Lancaster ME474

Discussion in 'The War In The Air' started by Koala2, Apr 21, 2013.

  1. Koala2

    Koala2 Junior Member

    My uncle Flying Officer Frederick Stanley Farren was the RAAF Aussie pilot on this aircraft. I presume he had been seconded to No.61 Squadron RAF, as the rest of his crew were RAF personnel. The aircraft left Skellingthorpe at 1750 hrs March 7th 1945 on bombing operations to Harburg. It was reported missing the following day & it was reported that pilots of other aircraft in the vicinity encountered considerable flak & fighter opposition during this operation. Several aircraft were seen to go down in flames over the target.

    This aircraft was never seen again & some time later the bodies of 2 crew members - my uncle FO Farren & FS William Mcmarth washed ashore, were discovered by American troops & initially buried locally. They were then shifted to a US war cemetery in Holland in error & FO Fred Farren was (ultimately) correctly identifed & re-interred at the Nederwert war cemetery in The Netherlands. The bodies of the remaining 5 crew members were never recovered.

    FS Mcmarth's grandson in the UK has recently been in touch with me here in Australia & we would be keen to make contact with descendants of these men. They were:

    FS T.L. Benson
    FS W.S. Tandy
    Sgt. J. Sinclair
    Sgt. A. Lockett
    Sgt. A. Peckham

    I would love to have any other information members of ww2talk may have about this flight & its crew.

    Meg
    Stirling, SOUTH AUSTRALIA
     

    Attached Files:

  2. spidge

    spidge RAAF RESEARCHER Patron

    Hi Meg,

    Not much more to add however this is the info on Farren from my database.

    Nederweert War Cemetery 417951 Farren_FS.jpg


    In Memory of
    Flying Officer
    Frederick Stanley Farren
    417951, Royal Australian Air Force who died on 07 March 1945 Age 24
    Son of Frederick and Ellen Farren; husband of Monica Cicely Farren, of Kidlington, Oxfordshire, England.
    Remembered with Honour
    Nederweert War Cemetery



    In Memory of
    Sergeant Flt. Engr.
    William McMarth
    1880264, 61 Sqdn., Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve who died on 08 March 1945 Age 37
    Son of Hugh and Charlotte McMarth, of West Silvertown, London; husband of Florence Winifred McMarth,
    of West Silvertown.

    Remembered with Honour
    Becklingen War Cemetery



    In Memory of
    Flight Sergeant
    Thomas Laidlaw Benson
    1565145, 61 Sqdn., Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve who died on 08 March 1945 Age 21
    Son of James and Marion Benson, of Armadale, West Lothian.
    Remembered with Honour
    Runnymede Memorial


    In Memory of
    Sergeant
    James Sinclair
    1677297, 61 Sqdn., Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve who died on 08 March 1945
    Son of Mrs. M. A. Sinclair, of Hebburn, Co. Durham.`
    Remembered with Honour
    Runnymede Memorial




    In Memory of
    Flight Sergeant
    William Stanley Horace Tandy
    642289, 61 Sqdn., Royal Air Force who died on 08 March 1945
    Son of Thomas and of Louisa (nee Durrant) Tandy of Woolwich, Kent; aged 25
    Remembered with Honour
    Runnymede Memorial


    In Memory of
    Sergeant
    Arthur Lockett
    1162477, 61 Sqdn., Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve who died on 08 March 1945 Age 35
    Son of Harry and Mary Lockett; husband of Doris Lockett, of Leek, Staffordshire.
    Remembered with Honour
    Runnymede Memorial


    In Memory of
    Sergeant
    Nelson Peckham
    547928, 61 Sqdn., Royal Air Force who died on 08 March 1945
    Son of Frank and of Ethel (nee Bristow) Peckham of Hackney, London; aged 24
    Remembered with Honour
    Runnymede Memorial
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2018
  3. AlanW

    AlanW Senior Member

    Hi Meg,
    Have sent message with reference information on this crew. Have found 13 ops for them, including their last one. Also found a combat report for them.
    Alan.
     
  4. alieneyes

    alieneyes Senior Member

    Hi Geoff,

    http://www.ww1daleboys.com/ww2.htm

    Son of James and Marion Benson, of Armadale, West Lothian.

    Regards,

    Dave
     
  5. alieneyes

    alieneyes Senior Member

    Hi Meg,

    You may wish to PM WW2Talk member Graham, who goes by "ME474" on here and other forums:

    http://ww2talk.com/forums/user/24949-me474/

    From another board:

    http://squadronforum.freeforums.org/viewtopic.php?t=160&p=967

    Regards,

    Dave
     
  6. spidge

    spidge RAAF RESEARCHER Patron

    Thanks Dave - Edited.

    Cheers

    Geoff
     
  7. me474

    me474 Junior Member

    HI MEG, I have information regarding the loss of ME 474, as you have probably allready read that 1 of the crew, the navigator THOMAS LAIDLAW BENSON was my fathers best friend and he was my start on the long road of discovery and frustration.
    If you wish to e-mail me I will reply and give you all the details that I have on the crew my e-mail address is avrolancasterathotmail.co.uk, replace at with
    @ when addressing.
    regards GRAHAM.
     
  8. jonheyworth

    jonheyworth Senior Member

    Go to the Australian National Archives webpage and type in his service and his service record has been digitised and can be read online, also his casualty file with the details of his loss and the recovery and identification of his remain.

    Sgt McMarth was found by US troops on the shore near Heide and identified from his RAF ID card

    FO Farren was identified from letters and his ID card
     
  9. Koala2

    Koala2 Junior Member

    Thanks so much to Spidge, Alan W., alieneyes, Graham & jonheyworth for your kind replies, most appreciated. The information you have provided has been very valuable.
    Warm regards to you all
    Meg
     
  10. Emma Lockett

    Emma Lockett New Member

    Hello, i'm the great great niece of Sergeant Arthur Lockett, whilst researching about Arthur a bit more I stumbled across this website. I have attached a photo of the 61 Squadron, this photograph was left at the Runnymede Memorial by an unknown elderly gentlemen. As it was not one of our family members nobody knew who it was, it was speculated that it may have been an ex-aircraft fitter, a member of another crew, but it was also speculated that one of the members of the 61 Squadron may have escaped the bomber and could have placed the photo at Runnymede. Unfortunately we shall never know.
     

    Attached Files:

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  11. alieneyes

    alieneyes Senior Member

    The RAAF officer standing next to Sgt Lockett bears a strong resemblance to Flying Officer Farren, RAAF.
     

    Attached Files:

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  12. KevinBattle

    KevinBattle Senior Member

    In F/O Farren's file it states that Sgt McMarth was found on the shore near Cuxhaven and initially buried at Brookswald.
    The correct spelling seems to be Brockswald, near Cuxhaven, which is a great deal further SOUTH than 3 and a half miles North of Heide, Germany.
    I've no knowledge of tidal flows, but it appears that ME474 must have come down in, or close to, the estuary of the Elbe.
    It also shows that it was Farren's 17th Op, possibly the same for the rest of his crew.
    His rank had been confirmed as Flying Officer wef 26 Jan 1945.
    Birth registration for Monica
    Name: Monica O (sic) Dupont. Mother's Maiden Surname: Hunter. Date of Registration: Jul-Aug-Sep 1920.
    Registration district: Oxford. IVolume Number: 3a. Page Number: 2140.
    Marriage registration
    Name: Monica C Dupont. Date of Registration: Jul-Aug-Sep 1944. Registration district: Oxford
    Spouse: Frederick S Farren. Volume Number: 3a. Page Number: 3862

    Doesn't add much, but might be of use to others....
     
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  13. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    It looks as if the Lancaster was downed in the sea to the north of Cuxhaven which would have been on the run in to the Elbe estuary and the target of Harburg which is a southern suburb of Hamburg.....cannot see the force being tracked over the German East Friesen Islands which were an area prominent with Flak Ships...more likely the track would be the area between Cuxhaven and Helgoland and on to the Elbe estuary area and target.

    The Channel currents tend to sweep north and I would say if the aircraft had crashed in the sea as above then the other five crew may have been swept north towards the area of the sea off the Schleswig Holstein and Danish west coasts.

    [The Alte Land between Cuxhaven and Hamburg is a beautiful fruit growing area.The coast and estuary are ideal for holidays.There is also a Hamburg Bypass to Schleswig Holstein and Denmark via the Harburg Tunnel which means that motorists do not have to navigate the traffic of Hamburg.]
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2018
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  14. AlanW

    AlanW Senior Member

    After looking closely, i have to agree with Dave on the resemblance to Farren in the group photo.
     
  15. spidge

    spidge RAAF RESEARCHER Patron

    I think you could be right Dave - And it seems the RAAF dark blue uniform stands out.
     
  16. hucks216

    hucks216 Member

    Taken from Nachtjagd War Diaries (pages 309-313):

    'After the bombing of Harburg had commenced at 2156hrs, night fighters began to arrive over the target area and successfully infiltrated the rear of the bomber stream. Between 2200 and 2231hrs, according to Luftgau Abschliessende Meldungen, 11 Lancasters and a B-17 were shot down by night fighters and flak, along the homeward route between Hamburg and the Helgoland Bight, off Bremerhaven. One, possibly two, Lancasters were shot down into the sea and lost without trace.'

    Based on the times given the following German night fighter pilots made claims for Lancasters that have not been able to be narrowed down to a specific aircraft:
    Feldwebel Egon Engling (12./NJG-3) shot 3 Lancasters down between 2210 & 2213 (his 10, 11 & 12th kills) from the Harburg/Heide raids
    Leutnant Günther Wolf (9./NJG-5) claimed a Lancaster at 2214 (his 8th kill) from the Harburg/Heide raids
    Feldwebel Walter Rohlfing (9./NJG-3) claimed a Lancaster (his 11th kill) from the Harburg/Heide raid but no time given
    Oberleutnant Fritz Brandt (Stab IV/NJG-3) claimed a Lancaster (his 7th kill) from the Harburg/Heide raid but no time given

    There was one other unidentified Lancaster shot down from the Harburg/Heide raid by Hauptmann Arnold Brinkmann (9./NJG-3) (his 15th kill) but that was timed at 2245.
     
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  17. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    The B 17 lost would be most probably a No 100 Group No 214 Squadron Fortress 111, KG 106 lost on Bomber Support Jostle duties to the Hamburg area
     
  18. hucks216

    hucks216 Member

    Referring to the previously mentioned book, survivors of the B-17 (KJ106) claim that they were hit by machine gun fire from a Lancaster following an ineffectual attack from a Ju-88. The German Luftgau report claims it was shot down by a night fighter but no claim from any German pilot was made.
     
  19. alieneyes

    alieneyes Senior Member

    Not to distract too much from the story of ME474 but I'm curious as to where the authors of NWD got that a Lancaster shot at KJ106?

    Attached is a statement by Sgt Goldson, the port waist gunner on KJ106.

    Dave
     

    Attached Files:

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  20. spidge

    spidge RAAF RESEARCHER Patron

    Good find Dave. Great to get things from the horses mouth as long as it is the right horse!
     

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