Photograph courtesy of Gerald
Born: 26th March 1917, Rolls Cottage, Northwood Road, Cowles, Isle of Wight.
Died: 27th August 1942; age: 23; at Rheine, Steinfurt, Germany.
Mentioned in Despatches – Flight Sergeant – 14th March 1941.
Missions flown with 156 Squadron:
8th July 1942 – Wilhelmshaven
6th August 1942 – Duisberg
9th August 1942 – Osnabruck
11th August 1942 – Mainz
27th August 1942 – Kassel.
Rank: Pilot Officer/Wireless Operator/Air Gunner; Service Number 49988.
Regiment: Royal Air Force, 156 Squadron.
Photograph of B-Flight of 115 Squadron in April 1940
The crew’s bodies were exhumed after the war by a war-grave investigation team to identify them and then were re-buried in a joint grave in Reichswald Forest War Cemetery.
Collective Grave 24.C.12 – 18.
Relatives Notified & Address: Son of Leonard William & Daisy Stone, of ‘The Kraal’ Tuddenham St. Martin, Suffolk; husband of Mary Mather Stone, of Newtownards, County Down, Ireland.
Father: Leonard William Stone, born June 1886, Eyke, Suffolk, a Bricklayer, and served with the Royal Engineer, ranked a Sapper, 17844.
Mother: Daisy Dorothy Stone (nee Saint), born January 1897, Piddletrenthide, Dorest.
Gerald was educated at Ipswich School.
Gerald married Mary Mather Whitaker, born June 1913, Newtownards, County Down, Ireland – daughter of Keighley Whitaker and Maggie Whitaker (nee McLean).
27th August 1942
Aircraft: Vickers Wellington; serial number: X3367; based: R.A.F. Warboys, Cambridgeshire; mission to bomb the Fiesler liaison aircraft factory at Kassel, Germany. The aircraft took off at 22:26hrs. As the aircraft approached Kassel they were attacked by a BF110 nightfighter, piloted by the German ace Hauptmann Wolfgang Thimming. X3367 was shot down at 23:25hrs, and crashed on to the Laurenz texile factory at Epe, Gronau, killing everyone on board.
Gilbert Hebblethwaite; Sergeant/Pilot; age 24; R.A.F.V.R.
Michael Gordon Savage; Sergeant/Pilot; age 20; R.A.F.V.R.
Frederick Valentine Herbert Shepherd; Sergeant/Tail Air Gunner; age 22; R.A.F. On his 13th mission.
Peter Hayes; Pilot Officer/Observer; age 20; R.N.Z.A.F.
Young Gerald with his father Leonard and paternal uncle Stanley Stone. Photograph courtesy of Ruth.