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Thread: Hanau 6/7 Jan 1945

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    Default Hanau 6/7 Jan 1945

    Hi there everyone, I’m trying to piece together events on the night of the 6th January 1945 (the Hanau raid). I’d be grateful if anyone has any information relating to the following aircraft:

    Halifax NR195 (158 Sqdn)
    Lancaster KB821 (431 Sqdn)
    Lancaster PB228 (635 Sqdn)
    Halifax MZ811 (51 Sqdn)

    Any information on how they were lost or where they came down would be welcome.
    Cheers guys
    Captain_M

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    Hi
    Using the usual source , Bomber Command Losses Vol 6 , by W R Chorley there is very little detail on these a/c
    NR195, is recorded as crashed at 1850 at Grossauheim, about 4 kms from the centre of Hanau but no reason for it's demise is given. All 7 crewmen were killed
    PB228 is recorded with "it is likely that this a/c exploded in flight throwing the pilot,F/Lt J A Rowland RAAF clear" to survive as POW.The remaining crewmen died including F/Lt Yanovich RNZAF who was an 8th crewmember flying as 2nd Bomb Aimer
    Of MZ811 it records that 3 were killed but 4 bailed out.On landing one,Sgt N Wilcock was badly beaten before being taken into safe custody and F/Sgt T W Richards was murdered soon after capture and his grave ,if any, is not known
    It is sparse but it's a start
    Regards
    Dick
    Last edited by Dick; 26th October 2009 at 19:49.

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    Hi,
    With reference 635sqdn a/c PB228. In Rowlands A705 file he states loss as due to collision with another a/c, Rowland gave order to bale out, he saw F/E and two Nav's go forward to the escape hatch, he also states later in file that he was sure that Yonovich, Hill, Sindall, Mackenzie and Donald had left the a/c, three weeks later he was told by Germans that Jelley and Whybrow were found in the wreckage but no news of the others, he hints at possible murder by civilians.

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    ?

    From my 'For Your Tomorrow - A record of New Zealanders who have died while serving with the RNZAF and Allied Air Services since 1915 (Volume Two: Fates 1943-1998)':

    Sat 6/Sun 7 Jan 1945
    BOMBER COMMAND
    Raid on railway yards at Hanau, Germany (by 482 aircraft - 7 lost)
    635 Squadron, RAF (Downham Market, Norfolk - 8 [PFF] Group)
    Lancaster III PB228/N - took off at 1550 captained by Flt Lt J A Rowland, RAAF, and shot down over the target area by flak, falling in flames to crash in a forest 3km NE of Grossauheim at about 1900. Taken prisoner, Rowland was the sole survivor of the eight crew. The bodies of the two air gunners were buried at Grossauheim next day. Remains of the others, first buried at the scene, were exhumed and transferred to Grossauheim on 24 January 1946. Later all of the dead were reinterred at Durnbach, 16km east of Bad Tölz.
    Air Bomber(?): NZ39301 Flt Lt Ivan Thomas YANOVICH, RNZAF - Age 24. 335hrs. 34th op.
    Yanovich’s crew role on this flight is uncertain. He was a qualified navigator, but the Bomber Command Loss Card lists him as being one of two air bombers on board. He served as an armourer with 488 Sqn, RNZAF, in the Far East campaign of 1941-42, remustering as aircrew in early 1943.

    And from Vol Three (Biographies and Appendices):

    Amendment:

    p312; YANOVICH, I T – not downed by flak, but lost its port wing and rear fuselage in a collision at 17,000 feet with another bomber (possibly Halifax NR195 of 158 Sqn) as it was leaving the target area. Delete first two sentences of footnote; he was in fact a qualified air bomber, not navigator.

    Errol

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    Re: AUS422909 F/Lt James Anthony ROWLAND RAAF:

    Air Marshal Sir James Anthony 'Tiny' Rowland AC, KBE, DFC, AFC,(1 November 1922 - 27 May 1999).

    Rowland was a senior officer in the Royal Australian Air Force, serving as Chief of the Air Staff from March 1975 to March 1979. He was later appointed Governor of New South Wales from 20 January 1981 to 20 January 1989.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Rowland_(RAAF_officer)

    Col.

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    One of the crew of NR195 was EMH Barr 1796037. His father went out to Hanau to help the MREU identify the body. He wrote to my family and sent the following report:


    Page 4
    so quickly. The place where this bomber crashed is a little quiet village called Grossauheim two miles east of Hanau.
    On the cross of the (grave which holds the nine airmens bodies) is the following
    (English Airmen). 9. (2 from another crash).
    No other particulars are given but in front of this grave is a small grave with 3 airmen’s bodies marked on the Cross (Canadian Airmen). 3. (That is 12 airmen in all [British] in this cemetery).


    After checking the Australian Archives I found out that the 2 additional airmen in the grave were Jelley and Whybrow (from Rowland’s plane). However I’m still trying to find out about the other grave. The Germans had marked the grave as Canadians, maybe they were the crew of RCAF Lancaster KB821 flown by BM Adilman J6390.

    Does anyone know anything about this aircraft?
    NM

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    NM,

    Four of us have already responded to your request.

    Before asking for more you might, err, like to offer up a 'thank you'.

    Errol

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    I definitely want to offer a big thankyou to everyone on who’s responded. It is much appreciated by my family and myself. We’re investigating a family member who died that night, Leslie Morgan was the navigator on Halifax NR195.
    Cheers guys
    NM

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    Errol,
    I wish you wouldn't take this attitude with people, I'm sure given a few more messages his thanks may well have arrived, it looked like he was offering some extra information from what he knew. Not everyone is a 900+ posting veteran.

    Welcome NM,
    Dennis Burke
    - Dublin

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

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    Default January 6/7,1945

    Below is some intelligence from the returning crews from Croft.

    14 crews from 431 Squadron departed base for Hanau.

    F/Lt J. Henry and crew flying Lancaster X KB-774 coded SE-D observed at 23:11 hours,
    position 50:47N-08:45E while flying at 14,000 feet, an unidentified aircraft was seen to go down in flames. Also at 00:17 hours, position 50:40N-11:30E while flying at 17,000 feet, an
    unidentified aircraft on the starboard side hit by horizontal tracer. The aircraft went into a dive, broke out in flames and was lost, no parachutes were seen.
    F/O S. Sorenson and crew flying Lancaster X KB-818 coded SE-G observed at 19:10
    hours in the target area while at 19,500 feet, a multi-coloured scarecrow exploded as we flew through it. Small pieces hit the aircraft with the affect of hail. No damage was sustained but it was very bright with a blinding affect.
    P/O J. Kopp and crew flying Lancaster X KB-803 coded SE-N observed at 19:15 hours,
    position 49:54N-08:52E while flying at 18,500 feet, a small red light appeared 600 yards off the port quarter level, changing to green then back to red. At the same time the fishpond showed a blip on the port quarter changing alternately to starboard as the light changed colour but not position, both light and blip gradually faded out.
    F/Lt D. Borland and crew flying Lancaster X KB-809 coded SE-Q observed at 23:06 hours at position 50:36N-08:34E while flying at 20,500 feet, a fighter on fire, hit the ground and ground, there was no parachutes. They also observed at 00:17 hours, position 50:40N-11:30E while flying at 17,000 feet, an unidentified aircraft on the starboard side hit by horizontal tracer. The aircraft went into a dive, broke out in flames and was lost, no parachutes were seen. At 01:14 hours, position 50:30N-07:10E while at 15,000 feet an unidentified aircraft was seen to port, break out in flames, lose control, crash and burn on the ground, one parachute was seen.
    F/O G. McNeill and crew flying Lancaster X KB-801 coded SE-S observed at 00:08
    hours in the target area while at 21,000 feet, an unidentified aircraft was seen to explode in a large sheet of flame and fall in about three pieces.
    W/Cdr E. Mitchell and crew flying Lancaster X KB-808 coded SE-U observed at 23:09 hours, position 50:30N-08:22E while flying at 20,000 feet, an unidentified aircraft was to go
    down on fire and explode on the ground, no parachutes were seen.

    17 crews from 434 Squadron departed base at between 15:05 and 16:04 hours, they were over the target at between 19:03 and 19:06 hours, returning to base at between 22:08 and 22:41 hours.
    F/O V. Barr and crew flying Lancaster X KB-833 coded WL-B observed at 19:06 hours
    in the target area while at 18,000 feet, an unidentified aircraft explode in the air to our starboard and went down through the clouds in flames, no parachutes were seen. At 23:09 hours, position 50:30N-08:22E while flying at 20,000 feet, an unidentified aircraft was seen to go down on fire and explode on the ground, no parachutes were seen.
    F/Lt A. Keihlbauch and crew flying Lancaster X KB-850 coded WL-O observed at 00:17
    hours, position 50:40N- 11:30E while flying at 17,000 feet, an unidentified aircraft off to starboard was hit by horizontal tracer fire. The aircraft went into a dive, broke out in flames and was lost, no parachutes were seen. They also observed at 01:14 hours, position 50:30N-07:10E while flying at 15,000 feet, an unidentified aircraft was seen to port, break in flames, lose control and burn on the ground, one parachute was seen.
    P/O J. Hall and crew flying Lancaster X KB-846 coded WL-P observed at 19:06 hours in
    the target area while at 18,000 feet, an unidentified aircraft exploded in the air to our starboard and went down through the clouds in flames, no parachutes were seen. They also observed at 01:14 hours, position 50:30N-07:10E while flying at 15,000 feet, an unidentified aircraft was seen to port, break in flames, lose control and burn on the ground, one parachute was seen.
    P/O C. Ferris and crew flying Lancaster X KB-814 coded WL-S observed at 00:08 hours
    in the target area while at 21,000 feet, an unidentified aircraft was seen to explode in a large sheet of flame and fall in about three pieces. They also observed at 00:17 hours, position 50:40N-11:30E while flying at 17,000 feet, an unidentified aircraft off to starboard was hit by horizontal tracer fire. The aircraft went into a dive, broke out in flames and was lost, no parachutes were seen.
    F/O J. Wagman and crew flying Lancaster X KB-849 coded WL-T observed at 23:09 hours, position 50:30N-08:22E while flying at 20,000 feet, an unidentified aircraft was seen to go down on fire and explode on the ground, no parachutes were seen.
    F/O C. Alger and crew flying Lancaster X KB-834 coded WL-Y observed at 23:09 hours, position 50:30N-08:22E while flying at 20,000 feet, an unidentified aircraft was seen to go
    down on fire and explode on the ground, no parachutes were seen.

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