Albert is not remembered on the war memorial at Christchurch Park. Image courtesy of Derek
Born: 27th August 1915, Ipswich.
Baptised: 25th September 1915, at St. Clement’s Church, Ipswich.
Died: 22nd March 1944; age 28. On his 20th sortie.
Rank: Flying Officer/Pilot; Service Number: 127251.
Regiment: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, 9 Squadron.
Buried 24th March 1944.
Relatives Notified & Address: Son of Alfred William & Laura Lydia Manning, of Rosehill Road, Ipswich; husband of Lilian Manning, of Ipswich.
Brother to ALFRED JAMES MANNING.
Father: Alfred William Manning, born December 1885, Ipswich. A thrashing machine erector.
Mother: Laura Lydia Manning (nee Gardiner), born April 1885, Woolwich, Kent.
In 1942, Derby, Derbyshire, Albert married Lilian Phillips, born 1913, Stoke upon Trent, Staffordshire.
On the photo you will see Albert at the very right, receiving a light for his cigarette from his Canadian bomber Warywoda after their mission to bomb Stettin on January 6, 1944. The photo has been taken by Fox Agency at RAF Bardney. Although press-shy, the RAF invited the press after the disastrous campaign in losses against Berlin. The same photo, and others, is published in the well-known books ‘Lancaster at War’
22nd March 1944
Aircraft: Avro Lancaster III; serial number: LM340; code: WS-B; base: RAF Bardney, Lincolnshire. The Lancaster took-off at 19:11hrs on an operation to Frankfurt, Germany. It was the third flight made by Group Captain Norman Pleasance as a sightseeing passenger on an operation. He had no need to go, but wanted to keep in touch with what his boys were regularly facing. At 22:15hrs LM340 was shot by the German highest scoring night fighter flying ace Oberleutnant Heinz-Wolfgang Schnaufer, of the Truiense IV./NJG in his Bf 110G. Albert try to deep dive the aircraft to extinguish the fire. But the fire was too great and the Lancaster aircraft disintergrated into several parts before falling into several meadows around the village of Leebeek, 15 miles south of Brussels. One member of the crew survived.
On the 15th January 1946, M. Gustave Pissens, of 187, Avenue Docteur Spitael, Lembeek was interviewed by the Canadians during their investigation into the crash, following a routine report furnished by the Gendarmerie at Hal which read that more information could be obtain from M. Pissens.
M. Pissens told the investigation that after the crash he had found one member of the crew staggering alone near his home at Lembeek, which was just a few hundred yards from the aircraft crash. He took the airman inside to care for his wounds. M. Pissens then ran to the crash site and found other members of the crew dead near the aircraft. The Germans came the next morning at 9am, and took the airman away. M. Pissens had learned from the airman that his name was George, he was 21 years old, and from London. He was married to Marie, also 21, and they had a 9 month old son, Raymond.
M.Pissens also told the investigation that the Germans had taken away the bodies on the 23rd March, he did not know where, but towards Brussels.
Peter Warywoda; Pilot Officer/Air Bomber; age 23; R.C.A.F.
‘Shorty’ Norman Charles Pleasance; Group Captain; age 39.
Arthur Finch; Flight Sergeant/ Air Gunner; R.A.F.V.R.
James White Hearn; Flying Officer/Navigator; age 30; R.A.F.V.R.
John Joseph Zammit; Sergeant/Mid Upper Air Gunner; R.A.F.V.R.
William Frederick Burkitt; Sergeant/Flight Engineer; age 22; R.A.F.V.R.
George Thomas Moulton Caines; Flight Sergeant/Wireless Operator; survived, and held as a PoW, at Camp 357, east of the town of Fallingbostel in Lower Saxony.
Memorial Plaque from Limbeek.
Extra information courtesy of Marcel Dubois.