Lancaster or Manchester W4771 106 Sqn

Discussion in 'The War In The Air' started by nemesis, Mar 28, 2012.

  1. nemesis

    nemesis Senior Member

    Can anyone help with the crew list for this aircraft it either crashed or was shot down on a raid to Cologne on the 15/16 October 1942. I have one crew member , Sgt EJC High was on it .I dont know what his position on the A/C was
    Any help welcome
    Thanks for reading this
     
  2. David Layne

    David Layne Well-Known Member

    Lancaster W 4771

    P/P T.B. Crowfoot, Sgt E.J. High, P/O A.S. Meara, P/O A.L. Dickenson, P/O P.D. Smale, Sgt D.C. Ward.
     
  3. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    It was a Lancaster Mark 1, Serial No W4771 operating out of Syerston (on the A46 between Newark and Nottingham.) No 106 Squadron had the dreaded Manchester for a short period from February 1942 until June 1942 but were converting to Lancasters from May 1942.

    The aircraft was lost on an operation to Cologne....had bombed but hit by flak, west of Cologne,four survivors...Sgt E J C High was the Flight Engineer and one of four who became POWs.

    Crew list later when I return to "base"
     
  4. nemesis

    nemesis Senior Member

    brilliant thanks for help
    It was a Lancaster Mark 1, Serial No W4771 operating out of Syerston (on the A46 between Newark and Nottingham.) No 106 Squadron had the dredded Manchester for a short period from February 1942 until June 1942 but were converting to Lancasters from May 1942.

    The aircraft was lost on an operation to Cologne....had bombed but hit by flak, west of Cologne,four survivors...Sgt E J C High was the Flight Engineer and one of four who became POWs.

    Crew list later when I return to "base"
     
  5. nemesis

    nemesis Senior Member

    Thanks very much for input
    Lancaster W 4771

    P/P T.B. Crowfoot, Sgt E.J. High, P/O A.S. Meara, P/O A.L. Dickenson, P/O P.D. Smale, Sgt D.C. Ward.
     
  6. Peter Clare

    Peter Clare Very Senior Member

    Crew of Lancaster I W4771 15-16 October 1942 Op to Cologne

    P/O. T B. Crowfoot. DFC +
    Sgt. E J. High. pow
    P/O. A S. Meara. pow
    P/O. A L. Dickinson. pow
    F/O. P D. Smale. +
    Sgt. R E. Christy. pow
    Sgt. D C. Ward. +

    Shortly after completing its attack and while flying at 17,000 feet the aircraft was hit by flak killing two of the crew.

    Source - RAF Bomber Command - Losses. Vol.3 - W R. Chorley
     
  7. nemesis

    nemesis Senior Member

    Harry If you could let me know what each crewman did on the A/C I would be gratefull, You said High was a Flt Eng , Regarding Syerston I have been there , I was in the RAF for 24 yrs and did some courses at Newton, near Syerston. Its a small world when I think I was at Syerston where these men flew from. A friend of mine bought an old Officers Married Quarter there. He is still in it

    regards
    m
    It was a Lancaster Mark 1, Serial No W4771 operating out of Syerston (on the A46 between Newark and Nottingham.) No 106 Squadron had the dredded Manchester for a short period from February 1942 until June 1942 but were converting to Lancasters from May 1942.

    The aircraft was lost on an operation to Cologne....had bombed but hit by flak, west of Cologne,four survivors...Sgt E J C High was the Flight Engineer and one of four who became POWs.

    Crew list later when I return to "base"
     
  8. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    Memesis,

    The crew of the Lancaster would be what would become a standard crewing for the type.In this case the crew designations of the crew would be:

    P/O T B Crowfoot DFC Pilot and Skipper

    Sgt E J C High Flight Engineer

    P/O A.S Mears Navigator

    P/O A L Dickinson Bomb Aimer

    F/O F.D Smale Wireless Operator

    Sgt R E Christy Mid Upper Gunner

    Sgt D C Ward Rear Gunner

    There were variations to the crewing depending on the intended role of the aircraft.

    The dead are now buried at Rheinberg Military Cemetery but it would not surprise me that their first place of burial would have been Cologne Military Cemetery.Their remains would be transferred to Rheinberg became it became the chosen concentration cemetery site in the post war era, for RAF burials from Cologne.

    As regards conversion to the Lancaster,the squadron received its first aircraft on May 9th 1942 when at Coningsby.It then relocated to Syerston from 1 October 1942 with W.C Guy Gibson commanding.He also had a number of able Flight Commanders such as John "Dim" Wooldridge,followed by John Serby,both Sgt Pilots in 1940 and who would go on and distinguish themselves as squadron commanders.

    Interestingly,the day after P/O Crowfoot's Lancaster FTR with 2 others,No 106 Squadron who had already been practising low level flying put up 8 aircraft for the daylight,low level raid on the Schneider armament works at Le Creusot in Burgundy.All aircraft returned safely apart from a No 61 Squadron Syserton based Lancaster which bombed the Grid switching station at nearby Montchanin too low and flew into a Grid switching station building.

    Hope this is what you want.

    Interesting note on Syerston which you post.....will get back to you later.
     
  9. nemesis

    nemesis Senior Member

    Thanks Harry for the very detailed response , Look forward to hearing from you re Syerston .
    Best Regards
    M
    Memesis,

    The crew of the Lancaster would be what would become a standard crewing for the type.In this case the crew designations of the crew would be:

    P/O T B Crowfoot DFC Pilot and Skipper

    Sgt E J C High Flight Engineer

    P/O A.S Mears Navigator

    P/O A L Dickinson Bomb Aimer

    F/O F.D Smale Wireless Operator

    Sgt R E Christy Mid Upper Gunner

    Sgt D C Ward Rear Gunner

    There were variations to the crewing depending on the intended role of the aircraft.

    The dead are now buried at Rheinberg Military Cemetery but it would not surprise me that their first place of burial would have been Cologne Military Cemetery.Their remains would be transferred to Rheinberg became it became the chosen concentration cemetery site in the post war era, for RAF burials from Cologne.

    As regards conversion to the Lancaster,the squadron received its first aircraft on May 9th 1942 when at Coningsby.It then relocated to Syerston from 1 October 1942 with W.C Guy Gibson commanding.He also had a number of able Flight Commanders such as John "Dim" Wooldridge,followed by John Serby,both Sgt Pilots in 1940 and who would go on and distinguish themselves as squadron commanders.

    Interestingly,the day after P/O Crowfoot's Lancaster FTR with 2 others,No 106 Squadron who had already been practising low level flying put up 8 aircraft for the daylight,low level raid on the Schneider armament works at Le Creusot in Burgundy.All aircraft returned safely apart from a No 61 Squadron Syserton based Lancaster which bombed the Grid switching station at nearby Montchanin too low and flew into a Grid switching station building.

    Hope this is what you want.

    Interesting note on Syerston which you post.....will get back to you later.
     
  10. AlanW

    AlanW Senior Member

    ORB page
     
  11. uncleterry

    uncleterry New Member

    Good evening,
    My information is that the aircraft took off from Marham on 15th October 1942 to bomb Munchen Gladbach. Sgt ward was my father, my info was from Ministry of Defence, Historical Branch, he is buried in Rheinburg Military Cemetery.
    If others have different information or more information I would be happy to receive it
     
  12. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    Uncleterry,

    No 106 Squadron at the time of this operation was based at Syerston.Bill Chorley records a take off time of 1925 for Lancaster
    W4771.

    The ORB agrees with this and would have indicated the airfield if it was not Syerston


    My own feeling is that Syerston was the airfield which the aircraft took off for its final op.

    Nemesis,

    Sorry not to have continued earlier as I said I would....I have just picked up the post, a vast improvement of the new software under "my content." which throws up one's posts.

    What was your role at Syerston....interesting to talk to similar people.

    So as regards Syerston,I have passed the airfield over many years...runways in excellent condition....the T2 Hanger standing proud on the south west corner of the airfield and visible from the high ground of Kennings Corner A46/A52 intersection until dismantled,where of course you also had a good view of RAF Newton.....the H Blocks standing empty all those years until they were destroyed in training by special forces apparently.....the airfield is a monument to the RAF B.C wartime crews for little has appeared to have changed...thought the axe would fall at every review but it never has.Then the dualling of the A46 has resulted in little change to the airfield as it shaves the east side of the airfield.

    RAF Newton...vandalism at its worse as the officer's married quarters was allowedt o deteriorate...now I see that the whole estate has been levelled.OR Ranks housing seems to be remote with no amenities.

    Knew the history of Syerston airfield and also knew a young Sergeant who served there as Sergeant (Engines) on the Grobs which are in use by the Air Cadets...he lived in the married quarters....went on to the real engines.

    An interesting account of the unsual interest,it roused from the Nottinghamshire Police while at Syerston.A few years ago,on returning from East Midlands, we stopped at the former Officers Mess to take a photograph of Grobs flying with the Mess as the backdrop.(My Grandson was involved in the flying the Grob at the time in Yorkshire.) In the Mess grounds,an old chap in the grounds of the rundown site told me of Guy Gibson's service at Syerston which I was aware of and told me of the background to the sale of the former Officers Mess.I must have been talkng to him for nearly half an hour informing me of the situation with the former Officers Mess. It was obvious that the site was a general thoroughfare to locals.The Mess had been a religious school for a 1000 pupils which had failed and was up for sale...11 acres for 6 million....its still for sale I note..

    I had parked the car by the side of the sports field at the entrance to the Mess....it had NI plate registration and suddenly while taking photographs, I became aware of a police presence who then questioned me what I was doing there....they seemed to take some convincing....obvious to me that someone had called out the Range Rover cavalry from the former Officer's Quarters. So I gave the duo, a presentation on the history of the airfield and one of the policemen told me in turn....I laid a load of carpet here when I was a carpet fitter.

    So our visit to non MOD property ended, we continued north towards Lincolnshire,via Flintham village ....funny these zealous types followed our car until we rejoined the A46.....two OAPs given a police escort....they must have had time on their hands.
     
  13. AlanW

    AlanW Senior Member

    Uncleterry,
    The aircraft definatley took off from Syerston, and went to Cologne, not Munchen Gladbach, so the Air Historical Branch have given you wrong information. I have messaged you about info from the 106sqdn ORB, if you are interested.
    Alan.
     
  14. KevinBattle

    KevinBattle Senior Member

    The RAF Loss Record cards have been made available by a super chap on here. Thumbs Up!
    That shows that their target was Cologne (Koln) with a bomb load of 1 x 4,000 lb bomb (cookie) and 12 (illegible)
    Squadron Letter ID code not shown, but it had been fitted with Gee.
    P/Off Cowslip was found lying dead, face down near the aircraft.
    Dickinson had a fractured ankle after baling out,

    Smale and Ward were found dead still in the wreckage, implying that they were probably killed in the air, as rear gunners could rotate their turret and simply roll out the rear door,often being the only survivors as being able to get out quickly.
    The survivors may have completed PoW Questionnaires after release which may have more detailed information.

    The crew listing on the Loss Card indicates that Smale was in the mid upper gunner position, so the flak hit may have been at the rear of the aircraft, Crowfoot staying at the controls whilst the rest baled out.

    Smale was identified by Service Number, and Ward and "Noonan" (believed to be from BK207 crew 419 Sqdn) perhaps also crashed nearby? were initially buried at Munchen Gladbach (perhaps where uncleterry info came from).

    Also noted they were hit by flak at 17,000 ft, 2 crew killed and rest baled out. (illegible) target marked.
    Perhaps they were carrying Target Indicators, so to successfully mark the target after being badly hit is quite heroic airmanship.

    Anyone wishing to strain their eyes, please see:-
    http://www.lancasterbombers.net/Loss_Cards/1942/Oct_42/Oct_42_Pt2/files/book.swf

    Hope that's of some interest!
     
  15. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    Kevin,

    Very interesting and also, like you implied, very hard to read some of it.

    Regards

    Tom
     
  16. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    Interesting information from the Loss Card.....as regards legibility.... pity that the clerk did not print the entries.

    Looking at the load,I would think it was the most common load carried by the aircraft...a mixture of the 4000lb HC bomb (cookie as stated) plus the incendiary load of 12 x SBCs.In this case, each containing 24 x 30lb phosphorous filled bombs which were aimable.

    (Apparently the 4lb IB had a serious disadvantage in that they were not aimable and could be dispersed downwind from the target and present danger to other friendly aircraft.)

    Total load would have been 12640lbs.

    12 SBCs with 236x4lb IBs would have overloaded the aircraft.The 30lb IB seems to have been the preferred IB between 1941 and late 1944 for its aimability.

    In looking at the Loss Card and F/O Smale's aircrew designation,it would appear that there was a transcribing error from the Loss Card to Bill Chorley's Vol 3 1942 Losses.
     
  17. nemesis

    nemesis Senior Member

    Sorry for late reply Harry, my interest in Syerston is because my friend still lives there , he and I were long serving members of the RAF Police. I did a few courses at Newton in the 80s and was saddend to see the state it is in now. I served for 24 years leaving in 94. I am interested in all aspects of military research. My avatar is the caterpillar club badge awarded to Sgt High.
     
  18. Jon Ward

    Jon Ward New Member

    Hello everyone. I have just found this remarkable forum. One of the crew about, Sergeant DC Ward was my grandfather. I have only in recent times been able to gather scraps of information about him thanks to John Reid, an archivist of the Sterling Bomber Research Library. Sergeant Wards widow, my grandmother Sylvia Ward, passed away without really passing on any details of her late husbands service, and no family members had any information either.

    This is what I know, thanks to John Reid.


    Sergeant D.C. Ward. 106 Squadron.

    15 October 1942.

    Lancaster W4771 took off from Syerston at 1925 hrs to attack targets in Cologne which was completed successfully. Shortly after leaving the target area and while flying at 17,000ft in the Cologne - Monchengladbach area, the Lancaster was hit by flak. It is thought that two members of the crew were killed by the flak burst and the pilot was killed when the aircraft crashed.

    Crew:

    P/O T.B. Crowfoot. DFC. RAFVR. Pilot. 129665. Age 30. He was married to Gladys Dorothy Crowfoot and lived in Thetford, Norfolk. He is buried in the Rheinberg War Cemetery, grave 2.B.19.

    Sgt E.J.C. High. RAFVR. Survived. Prisoner of War. He was taken to Stalag Luft Heydekrug and given the PoW No.824. During captivity he was promoted to Warrant Officer.

    F/O A.S. Meara. RAFVR. Survived. Prisoner of War. He was taken to Stalag Luft Sagan and given the PoW No. 771. He was subsequently promoted to Flight Lieutenant

    F/O A/L. Dickinson. RAFVR. Survived. Prisoner of War. Taken to Dalag Luft Sagan and given the PoW No. 42818. Later promoted to Flight Lieutenant.

    F/O P.D. Smale. RAFVR. Wireless Operator. 109045. Age 20. He came from Newton Abbott, Devon. He is buried in the Rheinberg War Cemetery, grave 2.B.20.

    Sgt R.E. Christy. RAFVR. Survived. Prisoner of War. Taken to Stalag Luft Kopernikus and given the PoW No. 809. He was later promoted to Warrant Officer.

    Sgt D.C. Ward. RAFVR. Rear Gunner. 1386499. Age 31. Son of Walter and Elizabeth Mary Ward and married to Sylvia Ward of Upwell near Wisbech, Cambs. He is buried in the Rheinberg War Cemetery, grave 2.B.21.

    The actual site where the Lancaster crashed is unknown.

    I have attached a couple of photos that were forwarded to me by Mr Reid.

    If anyone has anymore information about the 106 Squadron, or any stories about my grandfather I would be very grateful.
     

    Attached Files:

  19. W4771

    W4771 Member

    Hi Jon,

    Delighted to read your post. My wife’s Grandfather was P/O Thomas B Crowfoot. The family did not have many details of the final raid so your information is great and may lead to us being able to obtain other reminiscences if the final flight of W4771. We have a video of their Lancaster in flight over Thomas’s house which I will send on to you. Not sure if it is W4771 as Thomas’s logbook shows they flew other aircraft also. My father-in law has a copy of the complete log book.

    Kind regards,
    Greg Duffy
     
  20. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    Hello Greg

    Jon has not been on the forum for nearly a year

    I have sent him a message on your behalf

    Regards
    Clive
     
    Jon Ward and W4771 like this.

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