Greetings All,
New member here from Western Australia.
A brief of my ‘mission’ is in order to bring you up to speed:
I am currently researching the details of the final hours of the crew of RAF 57 Sqn. Lancaster DX-Q ‘Queenie’ (LM653) – hence my forum ‘I.D.’.
The navigator of the aircraft was my great-uncle, P/O Victor Robert Campbell (427063), RAAF.
This Lanc was shot down on March 21st, 1945 and crashed just near the village of Friedrichsthal, east of Kransberg, in western Germany (north of Frankfurt). This was the last operational loss of 57 Sqn. for WWII. The crew’s mission was a diversionary raid on the town of Halle; the main force targeting the synth-oil plant at Böhlen. All seven crew were lost and are buried in the Hanover War Cemetery.
There were a number of unanswered questions regarding the final hours of the crew and, in short, I’m trying to get to the bottom of some of the mysteries & rumours and I look forward to corresponding with some enthusiasts who may be able to provide additional help/info.
Back in 2009 I visited the Kransberg/Friedrichsthal area hoping to find more information and was lucky enough to spot a gentleman in a local café who I suspected was a local historian. He unfortunately left as I was visiting the gent’s room, but the proprietors were kind enough to confirm my ‘suspicions’ and provide his name & an email address. (-If this wasn’t providence, I don’t know what is!!)
Via email correspondence, he has been able to provide me with some local anecdotes regarding LM653, which ‘confirm’ the rumours, plus a more specific location of the crash site (-one of my main aims is to return to the area & try to recover some fragments of DX-Q, if possible).
With the kind help of another chap here in Perth, we’ve ascertained that LM653 was very likely the 50th aerial victory of Luftwaffe night-fighter ace Herbert Lütje, whose aircraft was in the area at the time. This also corresponds with his claim of a four-engined bomber shot down at the time of 0459hrs. This was previously unknown information, as the official line was ‘lost to enemy action’.
Uncle Vic’s widow, Betty (my maternal grandmother’s sister) passed away back in 2010 at the ripe old age of 91, but his only child, a daughter named Gail (my mother’s cousin) is still very much with us and, as yet, unaware of the additional detail I’ve uncovered so far. She has had previous contact with the descendants of the 3 other RAAF crew members, who I’m sure would also be delighted if we could shed some more light on what happened on that fateful morning. Apologies for the rambling intro. I’ll shortly start firing some questions out there and hopefully we can get somewhere with all of this!

"Corpus non animum muto"

Regards,
Scott.