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.
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.
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.