142 Squadron Wellington losses
The operational history of 142 Squadron
will be on-line in due course. As part of the
research into 142 Squadron, the losses of its
Wellington aircraft are listed below. Please
contact us if you can add further information, have
photos of any of the airmen named below, or a relative
served on 142 Squadron. We would like to hear
about any 142 Squadron aircraft crash sites that have
There is a good account of 142 Squadron's Fairey
Battle losses on the Traces
of World War 2 site. The names of the
aircrew are listed in Bill Chorley's excellent "Bomber
Command Losses" series and our men of 142 Squadron page
up to the end of 1942. The squadron operated in the
Mediterranean in 1943 and 1944 and, as the aircrew
names for this period have not yet been published,
they are included on this page.
Wellington II W5373 crashed almost immediately after
take off from Binbrook for a training exercise.
Three of the crew were injured.
Wellington II W5386 Failed to return from Bremen. The
crew are buried in Hamburg cemetery, Ohlsdorf.
Luftwaffe night fighters claimed 6 Wellingtons and 3
Whitleys, whereas Bomber Command lost 11 Whitleys and
only 3 Wellingtons. Five of the claims were in
the Hamburg area and the crews of only three Whitleys
are buried in Hamburg cemetery, so it is likely that
W5386 fell victim to a night fighter. The relevant
claims were made by Oblt Reinhold Eckardt of 6./NJG 1,
Uffz Armin Behrend of 5./NJG 1 and Oblt Helmut Lent of
6./NJG 1. Oblt Eckardt was credited
with a victory at 01.42, at Ackermannstrasse,
Hamburg Inner City, which has been attributed to
this aircraft (ref. Nachtjagd
War Diaries Volume One).
Wellington II W5364 QT-H Crashed on heath land in
Ashdown Forest, Kent, returning from Cologne.
All of the six crew were killed and there is a memorial
at the site. This is known as the Airman's
Grave, although none of the crew are buried
Wellington II W5433 Abandoned over Germany returning
from Berlin, after the port engine failed. All
of the crew were captured and some were taken to
Stendal airfield intially.
Wellington II W5499 is recorded as "lost" on this
date, but it is not mentioned in the Operations Record
Book. This appears to be an administrative error
and W5499 may have been HA-Y of 218 Sqn which crashed
at Barton Bendish on 10/09/1941, on return from
Berlin, without loss of life.
Wellington II W5384 Ditched 8 miles E of Orfordness,
returning from Stettin. 5 of the crew failed to get to
the dinghy and only 1 was rescued. The Wellington had
been flying on the starboard engine for most of the
Wellington II W5378 QT-A Failed to return from
Stettin. Shot down near Kiel, where the crew is
buried. W5378 was probably shot down by flak, as it
does not correspond with any of the three night
fighter claims for the night. Site
found in Germany
Wellington IV Z1210 QT-M Failed to return from Bremen.
Presumed lost over the sea. 4 of the crew are buried
in Sage War Cemetery, Oldenburg. There were no night
Wellington IV Z1211 QT-M Failed to return from
Mannheim. Shot down by Oblt Egmont Prinz zur Lippe
Weissenfeld of 4./NJG 1. 5 of the crew managed to bale
out and were captured before the aircraft crashed into
into the sea off Bergen-aan-Zee, Holland. The pilot
Wellington IV Z1243 Stalled after take off and crashed
1/2 mile south west of Grimsby. 4 of the crew were
killed and the rear gunner was injured.
Wellington IV Z1202 Failed to return from Hamburg.
Presumed lost over the sea. The crew are commemorated
on the Runnymede Memorial.
Wellington IV Z1292 Failed to return from Hamburg. The
crew are buried in the Kiel War Cemetery. Site
found in Germany. Sgt
Sumner and some details of the loss
of these losses correspond with night fighter claims.
Wellington IV Z1330 QT-B Failed to return from Bremen.
Believed to have crashed in the sea off Bridlington,
Yorks. The crew are commemorated on the Runnymede
memorial. There were no night fighter claims.
Wellington IV Z1207 QT-U Took off from Grimsby at
20-21 and failed to return from Emden. Presumed lost
off the Dutch Friesian Islands, where 2 of the crew
are buried. Very likely to have been the
Wellington claimed by Oblt Ludwig Becker of 6./NJG 2
at 21-37 hours, north of Terschelling. Becker
shot down Z8370 of 12 Sqn at 21-00 and this
Wellington had taken off from Binbrook half an hour
before Z1207 left Grimsby.
Wellington IV Z1247 QT-K Failed to return from Brest.
Presumed crashed in the sea. The crew are
commemorated on the Runnymede memorial. Although no
bombers were claimed destroyed by night fighters, a
300 Sqn Wellington was attacked and crashed on return
Wellington IV Z1321 QT-V Failed to return from Essen.
10 km west of Rotterdam Netherlands. 5
of the crew are buried in Westduin Cemetery.
Wellington IV Z1283 QT-N Failed to return from Essen.
Believed to have crashed at Keilerstrasse
Oberlohberg Wald NE Dinslaken. The crew are buried in
the Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. 15 RAF bombers
were lost and there were 14 night fighter claims. Four
of the crews are buried in Germany, all in the Reichswald Forest
War Cemetery and one of these aircraft is believed to
have been shot down by flak. Two of the night fighter
claims were in Germany and one of these (Lt Willhelm
Johnen of 3./NJG 1 north west of Wesel at 23.30) is
likely to have been either Wellington Z1283 or X3665
of 57 Squadron.
Wellington IV Z1203 QT-O Failed to return from Lubeck.
The aircraft was hit by flak as it crossed the coast
near Kiel. This probably holed a fuel tank and as the
aircraft had insufficient fuel to get home the pilot
turned inland over Holland, allowing the crew to bale
out. The crew were taken prisoner, the rear
gunner having baled out at Nieuw-Vennep and two others
having come down at Kudelstaart. The
Wellington and crashed at Mijdrecht, near
Amsterdam Schipol airfield, Netherlands.
Wellington IV Z1274 QT-P Failed to
return from Lubeck. The crew is buried in Hamburg
Cemetery, Ohlsdorf. Night fighters claimed a
Wellington near Dithmarscher and a Wellington crew is
buried in Kiel War Cemetery (although this claim may
have been X3477 which crash landed near
Wilhelmshaven). 5./NJG 2 claimed an additional
Stirling and a Wellington (by Uffz Heinz Grimm), but
the locations are not known.
Wellington IV Z1205 QT-W Failed to return from Essen.
It has been reported as being shot down by flak over
Cologne, which is too far south of the route to Essen.
This loss was probably Wellington X3489 of 75
Squadron, lost in a raid on Cologne the previous
night. Nothing is currently known about where Z1205
was lost. The crew are buried at the Rheinberg War
Wellington IV Z1208 QT-S Failed to return from
Cologne. The crew are buried at the
Rheinberg War Cemetery.
IV Z1209 QT-Z Failed to return from Cologne. Believed
possibly by Oblt.Wittgenstein of III/NJG 2. The
bodies of two of the crew were later recovered from
the sea and are buried in Holland and Belgium.
Wellington IV Z1410 QT-Z Took off to operate against
Essen, but turned back with failing engines and
crashed in forced landing, at Thoresby Bridge,
Lincs. Only the rear gunner survived.
Wellington IV Z1261 Hit a hangar on take off, Middle
Wellington IV Z1324 QT-A Failed to return from
minelaying; shot down by Oblt Ludwig Becker of 6./NJG
2 over the North Sea, NE of Terschelling. With
one exception, the crew are commemorated on the
Wellington IV Z1341 QT-L Operating against Duisberg,
lost engine power in bad weather and crashed in forced
landing, Scole Road, Diss, Norfolk. Only the
rear gunner survived.
Wellington IV Z1408 QT-P Failed to return from
Duisberg; lost without trace; the crew are
commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial. Night fighters
made 3 claims, all of which seem to have crashed in
Wellington IV Z1287 QT-Q Failed to return from
Duisberg; presumed lost in the North Sea: the pilot's
body was later washed ashore and he is buried in
Sweden, while the rest of the crew are commemorated on
the Runnymede Memorial. Z1287 was the only Wellington
missing at sea on this night and, as there was only
one night fighter claim over the sea, for a
Wellington, it seems that Ofw Rolf Bussmann of 9./NJG
2 probably shot down Z1287 west of Bergen-ann-Zee at
03.26 hours. (Wellington X3975 of 150 Sqn had been
plotted further north, off Den Haag before ditching
due to engine failure.)
The squadron was tasked to attack Hamburg. The
route given to the target was 54°35'N - 07°08'E -
54°06'N - 09°05'E - 53°48'N - 09°50'E HAMBURG -
53°26'N - 09°54'E - 54°08'N - 06°42'E to Base.
Ten aircraft from 142 Squadron attacked the target and
3 of these were lost. A 4th aircraft had been attacked
by a German night fighter before reaching the target.
Wellington IV Z1319 QT-W Failed to return from
into the crash in Germany. Two of the crew
are buried in Hamburg Cemetery, Ohlsdorf and three
were taken POW: W/O Collison and F/O Goring were
captured near Hamburg.
Wellington IV Z1376 QT-M Failed to return from Hamburg; lost without
trace; the crew are commemorated on the
IV Z1461 QT-F Took off at 22.57 and failed to
return. The aircraft was brought down at
Waddewarden, 6 kilometres northeast of Jever at 02.17
hours on 27 July 1942. The crew were buried by the
Germans in Wilhelmshaven. In 1949 the crew was moved
to Oldenbourg Sage British Military Cemetery.
Wellington IV Z1316 QT-H Failed to return from
Saarbrucken; shot down by Oblt Eckart-Wilhelm von
Bonin of 7./NJG 3 and crashed near Olmen, 11 km ESE of
Geel, Belgium. The crew are buried in the
Canadian War Cemetery at Adegem.
Wellington IV Z1487 QT-Z Failed to return from
minelaying; crashed off the island of Noirmoutier on
the west coast of France. The crew is buried in
Noirmoutier-en-L'Ile Communal Cemetery.
Wellington IV Z1266 QT-M Failed to return from Kassel;
unclear where the aircraft crashed, but 4 of the crew
were taken POW, one being treated for his wounds in
Duisberg. One of the crew is buried in the
Reichswald Forest War Cemetery.
Wellington IV Z1338 QT-D Failed to return from Kassel:
after dropping its bombs just after midnight the
aircraft was caught by searchlights on the return trip
and shot down in flames by flak; the rear gunner baled
out and was taken POW and the other four crew were
killed when the Wellington crashed at Kalk near
Cologne; the 4 crew are now buried in the Rheinberg
Wellington IV Z1396 QT-B Failed to return from Kassel;
crashed near Meppen on the Ems Canal. The crew
are buried in Hannover War Cemetery. Z1396 was
probably shot down by Oblt Rudolf Altendorf of 6./NJG
3 - this was his 8th claim.
Wellington IV Z1411 QT-Z Failed to return from Kassel;
circumstances unclear: the crew are
buried in the Reichswald Forest War Cemetery.
IV Z1424 QT-F Failed to return from Kassel. The crew were
originally buried in the North Military Cemetery at
Dusseldorf, so presumably the Wellington crashed in
this area. The crew now rest in the Reichswald
Forest War Cemetery.
142 Squadron suffered its worst losses of the whole
war on this night (equalled by the Turin raid on 24-25
November 1943). The RAF's losses were high (31 of the
306 aircraft) and this was attributed to night fighter
activity. Most of the night fighter action was over
Holland. There appears to be more to the story though
and it is possible that the Grimsby and Binbrook
Wellingtons flew through the Rhur valley and close to
Duisberg, falling victim to the heavy flak.
Wellington IV Z1478 QT-B Operating against
Saarbrucken, the aircraft crashed south of Aldham
Rectory near Hadleigh, while trying to land at
Wattisham, Suffolk. All of the crew were
Wellington IV Z1466 QT-L Failed to return from
Karlsruhe; circumstances unclear. All of the
crew are buried in Jonkerbos War Cemetery, Nijmegen,
Holland. Latest research suggests
Z1466 was attacked by Fw Heinz Oloff and exploded in
mid air at 01.47 hours, near the village of Echt in
Holland. This was Oloff's second victory.
Wellington IV Z1214 Failed to return from
Bremen. Chorley writes that Z1214 was shot down
and crashed in the North Sea off Callantsoog,
Holland. Three of the crew
are buried in Holland, one of them on the island of
Schiermonnikoog, which is on a direct line from Bremen
to Grimsby. Lt Lothar Linke of 5./NJG 2 claimed
a Wellington north of Vlieland at 04.03. Oblt
Ludwig Becker of 6./NJG 6 claimed Wellingtons north of
Ameland at 04.15, north west of Ameland at 04.45 and
west of Schiermonnikoog at 05.09. It seems
likely that Z1214 was one of Oblt Ludwig
Becker's claims that night. The other three
losses are likely to have been Wellingtons Z1320,
BJ602 and BJ891.
Wellington IV Z1342 QT-T Ditched in English Channel
after engine failure, returning from Frankfurt.
One of the crew was lost and the remainder were picked
up the same morning.
Wellington IV Z1477 QT-Z Failed to return from
Dusseldorf; circumstances unknown: all of the crew are
buried in Rheinberg War Cemetery.
Wellington III DF550 QT-N Failed to return from Essen;
shot up by a night fighter; abandoned at 3,000 feet at
St. Omer, Pas de Calais; two of the crew were taken
POW, three evaded. Sgt James was captured the
following day. Sgt Buckell was captured at Lumbres on
Wellington IV Z1380 QT-A Failed to return from Essen;
circumstances unclear: the crew are
buried in the Reichswald Forest War Cemetery.
IV Z1480 QT-I Failed to return from Essen; crashed
near Dusseldorf, the crew are
buried in the Reichswald Forest War Cemetery.
Wellington IV Z1219 QT-V Failed to return from
minelaying; presumed crashed in the target area and
the pilot is buried in Hamburg Cemetery,
Ohlsdorf. The rest of the crew are commemorated
on the Runnymede Memorial. Only one Wellington was
lost in this area and one was claimed by a night
fighter, so it is very likely that Z1219 was shot down
by Oblt Egmond Prinz Lippe-Wiessenfeld of 5./NJG 2.
The action occurred 60km NW of Vlieland at 23.36 hours
and was Lippe-Wiessenfeld's 37th victory.
Wellington III BK281 QT-M Crashed at Princetown,
Dartmoor, returning from Aachen. Four of the
crew were killed, one injured.
Wellington III BJ653 PH-R Failed to return from Keil;
aircraft borrowed from 12 Sqn. The
crash occurred at Linstrup, Denmark. All of the
crew were taken POW. F/Sgt Heddon was captured near
Esberg, Denmark and Sgt Webster was on the run for a
week before being captured at Helsingor in Denmark.
Wellington III DF642 QT-J Operating against Cologne,
hit by flak and crashlanded at Manston on
return. Ran into a parked Hudson and damaged
beyond repair, but the crew were unhurt.
Wellington III X3960 QT-Q Operating
against Cologne, ordered to orbit base at 2,000 feet
on return, but flew into the
ground near Ludborough, Lincs. There were no
Wellington III BK385 QT-N Failed to return from
minelaying; lost without
trace; the crew are commemorated on the
Runnymede Memorial. It isn't clear where the mines
were to be dropped. A Wellington was claimed shot down
by Hptm Horst Patuschka 10km W of Goeree Island at
03-10 hours. This may have been BK385, or BK306 of 115
Sqn, which is known to have crashed off the coast of
Wellington III X3455 QT-D Failed to return
from Milan; crashed in the North Sea west of Schouwen
island. All of the crew are buried on the Dutch
coast. There was one night fighter claim in this area,
10km NW of Schouwen Island, at 02.48 hours. Lt Rolf
Bussmann of 4./NJG 2 claimed a Stirling, but the only
four engine bombers lost came down in France and can
be attributed to other claims, so this was probably
X3455 on its way home from Milan. Pieter
Schlebaum's account of the loss.
Wellington III BK298 QT-L had landed at Manston on
return from Torino, but hit a hangar, taking off to
return to Waltham. Only the pilot was injured.
Wellington III BK198 QT-P Failed to return from
minelaying off Texel; claimed at 00.41 hrs by Flak
unit 3.Lei.Abt/845. The Wellington crashed 7 km W of
Bergen aan Zee into the North Sea. Two of the
crew are buried in Bergen General Cemetery, while the
others are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial. 142
Squadron had sent 10 aircraft on this minelaying
sortie. The route was base - 52.43N 05.18E - 52.47N
04.32E - base.
Wellington III BJ768 QT-Q Failed to return from
minelaying; this crew was shot down by flak from the
airfield of Vannes-Meucon; BJ768 crashed at Lesranigo
and there is a memorial
to the crew in the village of Grand-Champ, 11 km
NW of Vannes.
Wellington III BJ711 QT-Z Failed to return from
Hamburg; circumstances unknown, the crew is buried in
Hamburg Cemetery, Ohlsdorf. The only twin engine
bomber claimed by the night fighters was shot down
over Holland, so BJ711 is likely to have been a victim
of the flak.
Wellington III BK280 QT-F Crashed on take-off,
Davidstowe Moor, when a tyre burst. No injuries.
Wellington III BK278 QT-C Failed to return from
minelaying; circumstances unknown. The whole
crew were taken POW. The only night fighter
claim was for a Stirling at Gortel, Holland at 20.09
hours, but as BK278 took off from Grimsby at 17.14,
this must have been another aircraft. Sgts Peake and
Wilkinson later reported being captured in Schleswig
Holstein on 16 November, Sgt Rae at St Peters,
Schleswig Holstein and American W/O Renkiewicz 10
miles from the Danish/ German border. The pilot of
John Stower, was one of the 50 men murdered by
the Gestapo on Hitler's orders after they escaped from
tunnel Harry at Stalag Luft III - The
Wellington III BK536 QT-C Failed to return from Turin;
abandoned due to engine failure 30km east of Paris; 4
of the crew were taken POW, 1 evaded. P/O Edwards was
captured at Montmorency near Paris on 21 November and
W/O Gregory was also captured in the Paris area on the
same day. Sgt Greaves was on the run for eight weeks
before being caught at St Jean de Luz and was
imprisoned in France for 8 months before being sent to
Germany. Sgt R G Smith escaped in the French cutter
Yvonne from Carentec in Brittany on 5 Feb 1943.
Wellington III DF708 A tyre burst on take off from
Gibraltar during the squadron's transit to Tunisia; damaged beyond
repair on landing at Blida. There were no
Wellington III DF732 QT-V Damaged and set on fire over Bizerte Bay
by Ju88C of II./NJG 2's 5 Staffel,
flown by Uffz. Tolksdorf. The rear gunner, P/O G
M Waldie RAAF returned fire and damaged the Ju88,
before his turret was hit and disabled. The pilot gave
the order to prepare to bale out and it is thought P/O
Waldie mis-heard and baled out. The remaining
crew extinguished the fire and
belly-landed the aircraft at Blida.
P/O Waldie was not found and is commemorated on the
Wellington III DF691 QT-C took off at 02-30 and failed
to return from Bizerte docks. The route was base -
Cape Bengut - La Galita - Bizerte - La Galita - 373N
0500E - base. Several crews saw an aircraft
crash in the sea north of the target. Sgt A Jensen
RAAF, Sgt R F Peterson RAAF, Sgt E Hill, F/Sgt A
Jowers RAAF and Sgt F R Marples are all commemorated
on the Malta Memorial.
Wellington QT-C Failed to return from Enfedaville,
Tunisia. The target was troop concentrations,
railway junctions and roads. Sgt G A Sherwood,
Sgt F Long, Sgt H H Williams, Sgt P W Sanderson and
Sgt J W Smith are commemorated in Massicault cemetery,
Tunisia. This Wellington was probably not HF795 as has
been reported elsewhere, because this serial appears
as QT-A on numerous sorties in June 1943. It was
probably DF561, listed by Air Britain as lost 10/04/1943,
albeit on the raid below.
Wellington III HF800 QT-O Failed to return from
Decimomannu airfield, Sardinia. Sgt M F Lay RAAF, Sgt
J W Campbell RAAF, Sgt E A Raby, Sgt W J Larcombe RAAF
and Sgt A J Burwell RCAF are all bured in Cagliari
Cemetery, Sardinia. The squadron records only mention -O and the
serial is confirmed by one of the Australian
personnel records. This also gives
the route for the night as base-Cape
Bengut-3906N 0818E-target and return by the
same route. At 21.03 F/O Allen's
Wellington was at 38058N
he saw debris falling and then a large flash on the
Cape Teulada, so this was probably Sgt Lay's
aircraft. Another aircraft was seen to be hit over
San Pietro Island. Air Britain shows Wellington
DF561 missing on this raid,
but this is thought to be incorrect (see above).
Wellington III DF696 Failed to return from Tunis. The
flight would have been approximately parallel to the
coast of Algeria and Tunisia. The pilot was Sgt Laurie
S Staight, who is commemorated on the Malta
Memorial. He had recently flown operations in
428 Squadron. The crew are not listed in the squadron
records, but they were Sgt Staight's regular crew: Sgt
J C R Cook and Sgt W N Underwood are listed on the
Malta Memorial, while Sgt H R Henley
and Sgt D A Underwood are buried in Bone War Cemetery at Annaba in
Algeria. The bodies of Sgt Henley and Sgt
Underwood were recovered from the sea, but the others
were not found. All the squadron's aircraft were
diverted to Maison Blanche, where Sgt Holmes
crash-landed due to damaged hydraulics. On this night,
a Wellington was claimed shot down in the Tunis area
by Fw Liebscher of II/NJG 2.
Wellington III HF702 Engine cut; crashed in forced
landing near Blida. Not mentioned in the squadron
Operations Record Book.
Ten Wellingtons were detailed to attack El Aounina
airfield and 5 had taken off from Blida when, at
00.30, Wellington X HZ102 crashed on take off. The
wreck caught fire and exploded. Sgt Lock and his
un-named WO/AG escaped with injuries, but the rest of
the crew were killed (they are not named in the
squadron Operations Record Book).
Wellington III DF552 Failed to return from a sortie to
Trapani docks. Sgt Venning and crew were missing,
believed to have ditched. The Wellington had actually
forcelanded on a beach in bad weather, near Cap Oum
Achiche, Algeria. After two unsuccessful attempts to
pick them up with a naval landing craft, they were
taken to Phillippeville. The crew were Sgt Shearwood,
Sgt Hargreaves, Sgt Jefferies, F/O Churchouse. They
rejoined the squadron four days after coming down.
Wellington III QT-X (possibly DF731 or HZ200, both
listed as lost this night) Engine cut on return from
Palermo; Sgt Smith and his crew abandoned the aircraft
near Montcalm. The bomb aimer Sgt T Pratt and rear
gunner F/Sgt T G Davis were both injured on landing.
One Wellington failed to return from Trapani; P/O Dick
M A Banton and his crew were reported missing. Their
regular aircraft was QT-H, but the individual letters
for the night are not listed and Wellington III DF697 and Wellington III
DF709 are both listed as being lost on this
raid. Sgt Gruffydd James Evans, Sgt Arthur
Edward Whitall and Sgt Cyril Ray were members of P/O
Banton's regular crew and are all listed on the Malta
Memorial for this night. Bomb aimer P/O S Jackson normally
flew with this crew, but it appears
that F/Sgt Jean Paul Denis Leclerc RCAF had taken his
place, as he is also listed on the Malta Memorial.
Wellington X HZ311 QT-F failed to return from railway
marshalling yards at Naples. Sgt Pleydell ran out of
fuel on the return trip and ditched off Cap Bone/ 6
miles NE Ras Mustapha. The crew was spotted in their
dinghy by 142 Squadron the following day and were duly
rescued by an Air Sea Rescue squadron.
Wellington X HZ528 hit a van on take-off at night at
Kairouan West. This occurred as the squadron was
taking off to attack Cagliari. F/O Kirley ran off the
runway and crashed. This aircraft doesn't appear
any earlier in the squadron records, so may have been
a new arrival.
Wellington X HZ474 QT-R was equipped to carry the
4000lb Cookie and was almost certainly carrying one
when it failed to return from Catania, after reporting
engine trouble an hour after take off. It crashed into
the sea, 4 miles off Augusta, Sicily. This is close to
Catania, so the crew probably resumed their sortie
after solving the engine problem and may have been
brought down by enemy action. There were no night
fighter claims. The aircraft sank immediately and the
navigator, P/O I I Samuels, was able to swim to the
surface and was captured by the Italians at Augusta,
ending up at Stalag Luft
III, but the other 4 members of the crew
were lost. The pilot, Squadron Leader A P Craigie DFC,
belonged to the Malayan
Group in 1939. Sgt James Croxall, the bomb
aimer is commemorated on the Banstead
War Memorial. The wireless operator/ air gunner
was Sgt H Cox and the air gunner was Sgt George Stuart
story of the last sortie is told here. The
squadron ORB incorrectly lists this aircraft as DF629
Wellington X QT-N Failed to return from Palermo. Sgt B
D Cox, Sgt J E Potts, Sgt M H Galt, Sgt C H Pratt RCAF
and Sgt T Armstrong were all missing and are listed on
the Malta Memorial. The squadron ORB lists this
aircraft as HE333, but this serial appears in Sgt W Wallace's
log book and
also the ORB later in the month, so Wellington
X HE760 listed by Air Britain as lost on this
date appears to be the aircraft actually lost.
The ORB shows "HE670" (sic) as -N in
June, so this is likely to have been a mix
up over the two -Ns at the time
(see also 13-14 July).
Wellington X HE629 QT-C crash landed near Cape Bon
on return from Messina. F/Sgt A E Jones, Sgt H
Woodhams, Sgt F C Horspool, Sgt N Williams and Sgt J
Lewis are believed to have been unhurt. The damage to
the aircraft must have been light, as it was soon
returned to service.
Wellington QT-N failed to return from Messina and was
believed shot down in the target area. P/O I D C
Evans, P/O A P Reed RAAF, P/O S C Sykes, P/O N Avery,
P/O L H Burn and P/O D B Surrette RCAF were all
missing and are listed on the Malta Memorial. P/O Reed
had only just joined the squadron and was flying as
second pilot. His Australian personnel record
lists the aircraft as Wellington HE580, which Air
Britain records flying with 142 and 150 Squadrons
before transferring to an OTU. It is more likely to
have been HE333, known to have been -N at the time,
which no longer
in the ORB after this date (see also 6-7 July).
Wellington X HE600 QT-Q Failed to return from Naples.
The Wellington was shot down and crashed in Fossitelli
street in the eastern part of Naples. The aircraft is
listed as HF699 in the squadron Operations Record
Book. It was not possible for the Italian authorities
to identify the crew, who were buried in Poggio Reale
cemetery, Naples. Sgt R J Hutchings, Sgt J S Tubb, Sgt
A Hillam, Sgt N E Philbrick and Sgt C Willson are all
listed on the Malta Memorial.
Wellington X HZ353 QT-U Took off 23.28 to attack
Capodichino (Naples), Italy and failed to return. Aircraft
Pomigliano d'Arco, 7m NE of Naples, presumably
as a result of enemy action. F/Sgt R T Bilsby
RAAF, F/Sgt B Buckley RCAF, Sgt J Scott RAFVR, F/Sgt T
P Laird RAAF and F/Sgt L G Potts RAAF area all buried
in the Cassino War Cemetery.
Wellington X HE629 QT-C Failed to return from sortie
to Cap Peloro beaches near Messina. F/Sgt A C
Wiltshire RAAF, Sgt R R Elsdon-Howard, Sgt O W St.C
Alleyne, Sgt M T Perkins, F/Sgt R L Eaton RAAF were
all missing and are listed on the Malta Memorial.
Wellington X HF763 QT-T Failed to return from Messina
beaches. S/Ldr A E Thompson (OC 'A' flight), F/O P J
Playfair, Sgt W K Elderson, F/Sgt W W Marsh, F/Sgt P F
O'Loghlen RAAF were all missing and are listed on the
Wellington X HE586 QT-X Ran out of fuel returning from
a sortie to Cap Peloro beaches and was abandoned 15m S
of Cap Serrat near Bizerta. F/Sgt K J Turley, Sgt E W
Lawrence, Sgt R J Pollard, P/O K J Strong and Sgt J E
Wood were all unhurt.
Wellington X HE437 QT-R Took off at 22-48 and attacked
Messina beaches. The starboard engine and fuel tanks
were hit by flak and the aircraft ditched at 03-20
hours, off Cape Bon. The crew was F/Sgt E B Caton, Sgt
G W Jones, Sgt I J Phipps, Sgt K E Payne and Sgt M W
Biles-Barford. They spent 4 days and nights in a
dinghy before being rescued and re-joined the squadron
Wellington X HE266 QT-A Failed to return from Viterbo
landing ground - believed to have exploded over the
sea. W/Cdr A R Gibbes RAAF, Sgt W A Ewart, Sgt N J
Meen, WO1 N G Shultz RCAF and Sgt J C Pratt are listed
on the Malta Memorial and have a page with the Aircrew
Remembrance Society. Pilot
was W/Cdr Gibbes. Another
page on W/Cdr Gibbes.
Wellington X HE951 QT-N Failed to return from Torre
Annunziata. F/Sgt J M Prentice, Sgt G R Thomas, Sgt J
M Shand, F/O D H McLauchlan and Sgt
W S Backway were not found and are commemorated on the
Malta Memorial. Although HE951 had been flying with
142 Squadron previously (in June 1943 for example),
Air Britain lists it belonging to 150 Squadron at the
time of its loss. It isn't yet clear which squadron it
belonged to, although the crew were from 142 Squadron
and 142/ 150 often "lent" aircraft to one another.
Wellington III -E Failed to return from a raid on
Grossetto marshalling yards. The starboard engine
failed half way to the target. The bombs were
jettisoned but the pilot was unable to feather the
failed engine and was forced to ditch at 23-00 hours,
at 38.22N 11.10E. F/Sgt A Kilburn, F/O H W G Burton,
F/Sgt W Pipe, Sgt W E Nesbitt and Sgt J Quirie were
picked up by a hospital ship. The squadron Operations
Record Book gives the serial HE557, which is
incorrect. It is more likely to have been DF551, which
is recorded as ditching 80 miles north of Bizerte on
09/09/43, 'on a ferry flight'. The crew got back to
the squadron on the 14th, but F/Sgt Kilburn had
sustained head injuries and left for treatment the
following day. His crew was then 'awaiting disposal',
so may have been declared tour-expired.
Wellington X HE972 -N had an engine failure on its way
out to drop flares for an attack on marshalling yards
at Pisa. It flew on for 20 minutes, but was forced to
ditch just north of Cape Bon, at 19-45 hours. The
crew, F/Sgt K Flitcroft, F/Sgt W J Moore, Sgt B
Duncan, F/Sgt G Lumby and Sgt B Bowell, was picked up
by a tank landing craft and landed at Syracuse in
Sicily. They returned to the unit on the 27th.
Wellington -Q had its port engine cut on its way to
attack a railway bridge at Civitavecchia and brought
its bombs back to Kairouan, where it crashed on
landing. There were no injuries to the crew. This was
probably Wellington X HE216, which was written off
after its 'undercarriage collapsed on landing at
Kairouan' on this date, although the squadron records
note -Q as a Mk III.
Wellington X LN350 -Q Failed to return from an attack
on Furbara airfield. During the attack, an aircraft
was seen to explode and go down in flames. Air to air
firing had been seen earlier and one crew reported
seeing a Bf 109 in the area. F/Sgt S M Close RAAF, F/O
S Potts, W/O J J Cramer RAAF, F/Sgt R C Williams RAAF
and Sgt P L Smith are all buried in Rome War Cemetery.
During the afternoon F/Sgt Jones' Wellington swung on
take off at Kairoun and ran into a line of parked
aircraft, wrecking itself and damaging another
Wellington of 142 Sqn and one of 150 Sqn. The crew
were not seriously hurt. The aircraft has not
yet been identified.
An attack on the Fiat ball bearing factory at Turin
went disastrously wrong, due to terrible weather over
northern Italy. 205 Group lost 19 aircraft and the
enemy didn't even know which city had been the target.
142 Squadron lost 5 aircraft: its worst losses of the
whole war (equalled by the Kassel raid on 17-28 August
1942). Only two of the 14 aircraft sent out by 142
Squadron managed to reach Turin, but were unable to
identify it through 10/10 cloud cover.
Wellington X HZ305 -M Failed to return from Turin. The
crew could not locate the target, so bombed the
coastal road to Genoa. On the way back an engine cut.
An SOS was sent before the Wellington ditched near
Bastia/ Borgo, Corsica. F/Sgt S Bryant RAAF, Sgt J
Armstrong, Sgt J Sadler RAAF, Sgt A Hehir RAAF and Sgt
J Champagne RCAF were all picked up safe. They
returned to the squadron on 2nd December.
Wellington X HE929 -V Failed to return from Turin. Sgt
S J Ouellette RCAF, F/O C M Mair RCAF, Sgt G P
Armstrong RCAF, Sgt G Bowering and Sgt G U Topp are
all buried in Florence War Cemetery. In 2014, aviation
archaeologists re-discovered fragments of this
aircraft at Fornovolasco/Vergemoli, near Lucca in
Wellington III HF694 -F Failed to return from Turin. Crashed
La Spezia. The
were buried locally and later re-interred in the
Staglieno Cemetery, Genova. Sgt R H Betts, Sgt P
Hurnell, Sgt S F Smith, Sgt C T Bowman and Sgt S A
Barton were all killed. Site dedicated to Sgt
Stephen Fraser Smith.
Wellington X LN466 -P Failed to return from Turin. Crashed
Issime in the Lys Valley, Italian Alps.
F/Sgt J P Wade RAAF, F/Sgt A C Glenwright RAAF, F/Sgt
J F Knapp RAAF, Sgt K R Carter and Sgt L E Lawrence
are buried in Milan.
Wellington X LN566 -D Failed to return from Turin.
F/Sgt R C Tyas RAAF, Sgt F E Summers, Sgt W R Knight,
Sgt H A Clark, Sgt J A LeBoldus RCAF, Sgt A D J Smith
RAAF (flying as second pilot) are all buried in Staglieno
Wellington III DF695 Caught fire on ground, Oudna. No
Wellington X JA137 -N Failed to return from from a
leaflet drop over the battle area. The Wellington was
returning early with engine trouble when it is
believed to have collided with Beaufighter V8843, over
the sea NNE of Bizerte, at position 37.20N 10.20E.
Lights were seen on the sea from a second Beaufighter.
F/Sgt G W Jones, F/Sgt K E Payne, F/Sgt I J Phipps and
Sgt M W Biles-Barford were all missing and are
commemorated on the Malta Memorial. Their pilot, F/Sgt
E B Caton, is buried in Catania War Cemetery, Sicily.
A 150 Squadron aircraft brought a 500lb bomb back to
Cerignola no. 3 landing ground from a raid. This had a
6 hour fuse and had evidently been armed. It
eventually went off at 15-30 hours, destroying the
aircraft. 142 Squadron's Operations Record Book
notes 'no other damage', but Wellington III DF703 was
'damaged beyond repair in accident' on this date, so
may have been a victim of the blast. There were no
The night's target was the Daimer-Puch factory at
Steyr, Austria. The route was base - Start Point -
Bravigne East - end of Lake Grade - Lake Millstatter -
Lake Traum - target and return by the same route.
Wellington X HE584 was abandoned over Corsica,
returning from Steyr. F/Sgt C Charman RAAF, Sgt M
Scott, Sgt A Rooke, F/Sgt R Gallagher and Sgt W
Wickens were all unhurt.
Wellington X HE815 Crashed 6 miles north of Avino,
Italy, returning from Steyr. F/Sgt P V Bashford RAAF,
F/Sgt F J Everett and F/Sgt P Kennedy RAAF were killed
(all buried in Bari War Cemetery). F/Sgt G Coldridge
and Sgt W Borton were hospitalised.
Wellington X HF537 Crashed at Castel Nuovo, Italy,
returning from Steyr. F/O N H Koetsveldt RAAF
and Sgt R Foster were injured, but F/O V T Rutter
RAAF, Sgt G D V Howard RAAF and Sgt F C Churcher were
killed. F/O Koetsveldt died of
his injuries on 4 March 1944. All the fatalities were
buried in Bari War Cemetery.
Wellington III HF764 Hit hills 20m W of Foggia
returning from Sofia. F/Sgt R O'Malley and Sgt W H S
Tite were only slightly injured, but F/Sgt J W S
Fisher RAAF, F/Sgt C R C Hoddinott and Sgt J B Morton
were killed and are buried in Bari War Cemetery. This
aircraft also seems to appear in the records
for 40 Squadron.
Wellington X LP119 The crew baled out at 06-30 near
Taranto on return from Sofia: Lt J F Van de
Westhuizen, F/O W Jones, Sgt J Gough, Sgt P O'Donnell
and Sgt F J McCambridge.
Wellington X HZ135 Crashlanded at Amendola on return
from Budapest. F/O K Jones, Sgt J Maydew, Sgt M
Harris, Sgt G D'Assonville and F/Sgt J O'Farrell were
all unhurt, but unfortunately five
USAAF airmen were killed in their tent.
Wellington X JA127 -H Failed to return from Budapest.
The aircraft was shot down over Gyal, Hungary. F/Sgt K
J Turley, F/Sgt D F Stunt (2nd pilot), F/Sgt J S Boden
RAAF, F/Sgt C R Hitchcock, W/O F E James RAAF and
F/Sgt J E Wood were all killed. They
were buried in Gyal cemetery and later moved to
the Commonwealth War grave cemetery, Budapest.
Wellington X LN503 -F Failed to return from Budapest.
claimed one bomber near Dalj, Yugosalvia (now
Croatia) and a wounded crew-member was taken to Osijek
hospital. (Foreman Luftwaffe Night Fighter Claims says
Oblt Hans Krause of 6./NJG101 claimed a Wellington
north of Breca at 23-58 hours.) F/Lt E W Wiseman, F/O
G Fisher RNZAF, Sgt R W Burgess and W/O H H Wright are
all buried in Belgrade War Cemetery. F/O F Montague
RCAF was taken POW but was unsure where in Yugoslavia
he was captured.
The docks at Genoa were to be disrupted throughout the
night, by sending waves of bombers. The weather was
poor, so the last wave didn't take off and the first
was recalled, but some crews attacked and returned to
find the cloud base down to 1,000 feet over base.
Wellington X LN848 Failed to return from Genoa. This
aircraft was probably -F and does not appear earlier
in the records, probably because it was a new
replacement for LN503 -F, lost the previous night. It
was last heard from at 02-18 hours. The crew of -F was
P/O W A McKinley RCAF, F/Sgt J Spencer, Sgt J Bissey,
Sgt J F Parker and Sgt J P Chapman. All the airmen
seem to have survived and McKinley, Parker and Chapman
were taken POW: P/O McKinley at Cassino and Sgt
Chapman at Mount Olivia. On 30 May, the squadron
learnt that F/Sgt Spencer had come down in enemy
territory but had escaped through the battle lines. It
isn't clear whether Sgt Bissey also evaded capture.
Wellington X ME873 -Z arrived back at base from Genoa
at 03-00, but the crew could not break cloud, so baled
out. F/Lt J Anderson RAAF, F/O G Millard, F/Sgt H
Jones, F/Sgt A Hart and F/Sgt J Dolman came down at
Gor Barletta, leaving the Wellington to crash near
Tortorella airfield. All were unhurt.
Wellington X -O was last in contact at 01-25 and on
return from Genoa the crew baled out in the Spinazola
area. Lt E Cathrine, Lt L Stone, Sgt J Graham, Sgt H
Bailey and Sgt R Asplin were all unhurt, although it
was some time before Sgt Asplin was found. The
identity of -O isn't clear, but it may have been
JA530, which was struck off charge on 12 May.
Wellington X LP113 -U was attacked by a Ju88 night
fighter on its way to San Stefano port. The rear
gunner, Sgt W Wickens, was injured and the aircraft
was badly damaged. The crew abandoned the operation
and the pilot had to crash-land at base because the
undercarriage failed. F/Sgt C Charman RAAF, F/Sgt R
Dean, F/Sgt M Scott, F/Sgt A Rocke and F/Sgt R
Gallagher RAAF were unhurt, but Sgt Wickens was
admitted to hospital. The aircraft is noted as "lost
30/04/1944" so presumably was written off due to this
During a training exercise to practice dropping mines
at low level, a Wellington hit a cable stretched
between two islands and crashed in the sea. The pilot,
Lt E Cathrine, and his crew were unhurt, except for
Sgt R H Asplin, who went down with the aircraft. He is
buried in Bari War Cemetery. The serial of this
Wellington has not been traced.
Wellington X MF198 -D Failed to return from Bucharest.
At 00-50 hours, a small amount of flak was seen near
Caracal and an aircraft flying at 11,000 feet was seen
to be hit and fall in flames. MF198 crashed at
Farcasele in Romania, 8km NE of Caracel. Hptm Ulrich
Meien.von of 2./NJG 100 claimed a Wellington shot down
SE of Craiova at 00.46 hours and this could have been
MF198, as no other aircraft crashed in this area
during the night. F/Sgt C Wray, F/Sgt O G Griffiths,
Sgt R Padgett, Sgt C P Whalley and F/Sgt P A Scott
were all killed. According to Macdonald 'Through
Darkness to Light', all were buried at Tâncăbești but
they are now buried in Bucharest War Cemetery.
Wellington X LN318 -X Failed to return from
Feuersbrunn airfield. It
crashed near Hofstetten, 7 km SW of Sankt-Polten,
Austria and all of the crew became Prisoners of War.
The Wellington was claimed shot down at Sankt-Polten,
at 00.55 hours, by Ofw Ludwig of 6./NJG 101 and F/O
Keen later confirmed this. The crew was F/O H Keen
RAAF, F/O W Todd RAAF, Sgt J Gallagher, Sgt W Yeo and
Sgt B Halligan RAAF. Further information can be found
on the Lost
Aircraft and RAF
Wellington X LP125 -F was unable to maintain height en
route to Trieste and ditched 20 miles north of
Biferno. F/Sgt T Slade, Sgt R Taylor, Sgt C Best,
F/Sgt R Briscoe and Sgt J Barber were picked up by an
air-sea rescue Walrus.
Wellington X LN700 -R Failed to return from Munich. It
is understood that the Wellington was attacked by a Ju
88 night fighter and that the crew baled out, before
the aircraft crashed near Lenggries,
50 km S of München. The pilot, F/Sgt R A
Budgett, was the last to bale out and was killed when
his parachute failed to deploy in time. The rest of
the crew, Sgt R E Bramble, Sgt S N Smith, Sgt K
Shillito and Sgt A A Sales, were all taken prisoner of
war. Sgt Sales and Sgt Smith were
captured at Lenggries. After the war, on the
assumption that the pilot's unidentified remains were
of an American airman, the grave was moved to the US
cemetery at St. Avoid in France. Later he was
identified and F/Sgt Budgett
was reinterred in the Choloy War Cemetery,
28 km W of Nancy, France.
Wellington X LN748 -E Failed to return from Budapest.
The target was the distillation plant of the Shell
Koolag oil refinery. The
Wellington was claimed shot down by Wilhelm Johnen,
Staffelkapitan of 8./NJG 6. Johnen's
Wellington crashed in south eastern Hungary at
00-20 hours (local time). F/Sgt J W Scholefield, F/Sgt
J Thompson, Sgt G R McKnight and Sgt D Nelson are all
buried in Budapest, Hungary. The sole survivor was the
rear gunner, Sgt J Robertson RCAF R161677, who was
taken prisoner in the Budapest area. This aircraft had
forcelanded 1/4 mile off the runway at Foggia on
return from Sofia on 15-16 March when both engines had
cut out in the circuit.
Wellington X HE293 -D Failed to return from Milan/
Lambrate marshalling yards. The aircraft crashed north
west of Bergamo. Sgt K Fairclough, F/Sgt E Dawson
RCAF, Sgt G E Smith RCAF, F/Sgt E Berwick and Sgt W
Kirkland were all killed and were buried by local
partisans. They now rest in the Milan War
Wellington X MF120 -Q Failed to return from Milan/
Lambrate marshalling yards. This aircraft collided
with Wellington LN806 -S of 70 Squadron over
Pizzighettone and crashed near PIZZIGHETTONE
(Po river valley). F/Lt S Garland RCAF, F/Sgt B
Cashin, F/O S Ware, F/Sgt D Purdue RAAF and F/Sgt D
Taylor were all killed. They were initially buried in
the local cemetery and now rest in Milan War
Cemetery. LN806 crashed nearby, at
San Bassano Cremonese. Two of its crew were killed,
but the remaining 3 were taken prisoner of war.
Wellington X LN808 -B Failed to return from the Fonto
Oil Refineries at Pardubice in Czechoslovakia. Disappeared
en-route to the target, possibly near St. Pölten.
Possibly a victim of Oblt. Josef Kraft of III/NJG 6.
P/O E H H Galloway, Sgt H K L'Estrange, Sgt T Donelan,
Sgt F E Dalby, Sgt S E Wiltshire were never found and
are all listed on the Malta Memorial.
Wellington X LP233 -U Failed to return from an attack
on Szombathely airfield. It crashed at Koszeg, 15km
north of Szombathely, on the Austrian/
Hungary border. Believed to have been shot down by
Oblt. Rudolf Thun of III/NJG 6 (his 4th of 7 eventual
victories). In spite of Thun claiming to have aimed
for the port engine with the Bf110's "Schräge Musik"
upward-firing cannon, to allow the crew to escape,
there were no survivors. The five members of the crew
were originally buried in the Catholic cemetery of
Koszeg and re-interred at Budapest CWGC after the war.
account includes this incident - see Mid-'44 in
Hungary... The crew was Captain J F Van Der Westhuizen
(SAAF), F/O J N Sincock, Sgt J J Gough, Sgt P M
O'Donnell and Sgt F J A McCambridge.
The squadron attacked the Romana Americana oil
refinery in Ploesti, Romania and lost 3 aircraft.
Wellington X LN972 -W Failed to return from Ploesti.
The Wellington was shot down by a night fighter in a
frontal attack at 00-28 hours near Lom on the Danube.
Lt E Cathrine SAAF, F/Sgt W McDonald (2nd pilot), Lt L
Stone SAAF, Sgt J Graham, F/Sgt J Taylor, Sgt R McKay
all managed to bale out and were taken POW. There is
an account of the incident in Macdonald 'Through
Darkness to Light'. Their captivity was brief and the
squadron heard that they were back in Allied hands on
Wellington X serial u/k (probably either LN857 or
LP540, both listed as failed to return from Ploesti
while flying with 142 Squadron on this night). The
crew was F/Sgt R Marsh RCAF, Sgt W Chambers, F/Sgt J
Watts, Sgt F Bullard and Sgt M Watts. The Wellington
crashed and exploded at Orac near Snagov, 25km north
of Bucharest and there were no survivors. According
to Macdonald 'Through Darkness to Light', all
were buried at Tâncăbești but they are now
buried in Bucharest War Cemetery. The squadron
Operations Record Book lists this aircraft as
MF631 -C, which is incorrect (see below).
Wellington X LP189 (possibly -H)
Failed to return from Ploesti. It crashed in northern
Bulgaria and the crew are buried in Sofia War
Cemetery: F/Sgt C G Hill RAAF, F/Sgt P Shepherd, F/Sgt
R Thurlow RAAF, F/Sgt W Grisedale and Sgt G Pond. This
may have been the aircraft that Lt Cathrine saw blow
up, almost over the Danube. The aircraft is listed as
LP548 -H in the squadron Operations Record Book, but
this aircraft seems to have survived the war and F/Sgt
Thurlow's personnel file states that the Wellington
Wellington X LP213 -R (?) Had a tyre burst on take off
from Regina, causing it to crash. The pilot, F/O A
Buhr RCAF received injuries to his leg. P/O C Brookes,
Sgt E Press, Sgt G Smith and Sgt H Lynch were unhurt.
Wellington X LP245 -R Failed to return from St.
Valentin. Lt K A Kelly SAAF, Lt P J Mockford SAAF, Sgt
H M Atherton, F/Sgt W R Clifton and F/Sgt R E Steed
are all buried in Klagenfurt War Cemetery, Austria.
Four Wellingtons were claimed shot down by NJG 6 and
NJG 101, including two in the Steyr area, so LP245 may
have been shot down by a night fighter.
Wellington X MF631 -C Failed to return from Ferrara
marshalling yards. Sgt D S Farley, Sgt J F Cleary, Sgt
J Scaife, Sgt J G C Whitworth and P/O H Lyndon-Adams
were not found and are commemorated on the Malta
(all aircraft down before midnight)
Wellington X MF249 -P Failed to return from Brescia.
It was hit by anti-aircraft fire and crashed
Libiole on the bank of the River Po in the district
of Serravalle Po. Lost
aircraft website reference. F/O D F Richer, Sgt
F Harrison, F/Sgt N A Good RNZAF, Sgt N F Nash and Sgt
W H Harper were all killed. F/O Richer and Sgt Harper
are buried in Padua War Cemetery, but the others have
no known grave and are commemorated on the Malta
Wellington X MF423 Overshot landing at Araxos;
abandoned & captured by communist guerrillas. By
this time, 142 Squadron had disbanded in Italy.
you further information or photographs relevant to the squadron or
any of these losses, or a relative was in 142 Squadron,
please contact us.