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Thread: Loss of Lancaster ND447 on Suttgart Raid 15 March 1944

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    Default Loss of Lancaster ND447 on Suttgart Raid 15 March 1944

    I am researching the loss of RAF Lancaster bomber no. ND447 which was piloted by my uncle W/O D. R. Knowles. The aircraft crashed at Hartheim just east of the Rhine about 75 km south of Strasbourg while flying on the Suttgart Raid of 15th March 1944.

    According to a note left by one of the two surviving members of crew, they were attacked by a nightfighter which set the engines on fire. The aircraft went into a dive and blew up (the bombs were still onboard).

    I have been analysing what information is available on the internet and came to the conclusion that the most likely German claim for ND 447 is that of Lt Herbert Koch, 11/NJG 3, at 22:35 south-east of Selestat (no distance given). However, I see there have been previous discussions about 3 Lancasters which crashed east of Selestat on the same date: ME558, LL637 and LM302, and another Lancaster LL852 which crashed south or south west of Selestat. I hate to complicate things by adding another Lancaster for consideration, but ND447's loss occurred in the same area although it crashed on the east bank of the Rhine.

    Does anyone have any new information the crashes at Selestat or about the loss of ND447 that they would be willing to share? For example, from the Nightfighter War Diaries by Theo Boiten or any relevant Bomber Command documents for this raid. I have requested my uncle's personnel file from the RAF, but I don't expect to see any detail of the crash. I also already have a copy of the relevant squadron Operations Record Book (ORB).

    Many thanks

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    Since Flight Sergeant Albert Ernest Hammond RCAF was an RCAF airman, it might be worth while requesting his service record from teh Canadian archives and ask for anything related to the aricraft loss to be concentrated upon.

    it will take a while to get word from them but details how to are here:
    http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/genealogie/022-913.001.03-e.html
    Dennis Burke
    - Dublin

    Foreign Aircrew and Aircraft Ireland 1939-1945
    www.ww2irishaviation.com

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    Hi Jaloho,

    Here's the NF claim that matches the loss of ND447:

    Oblt. Fritz Lau: 3 4./NJG1 Lancaster Hartheim, 1 km. SW Freiburg: 6.300 m. 23.19 12 Sqn Lancaster ND447

    I would be interested to know if you have any crew photos and/or photos of ND447.

    Cheers, Theo

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    Many thanks Theo! I did not see that claim on any of the lists I found on the internet. I am happy to send you a picture of the crew of ND447, but I can't figure out how to attach it to this post. Could you send me a note of an email address I could send it to direct, please.

    Also thanks to Dennis. If I decide to pursue this further I will look into applying to the Canadian archives. I wouldn't be comfortable asking for information on someone I had no links to but, as you suggested, I could ask them to concentrate on the loss of the aircraft.

    I am now the keeper of the photos and documents relating to my uncle and I've been looking for some more detail on the loss to put together with the other items so it can be passed on in due course.

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    Hi Jaloho,

    Thanks for the offer of sending a crew photo you can email me at:

    theoboitenATversatel.nl

    AT of course is @

    Cheers, Theo

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    My grandfather Sgt A Cross was Lancaster ND477 rear gunner on the Stuttgart raid 15 March 1944 - unfortunately was one of 6 from the crew of 8 that died. As with many others he died before ever seeing his son (my father) who was born 7 months later. My father died recently and the only information I have about Sgt A Cross is from the entry on page 11 of the book 'RAF Bomber Command Losses of the Second World War' and the War Graves Commission website, so not much really, but I have visited Durnbach War Cemetery.

    I'd be very grateful if anyone has more details or pictures of Lancaster ND477 crew they can share.

    Many thanks

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    I had a quick look at the abridged Canadian casualty file for F/S Hammond and the place of the crash is given as Breisach (map ref K48 V882367). This was reported by the local "Burgomaster" (sic). There appears to have been members of another crew buried there indicating that two aircraft may have crashed in close proximity. Like many RCAF fliers he had been born in England and his family had emigrated to Canada.

    If you get stuck with the map reference please let me know.

    Edit - a bit more digging and came across a photograph of Bad Tolz - Durnbach cemetery showing the crews communal grave with a temporary sign obviously taken whilst the cemetery work was on going. If you wish email me mikemcleod05@gmail.com

    Regards Mike
    Last edited by lancasterlm342; 5th June 2019 at 08:58. Reason: added info

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