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Lille raid 10/11 May 1944.

Discussion in 'Western Europe 1943 - 1945' started by wayne400, Feb 11, 2009.

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  1. wayne400

    wayne400 Member

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    Hi all,
    I have been researching the raid on Lille 10/11 May 44, and in particular the loss of the Felstead crew of 467 squadron RAAF.
    I have photos of their grave sites, a list of the 17 sorties completed by the crew from the orb's, and a list of the other Lancasters lost.
    They were flying LL788 that night.
    There may have been a delay in the bombing, causing the aircraft to orbit the target.
    Can anyone add anything?
    Any info is most welcome.
    Regards,
    Wayne.
     
  2. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    Source: Theo Boiten's war Diaries:

    some of the 85 Lille bound Lancs made contact with Nightfighters from NJG1 above the French coast, some 80 km from the target. There was bad visibility and the 4 Mosquito markers had a hard time to show the target, this delayed the whole operation and forced the bombers to circle over the target for three quarters of an hour. This allowed extra time for the fighter,s and 12 bombers were lost (9 in the target area) .Smith was the only survivor of all shot down airmen. this is because he was wearing a seat type parachute .

    Does anybody know why Sgt Nash is buried in a different village than the rest of his crew? Was he found later , or did he bail out unsuccessfully above this place?

    All Luftwaffe claims were made by NJG1
     
  3. wayne400

    wayne400 Member

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    Hi Skipper,
    Thanks for the info.
    I have not yet looked into why Sgt Nash, the mid upper gunner on the Felstead crew, was buried in the Forest-su-Marque cemetery.
    Three of his crew mates are in Lezennes Communal Cemetery (with 6 of S/L Smiths' crew) and the other 3 are in Hellemmes-Lille Communal cemetery.
    In Theo Boiten's book, can any night fighter claims be linked to a specific aircraft ?

    Wayne.
     
  4. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    I'm afraid not and I don't think we"ll ever know , so many aircrafts lost in such a small geographic area within such a short time frame
     
  5. wayne400

    wayne400 Member

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    Hi Skipper,
    yeah, good point, but it's a shame there's no way identify where and how they all came down.
    I know where LM 475 came down. During earthworks to build a petrol station aircraft remains were recovered and identified as S/L Smiths aircraft. A local aviation researcher there has a prop blade in his care.

    Thanks again :)
     
  6. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    That's a good point. I know some local searchers too, but they mainly focus on the Pas de Calais, so I can't help with them. Besides Smith's aircraft, others could be identified too: LM429 was shot possibly shot down by Adolf Brewes near Kortrijk , belgium. The 00.15 claim was made by Heinz Strüning, Nabrich claimed the Halifax from 427 Squadron that crashed near Ghent, belgium, Schmitz claimed Lanc LL882 , so there is only one fighter left for the remaining claims : Lt Friedrich Potthast who claimed a Lanc at 23.58 at 2700 meters. Unfortunately 5 Lancasters have not been accounted for '(rom 9, 50, 97 ,463 or 467 sqn), so even if you take Smith's lanc out , that means there are still four left. If one is a Luftwafe claim, what about the three others : are these not claimed for, was there an accident, was it Flak ? This needs to be sorted out too.
     
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  7. wayne400

    wayne400 Member

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    I've been doing a bit of a search and two Lancasters collided at 23:40 while orbiting the target waiting for the remarking to be carried out.
    It's mentioned here,
    One Survivor

    I'll do a bit more digging and see what else I can find.
     
  8. Filip

    Filip recruit

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    I'd like to add a correction:

    Lancaster III - VN-C LM 429 was shot down over Vleteren and crashed in Oostvleteren. The german pilot who shot them was Hptm Breves Adolf IV./NJG1 at 0001 hrs. It was his 2nd victory.
    The crew lies buried on the town cemetary of Oostvleteren.
     
  9. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    Cheers Filip. The Lw claims often refer to a larger area, as pilots did not always know the exact crashsite, but rather the place they were when they attacked the bombers. I suppose Oostvleteren is not far from Kortrijk. Thanks for the additions.
     
  10. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

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    remember the times given are not for the crash itself but when the crew-members briefed and radio'd in, usually not the pilot as he was busy, but when the action took place .......... also the troubles with Id'ing BC bombers at night, the same can be said Allied crews ID'ing LW aircraft
     
  11. Filip

    Filip recruit

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    I live about 200 metres from the graves of this crew, here in Oostvleteren, and presumably only a couple of hundred metres of the crashsite itself.

    I've been a Royal Air force collector for several years now and I'm planning on opening an exposition in the very near future in the town here about this particular aircraft.
    I have already found some info about the crew, the plane, the circumstances ... but I'm still looking for more.
    I have several eye-witness accounts and some relics in my possesion.

    Any new information about the Lille raid and especially LM429 would be greatly appreciated.
     
  12. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    I hope wayne will be able to read this as he could certainly help you.
     
  13. lincoln

    lincoln recruit

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    hello

    I have just found this site and your interest in Lille Raid. My uncle Brian Grasby was in the Felstead crew as wireless operator. I met with Mr Smith in 1995. I am in Sydney Australia and will travelling to Lille in October 2011.Is anyone in the area?

    Lincoln
     
  14. Gebirgsjaeger

    Gebirgsjaeger Ace

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    Hi and welcome Lincoln,

    i´m not at the Lille aera but this is a really interesting place to visit.
     
  15. lincoln

    lincoln recruit

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    Thanks Ulrich

    I have never been on a site of this type before . However the previous notes were quite old , how do you get the latest or let these participants know you are interested in their input.
     
  16. Gebirgsjaeger

    Gebirgsjaeger Ace

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    Lincoln, the newest ones are showed up at the main page in the lower third of it. And if you´re interested give a reply or if they are really useful for you, than use the "Like" or the "Salute" that is shown below the post. Hope this is what you wanted to know.
     
  17. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    Hi Lincoln. Lille is a bit far from home, so I won't be around either, thanks for your interest in this thread.
     
  18. SIPPY

    SIPPY New Member

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    Gday all,

    I'm a new member here and my great cousin was on board LL882 as it was shot down. The following info may be helpful as I've been researching this quite a bit.

    407821
    Flying Officer
    David Payne Croston
    Air Gunner
    Lancaster
    LL882
    JO-J
    463 Sqn.

    Departed RAF Waddington, May 11 at 22:20 hours to bomb rail facilities near Lille.

    The aircraft was shot down at approx 0015hrs by a German night-fighter and crashed into a waterlogged clay pit at the Dumoulin brickworks.

    All are now buried at the Wevelgem Communal Cemetery.

    Pilot who shot down LL882

    Lt Hans Schmitz
    BF.110
    4./ Jadgeschwader 1

    Other information shows that Lt.Schmitz was also classed as an ace with 9 confirmed kills over the space of the war.

    Lt.Schmitz was killed in an air accident during September of 1944.
     

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