This website encapsulates information that I have gathered since my visit to the Reichswald War Cemetery in August 2005.  Many people have helped, literally from around the world, in my quest to discover as much as I could about the fate of Lancaster ME453 and its crew, their origins and training.  Special mention must go to Peter Johnson and his sadly now defunct website about 463 and 467 squadron, I would never have got started without it.  

Thanks are also due to Thelma Wheeler, widow of Doug who was a navigator in 463 squadron (he was in the first aircraft off from Waddington on this raid). Thelma has provided me not only with wonderful copies of Doug's navigation charts and logs, but also with other contacts, including Horrie Burchett, Doug's flight engineer who lives in Tunbridge Wells and who has given me some excellent first hand information about a flight engineer's duty and squadron life in general and not least a copy about his crew "Born to Fly".

  

Tom Drennan's family, especially Tom's brother Joe, in Cork have been so open and helpful with copies of his diary and "songbook" and given me permission to publish them on the web.

 

Thanks also to Stewart Terras in Newcastle, New South Wales for the on-going background information about Colin.

  

My thanks are due to the late Cy March, a fascinating man who was so ready to share his wartime experiences.  His crew joined 467 squadron 5 days after Rolly Ward's. His pilot, Nev (Bug) Emery became good friends with Rolly.  

A link with Rolly's family was finally made after much letter witing and newspaper articles: thanks to John Hill who helped me with much research looking through births, marriages and deaths records, to Frank Wintle, his daughter Shirley Hudson and to Greg Wallace who has some wonderful photos of Rolly. 

 

Alan Rozee has provided some invaluable amd key information about Bill Chatters in the form of his logbook which has enabled me to track the crew from OTU onwards, and which makes interesting reading when compared with the informality of Tom's diary.

  

Ronnie Smith, the bomb-aimer, was especially elusive because of a complete lack of any information from CWGC about his home background, but at long last, after more than 3 years, I managed to contact his family.  My thanks go to Patricia O'Neill, who did the hard bits of research, and to John and Martin Pritchard, Ron's nephews, for the photo of Ronnie.

 

Following a letter in the Prestwich local paper, 83 year old George Brumpton came up trumps with information and photos of Harry Callaghan, a close friend.  Harry and George trained together for a time.  George has given me valuable information. 

Robert Schulte was kind enough to take lots of photos of the Langkamp's farm for me and the Dortmund-Ems canal as it looks today.

During my first visit to Lincolnshire in August 2008, Sqdn Ldr Phil Bonner took me to the RAF Waddington (fledgling) Heritage Centre where I was allowed to spend some time looking through the photograph albums for the years that 463 and 467 squadron were there, my thanks go to Phil.

My thanks go to Peter Hoare, ex-navigator with 106 and 83 (PFF) squadron for his permission to use some notes from an article he wrote on navigators' aids and for his comments and corrections to the content of this site.

Acknowledgements

RAF Waddington, March 1945: 467 squadron RAAF