Flight Lieutenant J P Wallace RAAF & Crew

Date of Operation 18th November 1943
Target MANNHEIM
Code Name (Ref) CHUB “B”
Note Spoof raid: 440 Avro Lancaster’s scheduled to attack

BERLIN

Master Bomber Call Sign
Take off-time 17.20hrs
Base RAF Station Downham Market
Time of Loss 2020hrs-2030hrs
Cause of Loss Barrage Flak
Aircraft Crashed St. Martin, Germany
Escape & Evasion Report
Crew reported Cause of Loss Barrage Flak over Target
Loss Card Details
Additional Information Flying Officer Noel Lampard recalls;

I was sitting at the navigators table when we were hit. A flak burst exploded directly under the nose section, hundreds of holes appeared in the fuselage around the bomb aimer’s position. A gale of icy wind swept along the fuselage, it was obvious immediately that the aircraft damaged badly. John, the skipper gave the order to bail-out, then Ron in the bomb aimers position reported over the intercom that the front hatch was jammed.  I went forward to try and help, the force of the explosion from the flak had buckled the hatch tight. Unable to open the hatch I returned to the cockpit where I informed John that the hatch was jammed. I stood slightly behind John and the Canadian “second Dickie” waiting for the inevitable crash.  I regain consciousness lying in a wooded area littered with the burning remains of my aircraft.  I was in considerable pain, however my thoughts were clear, I realized that I should try and move to cover as I was worried about explosions.  After what seemed like hours, I managed to drag myself to an isolated farm house. With my condition worsening, I decided to knock on the door for assistance. The residents took me in and treated my wounds. I was not fully aware of the extent of my injuries but it was obvious I needed urgent medical treatment. With a shot time a German lorry arrived, German troops unceremoniously lifted me onto the back of the truck. I was immediately taken to a local German hospital where I received attention. I have vague recollection of seeing my flight engineer John Windle in the back of the lorry.”

Sergeant John Windle recalls:  

I was standing at the astro hatch looking out for fighters when we were hit.  The force of the initial impact threw me sideways. The two inner engines were rendered useless by a burst of flak that exploded directly under the aircraft. With the loss of power we went into a dive and the aircraft out of control. I was unable to stand up and make my way forward to the escape hatch. Gradually and with superhuman strength the skipper was slowly bringing the aircraft back on an even keel. The skipper gave the bomb aimer the order to jettison the bomb load was quickly done. In what seemed a matter of seconds we had lost 10,000ft, we now found ourselves over the target at 4000ft at the mercy of the flak. We managed to clear the target area and set about taking stock of our situation. The skipper gave the order to jettison everything; however it was soon apparent that we were in a hopeless situation. With the loss of both inner engines which were burning fiercely we were unable to maintain height. Reluctantly the skipper gave the order to bail out. I slowly made my way back to the escape hatch. I was surprised I was the first there. I open the hatch to be confronted by a wall of flames; the burning engines were producing a blow torch effect in the slipstream. I turned around not wanting to jump into a sea of flames only to be confronted by an unidentified crewmate who waved me on. . I took hold of the door frame and jumped out head first. Disregarding the training I immediately pulled the rip-cord, swung once and hit the ground with a heavy jolt.

 

Zero Hour over Target 20.30hrs
Scheduled To Attack Zero Hour – Zero + 4
Wave 1st Wave
Bombing Height
Bomb Load 3 x 2000lb
Bombing Method if Known Newhaven Ground Markers : Red TI Marker Flares, back-up Green TI Marker Flares
Route Base-Beachy Head-Cayeux-4948N/0825E-Target-4912N/0808E-4850N/0500E-5000N-0115E-BeachyHead-Base
Special Equipment Gee / IFF / Boozer

 

 

Pilot

 

Flight Lieutenant John Phillip Henry Wallace

413464 RAAF

Age 23,of Tareee, New South Wales, Australia

Son of John and Abigail Wallace

Collective Grave 18.B. 6-10

Rheinberg War Cemetery

FL Wallace RAAFa

Flight Lieutenant John Wallace RAAF

2nd Pilot Flying Officer Douglas Hartley Petch

J/14027 RCAF

Age 22,of Gananoque, Ontario, Canada

Son of George and Mary Petch

Collective Grave 18.B. 6-10

Rheinberg War Cemetery

Navigator Flying Officer Noel Lampard

134706 RAFVR

Prisoner of War Number 1678

Prisoner of War Camps Stalag Luft I Barth-Voggelsand

Wireless Operator Sergeant Thomas Lewis RAFVR

13313601 RAFVR

Prisoner of War Number 43163

Prisoner of War Camps IXC Molsdorf / Stalag Luft III Sagan

Lewis

Sergeant Thomas Lewis

Flight Engineer Sergeant John Windle RAFVR

651681 RAFVR

Prisoner of War Number 263522

Prisoner of War Camps Stalag Luft IV Muhlberg (Elbe)

Windle

Sergeant John Windle

Bomb Aimer Sergeant Ronald Luscombe Gill

1459774 RAFVR

Age 19 of Calverley, Leeds, Yorkshire

Son of Ernest and Beatrice Gill

Collective Grave 18.B. 6-10

Rheinberg War Cemetery

Gill

Sergeant Ronald Gill

Rear Gunner Sergeant Frank Markham

161356 RAFVR

Age 21, of Armthorphe, Yorkshire

Son of Albert and Louise Markham

Collective Grave 18.B. 6-10

Rheinberg War Cemetery

Markham

Sergeant Frank Markham

Mid Upper Gunner Flight Sergeant William Gordon Moore

420900 RAAF

Age 33, of Enfield, New South Wales, Australia.

Married to Beth Moore

Collective Grave 18.B. 6-10

Rheinberg War Cemetery

Note : The bodies of the crew were recovered from the wreckage and initially buried in the Edenkoben Community Cemetery.

wallace 11

Copy of the letter sent by the squadron commanding officer to the father of Flight Lieutenant Wallace. What is unusual is that W/Cdr Wynne-Powell has added in his own hand writing the following ” I have come to look upon him as one of my most reliably officers”

 

Bomber Command Raid Report

Scan_0217 (2)

Page 1

Scan_0218 (2)

Page 2 & 3

Scan_0219 (2)

Page 4 & 5

Scan_0220 (2)

Page 6 & 7

Scan_0221 (2)

Page 8 & 9

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Briefed route to target.

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Crash Site of EF155.
The site was investigated by the German historian Peter Menges in the early 1990’s. Peter visited the site and confirmed the crash location.

Rheinberg Cemetery, Germany

 Photographs taken on a visit to the cemetery in 1997

Wallace

The “Skipper”
Flight Lieutenant John Wallace RAAF

petch

The “2nd Dickie”
Flying Officer Douglas Petch RCAF

Gill Headstone

Bomber Aimer
Sergeant Ronald Gill RAFVR

Moore

Mid Upper Gunner
Pilot Officer William Moore RCAF

Markham HS

“Tail-end-Charlie”
Sergeant Frank Markham RAFVR

Wallace RAAF original grave

The crew’s original grave.