KENNETH CHARLES ROBERT ALDER

 

 

Born: 1923, Woolwich, Greater London.

Died: 2nd February 1945; Age: 21; Aircraft shot down near Heidelsheim.

 

Rank: Flight Sergeant/Wireless Operator/Air Gunner; Service Number: 1399114

Regiment: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, 189 Squadron.

 

Kenneth and his crew trained together at 17 OTU (Silverstone/Turweston), 1654 HCU (Wigsley) & 5 LFS (Syerston). Transferred Octobet 1944 – 189 Squadron at Bardney, then Fulbeck.

 

Grave Reference:

1.F.2.

Durnbach War Cemetery,

Bayern,

Germany.

 

Relatives Notified & Address: Son of Charles Frederick & Lucy Mary Alder.

 

Father: Charles Frederick Alder, born November 1895, Camberwell, South London.

Mother: Lucy Mary Alder (nee Collins), born October 1899, Greenwich, Kent.

 

Kenneth is also remembered on the war memorial at St. Augustine of Hippo Church, Ipswich.

 

2nd February 1945

 

Aircraft: Lancaster CA-Q; Serial number: PB-848. At 20:25 hrs the aircraft took off from Fulbeck, it was the crew’s 24th mission in the aircraft they had flown since its arrival in Oct/Nov 1944. The target on the 2nd/3rd February 1945 was Karlsruhe. Arriving in the target area the Bomb Aimer found visibility poor, the bomb load of a 4,000lb bomb and a load of incendiaries still on board was not dropped. Three minutes after leaving the target area at 23:30 hrs, the aircraft was hit by anti-aircraft fire at an altitude of 26,000ft, it exploded completely near Heidelsheim, 12 miles North East of Karlsruhe. The Rear Gunner, Donald Clement was blown clean out of the aircraft in his turret. Parts of the aircraft scattered through the forests around Heidelsheim. The 4,000 lb bomb was found unexploded amongst the wreckage. The bodies of the crew were found two days later. The German authorities did not allow the bodies to be removed for burial until 4 days later, on the 6th February. With no coffins available the bodies were placed in tents and buried in a communal grave in the local cemetery. The grave was kept tidy, with 4 flowering bushes and 2 tulip plants. At Christmas there was extra effort and care. In 1947, the bodies were exhumed, identified and re-interred in Durnbach.

Six NJG pilots claimed the victories of all  7 Lancasters shot down that night. Donald was 1 of 4 Rear Gunners who were the sole survivors.

Crew:

Norman Philip Blain; Flight Lieutenant/Pilot; age 22; R.C.A.F.

Roy Everett Fulcher; Warrant Officer/Navigator; age 20; R.C.A.F.

Frederick Thomas James Nicholls; Flight Sergeant/Flight Engineer; age 33; R.A.F.

Kenneth Stanley Porter; Flight Officer/Bomb Aimer; age 23; R.A.F.V.R.

Albert Edward Smith; Flight Sergeant/Mid Upper Gunner; R.A.F.V.R.

Flight Sergeant/Rear Gunner; Donald F. Clement; R.C.A.F. Survived and taken prisoner – died January 2013. 

 

More of Donald’s amazing story can be found here:

http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/showthread.php?14307-Passing-of-sole-survivor-of-Lancaster-PB-848

 

Posted in Second World War

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