Image and information courtesy of Sarah.
Born: 1919, South Africa.
Died: 9th July 1941; age 22; aircraft shot down near to the Dutch town of Nijmegen, Netherlands.
Rank: Flight Sergeant/Wireless Operator/Air Gunner; Service Number: 535641.
Regiment: Royal Air Force, 35 Squadron.
9th July 1941
Aircraft: Halifax Mkl; serial number: L9521; Code: TL-Z; Operation: Merseburg – detailed to attack the Synthetic Oil refinery at Leuna, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. The aircraft took-off at 22:33hrs from Linton-on-Ouse, North Yorkshire. On the return journey at 03:35hrs it was shot down by a night fighter of the Luftwaffe. Crew member Archie Kiddey later recalled “there was a tremendous explosion and the whole of the aeroplane was in flames behind me. And the pilot said , ‘Out you go ‘ and four of us managed to bale out.” The aircraft crashed into the home of the Arts family at Rifksweg 187 te Mook, Netherlands, killing 4 people.
Three members of the seven man crew were killed:
Noel Eric Henry Coleman; Sergeant/Air Gunner; age 32; R.A.F.V.R.
Thomas Arthur Parkes; Sergeant/Flight Engineer; age 24; R.A.F.
On the 19th June 1946, the remains of Albert Hammond, Noel Coleman & Thomas Parkes were exhumed, identified and re-interred at Uden War Cemetery, Noord-Brabant.
Four crew men survived the crash and were taken as PoW’s by the Germans:
Lionel William Bovington D.F.M.; Pilot; R.A.F.
Archie R. Kiddey; 2nd Pilot; R.A.F. http://www.nottinghampost.com/post-old-raf-bomber-pilot/story-25859240-detail/story.html
Henry Septimus Bradbeer; Air Gunner; R.A.F. – was hospitalised immediately after being captured, his leg was amputated.
George Donald Barry; Flight Sergeant/Observer; R.A.F. – died from wounds received on the 25th April 1945, at the village of Gresse, on the “Long March” when strafed by a flight of low flying Typhoons of the R.A.F. He was 27 years old. He was buried at Diepholz Cemetery, Germany. On the 7th June 1947, George’s remains were exhumed and re-buried at Hanover War Cemetery, Lower Saxony, Germany.
The victory of L9521 was claimed by Lt. August Geiger, a night fighter ace, who claimed 53 aerial victories. He was shot down on the 29th September 1943 by John Randall Daniel “Bob” Braham (of No. 141 Squadron R.A.F.) in a Beaufighter VI over Zuiderzee, Netherlands. August bailed out of his Messerschmitt Bf-110, but was drowned when his parachute dragged him under. He was 23 years old.