halifaxes are known to have bombed the target i.e. at 20.56, 21.25 and 21.35, two of them bombing at 1000 feet and the other at 1500 feet. One of the three pilots, P/O. W.D. Colledge flying 'G' and bombing from 1500 feet, noted that 'this target is now most dangerous at low level attack' and observed 'fire burning in ship-building yard'. P/O. C. W. Palmer was flying 'A' and despite being blinded by searchlight glare, bombed from 1000 feet but was unable to observe results. His aircraft also received hits by light flak. And Fl/Sgt. H.D. Rea in 'W' bombing from 1000 feet observed 'incendiaries starting and other fires already started in a big building'.
P/O. Charles Wilfred Higgins (biography) failed to find the target and bombed the alternative target, Sylt aerodrome at 21.20.
On return these pilots reported their experiences over the target and summarised in the Operations Record Book as follows;
'Intense light flak and searchlight dazzle prevented any definite results of attack being assessed. A couple of small fires could be seen evidently in the town and also one to the North-East about two to three miles'.
'Opposition was very hot with intense light flak. No heavy flak. A/c were picked up and held by searchlights all across the target and blinded. Jammer switch ineffective. No balloons observed'.
The fate of Ed Olsen and his crew is encapsulated in the following brief reference in Nachtjagd Combat Archives The Early Years Part 3 by Theo Boiten.
'Coned by 1 Res/Flakscheinw Abt. 609 (Werfer 12). Shot down by 1-4 Res Flak Abt 306 and 1-3/lei Flak Abt. 755 near Flensburg Klushof Niehuus at 2236hrs. Crashed Liehuus [?Niehuus] 6km NNW of Flensburg'.
THE CRASH SITE
Even the most reputable sources, including the text relating to the Imperial War Museum's photograph of Halifax W7710 state that the aircraft crashed at Liehuus or Liehus in Denmark, but the location of any place of that name has not been found.
The German death cards for pilot Ed Olsen and air gunner Arthur Greene both clearly refer to Niehuus (Danish Nyhus) which is, as stated in Theo Boiten's book, about 6 km NNW of Flensburg and is on the German Danish border.
The original source of what would seem to be a typographical error is not known but writers have, and continue to, perpetuated the error that the crash site was Liehuus or Liehus.
However, if you have any further information that Liehuus was indeed the crash site and/or its location please contact our helpdesk in the first instance.
The time of the crash, 2236hrs, was local time, thus 2136hrs BST, however German Death Cards completed for Ed Olsen and Arthur Greene both record the time of the crash as 2240hrs [i.e. 2140 BST]
Taking into account the timing of the attacks by the other 405 Squadron aircraft i.e. 20.56, 21.25 and 21.35 it would seem probable that W7710 had bombed the target and was shot down after turning for home.
The bodies of the seven airmen were recovered from the crash and buried at Friedenshügel Cemetery Flensburg on 6 Oct 1942. When the bodies were ready to be moved to Kiel War Cemetery in 1947 it was found that Sgt Copeland RCAF and Flt Sgt Vineberg could not be identified and were ultimately commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.
However, Mr David Copeland, father of Ben Copeland, received a letter from Wg Cdr Gunn RCAF, written on 14 January 1948, stating that his son had been moved and was now buried in Kiel War Cemetery, Plot 2. Row E. Grave 3.
It was not until over two years later in a letter of 4 April 1950 also from Wg Cdr Gunn, that Mr Copeland learned that his son's body had in fact not been identified at Flensburg Cemetery and therefore was not lying in the previously notified grave at Kiel War Cemetery.
RESULTS OF THE RAID
Good bombing results were claimed by 12 crews but 12 aircraft were lost, nearly half the force. 72 aircrew lost their lives whilst 13 became prisoners of war. The losses sustained on this operation were the worst four engine type losses of the war so far.
405 Squadron lost two other aircraft and their crews that night, they were:
Halifax W7802 LQ-T skippered by P/O. William Howard Duncan, J/15986 RCAF, crashed in the Bohlberg district of Flensburg. The crew included a second pilot and all eight were killed in the crash. Buried initially at Flensburg they were later re-interred at Kiel War Cemetery.
Halifax W7780 LQ-Q skippered by P/O John Thompson Campbell J/15888 RCAF (see introduction) crashed at Flensburg with the loss of all seven crew who were also initially buried at Flensburg but later re-interred at Kiel War Cemetery.
Among them was Stanley Peel the erstwhile ever present air gunner with Ed Olsen's crew. Stanley had been commissioned as a Pilot Officer on 21 September 1942.
Also killed with this crew was air gunner P/O. Joseph Louis Philippe Le Page J/15698 RCAF who co-incidentally, is buried in Grave 3 in Plot 2. Row E., at Kiel War Cemetery according to the original letter to Mr Copeland from Wg Cdr Gunn, was occupied by Ben Copeland.
As stated earlier the members of this crew were of 425 Squadron and were attached to 405 Squadron to gain operational experience on Halifax aircraft.
Halifax W7780 LQ-Q Queenie features in the photograph in the introduction above.
BIOGRAPHICAL DETAILS OF THE CREW
(1) F/O Edward Carl Olsen was born on 12 February 1920 at Pendleton, Umatilla, Oregon USA the son of Edward Carl Olsen (an Automobile Business Proprietor) and Ann Olsen nee Livesey (?Lavery) of 233 S.W. 4th Pendleton. He had a brother John William (Jack) Olsen (1921-1958) who served with the United States Army during the war.
He was educated at Lincoln School (1926-1933), Pendleton High School (1933-1938), Oregon State College studying Engineering (1938-1940) and Eastern Oregon College of Education (1940-1941)
When he enlisted at Vancouver 30 April 1941 he was 5' 7" tall weighing 171 lbs with a medium complexion with brown eyes and brown hair. He participated in the following sports: football, extensively; swimming, boxing, boating and motorcycling, moderately. He also had flying experience of 24 hours solo and 22 hours dual and held a private pilot's licence No. 55227-41. He stated that he loved flying and wanted to make flying his future occupation
Interview summary 30 April 1941
"A fine type of boy. Clean and neat, has intelligence, quick to answer questions and very keen to be a fighting pilot"
After training at No. 2 Initial Training School at RCAF Regina, Saskatchewan, No. 6 Elementary Flying Training School at RCAF Prince Albert, Saskatchewan and No. 3 Service Flying Training School at RCAF Calgary, Alberta, where he graduated on completion of Course No. 36 (20 August - 6 November 1941), he was awarded his Flying Badge, promoted to Sergeant and commissioned as a Pilot Officer on 7 November 1941.
(On August 16, 1941, he had returned home to Pendleton for a five day visit. He crossed the border at Loring, Montana on a BSI motorcycle. He said he had lived in Oregon until April 29, 1941. He gave his current address as #5, E.F.T.S., Prince Albert, Saskatoon, Canada. He gave as a Canadian contact Floyd Glass c/o Glass Dairys [sic], Prince Albert, Saskatoon)
He embarked for the UK on 9 December 1941 and the day after arrival (19 December) was posted to No. 3 Personnel and Reception Centre at Bournemouth.
He was then posted to No. 1512 Beam Approach Training Flight at RAF Dishforth, North Riding of Yorkshire from 29 January 1942 to 9 February 1942, No. 3 Service Flying Training School at RAF South Cerney, Gloucestershire from 9 February to 24 March 1942 and No. 22 Operational Training Unit at RAF Wellesbourne Mountford, Warwickshire on 24 March 1942.
He was posted to No. 405 Squadron Conversion Flight at RAF Topcliffe in the North Riding of Yorkshire on 12 August 1942.
Edward Olsen was promoted to Flying Officer with effect from 1 October 1942
(2) Sgt. Ben Bales Copeland was born on 10 May 1921 at Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada the only child of David Arthur Copeland (a Locomotive Fireman and Winifred Copeland nee Bales of 838 Outlook Avenue, Moose Jaw.
He was educated at Empire School (1926-1935) and Central Collegiate (1935-1940). He enjoyed playing hockey and baseball, swimming and shooting all moderately.
He was also a registered student of the Dominion-Provincial Youth Training Programme under which he completed an 18 week Aircraft Mechanics course.
He enlisted at Regina, Saskatchewan on 29 October 1940 as an Airframe Mechanic. He was described as being 5' 3½" tall weighing 130lbs with a dark complexion, blue eyes and brown hair. He was posted to No. 1 Technical Training School at RCAF St. Thomas, Ontario on 28 November 1940 and on 24 April 1941 to No. 6 Aircraft Repair Depot RCAF Trenton, Ontario
He embarked for the UK on 3 November 1941 and on arrival was posted to No. 3 Personnel and Reception Centre at Bournemouth (14 November). On 21 November he was posted to
No. 405 Squadron at that time based at RAF Pocklington, East Riding of Yorkshire. Having applied for air crew he attended a Flight Engineers Course at English Electric Co Ltd., from 3 July 1942 and obtained a pass mark of 69.5%. He was awarded his Flight Engineer's Badge and promoted to Sergeant on 13 September 1942
Ben Bales Copeland was a member of the 10th Moose Jaw Boy Scout Group and is commemorated on the Scouting Organisation's Roll of Honour.
Copeland Lake in Saskatchewan (Coordinates 60deg 00min N, - 105deg 06min W) is named in his honour.
(3) P/O. John Colwell Kitchen was born on 25 September 1919 at Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada the son of Charles Albert Kitchen (a Wholesale Grocer) and Robena Lillian Kitchen nee Colwell of 279 Aberdeen Street, Fredericton.
He had four siblings: George Herbert Kitchen born c1913, Charles Wentworth Kitchen born c1915, Albert Ronald Kitchen born c 1921 and William David Kitchen born c1924
Jack Colwell was educated at Smythe Street School (1925-1935), Fredericton High School (1935-1936) Rothsay Collegiate (1936-1937) Horton Academy (1937-1938) and Colby College at Waterville Maine USA (1938-1940) studying Business Administration.
When he enlisted at Moncton New Brunswick on 23 August 1940 he was 6' 0½" tall with a fair complexion blue eyes and light brown hair. He played golf, tennis, softball and bowling all extensively and skied moderately. His hobby was photography (movies).
After training at No. 1 Initial Training School at RCAF Toronto, No. 3 Elementary Flying Training School at RCAF London, No. 1 Air Observer School at RCAF Malton and No. 1 Bombing and Gunnery School at RCAF Jarvis (all in Ontario) he was awarded his Air Observers Badge on 17 January 1942. He was posted to No. 2 Air Navigation School at RCAF Pennfield Ridge in New Brunswick on 17 February 1942.
He embarked for the UK on 13 March 1942 and on arrival was posted to No. 3 Personnel and Reception Centre at Bournemouth (24 March 1942).
On 25 April he was posted to No. 3 Air Observer School at RAF Bobbington in Staffordshire and on 26 May to No. 22 Operational Training Unit at RAF Wellsbourne Mountford. Warwickshire.
No. 405 Squadron Conversion Flight at RAF Topcliffe in the North Riding of Yorkshire on 12 August 1942.
He was commissioned as a Pilot Officer 21 September 1942
John Colwell Kitchen is commemorated on the Fredericton War Memorial, New Brunswick.
(4) Fl/Sgt. Aaron Joseph Ronnie Vineberg was born in 1920 at Newcastle upon Tyne, Northumberland the son of Henry Hilel Vineberg (an Estate Manager and Rent Collector) and Nellie Vineberg nee formerly Freize nee Cohen.
He had one sibling, Agie A. Vineberg born 1924.
In 1939 the family lived at 457, Lobley Hill Road, Gateshead.
An entry for him in the Jewish Chronicle states 'In Newcastle he was well known in Maccabi [international Jewish sports organisation] circles, and was an all-round sportsman' details courtesy Cathie Hewitt
(5) Fl/Sgt. Albert Martin Carter was born on 10 March 1920 at Orillia, Ontario, Canada the son of Albert Edward Carter (a World War Pensioner) and Mary Etta Carter nee Etta of 44 Barrie Road, Orillia.
He was educated at West Ward Public School (1926-1933) and Orillia Collegiate (1933-1937). He played basketball and lacrosse extensively, and occasionally participated in track and field.
After leaving school he worked for R.W. Phelps Otaco Ltd as an Office Clerk (1937-1939) and as an assistant Foundry Superintendent (1939 to January 1941)
When he enlisted at Toronto, Ontario on 30 January 1941 he was 5'10½" tall weighing 156 lbs with a fair complexion, blue eyes and light brown hair.
After training at No. 32 Air Navigation School at RCAF Debert Nova Scotia, No. 1 Wireless School at RCAF Montreal, Quebec, No. 1 Bombing and Gunnery School at RCAF Jarvis, Ontario, he was awarded his Air Gunners Badge and promoted to Sergeant on 5 January 1942. There followed 14 days pre embarkation leave.
On arrival in the UK he was posted to No. 3 Personnel Reception Centre at Bournemouth on 10 February 1942 and on 12 March to No. 1 Signals School at RAF Cosford in Shropshire followed on 11 April by a posting to No. 2 (Observer) Advanced Flying Unit at RAF Millom in Cumbria.
Posted to No. 22 Operational Training Unit at RAF Wellsbourne Mountford. Warwickshire on 26 May 1942, he was then posted to No. 405 Squadron Conversion Flight at RAF Topcliffe in the North Riding of Yorkshire on 12 August 1942.
He was promoted to Flight Sergeant on 5 July 1942
He is commemorated on the Orillia War Memorial, Ontario
(6) P/O. Arthur Monson Greene was born on 24 February 1922 at Fox River, Nova Scotia, Canada the son of Roland Keller Greene ( a retired pensioner) and Chrean (Corinne) Greene nee Allen.
He later became the foster son of his uncle, Charles Thomas Greene of Bear River, Digby County, Nova Scotia. He had two siblings: Catherine Greene born c 1924 and Everett Green born c 1925 (These two lived with their mother in Michigan USA.
Arthur was educated at Bear River Public school (1928-1935), Bear River High School (1935-1939) and Digby Academy (1939-1940)
His sporting interests were: track, basketball, baseball and hockey moderately and swimming extensively.
When he enlisted Halifax Nova Scotia on 27 August 1940 he was 5' 8" tall, weighing 157 lbs with a medium complexion, green eyes and light brown hair.
After training at No. 1 Training Command RCAF Toronto, Ontario, No. 5 Service Flying Training School RCAF Brantford, Ontario, No. 1 Initial Training School RCAF Toronto, No. 1 Wireless Training School at RCAF Montreal, Quebec and No. 6 Bombing and Gunnery School at RCAF Mountain View, Ontario he was awarded his Air Gunners Badge and promoted to Sergeant on 22 December 1941.
He disembarked in the UK on 9 February 1942 and the following day was posted to No. 3 Personnel and Reception Centre at Bournemouth and to
No 7 Air Gunnery School at RAF Stormy Down, Wales on 21 March 1942. He was posted to No. 22 Operational Training Unit at RAF Wellesbourne Mountford, Warwickshire on 26 May 1942. Promoted to
Flight Sergeant on 22 June 1942 he was posted to No. 405 Squadron Conversion Flight at RAF Topcliffe in the North Riding of Yorkshire on 12 August 1942.
He was commissioned as a Pilot Officer on 21 September 1942.
(7) Fl/Sgt. William Grainger McCron was born on 12 July 1921 at Toronto, Ontario, Canada the son of Samuel Hyslop McCron (a McClary Household Appliances Installer) and Florence May McCron nee Ingram of 76 Mary Street, Barrie, Ontario.
He had six siblings: Wilfred Samuel McCron (1910-1944), Albert George McCron (1919-1988), Wallace James McCron (1924-1994), Paul McCron, Ruth Ingram McCron (1911-2002) and Eleanor McCron. Samuel McCron was also a casualty of the war.
He was educated at Balmy Beach King George School and Prince of Wales School Barrie from 1926 to 1936 and the Barrie Collegiate Institute from 1936 to 1939. After leaving school he was employed by Loblaw's Grocers of Barrie as the 2nd Man in Fruit from 1939 until enlisting in the RCAF.
His sports and hobby interests were horse riding, sailing and fishing moderately, skating, swimming, tennis, canoeing and hunting extensively.
When he enlisted at Toronto on 28 January 1941 he was 5'8¼ tall weighing 146 lbs with a fair complexion blue eyes and light brown hair
After training at No. 1 Wireless School at RCAF Montreal Quebec and No. 7 Bombing and Gunnery School RCAF Poulson, Manitoba he was awarded his Air Gunners Badge and promoted to Sergeant on 2 February 1942.
He embarked for the UK on 28 February 1942. During the voyage he had to undergo an appendectomy thus his training in the UK was unavoidably delayed pending his recovery. He was posted to No. 3 Personnel Reception Centre at Bournemouth on 12 May and to no. 7 Air Gunnery School at RAF Stormy Down, Wales on 20 June. He was posted to No. 405 Squadron on 14 July 1942 and promoted to Flight Sergeant on 2 August 1942
BURIAL DETAILS, MEMORIALS AND EPITAPHS
(1) F/O Edward Carl Olsen was buried on 6 October 1942 at Friedenshügel Cemetery Flensburg and re-interred on 3 June 1947 at Kiel War Cemetery - Plot 2. Row E. Grave 5.
(2) Sgt. Ben Bales Copeland - having no known grave he is commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial Panel 107.
(3) P/O. John Colwell Kitchen was buried on 6 October 1942 at Friedenshügel Cemetery Flensburg and re-interred on 4 June 1947 at Kiel War Cemetery - Plot .4 Row A. Grave 1.
(4) Fl/Sgt. Aaron Joseph Ronnie Vineberg - having no known grave he is commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial Panel 76.
(5) Fl/Sgt. Albert Martin Carter was buried on 6 October 1942 at Friedenshügel Cemetery Flensburg and re-interred on 4 June 1947 at Kiel War Cemetery - Plot 4. Row A. Grave 2.
His epitaph reads:
Loved by all who knew him
(6) P/O. Arthur Monson Greene was buried on 6 October 1942 at Friedenshügel Cemetery Flensburg and re-interred on 3 June 1947 at Kiel War Cemetery - Plot 2. Row E. Grave 4.
His epitaph reads
The gift of God
For reasons unknown, in CWGC records and on his gravestone, Pilot Officer Arthur Monson Greene's surname is erroneously spelled GREEN. Somewhat ironically his temporary grave marker was inscribed with the correct spelling of his surname
(7) Fl/Sgt. William Grainger McCron was buried on 6 October 1942 at Friedenshügel Cemetery Flensburg and re-interred on 4 June 1947 at Kiel War Cemetery - Plot 4. Row A. Grave 4.
Researched by Aircrew Remembered researcher Roy Wilcock for all the relatives and friends of the members of this crew - October 2019
With thanks to the sources quoted below.