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Thread: 61Sqn Lancaster PB759 QR-N Houffalize 30 Dec 44

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Sydney, Australia
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    Default 61Sqn Lancaster PB759 QR-N Houffalize 30 Dec 44

    PB759 was believed lost on the 8 Feb 45 on the raid to Politz. 61 Sqn was thought to have lost 4 aircraft on this raid. The Squadron Operations Record Book reported 3 aircraft as missing, LL911 and two other aircraft which extremely hard to read although one could be **7*7 this was PB737. The remaining aircraft was QR-N and this had been reported as PB759 although the aircraft had not been recorded on operations since the 28 Dec 44. It was actually ME443 QR-N on its first operation with the Squadron.
    Further investigation revealed that PB759 had been lost on 30 Dec 44 due flying battle (FB) Air Ministry Form 78. The only Squadron operation on this date was the bombing of Houffalize but there is no record of this in the ORB. The raid reports for this operation stated that one aircraft was lost but the crew escaped safety parachuting in friendly territory. There was no indication as to which aircraft this was.
    It was then discovered the Station (51Base) records that an aircraft was missing from 61 Sqn.
    AlanW then found an item in “Air War Diary by Davis Scholes DFC” for Sunday 31 December 1944 that “Flt Lt Paul Crampton DFM and Spam is missing. He is a second tour bod, and last night he had a war correspondent flying with him”. (The raid on Houffalize.)
    We believe that Crampton flew with the Ainsworth crew who were lost on the 21 March 1945 on Ops to Bohlen, with the exception of Merritt who was awarded the DFC for his actions on the 30 December 1944.

    Crew details are:
    Flt Lt Paul Crampton DFM DFC Pilot
    Sgt L D Mills 1146367 FE
    F/O R Breakwell 163592 Nav
    F/O S F Merritt 153815 BA
    FSgt A W Snelling 1462497 Wop
    Sgt P Kitching 1678631 Ag1
    Sgt F M Lancaster 1850986 Ag2

    David Scholes reports that Crampton is back on duty on 16 Feb 45.

    What I would like to know is there any information out there to indicate who the War Correspondent was and if he followed up with a story of the events?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts


    Hello ,

    I have this
    20/03/1945 21/03/1945
    61Sqn Lancaster Mk I
    Bohlen NG386 QR-P
    F/O K W Ainsworth
    F/O R Breakwell
    F/O P Hawkins
    Sgt P Kitching
    Sgt F M Lancaster
    Sgt L D Mills
    F/Sgt A W Snelling All lost without trace Runnymede


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