Welcome to the memory of the crew of

Lancaster bomber ED627

EM-N of 207 Squadron RAF

____________________

 

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On Friday 27 August 1943, a Lancaster Mk III took off from RAF Langar, near Nottingham, to bomb targets in the city of Nurnberg in Germany.

The aircraft, ED627 with the markings EM-N of No 207 Squadron, took off at 21.29pm and headed south towards Beachy Head, across France and on deep into Germany. For some of the crew it was to be their 13th operation, an operation from which none of them were to return.

The seven crew members were:

PO. Arthur Marcus Fitzgerald - Pilot, aged 20
Sgt. Cyril Herbert Pratt - Navigator, aged 20
Sgt. Sydney James Mitchell - Flight Engineer, aged 38
Sgt. William Walter George Addison - WOp/AG, aged 21
Sgt. Henry Albert Toomey - Bomb Aimer, aged 22
Sgt. Stephen Preston - Air Gunner (Mid Upper), aged 20
Sgt. John Goodwin - Air Gunner (Rear), aged 20

On this evening John Goodwin took off as a 20yr old and died as a 21yr old as it was the eve of his 21st birthday.

 

No 207 Squadron - RAF Langar

June 1943

In June 1943 this crew was posted to No 207 Squadron at RAF Langar near Nottingham. Here they took part in their first operation over Germany on 12 June 1943 to Bochum in Lancaster EM-D (ED498). Over the next weeks in June they completed 3 further operations over Germany to Oberhausen, Mulheim and Wuppertal using Lancasters EM-T (W4952), EM-D (ED498) and EM-Z (LM326)

On the operation to Wuppertal, they were involved in an incident that made the front page of the Daily Express. Their aircraft was showered with incendiaries from another aircraft flying above them. Five came through the fuselage and one went into the port petrol tank. Two fell under the mid-upper turret and two fell near the rear turret, one exploding and blowing in the doors to the turret, but luckily no one was injured. Sgt Sydney Mitchell and Sgt Harry Toomey hurried to deal with the fires. Sgt Toomey hacked away with an axe at part of the floor, chopping holes into the bomb-bay allowing the incendiaries to drop through and out of the aircraft when the bomb doors were opened.


July 1943

During July they completed 3 further operations, twice to Cologne and once on a 9hr operation to Turin in Italy in 2 different Lancasters, EM-D (ED498) and EM-P (EE141)

August 1943

During August the crew took part in further operations to Mannheim, Nürnberg, Milan, Peenemunde and Berlin in Lancasters EM-P (EE141) and EM-L (W4120) and EM-N (ED627). On the night of 23/24 August they took EM-N (ED627) on an operation to Berlin.

Their Last Operation

For their last operation together, again in EM-N (ED627), they took off from Langar at 21:29 on the night of 27/28 August 1943 on a second visit to Nürnberg. We now know that their Lancaster was shot down by a German night fighter and crashed on Markung Hohenburg in the district of Wolpertshausen near Schwäbish Hall, 60miles west of Nürnberg.

A total of 674 bombers took part in this same operation to Nürnberg and 34 others were also lost, including another Lancaster EM-V (LM334) from No 207 Squadron.

The bodies of the crew of EM-N (ED627) were recovered by the German authorities and buried in the St. Nikolai cemetery in Schwäbisch Hall until they were re-interred after the war, in adjo
ining graves, in the Durnbach War Cemetery by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. The crew of EM-V (LM334) are also buried in Durnbach War Cemetery.


 

To view an English translation of the original German Police Report about the crash, together with location maps

CLICK HERE
 

To read Ludwig Meister's letter's (2002) which includes log book entries and a brief description of the shooting down of Lancaster ED627

CLICK HERE

The above document and letter's have been translated from their original German language into English by teacher's from St. Julian's High School in Newport City, Gwent, UK. This was the last school attended by PO. Fitzgerald and his name appears in their "Roll of Honour" to former pupils.

Many thanks to Mrs. Hilary Collins (librarian) and Mr. Mike Turner (Head of German)

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