Tail gunner of Lancaster II DS669 - No. 115 Squadron, June 1943

Discussion in 'The War In The Air' started by EKB, May 18, 2024.

  1. EKB

    EKB Well-Known Member

    Caption for photo on the left:

    Back at their base, East Wretham, Norfolk, two members of the crew of Avro Lancaster B Mark II, DS669 'KO-L', of No. 115 Squadron RAF, examine the rear of their aircraft, where the rear turret, with its unfortunate gunner, was sheared off by bombs dropped from an aircraft flying above, during a raid on Cologne on the night of 28/29 June 1943.

    Could not trace the name of the gunner and presumably the turret was a Nash & Thompson with quad .303 guns. The serial number for the aircraft on the right is not identified and looks like it might be a different Lancaster.

    Did this happen twice?

    Lancaster bomber with sheared off rear turret.jpeg Lancaster bomber rear turret types.jpg

    Lancaster with rear turret knocked off by a bomb | World War Photos
    Nash & Thompson - Wikipedia
    Rose turret - Wikipedia
    Last edited: May 18, 2024
  2. Finn Buch

    Finn Buch Active Member

    Sergeant Geoffrey White, 1308157, RAFVR, 115 Sqdn.
    Died 29 June 1943
    Commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial, Panel 169

    See details:

    115 Squadron
  3. EKB

    EKB Well-Known Member

    Thanks Finn.

    So this confirms there are divergent stories about the cause of damage to Lancaster DS669. I cannot see signs of gunfire in the picture. If the turret was destroyed by fighter attack, the fuselage and tail plane should be peppered with holes.

    Maybe a newspaper clipping will surface about Sgt. White and what his family was told at the time.
    Last edited: May 18, 2024
  4. alieneyes

    alieneyes Senior Member

    This happened more than twice.

    If you look at the Summaries of aircraft damaged by enemy action at night (AIR14/3460) published by Bomber Command's Operational Research Section, the entry for 27/28 June 1943 - Cologne has DS669 "B" attacked by fighters and damage is shown as Category Ac - Repair is beyond the unit capacity, but can be repaired on site by another unit or a contractor. The movement card for DS669 shows it back on No. 115 Squadron on 2 October 1943. It was sent to No. 514 Squadron 11 April 1944 and lost with all crew on ops to Düsseldorf on 23 April 1944.

    On 25 July 1944, Lancaster LM481 (No. 61 Squadron "O") was finishing it's bomb run on St Cyr when the rear turret and air gunner, J90347 P/O Carson John Foy, RCAF were knocked off by bombs from another Lancaster. Unlike Sgt White from DS669, Foy's remains were found. The summary shows the offending Lancaster was "Y" from No. 106 Squadron and again, the aircraft was Category Ac but repaired by 29 August 1944. By the end of November it was sent to 1653 CU were it would be SOC 2 January 1946.

    This happened an awful lot. Without looking up every single entry that says "struck by incendiary" or "struck by bombs" I don't know how many airmen were killed.

    The strangest thing in the whole document is the number of times an aircraft reported "machine-gunned by Lancaster" or "m-g by British aircraft"


  5. EKB

    EKB Well-Known Member

  6. Finn Buch

    Finn Buch Active Member

    Last edited: May 21, 2024

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