10/11.08.1943 No. 35 Squadron Halifax II HR861 TL-T F/O. Ellis Ware DFC
Operation: Nuremburg, Germany
Date: 10/11th August 1943 (Tuesday/Wednesday)
Unit: 35 Squadron
Type: Halifax II
Base: RAF Graveley, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire.
Location: Biblis, Germany.
Pilot: F/O. Ellis Trevor Ware DFC. 123618 RAFVR Age 21. PoW No. 2029 Camp: Stalag Luft Sagan and Belaria L3 (1)
Fl/Eng: Sgt. Jack Fiddler 633093 RAFVR Age 31. Killed (2)
Nav: F/O. Charles Bowmer Russell 121731 RAFVR PoW No. 2026 Camp: Stalag Luft Sagan and Belaria L4 (3)
Air/Bmr: P/O. Gordon Davidson Hogg 148395 RAFVR PoW No. 2017 Camp: Stalag Luft Sagan and Belaria L3 (4)
W/Op/Air/Gnr: F/O. Glenburne George Galvin DFC.AUS/401208 RAAF PoW No. 2016 Camp: Stalag Luft Sagan and Belaria L3 (5)
Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Reginald Hamblin 1575323 RAFVR Killed (6)
Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. William George Jackett 1075889 RAFVR Age 33. Killed (7)
We welcome contact from any relatives of this crew who may be able to provide further information or photographs.
REASON FOR LOSS
Took off from RAF Graveley at 21:36 hrs on a bombing mission to Nuremberg, Germany. Route as per Bomber Command Night Operations Report: Beachy Head-Le Treport-4935N 1040E-Target-4910N 1100E-4917N 0826E-Le Treport-Beachy Head. Spec Equipment: Gee, H2S.
Halifax II HR861, prior to delivery to No. 35 Squadron RAF at Graveley (courtesy IWM)
Halifax HR861 TL-T was one of 24 aircraft of No.8 (Pathfinder Force) Group despatched as blind markers. Some of these aircraft including HR861 were equipped with H2S the ground scanning/mapping radar system for night bombing introduced in January 1943. H2S was designed to operate beyond the range of radio navigation systems such as Gee and Oboe that were only effective up to about 500km. H2S proved to be so successful that it was still being used on Avro Vulcan aircraft during the Falklands War in 1982, and some units were still in service on Handley Page Victors until 1993.
A force of 653 heavy bombers comprising 318 Lancasters, 119 Stirlings and 216 Halifaxes was assembled for the mission. Zero hour (Z) was 01.00 and the 24 blind markers were to bomb at Z-3 followed by 8 visual markers from Z-2 to Z+3 followed by backers up until Z+34. The main force was to bomb in six waves from 01.02hrs to 01.41hrs.
The timing of the blind markers was good but the target area was largely obscured by cloud and the marking was scattered. Later reconnaissance showed that most of the damage was in the N.E. part of the town where a large area of devastation could be seen. No damage could be seen to have been inflicted on industrial areas to the south of the town but in many areas elsewhere there was damage, notably to the engineering and metal working industries of Appel and Sazenhofen, Chillingworth and H Wegerle (Furth), as well as railway sheds, public buildings, residential and business properties.
596 aircraft reported attacking the primary target whilst 8 attacked the alternative target. 34 aircraft aborted the sortie for various reasons.15 aircraft failed to return of which 9 fell to enemy fighters, 4 to flak and 2 collided. 53 aircraft returned with damage inflicted by flak (33) fighters (5) and other causes (16)
Though Halifax HR861 was one of those lost, the other 23 blind markers reported bombing the target, 16 of them on H2S.
Flying Officer Ellis T. Ware reported that Halifax HR861 was 'attacked by night fighter N of Worms (4938N 0822E) - caught fire and exploded - 3 bodies found in wreckage believed to be Jackett (killed by fire from N/F) Hamblin and Fiddler. After aircraft was attacked intercom failed and lost position, burst into flames. Controls useless, bomb-load still on board. I made bale out signal on intercom position noticing mine was flashing but there were no replies. Fiddler gave me my 'chute' pack and then went back to tail presumably to get his forgotten pack. As far as I know he did not come forward. I put my (seat?) out of pilot position to indicate to Nav/W/Op to abandon aircraft. Followed them out of front hatch. No reply from Hamblin...mid-upper (?) in flames ...tracer through 2nd pilot's windscreen going near M/U turret. No reply from Jackett on signalling (of captain?) ... assumed he was killed with enemy burst (?) fire... two bodies found in wreckage one with half open chute and other (strapped on?)'.
F/O Galvin stated 'Fire in fuselage made communication impossible'
P/O Hogg said that he 'gave Fiddler his chute...he was in a dazed condition. Explosion after I left so probable that he was injured'.
According to Luftwaffe records Major Friedrich-Karl (Nasen) Muller (8) shot down a Halifax about 5km NNE of Biblis airfield at 00:44hrs on 11 August 1943. Biblis being NE of Worms would place the attack in the same vicinity as that reported by F/O. Ware. As the bomb load was still on board, the aircraft was still heading towards the target where it was due at 00:57hrs, so the time of the fighter attack at 00:44hrs would also be about right.
Right: Major Friedrich-Karl (Nasen) Muller (Kracker Luftwaffe Archives)
BIOGRAPHICAL DETAILS OF THE CREW
(1) F/O. Ellis Trevor Ware was born 31 March 1922 Edmonton, London, the son of Edward B.and Ella A.M. Ware nee Hoile. He had three sisters; Elsie H. Ware born 1915, Ella J.A. Ware born 1924 and Eunice V.C. Ware born 1926.
He was married four times: in 1946 to Marion A. Crowley at Southend; in 1957 to Eileen Mary Tallis at Downham; in 1967 to Pamela Beaumont and in 1973 to Janet Mary Windsor at Kingston upon Thames
At the time of this mission F/O. Ware was already the holder of the Distinguished Flying Cross. Announced in the Supplement to the London Gazette 16 March 1943, the citation reads:
"Pilot Officer Elliss Trevor Ware (123618), Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, No. 35 Squadron. One night in February, 1943, this officer captained an aircraft detailed to attack Lorient. During the outward flight, whilst crossing the French coast, one of the starboard engines failed. Despite this, Pilot Officer Ware continued his mission. When nearing the target area one of the port engines showed signs of over-heating, but he flew on to the target and bombed it. Afterwards, Pilot Officer Ware flew the bomber back to base on 3 engines, having skilfully controlled the over-heated engine. This officer displayed great skill and determination in completing his task successfully under difficult circumstances."
F/O. Ware was promoted to Flight Lieutenant (war subs) on 10 April 1944 (announced in the Supplement to the London Gazette 28 April 1944). He remained in the RAF after the war and his seniority was confirmed 18 July 1947 (announced in the Supplement to the London Gazette 14 October 1947) Flt/Lt. Ware was promoted to Squadron Leader on 1 July 1953 (announced in the Supplement to the London Gazette 30 June 1953). Prior to the Anglo-French Suez landings Squadron Leader Ware piloted a Vickers Valiant Bomber from Malta in an attack on Egyptian airfields. During the mission his aircraft was intercepted by an Egyptian Meteor fighter which made two attacks. The firing from the fighter was inaccurate and by climbing to altitude Sq/Ldr. Ware easily avoided any damage.
Sq/Ldr. Ware retired from the RAF on 31 March 1962 at his own request. The announcement of his retirement appeared in the Supplement to the London Gazette 1 May 1962.
He died at Bradford, West Yorkshire in 1993 aged 70.
NOTE: His Christian name is spelled variously as 'Ellis' and 'Elliss' but to avoid confusion, except for his DFC citation which is as printed at the time, 'Ellis' has been used throughout this report.
Sq/Ldr. Ellis Trevor Ware DFC 31st March 1922 - 12th January 1993 Obituary
Ellis Trevor Ware with daughter Danie pictured in the 1970s (Courtesy Danie Ware)
(2) Sgt. Jack Fiddler. Born 1910 Oldham,Lancashire, the husband of Henrietta Fiddler of Deal, Kent.
(3) F/O. Charles Bowmer Russell. DFC awarded 28th July 1944. Nothing further known, can you help?
(4) P/O. Gordon Davidson Hogg. Nothing further known, can you help?
(5) F/O. Glenburne George Galvin DFC. Nothing further known, can you help?
(6) Fl/Sgt. Reginald Hamblin. Nothing further known, can you help?
(7) Fl/Sgt. William George Jackett. Born 1910 Burnley, Lancashire, son of Charles John and Mary Ann Jackett of York. Awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal posthumously in 1944.
(8) Major Friedrich-Karl "Nasen" Muller was born 4 December 1912 at Sulzbach/Saar, Germany. He made 52 missions as a night fighter pilot and scored 30 victories. He was called "Nasen", the German for nose, not only because he had a particularly large example of such but also to distinguish him from another fighter ace of the same name ie Obstlt Friedrich-Karl Muller "Tutti" who coincidentally also flew with 1/JG-300. Major "Nasen" Muller survived the war and died 2nd November 1987.
Sgt. Jack Fiddler. Rheinberg War Cemetery, Germany. Grave No. 17.C.21. See (2)
Fl/Sgt. William George Jackett. Rheinberg War Cemetery, Germany. Grave No. 17.C.22. See (7)
Fl/Sgt. Reginald Hamblin. Rheinberg War Cemetery, Germany. Grave No. 17.C.23.
Above: Rheinberg War Cemetery, Germany
Researched by Roy Wilcock for Aircrew Remembered - February 2015. Sources: RAF Loss Card, RAF Bomber Command Night Operations Report, Commonwealth Graves Commission, Bomber Command Database, The London Gazette, Tom Kracker - Kracker Luftwaffe Archives.