Crew Flight Sergeant John Phillip Henry Wallace RAAF
Service Number 413464
Flight Lieutenant Acting 1st October 1943
No.218 Squadron 29th July 1943
No.623 Squadron 10th August 1943
Sgt M Nesbitt
Attacked from 16000ft, a few scattered glows seen
Planted three mines successfully in Garden. One engine failed 45 minutes from Garden and trip was completed on three engines. Weather 5-10 over France stormy on return.
Cloud but clear patch over target. Ground detail not identified but bombed on TI Markers. Reports fairly good concentration around TI markers with bombing further south about 5 miles.
Note :There is no mention in the squadron ORB of a fighter encounter, however the crew flight engineer Sergeant John Windle’s Log Book records an encounter.
Low cloud at target, no ground detail identified. Bombed centre of 6 Green TI Markers. Bombing scattered.
Crew passed through heavy front on way to the target. W/V were in the region of 40mph. Cloud was encountered over route, but target area was clear but hazy. TI markers were bombed. Fires were well concentrated around markers and a good prang is claimed. Heavy flak was reported above and below and the target ringed with searchlights. obviously operating with fighters which were numerous. Bombed 15,500ft.
Bombed from 15000ft. This aircraft reported haze over the entire route and target which made identification impossible. TI Reds were bombed. Four minutes after bombing our aircraft was attacked by a JU88. The enemy aircraft was seen but fire held as it could not be established in the fighter was a friendly Wellington. Dropping to the rear the enemy fighter came in for a stern attack.
It was then identified and the rear gunner gave the pilot directions to corkscrew. The enemies burst failed to hit our machine but four members of our crew saw our tracer hit the JU88. No claim was made however. Flak was described as ineffective. Searchlight estimated at about 20 but not troublesome.
Montlucon (Dunlop Rubber Factory)
Bombed from 5000ft. This aircraft also reported the target was covered by a mass of thick brown cloud. Green TI Markers were bombed. One large intense fire was observed in the SW of corner of the target.
Modane (Railway Complex)
Target bombed from 13,500ft on Green TI Markers. One large fire and a lot of H/E was seen close to the TI’s.
Bombed from a height of 16000ft on Green TI Markers. Pilot reports seeing a mass of concentrated fires and much smoke. The fires were visible from the enemy coast of the return route.
There is no mention of this encounter in the ORB.
This aircraft bombed from 15,500ft on Green TI Markers. Visibility was good with no cloud. One very large fire was seen in the southern part of the target area. The crew reported what appeared to be artificial fires scattered throughout area. They think they may have been used to outline the aircraft against the night sky.
Planted three mines successfully in garden area. Aircraft arrived in the allotted garden area at 23.51hrs and mining was carried out 6000ft. Visibility good no incidents reported.
2nd Pilot Sgt Hookway
Reported low cloud over target but reported seeing explosions around Red TI Markers. Arrived early and saw one Green TI Marker but stood off just south of target, saw a Red TI go down so bombed it. Ground detail could not be seen. Red TI seemed OK for position and timing.
Veg planted duty carried out.
2nd Pilot F/O D Petch RCAF
1720hrs – FTR
The aircraft was hit by barrage flak either over the target area or on leaving, reports differ. Three of the crew managed to parachute to safety before the aircraft crashed into a 1,200ft high forested hill called “Hunderbrunnen” 3 miles NW of Edenkoben, Germany at 21.45hrs. The five fatalities are buried in the Rheinberg War Cemetery.
The crews navigator Flying Officer N Lampard recalls the events of that night;
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. Within a short 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.”